If you need a deeper understanding about how EXAIR’s products can be applied and help your process or product, feel free to contact us and we will do our best to give you a clear understanding of the benefits when using our engineered compressed air products. We can also explain proper implementation of accessory items such as compressed air filters and regulators.
Why should you consider a Pressure Regulator when designing your compressed air system? As many know, our products and those of other product manufacturers have a certain set of specifications regarding performance at stated input pressures. But what if your application doesn’t require that “full, rated performance”? Maybe instead of needing two pounds of force, you only need one pound? Sometimes more force does not produce the desired result for an application. By that, I mean you cause damage to the target or other surrounding items in the application. Or, perhaps blowing too hard (or vacuuming too hard in the case of a Line Vac or E-vac) might cause the vessel or the material you are picking up to collapse or deform (due to too much power).
There is also the concern about using more energy than one really needs to in order to achieve the desired effect in an application. In other words, if you can achieve your goals with only 40 PSIG, then why would you ever use 80 PSIG to accomplish the goal? By reducing your compressed air from 80 down to 40 PSIG, you can easily reduce the air consumption of the “engineered” solution by another 40% or more. Once you have installed engineered air nozzles to reduce compressed air on blow off applications, a pressure regulator can fine tune the pressure to save even more energy.
Then there is the issue of taking advantage of the pressure differential (from 80 down to 40 PSIG) that creates a little bit more air volume capacity. At 80 PSIG, your compressed air to free air volume ratio is 6.4:1. At 40 PSIG, it is only 3.7:1. The net effect is you effectively have an overall larger volume of air you can use for other applications in your facility. By reducing compressed air pressure of your demand applications, you may be able to reduce over all compressor discharge pressure. Reducing compressor discharge pressure by 2 PSIG also reduces required input power by 1 percent – so keep your pressure as low as possible!
Regulating pressure is definitely warranted given the benefits that compliment the operation of the core EXAIR products.
If you need a deeper understanding about how EXAIR’s products can help your application, feel free to contact us and we will do our best to give you a clear understanding of all the benefits that can be had by our products’ use as well as proper implementation of accessory items such as compressed air filters and regulators.
Imagine you’re enjoying a nice shower. A cascade of warm water is soothing your body – and spirit – then, someone starts the dishwasher. Or a load of laundry. Or flushes the toilet. Suddenly, the “soothe” turns to “scald” or “freeze,” depending on whether you’ve been robbed of hot, or cold water. So, what happened?
What happened is, all of those “loads” on your house’s water supply that can ruin your shower experience are controlled by simple on/off valves…they open to permit a certain amount of water FLOW to pass. When the dishwasher starts, or someone decides to wash a load of whites, the HOT water from your nice warm shower is diverted, leaving a stream of cold water. When a toilet flushes, or it’s a load of colors, the COLD water is diverted…and that’s not just unpleasant, but downright painful. Either way, (in my house anyway,) a teenager is getting read the riot act.
The same phenomenon can apply in a compressed air system, if simple flow control valves are used to throttle the appropriate supply of air to a pneumatic device. If someone, for example, hooks up an air gun to blow off their tools or parts, the valves on EVERYTHING else will need to be opened up some to keep those devices working the same. In the case of an air gun like this, it usually happens too quick to make the necessary adjustments (by hand) and you’re probably left with a machine tripped off-line, or a ruined part.
Pressure Regulators can prevent this by keeping (or regulating) their downstream pressure to a set value. If a load elsewhere in the system is activated, the Pressure Regulator opens up, automatically, to keep its output constant. When that load is secured, the Pressure Regulator closes back down accordingly. Either way, no single load affects the operation of any others.
That’s only half the value of the use of Pressure Regulators, though. The other half is, well…the value. Just looking at a typical function of many EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products – blow off – they’ll all pretty much accomplish the task if you run them, unrestricted, straight off your header. That’ll give you a good, strong blast of air flow…and it may be more than what’s required, and a waste of good air. Pressure Regulators will prevent this by allowing you to “dial in” the supply pressure to whatever it takes to get the job done, and no more.
Compressed air isn’t free. Heck, it isn’t even cheap. Don’t use any more than you have to, and get the most out of what you do use. Pressure Regulators are one important step in doing this. If you’d like to talk about optimizing your use of your compressed air system, give me a call.
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One of my many favorite shows as a child was the animated series G.I. Joe. Through the main story line, they tried to teach a life lesson at the end of every episode. Then the famous saying would come out. “Knowing is half the battle.” This has proved to be extremely true and helpful throughout my life and my career.
The biggest lesson that I believe I have learned is that when you don’t know the answer, ask for help. Knowing the right person to ask is quite often just as good as knowing the information yourself. This is why the Application Engineering team here at EXAIR is comprised of people from such diverse backgrounds.
If one of us is unfamiliar with your application there is most likely someone nearby who has been exposed to your industry or specific process. For instance, I have a machine tool background, and you call to discuss discharge of our Reversible Drum Vac versus some other mechanical pump, then I may ask Justin Nicholl or Russ Bowman about the mechanical pump for help with understanding your situation. This also showcases just how much of a team effort goes into solving problems for our customers.
Fortunately for us, the company also backs us up when we run across an unfamiliar process or problem. EXAIR’s 30 day guarantee allows us to get the product into your hands so you may test it risk free for 30 days. Test it within your facility under your conditions for a real world result. We enjoy learning about new processes and problems, plus we get to add this knowledge to our diverse experience.
Just in case you were wondering what kind of experience we have at our disposal, here is a brief listing of our core knowledge. If we were to include our internships, educations, field experience and people who are still at EXAIR but were once in the Application Engineering department, this list would go on and on:
Natural Gas Regulators
Compressed Air Hand Tools
Electronic Sensors / Transducers
Mechanical Power Transmission
So as you can see, if we don’t know about it or haven’t seen something like it, chances are you have a unique application that we are still going to do our best to help with.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss one of our compressed air applications, feel free to contact us.