Process improvement projects can be detailed, complex, expensive, and take a long time to prove their worth. Today, I want to tell you about one that WAS NOT ANYTHING like that.
A metal stamping company used compressed air to blow their products from their dies. They did what many do – they ran some copper tubing, and aimed it at the platen so it would properly eject the parts as they were stamped. They KNEW it was loud, and they suspected it was inefficient as well.
After discussing the setup and seeing a picture of it (the one on the left, below,) I recommended installing a few engineered Super Air Nozzles to lower the noise levels considerably. Boy, was I wrong. About “a few” nozzles, that is…turns out, they only needed one Model 1122-9212 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle with 12″ Stay Set Hose. The copper tubes come from a manifold that already had 1/4 NPT ports – installation took a matter of minutes. Nothing detailed, complex, or expensive about it:
It didn’t take much longer than that to prove its worth either: as soon as they noticed how much the noise level went down on THIS press, they ordered them for the other eighteen presses in their facility as well.
The 1/4″ copper tubes blew continuously from a pressure regulator set @60psig…the three of them theoretically consumed a total of ~80 SCFM. The Model 1122, at 60psig supply, consumes only 17.2 SCFM. Simple return on investment was as follows:
80 SCFM was costing them $48.00 a week
80 SCFM X 60 min/hr X 8 hr/day X 5 days/week X $0.25/1,000 CFM = $48.00
17.2 SCFM, using the same formula, only costs $10.32 a week (I’ll let you do the math; it’s good practice.)
They saved $37.68 a week. The Model 1122-9212 costs $116.00 (2020 pricing) – that means that each of them paid for themselves in just a hair over three weeks.
$37.68 x 50 work weeks per year = $1884.00 saved annually per nozzle
$1884 x 18 (the number of presses) = $33,912 saved annually
Considering they also didn’t have to listen to those very loud open ended copper tube blowoffs, I think you’ll have to agree it made for a very good investment. They did. The new nozzle runs at 77 decibels, a comfortable level and well below the OSHA standard [29 CFR – 1910.95(a)] for allowable noise exposure.
If you’d like to find out how EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products can save you money on compressed air – and save everyone’s hearing – give me a call.
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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 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-
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
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 $42, assuming a $5 compression fitting and $45 in labor to install, the result is a Cost of Investment of $92.00. The ROI calculation for Year one is-
ROI = 1,759% – a very large and positive value. Payback time is only 13 working days!
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.
I received an email from an engineer that was looking at our Super Air Nozzles. They currently were using four blow-off lines that were made from 6mm ID copper tubes. The system was designed to blow out holes after machining. The engineer was in charge of the task of optimizing 25 machining stations similar to this one. He was familiar with EXAIR products from his previous employment, and he recognized the waste of compressed air by using open pipe. He purchased four Nano Super Air Nozzle, model 1110SS, for a trial. He was impressed with the performance, the low sound level, and the engineered design in safety. But, for upper management in his company, he had to show a cost savings in order to change all the stations in the facility. He asked me to help him in calculating the compressed air savings.
He gave me some additional details about their application. He was using the compressed air about 30% of the time throughout an 8 hour day at a pressure of 80 PISG. He wanted to present the savings per day, week, and year as well as the payback period in his evaluation. I have performed many of these calculations for other customers and was happy to help. It is sometimes easier to speak in terms of savings, as everyone can relate to money, especially management.
Flow: 1110SS Nano Super Air Nozzle – 8.3 SCFM at 80 PSIG
The Calculator tells us you will see a ROI (Return on investment) is less than 5 days! And will save you $3,033.00 over a full year on compressed air generation cost alone!
Don’t be fooled by the initial cost of a tube, pipe, drilled holes, or a substandard nozzle. You can see by the facts above, if you use any additional compressed air in your blow-off application, it will cost you a lot of money in the long run. If you need any help in calculating how much money EXAIR products can save you, you can use our Air Savings Calculator from our website, or you contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR. We will be happy to help you.
Return on Investment, or ROI, is the ratio of profit over total investment. Many people use it to check stocks, financial markets, capital equipment, etc. It is a quantitative way in determining the validity for an investment or project. You can use the ROI value to give a measurable rate in looking at your investment. For a positive ROI value, the project will pay for itself in less than one year. Any negative values would represent a high-risk investment. In this blog, I will compare the ROI between an EXAIR Super Air Knife to a common drilled pipe. Let’s start by looking at Equation 1 to calculate the Return on Investment:
Equation 1: ROI = (Total annual savings – Total Project Cost) / Total Project Cost * 100
The Total Project Cost is the cost of the product with the labor to install. In our example, we will use a 24” (610mm) wide blow-off device. One device will be an inexpensive drilled pipe and the other will be a high-efficiency EXAIR Super Air Knife. The drilled pipe had (48) 1/16” (1.6mm) diameter holes spaced ½” (13mm) apart. EXAIR manufactures the model 110024 Super Air Knife with a .002” (.05mm) slot along the entire length. Both have a blowing width of 24” to cover the conveyor. The model 110024 has a retail price of $491.00 each. The cost of the drilled pipe was around $50.00. What a difference in price! But, how could EXAIR remain a leader in this industry for over 35 years?
Let’s continue on with the Return on Investment. The amount of time required to install the Super Air Knife across the conveyor only took a maintenance staff about one hour to mount. The labor rate that I will use in this example is $75.00 per hour (you can change this to your current labor rate). The labor cost to install the knife is $75.00. The Total Project Cost can be calculated as follows: ($491 – $50) + $75.00 = $516.00. The next part of the equation, Total annual savings, is a bit more in-depth, but the calculation is shown below.
EXAIR manufactures engineered products to be efficient and safe. The Super Air Knife has a 40:1 amplification ratio which means that 40 parts of “free” ambient air is entrained for every 1 part of compressed air. For comparison, the Super Air Knives are to compressed air systems as LED lightbulbs are to electricity. In that same way, the drilled pipe would represent an incandescent lightbulb. The reason for this analogy is because of the amount of energy that the EXAIR Super Air Knives can save. While LED lightbulbs are a bit more expensive than the incandescent lightbulbs, the value for the Return on Investment is at a higher percentage, or in other words, a short payback period. On the other hand, the drilled pipe is less expensive to make, but the overall cost for using it in your compressed air system is much higher. I will explain how below.
To calculate the Total Annual Savings, we will use the same blow-off scenario as above. The amount of compressed air used by the drilled pipe is around 174 SCFM (4,924 SLPM) at 60 PSIG (4.1 Bar). The model 110024 Super Air Knife has an air consumption of 55.2 SCFM (1,563 SLPM) at 60 PSIG (4.1 Bar). At an electrical rate of $0.08 per Kilowatt-hour, we can figure the cost to make compressed air. Based on 4 SCFM per horsepower of air compressor, the electrical cost is $0.25 per 1000 standard cubic feet, or $0.25/1000SCF. To calculate an annual savings, let’s use a blow-off operation of 8 hours/day for 250 days a year. Replacing the drilled pipe with the model 110024 Super Air Knife, it will save you (174 SCFM – 55.2 SCFM) = 121.8 SCFM of compressed air. To put this into a monetary value, the annual savings will be 121.8 SCFM *$0.25/1000SCF * 60 Min/hr * 8hr/day * 250 day/yr = $3,654 per year.
With the Total Annual Cost and the Project Cost known, we can insert these values into Equation 1 to calculate the ROI:
ROI = (Total annual savings – Total Project Cost) / Project Cost * 100
ROI = ($3,654 – $516.00) / $516.00 * 100
ROI = 608%
With a percentage value that high, we are looking at a payback period of only 52 days. You may look at the initial cost and be discouraged; but in a little over a month, the model 110024 will have paid for itself. And after using it for one year, it will save your company $3,654.00. Some things that may be overlooked are safety issues. With some inexpensive blow-off devices, the noise levels are over the OSHA limits. The drilled pipe had a noise level of 91 dBA while the Super Air Knife only had a noise level of 65 dBA.
In my experience, a loud blowing noise from your equipment is generally coming from an inefficient and safety-concerned product. With these “cheap” ways to blow compressed air, it will cost your company a lot of money to use as shown in the example above. If you would like to team up with EXAIR to set up ways to increase savings, improve productivity, and promote safety, an Application Engineer can help you to get started.