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.
Sound levels and ROI don’t immediately link together in a quick thought. Unless you are me and things seem to link up that don’t always go together, like peanut butter and a cheese burger. (Trust me, just try it, or if you are near West Lafayette, Indiana just go try the Purvis Burger across the street from Purdue University.) The truth behind tying sound levels being reduced and ROI together is actually pretty simple.
For this example, I am going to stay fairly high level as we could get into some pretty deep measurements of what exactly could be a cost savings. If we reduce the sound level being generated by point of use compressed air products that is easiest to do by implementing engineered blow off products as well as reducing the operating pressure. Let’s use this example: A 1/4″ copper tube that is being used as a blow off will give off a noise level of over 100 dBA from 3′ away. The table below shows that at an 80 psig inlet pressure the same tube will also consume 33 SCFM of compressed air.
By installing a model 1100 1/4″ FNPT Super Air Nozzle on the end of this copper tube, we reduce the noise level generated by the blow off to 74 dBA. This measurement is at the same 80 psig inlet pressure and from 3′ away, which is well below the OSHA standard for allowable noise level exposure. This also gives a broader more defined pattern to the air stream which may permit a reduction in compressed air pressure.
The other factor this changes is that the air consumption is reduced by 19 SCFM of compressed air which then results in energy savings. This ultimately ends in a simple ROI equation where we are simply using the compressed air reduction as the only variable for the return.
By reducing the air consumption of a process that operates 24/7, 250 days a year that equates to a savings of 6,840,000 SCFM per year and that equates to $1,710.00 USD. This does not account for any reduction in paying for hearing protection that may no longer be needed, or increase in production because the application functions better.
So you see, reducing noise levels in a facility can easily amount to a sizable cost savings in energy going towards compressed air consumption. If you would like to walk through any potential applications, please contact us.
I recently participated in a spicy wing eating competition here in Cincinnati. A last-man-standing format where contestants were tasked with finishing a single wing in 30 seconds per round. As the rounds increased, so too did the heat level of the sauce the wing was tossed in. The GRAND PRIZE for the daring winner was quite a haul, a $50 gift card to a local wing joint. Why put yourself through this for the chance at winning a $50 gift card I was repeatedly asked. Who knows, maybe I’m crazy. But, anyone who knows me knows I love a good competition and I wasn’t going to go into this one unprepared. Training for the competition was going to be necessary if I wanted to stand a chance.
Several weeks of putting myself through a hellacious bout of pain, misery, and indigestion by way of Ghost Peppers, Trinidad Scorpion Peppers, and Peach Reaper peppers from my garden, I felt like I was ready to go. I started off the morning of the competition with some Peach Reapers in my breakfast burrito (the hottest I had on hand). Through the sweat, tears, and pain (along with a few eye rolls from my wife) I felt as prepared as I could possibly be. Unfortunately, all of my training didn’t quite get me the win. But, a respectable 2nd place finish wasn’t a bad showing. I suppose I’ll have to step my game up for next year…
At EXAIR, we’re committed to providing our customers with the tools necessary to train themselves, their customers, and their employees on the proper ways to use compressed air. From right here on the EXAIR Blog, our YouTube Channel, and the Knowledge Base on our website there’s a ton of valuable information out there for your use. Best of all? It’s Free!
Within our Knowledge Base, you’ll find case studies that highlight examples of applications where we’ve helped customers improve their processes, save money by reducing compressed air consumption, and help improve on worker safety. There’s a list of FAQs categorized by product line, a library of calculators to help estimate the savings you’ll experience, and a list of application examples.
In addition, we also have a library of previously recorded webinars that are free to view at your convenience. With topics such as “Intelligent Compressed Air Solutions for OSHA Compliance”, “Intelligent Solutions for Electrical Enclosure Cooling”, “Optimize Your Compressed Air System in 6 Simple Steps”, “Simple Steps for Big Savings”, and “Understanding Static Electricity” all of the tools are readily accessible to make sure you’re fully prepared and equipped to handle your compressed air system.
Don’t let these free resources go to waste and take the time to train yourself on the available solutions to Intelligent Compressed Air usage. I promise it’ll be a lot less painful than a steady diet of super hot chili peppers!
Don’t feel like we’re leaving you to figure everything out on your own. In addition to all of the resources available to you within the Knowledge Base, EXAIR has a team of highly-trained Application Engineers with experience in a wide variety of industries and processes. There’s a good chance one of us has dealt with the very same application and we’ll be happy to help point you in the right direction. Don’t wait, give us a call!
Any time you’re considering a new purchase your return on investment is a critical aspect of the decision-making process. A recent case for me this past year was the purchase of a new riding lawn mower. What used to take me 2-hours to mow my entire yard, now only takes 45 minutes. Mowing 1 time per week throughout the growing season, I was able to save over an hour of my time each week! Considering that I’ll mow the lawn approximately 25 times per year, that’s more than a full day’s worth of time saved over the course of a year.
Some products, however, provide a monetary value due to reduced operating costs. For example, an LED light bulb may cost more initially but will use less energy to operate as well as have a longer lifespan than an incandescent bulb. You can calculate, down to the day, when you’ll recoup the costs difference from buying the more expensive bulb.
The same can be said for EXAIR’s Intelligent Compressed Air Products. An extrusion company had a line where they were using (3) modular-hose style flat nozzles. (1) was placed just before a water bath to remove some of the initial heat, (2) were then placed as the material exited the bath to dry the material after it was cooled. While they did work, they had begun to notice pressure drops in their compressed air system that was causing issues for other processes in the facility.
The (3) nozzles were all operated at 50 PSIG consuming 17 SCFM per nozzle for a total consumption of 51 SCFM. They were operated for one full 8-hour shift, 5 days per week.
51 SCFM x 60 mins x 8-hours = 24,480 SCF/day
Since they had a range of different sizes of material they process with the widest up to 2.5”, we recommended replacing the modular style hose flat nozzles with EXAIR’s 3” Super Air Knife. At a pressure of 50 PSIG, (3) Model 110003 Super Air Knives consumes just 17.1 SCFM.
17.1 SCFM x 60 mins x 8-hours = 8,208 SCF/day
By implementing the Super Air Knife, they reduced their compressed air consumption for this particular application by 66.4%!! But, just how quickly will that air savings provide them with a return on their investment? Let’s calculate the savings:
The average cost for compressed air is $0.25/1000 SCF. Before the installation of the Super Air Knives, the total consumption was 24,480 SCF/day.
24,480 SCF x $0.25/1000 SCF = $6.12/ day
With the Super Air Knives, this was reduced to just 8,208 SCF/ day:
8,208 SCF x $0.25/1000 SCF = $2.05/ day
Total Savings – $4.07 each day!!!
The 2019 list price on the Model 110003 is $206.00. Since they bought (3) their total investment was $618.00.
$618.00/$4.07 = 151.84 (152 days)
On the 152nd day, the customer will have saved enough money from the reduced air consumption to account for the initial purchase price of the Super Air Knives. Once they’re paid for, it isn’t like you just stop saving money. These knives will continue to save money, each shift, day in and day out. If there’s a process in your facility that you can improve upon, give us a call. We’re also able to test it out here at EXAIR and report back to you on the savings through our free Efficiency Lab!
There is no denying it, saving compressed air is a process. This process often involves some type of energy audit or at the very least an evaluation of something going wrong with production and a way to improve it. Many programs, consultants, and sales reps will devise a solution for the problem.
Often times the solution is to create a more efficient supply side of the compressed air system. The supply side is essentially everything within the compressor room or located in close proximity to the actual air compressor. While optimizing the supply side can amount to savings, many of these solutions and services can involve great expense, or capital expenditure processes. These processes can often lead to delays and continued waste until the solution is in place. What if there was a way to lower compressed air usage, save energy, solve some demand issues on the compressed air system and save some money while the capital expenditure process goes through for the larger scale project.
These solutions are a simple call, chat, email or even fax away. Our Application Engineers are fully equipped to help determine what points of your compressed air demand side can be optimized. The process generally starts with our Six Steps To Compressed Air Optimization.
Once the points of use are evaluated the Application Engineer can give an engineered solution to provide some relief to the strain on your compressed air supply side. For instance, an open copper pipe blow off that is commonly seen within production environments can easily be replaced with a Super Air Nozzle on the end of a Stay Set Hose that will still bend and hold position like the copper pipe does while also saving compressed air, reducing noise level, and putting some capacity back into the supply side of the compressed air system.
This amounts to saving compressed air and understanding how much air is being saved, adding capacity back into your supply side which will reduce strain on the air compressor, give the ability to increase production while the capital expenditure for the end solution of controls and higher efficiency on the supply side is approved to then save even more compressed air and energy.
The point is this, savings and efficiency doesn’t have to involve a capital expenditure, if that is the end game for your project that is great! Let EXAIR provide you a solution that you can have in house by the next business day to save money NOW and then put that savings towards another project. No matter the method, it all starts with a call, chat, email or fax.
After getting a baseline measurement of the air consumption in your facility and locating and fixing leaks in your system, it’s time to begin implementing some changes. Step 3 of the 6 Steps to Optimizing Your Compressed Air System covers upgrading your blowoff, cooling, and drying operations using engineered compressed air products.
This step can have the most impact when it comes to your bottom line. The energy costs associated with the generation of compressed air make it one of the most expensive utilities for any industrial environment. Because of this, we need to ensure that the places in your facility that are using compressed air are doing so efficiently.
EXAIR manufactures a variety of products that can help to ensure you’re using your compressed air in the best way possible. What it may seem simple, easy, and cheap to use something like an open-ended pipe or tube for blowoff, the fact of the matter is that the volume of air that these homemade solutions use quickly make them more expensive. Super Air Nozzles have been designed to entrain ambient air along with the supplied compressed air, allowing you to achieve a high force from the output of the nozzle while keeping compressed air usage to a minimum. In addition to saving air, they’ll also provide a significant reduction in overall sound level.
Another product that can be used to increase the efficiency of your blowoff processes is the Super Air Knife. Available in lengths ranging from 3”-108” and in a variety of materials, the Super Air Knife is the ideal replacement for inefficient drilled pipes. Again, it may seem cheaper to just drill a few holes in a pipe whenever you need to cover a wide area but the volume of air consumed in addition to the incredibly high sound level will quickly drain your compressor. The Super Air Knife is also designed to entrain ambient air, at a rate of 40:1! Allowing you to take advantage of the free ambient air in addition to the supplied air.
Let’s compare the costs difference between a homemade drilled pipe and EXAIR’s Super Air Knife. The Super Air Knife has a precisely set air gap across the full length of the knife, allowing for an efficient and quiet laminar airstream. When compared to a drilled pipe, the air consumption is dramatically reduced as is the sound level. For example, let’s take an 18” section of drilled pipe, with 1/16” diameter holes spaced out every ½”. At 80 PSIG, each hole consumes 3.8 SCFM. With a total of 37 holes, this equates to a total of 140.6 SCFM.
3.8 SCFM x 37 = 140.6 SCFM
A Super Air Knife, operated at 80 PSIG with .002” stock shim installed will consume a total of 2.9 SCFM per inch of knife. An 18” SAK would then consume just 52.2 SCFM.
2.9 SCFM x 18 = 52.2 SCFM
140.6 SCFM – 52.2 SCFM = 88.4 SCFM saved
Replacing an 18” drilled pipe with a Super Air Knife represents a total reduction in compressed air consumption of 63%! How much does this equate to in $$$? A reasonable average of cost to generate compressed air is about $0.25/ 1000 SCF. Let’s assume just a 40hr workweek:
88.4 SCFM x 60 mins x $0.25/1000 SCF = $1.33/hr
$1.33 x 40hr workweek = $53.20 USD
$53.20 x 52 weeks/year = $2,766.40 USD in yearly savings
The 2019 list price on a Model 110018 Super Air Knife is $397.00. By replacing the homemade solution with an 18” Super Air Knife, the return on investment is just over 38 working days of an 8-hr shift. If your plant runs multiple shifts, or works on weekends, it pays for itself even quicker.
Not only are these homemade solutions expensive to operate, they’re not safe either. Familiarize yourself with both OSHA 29 CFR 1910.95(a) and 29 CFR 1910.242(b) and you’ll learn just how expensive it can be if you were to be found using these devices during a random OSHA inspection. Make sure you’re utilizing the most expensive utility as efficiently and safely as possible. If you need help with determining which products are best suited for your application, give us a call. Our team of Application Engineers is ready to help!