So last week I blogged about how I was using my leaf blower to disperse colored powders at a Color Fun Run for a school event. Well, while it did work, the outcome was not our desired effect. Instead of getting a nice plume, we got a considerable cloud/smoke screen of colored dust. It looks like a pollen tornado. So we had to scrap it. Were still able to make the event a blast and my ruck is still covered in purple powder from a reloading mishap. We learned a tremendous amount though. We also built a nine-square game for the first time and learned how not do put it together as well.
During the testing, we tried several introduction methods for the powder and where we ultimately landed was, we need way less air and intermittent bursts. Much like a Line Vac with an Electronic Flow Control set to a few seconds of cycle time. Then fill the breech of the powder cannon with a charge of colored powder. The trick is just enough of a blast of air to entrain the powder and discharge it, not a ton of air like a leaf blower gives off.
The best part of this process is the number of middle schoolers that got involved throughout the process of us testing it before the event. The ideas, the questions, the shock and awe that we would try something like this, and then the disgust when we told them they weren’t allowed to use it because we didn’t like the performance. What it did give me the chance to discuss with them each though is one of my favorite sayings, “You can’t teach experience.” They didn’t all get it. So we would share with them how we thought it would work, we tested, we changed variables, and ultimately, it didn’t work. What did work though is our ability to recognize what changed and to come up with a plan for next year that will give us some more time and testing and what didn’t work.
Experience is what EXAIR brings to the table with all of our Application Engineers. We all have different backgrounds, and we all have experienced a lot of things throughout life. Some of us have also found out that we can be somewhat of a slow learner sometimes too and that’s okay. If I don’t have experience and confidence in an application here, I may discuss it with one of the other AE’s, or I may just go and test the closest setup I can get. The point is, we put the effort in, we try, and we do it all to help our customer’s experience improve. This also gives us a chance to grow.
If you would like to discuss an application or experience you have and need help with, contact an Application Engineer today!