The Soft Grip Super Air Scraper for Cleaning Tanks

A transport company was in the business of moving food product like powdered milk, sugar, salt, gluten, etc. to different Food and Beverage industries.  The tanks ranged from 1,700 to 2,200 cubic feet (47 to 61 cubic meters) in volume.  Because of condensation that can occur, some of the powdered materials would solidify on the sides of the tanks.  They found it occurring more often with the powdered milk.  So, they created a cleaning mechanism to use compressed air and an open pipe to clean the residue after each stop (reference above).  They realized quickly that with this type of cleaning nozzle was not safe and not efficient.  They could only scrape roughly 1” (25mm) at a time.  The noise level was too loud, the compressed air usage was too high, and the time to clean the tank was too long.  They contacted EXAIR to see if we could improve on their process.

Model 1144 Super Scraper Nozzle

The answer to the problem was the EXAIR Super Air Scraper.  This product uses a nozzle that combines a scraping blade with our 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle.  It uses the mechanical force of a blade with the force of compressed air to remove stubborn sticky materials.  The 3” (76mm) wide corrosion-resistant steel scraper is robust and durable, and they can be easily sharpened or replaced when worn.  To add flexibility to the Super Air Scraper, a shim set can be used to increase the blowing force.  This combination of the nozzle and the scraper is an effective and powerful way to remove material with compressed air.

Soft Grip Super Air Scraper

To get pressurized air to this patent-pending nozzle, EXAIR attached the Super Air Scraper to our Soft Grip Air Gun.  The Soft Grip Air Gun has an ergonomic soft handle and a full-grip trigger for hours of use without fatigue.   We include different extensions for hard-to-reach applications ranging from 6” (152mm) to 72” (1,829mm) in length.  With extensions that are 36” (914mm) and longer, EXAIR installs an additional foam grip sleeve.  This gives more leverage for scraping material at a distance like at the floor level.  Chip Shields can also be added to prevent blow-back on the users.

Scrape off, and blow away, stubborn debris with the Model 1244-48 Soft Grip Super Air Scraper.

For the company above, this was the perfect tool to improve their process.  I recommended the model 1244-48 Soft Grip Super Air Scraper which had a great length to reach the tank areas and a foam grip to comfortably force the blade under the powder residue.  With the compressed air, it helped to keep the area clean during scraping and aided with the areas that were really stuck.  With the 1” (25mm) pipe as compared to the 3” (76mm) blade, the cleaning for each tank was cut in half the time.  Also, with the open pipe, they were using roughly 150 SCFM of compressed air.  The model 1244-48 was able to cut this amount down to 22 SCFM at 80 PSIG.  This was a huge cost savings.  And as a bonus, the noise level was lessened from 100 dBA to 77 dBA; a much safer way to protect any hearing damage.

To give some other areas for the Soft Grip Super Air Scraper, they can be used for removing gasket material, tape, caulk, adhesives, paint, labels, and much more.  If you have a sticky situation at your facility, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  We will be happy to discuss it with you.

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

Removing Oil Residue with Flat Super Air Nozzles

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When a machine or process requires lubrication, things can (and often do) get covered in the lubricant.  Whether it is oil, coolant, grease, or any other substance reducing friction, containing and/or removing the lubricant can be a real challenge.

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Such was the case for our customer in the application shown above.  They had developed a method for collecting and channeling the base (journal cross with trunnions – technically termed “spiders”) of a u-joint, used in the assembly at the next processing station.  Initially the method worked well, but problems began to arise with the accumulation of lubricant in the bottom of the collection device (shown below).

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The solution to this problem was two-fold.  Firstly, a chain conveyor has been designed to replace the existing hopper.  Secondly, a series of EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles, model 1122, will be used along with 12″ Stay Set Hoses and Magnetic Bases to provide a blow off station.

The conveyor will allow much of the residual oil to drip off of the u-joint crosses and into a collection bin below.  The Flat Super Air Nozzles will take the process a step further and actively remove any remaining oil, blowing the residue off of the u-joints and into the collection bin below.  By using Stay Set Hoses and Magnetic Bases we’re able to position the nozzles exactly where they need to be, making installation easy, quick, and adjustable when needed.

In removing the excess oil from the surface of these u-joints we’re able to make the entire workflow process more efficient by producing a steady, repeatable condition for the u-joints at the end of this process stage.  And, by removing imbalances in throughput due to reworking or stalling at this production stage we’re able to add confidence to our customer’s application.

If you have a similar application or would like to work with EXAIR to find an application solution, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE