Atomizing Nozzles have added benefits that can really help

When a customer says the words “Great”, I like to share.

A customer of EXAIR purchased an SR2010SS Atomizing Nozzle for a new project.  He requested the Siphon Feed design so that he did not require a liquid pump (reducing the price of the project).  He attached it to a robot arm to spray water for activating a chemical on a substrate.  With the No Drip Option, he could start/stop the spray with a solenoid valve without getting drips of water into unwanted areas.

nodrip_SR
Siphon Feed No Drip Atomizing Nozzle

 

In robotics, there is much programing to make sure that the arm moves accurately throughout the space. In this application, the degrees of freedom were tight; so, our customer created a solid mount to attach the Atomizing Spray Nozzle onto the robot arm.  After all the components were assembled for the project, they began preliminary runs.

With a deadline looming around an end-user visitation, they started to run parts through their system. They noticed that the solution required more water to activate.  They contacted EXAIR quickly for help.  I mentioned that if they required more water, they can change the Air and Liquid Cap to a larger size.  The first question that my customer asked was if we had them in stock.  The second question was if changing the air and liquid cap would require removing the Atomizing Nozzle.

The first question was simple. We stock over 10,000 items for same day delivery.  If the order comes in to us before 3 p.m. EST, we can ship same day.  For this customer we were able to overnight the parts.  The second question was answered with a video.  Being that he mounted the body to the robotic arm, the liquid and air cap could be removed easily with wrenches.  In our design of the atomizing nozzles, we can interchange up to 4 different sizes with a quick change to the liquid and air cap onto the same body.  Our customer was quite happy about that.  With little time to program the exact location of the movements, he did not want to remove the Atomizing Nozzle from the arm. We shipped him the 3 other sizes next day, and he was able to find the correct size to use before the visitation of his customer.

If you would like to know more about how our products and services can help you in a pinch, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR at 1-800-903-9247.

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

Several Small Air Knives Remove Dust From Robot

We often are successful using a Super Air Knife to blow off product traveling on a conveyor or drying bottles in a labeling application. While these are common uses, sometimes we get a unique application that isn’t as clear cut a solution and requires several units and strategic placement to achieve the best result.

SAK drying parts on conveyor
Super Air Knife drying stamped parts on a conveyor

This was the case recently as I was working with a robotics company that was needing to contain debris inside a vessel as they removed a robot. They were needing to blow dust off all sides of the robot but had limited mounting space available to cover the round, 24″ diameter opening. Originally, they were considering using (4) 24″ Super Air Knives and mounting the units in a square pattern but were concerned that some parts of the robot wouldn’t be treated effectively and the air consumption might be too great.

I recommended they use (8) of our 9″ Super Air Knives and mount the units in an octagon type pattern around the opening. This setup would allow them to blow off the entire circumference of the opening, treating all sides of the robot from a relatively equal distance to achieve consistent results, as it is removed from the vessel. By going to several smaller knives, they would reduce the compressed air usage, making the operation more efficient. In addition, since they were only needing to blow dust off the robot, using a pressure regulator, they may be able to operate the knives at a lower pressure, further reducing the overall air consumption.

SAK
Our most efficient Air Knife, providing a high velocity airflow across the entire length of the knife. Available from 3″ up to 108″ in single piece construction.

If you have a specific application that requires assistance, please contact an Application Engineer at 1-800-903-9247.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

There Must Be A Better Way To Save…

 

I’m writing this blog at almost the top-dead-center midpoint of Spring Break week. My teenage sons have been “enjoying” their time off thus far with the housekeeping duties their mother has been assigning them, and the labor they’ve been providing their uncle, as he installs a new garage door for us…the one my mother-in-law paid for. I definitely married out of my league.

The last half of Spring Break, though, we’re taking a little vacation. We looked at the activities and attractions at our destination, came up with a plan on what to do and when (including an analysis of the 10 day weather forecast…which prompted me to find our rain ponchos) and have even purchased some tickets in advance, because advertising “5% SAVINGS!” on stuff really works on me, even when it’s on a $20 ticket. Before you grab your calculator, yeah…that’s a dollar. But since there are four of us, I’ve multiplied our savings by 400%! Yes; I know…four bucks.  Still, I’ll take it.

We talk to folks almost every day who want, like I do, to save money on goods and services they’re going to purchase anyway. Some have performed comprehensive energy audits, and identified opportunities to lower their compressed air generation and/or consumption rates. Others have just been looking at the bent copper tubes that are blowing off their parts and thinking there has to be a better way.

(Full disclosure: I’ve had these two exact conversations so far this week.)

Today, I want to tell you about the latter: It’s an aluminum casting plant with about a dozen lines where a robot grabs a fresh casting from the machine, dips it in a quench tank, and holds it in front of an array of copper tube blow offs for a few seconds before placing it in a bin, bound for the machine shop. Not only were they blowing at it from both sides with the copper tubes, but they were also blowing continuously…including the majority of the cycle time that did NOT include holding the part in the air flow.  Dear reader, if you’re familiar AT ALL with the EXAIR blog, you’ll know that we simply cannot abide that. Continuous flow when flow is only needed a fraction of the time is wasteful and expensive. Not to mention blowing air out of open tubes is dangerous, loud and requires and unneccessary volume of compressed air.

It's like they WANT to upset us.  What's up with that?
It’s like they WANT to upset us. What’s up with that?

They installed (2) Model 110018 18” Aluminum Super Air Knives, in place of the copper tubing, which cut down on their air consumption…and noise levels…considerably. I gave them some further recommendations on reprogramming the robot to turn the part in front of one Air Knife, and using an EFC Electronic Flow Control to turn the air off when a part was not present.

EXAIR's EFC automatically turns the air off when a part is not present.
EXAIR’s EFC automatically turns the air off when a part is not present.

Is there a better way to use the compressed air in your facility? Whether you’ve got comprehensive data from a detailed audit, or if that open pipe is just too darn loud, all the time – give me a call…we’ll find out.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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EXAIR Vortex Tubes Reduce Cooling Cycle Time

In a recent phone call with an end user of EXAIR products, we discussed an automotive application within a robotic welding cell.  In this application a series of Fanuc robot arms orient front and rear doors for welding.  After the welds are complete the pre-EXAIR cooling cycle time was more than desired, so Vortex Tube options were explored.

The target cycle time for cooling each weld was 1.5 seconds.  In order to do so, the application needed to be able to quickly produce cold air flow, and required the solution to be lightweight (as to not place excessive torque strain on the robot) and portable within the work cell.

What we found was that the large EXAIR Vortex Tubes would have enough cooling capacity to remove the heat from the welds in the proposed time, but testing needed to be done to confirm.  So, medium sized Vortex Tubes were chosen to prove the concept of vortex-based cooling.

Robot VT 2
Test model installed on the robot

To test the concept, a medium sized Vortex Tube was installed into the application.

Robot VT
EXAIR Model 3299 Vortex Tubes installed in robot welding cell

After positive results from the testing, (3) model 3299 EXAIR Vortex Tubes were installed into the application.  With the installation of these Vortex Tubes the cycle time was brought within spec and the operations increased throughput.

If you have an application in need of instantaneous cold air, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer to discuss our Vortex Tubes.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Help with Choosing an E-Vac Vacuum Generator

This is a pretty common question when it comes to Vacuum Generator use in pick-and-place application, and although we can’t boil it down to a simple table & formula based on mass (like we can with the Vacuum Cups themselves,) we can usually hone right in on it, if we have enough details of the situation. And, if questions remain, we can always test one to find out…we’ve got an Efficiency Lab.

That’s what I did, first thing this morning. I had the pleasure of speaking with a robotics instructor at a vocational school yesterday…his class was building a robot to enter in a competition, and one of the operations it needs to accomplish is picking up a golf ball and carrying it a certain distance.  This sounded like a great application for a small E-Vac Vacuum Generator, and, considering the potential leakage at the Vacuum Cup face from the dimples on the golf ball, my first instinct was to consider our Model 810002M E-Vac Low Vacuum (Porous Duty) Generator w/Muffler, and a Model 900766 Bellow Style Vacuum Cup, with a 0.73″ diameter face…our smallest, and ideally sized for a golf ball.  They, however, have a VERY limited supply of compressed air, so the difference between the Model 810002M’s compressed air consumption (2.3 SCFM @80psig) and the Model 800001M E-Vac High Vacuum (Non-Porous Duty) Generator w/Muffler (1.5 SCFM @80psig) was worth considering.  Also, we figured that they might be able to use a Model 900804 Check Valve, so the only time they’d need to supply air was to pick it up, and, possibly intermittently to maintain the vacuum.  So, golf ball in hand, off to the Efficiency Lab I went.  I also took our trusty video camera:

As you can see, it locked on to the golf ball instantly, and the Check Valve allowed the Vacuum Cup to hold the ball for over 13 seconds with no air flow to the E-Vac, proving that there isn’t much leakage at all past those dimples.  I suspect we’ll be seeing this robotics class team in the winner’s circle at the competition.

In most cases, the difference between 1.5 SCFM and 2.3 SCFM consumption may go unnoticed when picking a short-duration pick-and place vacuum generator.  The higher usage product’s supply pressure can always be regulated down to reduce compressed air consumption and use only what’s necessary to do the task…we, in fact, recommend that on ANY compressed air application.  In this case, though, it was worth finding out.

If you have a pick-and-place application that you’d like help with in selecting the right system, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
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