Next Level Customer Service

I recently spoke with a customer who is a casting / machining manufacturer.  They had an automated cell that was finish machining a feature on a cast aluminum part then placing it on a conveyor belt for an operator to pick up and continue processing.

The parts were placed 3 pieces wide per row and the conveyor would index with every three parts.   The operator would pick three pieces up and transfer them to another station during the machining time.  These parts were carrying residual machining coolant and debris onto the outbound conveyor.

The operator would blow them off with a handheld blow gun and all the coolant and chips would generally end up on the floor in the area causing a slip hazard.  The focus of the project is to eliminate the safety hazards and leave the parts as clean as possible for the inspection and further process.

The metal parts were positioned similar to the parts I placed in the mock up picture below.  The conveyor the customer has is an open mesh conveyor so the process will work better than if it was a solid belt like in the mock up.

The bulk of the concern from the customer was the outside of the part and they stated that anything to blow out the internal is a bonus.  The objective is to get as much coolant off as possible.   For that we recommended they span the conveyor with a Super Air Knife Kit to blow all the parts off at once.  This is mounted closely in the mock up because the customer had space restrictions.

The Super Air Knife Kit with Universal Air Knife Mounting System will firmly mount the knife over the parts and leave adjustment if needed.
The model 1103 Mini Super Air Nozzles with Stay Set Hoses of various lengths easily bend into place and hold their positioning for the side hole on each part.

Then, because the parts are always placed in the same location with the same orientation we can locate the ID hole with a Mini Super Air Nozzle on a Stay Set Hose of varying length to reach each set of parts as they come through.  Once I had the idea and the products in place I delivered the customer  a quote and dimensional CAD file for each part.

Another recommendation was to use a regulator and filter to control just the knife then operate the three nozzles off their own regulator and filter so that the forces between the two can be varied and the performance of the other is not effected.  Accompanying the models were installation sheets for each item as well.   Followed by the pictures of this mock up for their application.

Needless to say the customer was amazed that we would go to such lengths just to give them more assurance than our 30 day guarantee.  They were extremely thankful and are pleased we shipped from stock and met their installation window.

If you are looking for a creative solution, next level customer service, same day product availability, or just a nice human to talk to about compressed air, contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Two Birds With One Stone (and A Shim)

Blowing off bottles is such a popular application for the EXAIR Super Air Knife, it’s been featured on the cover of our Catalog…several times…and is the “banner” pictures on the Super Air Knives page on our website:

This always makes me thirsty for orange soda.

I had the pleasure of helping a caller from a bottling plant recently with just such an application.  Thing is, they run a couple of different size bottles, and it’s not a very big facility…they didn’t want to, or have room to, install different lengths of Air Knives, and also didn’t want to waste air flow when they were running the shorter bottles.

9″ Air Knives were required for the taller bottles, but their shorter bottles were a little under 6″ tall.  They had considered buying both 6″ and 9″ Air Knives, but called me to see if there was a less expensive, and possibly, easier way.  (There is!)

EXAIR makes, and stocks, every product in our 208 page catalog right here in this building in Cincinnati, Ohio.  We also make custom parts when the need arises…and custom Air Knife shims were the solution to this customer’s application.

By installing two Model 110009 9″ Aluminum Super Air Knives, one on either side of the conveyor (just like the photo above,) they’re able to blow off the taller bottles.  When they run the shorter bottles, they change out the shims for ones that limit the flow to a 6″ curtain.

So…for a little under $50.00 (2017 cost for those custom shims,) they’re going to save almost $550.00 per year in compressed air costs – AND make sure that their compressed air system is optimized & available for other loads throughout the plant.

EXAIR offers the Super Air Knife in lengths from 3″ to 108″, with a 0.002″ shim installed.  They’re ideal for most industrial and commercial blow off applications, right out of the package.  If your application calls for something a little “outside the box,” you may only be a shim away from success.  If you have such an application, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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More Power May Not Be The Solution

I can’t tell you how much it pains me to write this after last week’s blog. But, if we’re being honest here, every Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor (“More Power!”) does indeed need an Al Borland (“I don’t think so, Tim.”) As evidence of this, I had an opportunity to provide reasoned advice to a caller on the tech support line this week:

They had just purchased a Model 110224 24″ Aluminum Super Air Knife Kit. The flow it produced wasn’t powerful enough for their needs, so they installed extra shims from the Shim Set (which comes with the Kit) – increasing the shim gap to 0.009″ (which can produce a great deal more air flow and force)…more power, right?

Super Air Knife Kits include a Shim Set, Filter Separator, and Pressure Regulator.
Super Air Knife Kits include a Shim Set, Filter Separator, and Pressure Regulator.

Unfortunately, not. The Super Air Knife makes a hard hitting curtain of air when supplied properly…but it’s going to need a 1/2″ pipe (ID of ~5/8″) to carry enough compressed air flow to make that happen. Turns out, they were using 1/4″ tubing, which wasn’t even getting enough compressed air flow to the unit with just the 0.002″ shim installed. Putting in the extra shims actually made that worse. Once they ran a 3/4″ hose to the Air Knife (and took out those extra shims,) they were actually able to regulate the air supply back to about 60psig, which provided a strong enough air flow to solve the application.

This table comes directly from the Installation & Operation Instructions for the Super Air Knife.
This table comes directly from the Installation & Operation Instructions for the Super Air Knife.

Sometimes, though, compressed air product applications DO come down to a need for more power.  Next week, I’ll tell you about a caller who said he needed “the biggest and most powerful” Safety Air Gun we had – and unlike the last time I wrote a blog about that – he was RIGHT.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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EXAIR Knowledge Base Makes Problem Solving Easy

EXAIR makes every effort to solve your manufacturing problems, increase your efficiency and raise the bar on your safety practices. We try to do that immediately, today, right now and we’d like you to be on your way to an improved facility by tomorrow – that is why we stock all of our cataloged products and ship same day on domestic orders received by 3 pm. In order to do that it seems you would prefer to be working with a company that’s easy to do business with, and EXAIR is easy. One way we try and achieve this is by providing as much general information as we can under the Knowledge Base section of our website.  By taking advantage of the free registration, you gain access to a variety of helpful information that can help simplify your selection process and provide the final details to complete a particular project.

Knowledge Base
The Knowledge Base can be found in the black menu bar at the top of our webpage.

Take, for example, our full CAD Library providing 3D models and 2D dimensional drawings in several different formats which can be used by MANY different programs. Whether you are looking for a .stp file for a 72″ Super Air Knife or the .dwg file for a medium sized Vortex Tube, the information is readily available for download without needing to place a call to our office.

Another useful tool is our Case Study library which features a database showcasing the  benefits of using an EXAIR product in place of existing inefficient or unsafe blowoffs. Just a few benefits to list would be compressed air savings, safety improvements, achieving OSHA compliance, an increase in production, lowering the decibel level in a work area or overall money savings. We are continually looking to add useful information to the library and can offer some EXAIR swag or an incentive in exchange for quantifiable data. (give me a call for details!)

Case Study (505x640)
Example of a Case Study Report.

Maybe your looking for a specific EXAIR solution to a common industrial process? I invite you to take a look at our Application Database. From conveying plastic pellets to a hopper or needing to remove noxious fumes from a coating application, the desired information might just be a simple click away.

These are just a small sample of the useful tools available for easy use. If you can’t find the information you’re looking for or have a specific application you would like to discuss, give us a call so we can help.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

Another Piece To The Puzzle

With having three young children, puzzles are a very popular item in my house.   Whether it is a wooden puzzle where you are matching different color fishes into their corresponding recess on a board, or maybe a classic Rubik’s Cube that I will get half way through solving when one of my daughters wants to help mess it up.  (Which I absolutely love to help them do because I watch their face as they turn each side and it is simply a look of pure joy and amazement. No matter the case, the puzzles always get solved and then they are guaranteed to be done again.

Cabinet Cooler

Here at EXAIR, I look at nearly every application I come across as a puzzle.   Sometimes, we have the exact piece that has a precise place and fit.  This could be a Cabinet Cooler System to cool and overheating electrical panel.  More often than not, it’s not that easy.  We spend a good margin of our time creating a picture in our head of what the customer’s application is and we try to find that missing piece to the puzzle that will complete their needs.

This is one of the great things about the Application Engineering Department here at EXAIR, each one of us has a very diverse professional background and very different life experiences which permits us to cover just about any scenario you can throw at us.  If one of us hasn’t experienced it, there is a good chance we have someone outside of our department who has and we will bring them in on the problem solving.  It’s not too uncommon for certain applications to even make it into the eyes and ears of the President of EXAIR due to his extensive background with many industries.

The point is, if we can’t figure it out, we know who to ask, if they don’t know, we’re going to try our hardest to get you the right product to fit your needs and exceed your expectations the first time. If not, we honor a 30 day guarantee on stock products and will take the product back so you know that we have exhausted all options.   We’ve even been known to call former customers back when we come out with new products that will fit their needs we weren’t able to meet.

30 Day Guarantee
30 Day Guarantee

If you think you have a hard to solve compressed air application, contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Line Vac Solution For Fiberglass Application

150200

Recently, I worked through a project with an end user in the UAE in need of a more viable material transfer system. As a manufacturer of fiberglass liners, they developed a need to convey a mixture with properties similar to cement approximately 10’ vertically. At the end of this conveying distance is a hopper, situated atop a machine used to mix the compound needed for production.

Presently the material is transferred from a small storage silo to the hopper by hand, but such a setup has proven to be insufficient and time consuming. After working with the end user to determine the bulk density of the material and the required conveyance rate, it became apparent that a single Line Vac would not have sufficient transfer capabilities to keep up with the demand. However, if two Line Vacs could be run in parallel, our solution became much more feasible.

By installing two 150200 Line Vacs to move the material, the end user is expecting to meet the needs of production, and to transfer the material into the hopper at a more productive and efficient rate. In this application the need is for non-continuous material transfer at a high rate, so the parallel Heavy Duty Line Vacs provided a perfect solution.

EXAIR products and staff are in place to provide solutions. If you have an application problem, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXARI_LE

Is My Static Eliminator Working?

Winter is settling in on us, slowly but surely, here in Cincinnati. As I write, it’s 39F and overcast outside…not nearly as harsh as it’s going to get, come mid-January. With the dropping temperatures comes a decrease in humidity levels, especially inside, where our heaters inconveniently rob our air of its moisture content. This leads to chapped lips and dry skin for us, and a higher propensity for static charge to build up on non-conductive surfaces. It’s then that we find ourselves at the onset of “Static Season,” when the volume of calls regarding our Static Eliminator product line (and, hopefully, sales of said products) increases.

A good number of those calls come from existing users, too, which is great, because we’re genuinely interested in problem-solving, and making sure that folks get the most out of our products. A popular question is, “How do I know if my Static Eliminator is working properly?” There are a few ways to determine this:

The easiest, quickest, and most sure-fire way is to measure the actual level of static charge, “before and after,” with EXAIR’s Digital Static Meter. It’s a convenient, hand-held, battery-operated instrument that indicates the surface voltage and polarity when held 1” away from the object.

Another easy and quick method to check for proper operation of a Static Eliminator is to sniff for the presence of ozone near the device’s emitter point(s). With the compressed air source turned off (for safety, of course, but for no small measure of comfort as well), you’ll be able to smell the distinct odor of ozone – it’s been described as pungent, sweet, or metallic. It’s the same smell around your copy machine after a load of copies.

If you’re handy with a multi-meter, you can also check for proper voltage at the emitter point(s). We have a step-by-step guide to show how it’s done; contact an Application Engineer to get a copy.

If any of the above trials point to a problem with your Static Eliminator, the step-by-step guide also walks you through the procedure for a thorough cleaning of your device. Additionally, we’ve made some handy videos that we hope will help too:

Ionizing Bar Cleaning & Maintenance

Ion Air Gun Cleaning & Maintenance

Even with a properly functioning Static Eliminator, there may be installation or operational issues that are limiting its effectiveness. If this is the case, give us a call…like I said before, we’ve got a genuine interest in problem-solving, and we’re eager to help.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: http://www.exair.com
Blog: https://blog.exair.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
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