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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Twitter: @EXAIR_BB

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

Send me an email
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Twitter: @EXAIR_BB

That New Car Feeling

So, I got a new car this week. It replaces my 15 year old van that just went over 200,000 miles recently. It’s been solid transportation since my sons were in baby/booster seats, and they both now exceed the height/weight requirements to ride in the front seat. In fact, the state of Ohio will soon permit my oldest to sit in the driver’s seat. Whether his mother and I will allow it (or are ready for it) is still up in the air. Stay tuned…

There are no “fatal flaws” with the van…the cost to fix the problems it has, though, would exceed the amount I could reasonably sell it for, and it just rubs me the wrong way to be “upside down” on a vehicle, whether that’s owing more…or spending more…on it than it’s worth.

It’s kind of a downer having a car payment again (although we were pretty proud of ourselves for having saved up a good amount for a down payment,) but the New Car does indeed have its advantages:

Operating cost: my van got just under 17 miles per gallon; the New Car boasts 33 mpg. I know; I know; “my mileage may vary,” but if I’m anywhere close to cutting my fuel costs in half, I’ll be a happy camper.

Reliability: Again, the van wasn’t dead (not completely,) but I’d had to perform unplanned replacements of the battery and a tire recently. I also noticed, at the last oil change, that engine coolant is finding its way into the oil. That gasket (wherever it is; I have no intention of finding it) isn’t going to fix itself.

Safety: Automobile makers have come a long way over the years, as the video below shows. Now, my van is a much more modern vehicle than the 1959 model…it has air bags, frame/body engineering to absorb impact, anti-lock brakes, etc. The New Car has more air bags, and over a decade more experience in the engineering behind them, as well as the “crumple zones” and brakes.

Every day, I get the opportunity to discuss these same kinds of issues with callers who are interested in finding out how EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products can make these same kinds of improvements:

Operating cost: For thirty-one years now, EXAIR has gone all out to make the most efficient compressed air products on the market. And, while we’ve succeeded, we’re not stopping there. Just as our Design Engineers have pulled out all the stops to make these products the best, our Application Engineers are eager to help you get the most out of them. That’s why we constantly update our Knowledge Database and Case Study Library. That’s why we work as a team…so that there’s never a time that only one of us learns something new. In short, we KNOW that EXAIR products can lower your operating costs. We want to help you lower them even more by optimizing their effectiveness.

Reliability: Most compressed air products, by design, have small passages for the air flow. These can be prone to clogging, which will “vary your mileage” for sure. That’s why we promote the use of Automatic Drain Filter Separators and Oil Removal Filters – if you supply our products with clean, dry air, you’re going to get a LONG time of maintenance-free operation from them.

Safety: All of our Intelligent Compressed Air Products comply with OSHA Directive 1910.242(b), which governs the use of compressed air for cleaning purposes, and 1910.95(a), which specifies maximum allowable limits for noise exposure.

If you’d like to find out how EXAIR products could possibly give you something like that “New Car” feeling in regard to your facility’s compressed air use, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Find us on the Web http://www.exair.com/28/home.htm
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Don’t Let Winter Shock You: One Danger to Quality that You Cannot Forget

Winter is coming. The humidity will drop. Electrostatic discharges will rise. We will all be shocked again, and again –  it’s a reality of manufacturing processes in the winter and can cause such a nuisance.

Static Electricity is created by materials such as paper, plastic or textiles rubbing, peeling, or sliding across a surface. Materials normally contain and equal number of positive and negative charges. As the two surfaces come into contact electrons will transfer from one material to another.  If these surfaces are not electrically grounded, they will gather a charge.  For instance, if you rub your sock across the carpeted floor before you reach out and touch your kid sister over the holidays, you may be able to shock her enough to take her eyes off of Instagram.  This is the same phenomenon that you can also see in lightning storms on a meteorological scale.

Electrostatic discharges may only be a nuisance to you and me as we climb in and out of cars, open door knobs, or touch our computers, but for a number of industries the rise in static will make producing quality products in  a timely manner significantly more difficult. Printing, packaging and slitting operations can be stopped or ruined by static. Some of these applications require a very long static eliminators between 60 and 108 inches.

Ion Bar

Two long ion bars remove static from laminated panel.

 

For wide web applications EXAIR builds Long Ion Bars up to 108″ in length. These bars can clean up printing errors caused by static in large inkjet printers.  They can eliminate static before or after a slitting operation. Also, they can eliminating static before painting or staining.  These bars will be invaluable to the paper, textile, film or plastic industry as winter continues to lower the humidity.

2014_exairPOYfinalistG_300px

Plant Engineering Product of the Year

 

The folks at Plant Engineering have nominated EXAIR Long Ion Bars for Product of the Year. If you are currently using the Long Ion Bar or another EXAIR product, please go vote for our products in the Plant Engineering Product of the Year Award.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
@Dave_Woerner
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com

 

EXAIR Super Air Wipe Provides Measurement Process Improvement

One of the most repeatable aspects of EXAIR products is the ability to make sustainable, measurable improvements to an application.  Whether the application need is for spot cooling to improve process speeds, static elimination to eliminate defects, or debris blow off to improve quality, EXAIR products fit the bill time and time again.

Air Wipe cleaning shavings from hub

Model 2403 Super Air Wipe used to clean shavings from OD of hub

In the photo above the hub is used as a quality checking device after a machining process.  The hub remains stationary while a machined part is brought into the application via robot.  During the mating of the machined part to the hub, to check proper fit and tolerance, small chips were becoming trapped between the hub measurement sensors and the machined part.

To eliminate this disturbance a 3” Super Air Wipe was installed to keep the OD of the measuring hub clean and free of debris.  Since installing the Super Air Wipe, debris and damage related measurement errors have been reduced to zero.

These tighter quality control capabilities have increased the efficiency of the application and reduced the need to rework existing product.

If you have a similar application, or one for which you think an EXAIR solution may be viable, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Stainless Steel Line Vac Conveys Egg Shells from Harvester to Waste Bin

IMG_0787

Our customer has a process where they de-cap eggs which are used in a variety of processes ranging from large scale bakery uses to medical uses for developing vaccines. The problem is they are left with a reasonable amount of egg shell waste that needs to be cleaned up after each cycle in the de-capping process. The previous method relied simply on friction and gravity to get the egg shell to go into the direction the customer wanted.

The problem with this method is that reliability was quite low. Egg shell would remain inside the egg, inside the tooling and pretty much everywhere around the de-capping process. The customer wanted to clean things up in the process a bit and increase the reliability that the shells go where they want them to which is a waste container about 5 meters away from the de-capper. The rate of shell flow was about 20 kilos per hour.

The customer made a search on the Internet for Air Vacuum conveyors and found EXAIR Corporation. After a short discussion to find out the specifics concerning rate of flow, distance, density of the product and available air pressure, we were able to make a suitable recommendation.

We ended up recommending EXAIR Model 6963 (1-1/2” Stainless Steel Line Vac kit). Having the full kit available allows the customer to install the Line Vac using included bracket for mounting as well as the air filter/separator and compressed air regulator with gauge to allow for accurate tuning of the air pressure to get just the right amount of suction from the Line Vac unit.

The customer purchased the recommended kit and installed on their machine. They have claimed the reliability has gotten to the point where the problem has nearly gone away. They still had some issues with the blades used, which they intend to sort out as a next step in their process of continuous improvement.

Neal Raker
Application Engineer
nealraker@exair.com

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