Cooling Punch Points with a Super Air Knife

A stamping facility had a high speed perforating operation. The idea was to punch holes into a matrix at a fast feed rate.  In their operation, they started to see issues with the punched holes, and they also noticed that the punch points were prematurely failing.  With a tight punch-to-matrix clearance, heat was building up from the friction.  This effect was galling the material and affecting the hole appearance and dimensions.  They also noticed heat damage to the punch points.  They either had to slow their process down, or find a way to cool the punch points.  They contacted EXAIR to see if we could help.

To remove heat, you need to have a fluid moving across the material to carry the heat away. For this customer, the fluid would be air.  Just like a hot cup of coffee, you can cool it by blowing across the top of it.  In this instance, EXAIR can blow a lot of air with using very little amount of compressed air.  Because of the gap opening of the tool die was narrow, I suggested the Super Air Knife.  It has a compact design and can blow nicely between the upper and lower die.  With slight modifications, they were able to mount the Super Air Knives right into the base set.  Because the tool die was a “bowl” type design, I suggested that they should use two pieces of the model 110206 Super Air Knife.  They could mount one to each side to make sure to hit all the punch points.  (Reference the picture below).

Punch Press with a Super Air Knife

Punch Press with a Super Air Knife installed

EXAIR Super Air Knives are the most efficient compressed air knives in the market. It is designed to have a 40:1 amplification ratio.  That means for every one part of compressed air, it will entrain 40 parts of the free ambient air.  As with the coffee reference above, the more air that you can blow, the better the cooling effect.  With the Super Air Knife, we can reach a velocity of 11,800 feet per minute at 80 PSI.  After the customer installed the Super Air Knives, they were able to increase production by 10%.  Also, they found that the punch points were lasting twice as long.  They were so impressed with the effectiveness of the Super Air Knives, they mounted them to all their punch press machines.

Super Air Knife

Super Air Knife

If you find that heat is affecting your process, EXAIR could have a product to help you. We have a variety of efficient air movers to cool your parts.  As for this customer above, we were able to increase production and extend the life of their tools.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

Adjustable Spot Cooler Increases Production Output in a Medical Application

I was recently contacted by a plastics manufacturer who specializes in producing precision medical components. In this particular application they were pushing an ETFE tube onto a heated, flared forming pin. Once the tube is set onto the pin, they placed the assembly into a shroud where they used their shop compressed air running through a manifold split into separate lines to cool the part. This process was working but it takes approximately 1 minute so they called EXAIR looking for a way to reduce their cooling cycle time and increase their daily production.

I recommend they use our Adjustable Spot Cooler and plumb the cold air exhaust to their existing manifold. The Adjustable Spot Cooler incorporates a Vortex Tube to provide a specific temperature drop from the compressed air supply temperature. The output temperature and cold airflow can be easily adjusted using the control valve on the unit. Ducting the output flow would allow the cold air to distribute evenly, not only reducing the cooling cycle but also providing more dimensional stability to the finished product.

Please note, that we do not always recommend running cold air through a manifold because many times these manifolds are metal and simply act as a heat sink, which removes the cold temperature from the air stream. In this case, however, the manifold was made of plastic and the air lines to the formed tube assembly were short. The plastic material insulated the cold air and the short air lines running to the tube assembly also decrease the time the cold air has to lose heat. Applications with typical metal manifolds and longer air distribution lines are best served by using the Adjustable Spot Cooler directly on to the application and eliminating the manifold.

Adjustable Spot Cooler

Maintenance free, spot cooling device providing up to 2,000 Btu/hr. of cooling capacity.

This is just one example of how incorporating a Spot Cooling device into an existing application provided a more favorable end result. Don’t hesitate to give us a call and see how we can help improve your process too.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer


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