EXAIR Super Air Wipe Greatly Increases Productivity & Saves Money!

Late last year I received a call from a customer that was using EXAIR Super Air Knives to create an air curtain that protected the lens on their Robotic Welders from weld spatter.  The EXAIR Super Air Knife accomplished this by virtue of its design to deliver a uniform sheet of laminar air flow across its entire length.  While this greatly improved the life of the welder lens and reduced maintenance time, further improvements were needed.

The event that triggered this was the challenge they received from their customer (one of the big 3 automobile manufacturers) to increase their output of welded seat frames by 50%.  While the EXAIR Super Air Knives greatly reduced lens maintenance the consensus was further improvements would facilitate the goal of increasing output 50% .

Super Air Knife laser application
Using the Super Air Knife to protect the welding lens

 

This started the discussion on the possibility of using the EXAIR Super Air Wipe, even though it is primarily used for drying/cleaning of long continuous flow products its airflow pattern (see illustration below) was able to direct the weld splatter down and away from the lens.  This ultimately proved to be more effective at protecting the lens than the laminar air curtain provided by the EXAIR Super Air Knife.

Air Wipe - how it works
Air Wipe – How it work

The installation of the EXAIR Super Air Wipes started on 12/16/2017 and was completed on 12/23/2017. The original production rate was 480 pair of SUV rear seat frames per day running 3 shifts 24/6.

Laser Above SAW Front
Robotic Welder fitted with EXAIR Super Air Wipe

After the Installation of the EXAIR Super Air Wipes, they had improved the production rate to 750 pair/day running 3 shifts 24/5 days per week.  That equates to a productivity increase of 156%, far exceeding the goal of 50%!

Before using the EXAIR Super Air Wipe their maintenance department would clean the Cover Slide on the Laser Welding Head – 3 times per day at approximately 20 min x 3x daily x 6 days / week 6 hours / week.  “With the EXAIR Super Air Wipe we found that we can weld for 10 days before cleaning the Cover Slide” says the customer.

Each Cover Slide costs $195 and those were being replaced weekly, it was a pleasant surprise to find out that only a small amount of dust collects on the Cover Slide now, which is cleaned off in less than a minute

In 10 weeks of Operation they have not replaced a single  Slide since the EXAIR Super Air Wipe has nearly eliminated pitting from the weld spatter.

Also, Cleaning of the Slides is now performed on Saturday’s at the leisure of the maintenance team and not under the strain of production time. The Labor Rate for Maintenance is $75/hour x 6 hours/week = $450 X 50 weeks/year $22,500 plus the cost of the replacement windows at $195 each x 25 weeks = $4,875 savings per year.  Total savings after implementing the EXAIR Super Air Wipe = $27,375 per welding machine!

With the maintenance & replacement cost savings alone it is an easy calculation to make on the purchase of the EXAIR Super Air Wipe’s. That figure is not counting the productivity increase of 156% which allowed them to meet their customers delivery schedule and reduce overtime!

If you would like to discuss increasing the efficiency of your compressed air usage, quieter compressed air products and/or any EXAIR product,  I would enjoy hearing from you…give me a call.

Steve Harrison
Application Engineer
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Flat Super Air Nozzle: Build Your Own System Overview

Flat Nozzle Blow-off Kit

EXAIR manufactures a variety of nozzles that are OSHA safe, high quality, and very efficient.  In this blog, I would like to discuss the features and benefits of the EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles and how to build a system to fit your application.

The EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles are manufactured to blow a wide forceful stream of air.  Their patented design creates a high velocity, laminar air stream with minimal air consumption and low noise.  They come in two sizes; 1” (25mm) and 2” (51mm), and EXAIR stocks them in two different materials, zinc-aluminum alloy and 316 stainless steel.  With a metal construction, breakage is not a concern and performance is not sacrificed even in the harshest of environments.  I have seen many plastic flat nozzles that were broken in applications.  The noise level was loud, and compressed air was wasted.  The unique patented shims inside the EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles give three improvements to the design and function.   First, they come in different thicknesses to create a wide range of forces.  In conjunction with a regulator, you can “dial” in the correct amount of force from a breeze to a hurricane without overusing your air compressor.  The patented design also allows an even force across the entire width of the air nozzle.  Lastly, they help to entrain the free ambient air; so that less compressed air is required.  The high efficiency design will save you money.  The EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles are effective in uniform blowing; efficient; and superior in quality and durability.  You can watch a video blog on the importance of using our patented shim.

(Click on photo to go to blog)

To show the different types and styles of Flat Super Air Nozzles that EXAIR stocks, you can correspond to the model number make-up sheet below.

To give force adjustments to the individual Flat Super Air Nozzles, EXAIR offers a way to change the thickness of the shim to better suit your application.  You can increase or decrease the force of the nozzle by just removing two screws and changing the shim inside.  This is a unique feature as most competitive flat nozzles do not allow you to do this.  EXAIR offers different thicknesses of the patented shims in our Shim Sets.  The chart below corresponds the appropriate Shim Set to the Flat Super Air Nozzle.

Flat Super Air Nozzle to Shim Set Chart

What can make the Flat Super Air Nozzles even better?  More flexibility.  The Stay Set Hoses can add that flexibility to the Flat Super Air Nozzles.  They are designed to manually position the Flat Super Air Nozzle to accurately target the air stream.  They allow maneuverability to locate the nozzle at different heights or angles; and once positioned, the Stay Set Hose will hold the nozzle in place.  They come in different lengths from 6” (152mm) to 36” (914mm).  We carry two different styles of connections to adapt to any of the Flat Super Air Nozzles.  You can select the different lengths of Stay Set Hoses (SSH) to the Flat Super Air Nozzle by the model number make-up sheet below.

To build your system even further, EXAIR also can offer a Magnetic Base to your Stay Set Hoses and Flat Super Air Nozzles.  The Magnetic Base has a powerful magnet on the bottom to securely attach the blow-off nozzles vertically or horizontally.  This feature is great if you need to move the nozzles to different areas in your application.  EXAIR manufactures a one-outlet and a two-outlet design.  Each outlet has a ¼ turn valve to manually turn on or off the nozzle and only require one air supply inlet.  To add this product to the Flat Super Air Nozzle with the Stay Set Hose, you can use the model number make-up sheet below.

With the EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles, you can take advantage of the durability, safety, and efficiency for your blow-off device.  In addition, you can build a system that will best suit your requirements.  You can add different lengths of Stay Set Hoses and/or different Magnetic Bases.  With these combinations grouped into one model number and in stock for quick shipments, it makes it simple to purchase from EXAIR.  Just to let you know, they also come with a 30-day unconditional guarantee to try them out.  If you need any help in building your optimum blow-off system, you can speak to an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  They will be happy to assist you.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

Atomizing Spray Nozzles from EXAIR

Do you ever need to spray a liquid?  If so lets look at two of EXAIR’s Atomizing Spray Nozzles or ASN for short.  The first model we will discuss is the AD1010SS Internal Mix Deflected Flat Fan Pattern.

AD1010ss_pr_559w
AD1010SS Internal Mix Deflected Flat Fan Pattern

To begin with all EXAIR ASN’s are made from SS for durability and liquid compatibility.  As its name implies it creates a flat fan pattern that exit’s the nozzle perpendicular to the air & liquid inlets as shown above.  This unique design lends itself nicely to applications with space constraints.  The AD1010SS is the ideal choice for coating the inside of enclosures or ductwork.  It is compatible with liquids up to 300 centipoise and the air and liquid are mixed in the air cap.  The AD1010SS is designed for pressure fed applications not requiring independent air and liquid control.  What is meant by that statement is that if you vary either the air or liquid pressures you change the spray pattern and volume.  See the chart below for clarification on pressures, volumes and spray patterns.

AD1010SS Pressures
AD1010SS Chart

Next we will look at EXAIR model AT1010SS internal mix 360° hollow circular pattern ASN.

AT360circpat_pr_300
AT1010SS 360° Circular Spray Pattern Nozzle Can Be Used To Coat Inside Diameters Or Cover A Broad Area Of Over 4′

The AT1010SS internal mix 360° nozzle is designed for applications where the spray pattern must be oriented away from the nozzle in all directions.  360° nozzles are ideal where a smooth, even coating is needed on the ID of a pipe or similar ductwork.  It is compatible with liquids up to 300 centipoise and the air and liquid are mixed in the air cap.  The AT1010SS is designed for pressure fed applications not requiring independent air and liquid control.  As above if you vary either the air or liquid pressures you change the spray pattern and volume.  See the chart below for clarification on pressures, volumes and spray patterns. They also work great for operations where a mist over a broad area is needed, such as dust suppression, humidification and cooling.  See the chart below for clarification on pressures, volumes and spray patterns.

AT1010SS Chart
AT1010SS Chart

If you would like to discuss EXAIR’s Atomizing Spray Nozzles or any EXAIR compressed air product, I would enjoy hearing from you…give me a call.

Steve Harrison
Application Engineer

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Intelligent Compressed Air: Save $$ With a Leak Prevention Program

waste
Don’t let leaks drive up your utility bill

The generation of compressed air accounts for approximately 1/3 of all energy costs in an industrial facility. According to the Compressed Air Challenge, about 30% of that compressed air is lost through leaks. This means nearly 10% of your facility’s energy costs are simply wasted through poor connections, faulty air valves, improper installation, etc. In addition to simply wasting money, compressed air leaks can also contribute to a variety of other operating losses. A leak can cause a drop in system pressure. When this occurs, end users may not operate as efficiently, having an adverse effect on production. This same drop in system pressure will also cause the equipment to cycle on/off more often, shortening the life of your compressor and other equipment. If the leaks cause an issue in supply volume, it may lead to the belief that more compressor capacity is necessary, further increasing your operating costs.

To put leaks in perspective (assuming energy costs of .10/ kWh), the Compressed Air Challenge states this:

  • A $200/year leak cannot be felt or heard
  • A $800/year leak can be felt, but not heard
  • A $1,400/year leak can be felt and heard.

If you walk through your facility, how many leaks can you hear?

We know that a large portion of the compressed air is being wasted, but what do we do about it? A proper leak prevention plan is the key to success. Since these leaks are impossible to see and some cannot even be heard, you need a tool to help assist you. EXAIR’s model 9061 Ultrasonic Leak Detector is the right tool for the job. When compressed air leaks through a pipe, it creates an ultrasonic signature due to turbulence. While this sound is not always detectable by the human ear, this meter will allow you to locate leaks up to 20’ away.

 

ultrasonic_2
Model 9061 with parabola attachment

The first step will be locating the leaks using an Ultrasonic Leak Detector and tagging them throughout the facility. Don’t let this overwhelm you!! If you have a larger facility, break it up into sections that can be completed in 1 day. This will allow you to decide which areas of the plant should be looked at first. Once you’ve located and tagged all of the leaks, rate them under two separate criteria so that you can prioritize what to fix first. Rate them based on the difficulty that it will take to fix them and also by the severity of the leak. Those that are severe yet easy to fix would make sense to begin fixing first. Those that may require a period of shutdown can be planned to fix at a more appropriate time.

ULD_Kit
Accessories that come with the Ultrasonic Leak Detector

When you’ve had the opportunity to fix them, don’t just forget about it. When new piping is installed, new lines are added, or anything involving compressed air is installed there is the potential for new leaks to develop. Set this as one of your regular PM activities and complete your own compressed air audit once a year. Implementing the process and maintaining it are the keys to your success.

If you have questions about developing a leak program or how to use the Ultrasonic Leak Detector, give us a call. An Application Engineer will be happy to help with the process and recommend additional methods to save on your compressed air supply.

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@EXAIR.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

ROI – Return on Investment

Return on Investment (ROI) is a measure of the gain (preferably) or loss generated relative to the amount of money that was invested.  ROI is typically expressed as a percentage and is generally used for personal financial decisions, examining the profitability of a company, or comparing different investments.  It can also be used to evaluate a project or process improvement to decide whether spending money on a project makes sense.  The formula is shown below-

ROI

  • A negative ROI says the project would result in an overall loss of money
  • An ROI at zero is neither a loss or gain scenario
  • A positive ROI is a beneficial result, and the larger the value the greater the gain

Gain from investment could include many factors, such as energy savings, reduced scrap savings, cost per part due to increased throughput savings, and many more.  It is important to analyze the full impact and to truly understand all of the savings that can be realized.

Cost of investment also could have many factors, including the capital cost, installation costs, downtime cost for installation, and others.  The same care should be taken to fully capture the cost of the investment.

Example – installing a Super Air Nozzles (14 SCFM compressed air consumption) in place of 1/4″ open pipe (33 SCFM of air consumption consumption) .  Using the Cost Savings Calculator on the EXAIR website, model 1100 nozzle will save $1,710 in energy costs. The model 1100 nozzle costs $37, assuming a $5 compression fitting and $50 in labor to install, the result is a Cost of Investment of $92.00. The ROI calculation for Year 1 is-

ROI2

ROI = 1,759% – a very large and positive value.  Payback time is only 13 working days.

Armed with the knowledge of a high ROI, it should be easier to get projects approved and funded.  Not proceeding with the project costs more than implementing it.

If you have questions regarding ROI and need help in determining the gain and cost from invest values for a project that includes an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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EXAIR Super Air Knives Increase Production of Jar Labeling Process

When a customer has a problem with a labeling process within their operation, many times they call EXAIR to provide a solution. The company in this example manufactures honey and dispenses it into jars and squeeze bottles. Due to an increase in demand, they were looking to increase their output. To do this, they simply increased the speed of their conveyor to accommodate approximately 70 jars per minute instead of their typical 50 jars per minute. This began to present a problem and they reached out to EXAIR for a solution.

honey SAKs
Honey jars traveling along conveyor and the recommended position of Super Air Knives.

After dispensing the honey, the jars and bottles travel through a washing station. The containers pass through a heated chamber that dries the excess water from the jar. At the higher speed, they were experiencing some residual water left on the containers. This began to pose an issue when they reached the labeling process. With water remaining on the jars, the labels adhesive would not adhere properly. This led to an increased amount of rejections and additional rework time to remove the rest of the label and re-run the defective containers.

They had a point in the conveyor just prior to labeling that the sides of the jar would be exposed. My recommendation was to install (2) 110009 9” Super Air Knives on each side of the conveyor to remove the water that was left after exiting the drying chamber. This worked like a charm and the customer was able to maintain an increased level of output without experiencing any further complications. Their previous rate of production without the Super Air Knives was approximately 50 jars per minute.  By installing the Super Air Knives, they were able fully realize their 70 jars per minute goal and increase their production by 40%!

The laminar flow that exits the Super Air Knife wraps itself around the outside of the jar, stripping away any leftover moisture. Supplied at 80 PSIG, each knife will consume only 26.1 SCFM of compressed air at a sound level of just 69 dBA. The flow and force from the knife are infinitely adjustable by dialing in the operating pressure with a pressure regulator or swapping out the shims with a Super Air Knife Shim Set. If you’re experiencing an issue with residual water or liquid on your product that is causing a problem during production, give us a call. An Application Engineer will be happy to take a look and recommend the most suitable blowoff solution!

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer

E-mail: TylerDaniel@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

E-Vac For Lubricant Recovery

Over the last 3 months, I have been in contact with a customer, keeping track of an application that involved the EXAIR E-Vac.  The customer had reached out to us looking for some advice on how to solve a process problem. The operation is a drawing/stamping process, and the when the part exits the machine there is coolant that resides in a deep draw section, approx 0.4″ in diameter by 3.5″deep.  About 1 oz of coolant per part is retained, and over many 1000’s of parts, would add up to lost dollars and messy clean up.

The customer was looking for an automated process that would be able to draw out the coolant and direct the liquid back to the coolant reservoir, all while maintaining the current machine run rate. We settled in on the model 840015 Adjustable E-Vac Generator. The Adjustable E-Vac has a straight through pathway from suction through to discharge, allowing for fast evacuation times.  A simple turn of the unit changes the vacuum and flow levels to best match the needs of the application.  The Adjustable E-Vac coupled to a solenoid valve controlled by the stamping machine resulted in the automatic system the customer was looking for.

Adjustable EVac
Adjustable E-Vac Family

The customer ordered a unit, and based on the preliminary bench testing, it was approved for a production run trial. After some tweaking in the production environment, the unit was performing to spec, and was then subjected to a 100,000+ part run.  The results were a success!  Instead of the parts exiting onto an inclined conveyor, relying on gravity to drain and causing coolant to collect under the conveyor, the coolant could be removed in a controlled manner and sent back to the reservoir.  Less mess and no coolant loss.

EXAIR manufactures (3) types of E-Vacs – Low vacuum generators for porous materials, high vacuum generators for non-porous materials, and the adjustable type for flexible vacuum performance.  They are available in multiple sizes, to best match the vacuum requirements, while using the least amount of compressed air.

To discuss your application and how the EXAIR E-VAC can benefit your process, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our other Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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