Dirty Coolant in, Clean Coolant Out – EXAIR’s Chip Trapper Extends Coolant Life

In a machine shop one of the most dreaded tasks is always cleaning out the coolant sumps of the CNC machines. Over time, chips and shavings can make their way up into the coolant lines resulting in a clog. The coolant flow slows down or stops entirely, resulting in premature wear of expensive cutting tools, imperfections in the parts, or unacceptable product finish. When this occurs, if it is even noticed right away, the machine has to be stopped and valuable production time must be spent identifying the location of the clog and removing it.

Another problem, one anyone working around CNC machines can attest to, is the rancid coolant smell that is a result of bacteria building up in the stagnant cutting fluid. Regularly cleaning this oil can reduce this smell, prevent premature tool wear or costly shutdowns, as well as extend the overall life of your coolant.

ctrhlctr_heroi_770x620

There are some machines out there capable of cleaning the oil and removing any chips or shavings, but these tend to be very expensive and not very effective. We tested a few different methods here at EXAIR in our machine shop. As a result of these tests we determined that the best foot forward would be to develop something ourselves. Enter the EXAIR Chip Trapper. Using either a standard or High Lift Reversible Drum Vac to provide the vacuum source, the Chip Trapper is capable of filling or emptying a 55 gallon drum in less than two minutes. It is able to pick up both the liquid coolant as well as any chips or shavings that are suspended in the coolant. The liquid is forced through a filter bag inside of the drum which contains any solid materials while allowing the coolant to filter out into the drum. Switching the knob on the Reversible Drum Vac and the directional flow valve to empty will allow the clean coolant to be pumped back out of the drum and reused.

After implementing the Chip Trapper in our own shop, we were able to increase the life of the coolant by 6x. In addition to the increased coolant life, a process that used to take up to 2 hours per machine now takes less than 10 minutes. The Chip Trapper quickly and easily pays for itself.

The Chip Trapper is available in either 30, 55, and 110 gallon systems. It’ll also come with (2) 5 micron filter bags, other filter bags are also available ranging from 1 micron up to 200 micron filtration. Using a simple detergent, the filter bags can be washed out, cleaned, and reused multiple times. With no motors or impellers to clog or wear out, as well as no electricity requirement or shock hazard, the Chip Trapper comes with our standard 5-year Built to Last Warranty. Do yourself (and your machine operators) a favor and get a Chip Trapper on order today. They’re in stock, ready to ship and start saving you time and money!

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

EXAIR’s EFC is THE Way to Save Compressed Air

waste

Compressed air is the most expensive utility for most industrial facilities. The energy costs associated with the generation of compressed air can be very high. Because of this, EXAIR manufactures a wide range of products geared towards reducing your overall compressed air consumption.

The best way to save compressed air is to simply turn it off when it’s not being used. This might seem pretty simple, but there may be processes in your facility where this couldn’t be achieved by just turning a valve. In applications where product is traveling along a conveyor, and must be dried, cooled, or blown off, there is likely some spacing in between the parts. It isn’t necessary to keep the blowoff running constantly if there’s periods of intermittent spacing. To help reduce the overall load on the air compressor, implementing a solution to shut the air off in between each part can have a dramatic impact. EXAIR’s Electronic Flow Control, or EFC, is designed to improve efficiency by reducing overall compressed air usage. It utilizes a photoelectric sensor that detects when the part is present. When it’s not, it triggers a solenoid valve to close and shut off the compressed air supply.

efcapp

 

Let’s take a look at an example that shows just how much air (and $$) an EFC can save. We had a manufacturer of car bumpers that was using a Model 112060 60” Super Ion Air Knife supplied at 40 PSIG to remove dust prior to a painting operation. The bumpers were moving at about 10’/minute and had 1’ of spacing in between each part. The bumpers are only under the blowoff for 10 seconds, while 6 seconds passed with no part present. With a (3) shift operation, this translates to 1,440 minutes of nonstop compressed air usage per day.

A 60” Super Ion Air Knife will consume 102 scfm at 40 PSIG. Their current method was using a total of 146,880 SCFM.

102 SCFM x 1,440 minutes = 146,880 SCF

With the EFC installed, the air was shut off for 6 seconds reducing the airflow by 37.5%. With the EFC installed, the compressed air consumption per day was reduced to 91,800 SCF.

146,880 SCF x .625 = 91,800 SCF

As a general rule of thumb, compressed air costs $0.25/1,000 SCF. By saving 55,080 SCF per day, this manufacturer was able to save $13.77 per day. Since this was a 24 hour/day shift running 7 day/week, total savings for the year came in at $5,012.28. This easily recoups the costs of the EFC and then begins to pay you in less than 6 months.

55,080 SCF x ($0.25/1,000 SCF) = $13.77

$13.77 x 7 days/week x 52 weeks/year = $5,012.28

The EFC models available from stock can accommodate flows up to 350 SCFM. For applications requiring more compressed air, EFCs with dual solenoids are also available. If you have an application in one or more of your processes where intermittent compressed air use could help save you money, give us a call. We’d be happy to take a look at the application and help determine just how quickly the EFC could start paying YOU!

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mal : TylerDaniel@Exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

ROI – Worth Looking at the Details

ROI or Return On Investment is a way to gauge the productivity or profit/loss from money spent on an investment. In business, companies will use this information to determine if a project or investment is worth the risk, ultimately leading to a net profit gain as the end result.

Don’t waste your money

In my own personal experience, my wife and I were considering buying into a timeshare vacation property a few years ago. To enter into the agreement, the company required a $ 22,000 “buy-in” (financed of course) and a recurring cost of approximately $60/month for the next 22 years. This would have afforded us 124 “points” for nightly stays on our planned vacation. Their timeshare rentals are tiered into different room types – Studio, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom or a 3 bedroom villas – with each room type costing a certain amount of points. For us to maximize the length of our stay, we would have to select the studio room which would have given 6 nights at a total of the 124 points.

We have visited this popular vacation destination several times so we know what the average cost is to spend a week on property and purchase theme park tickets for our stay. When we booked on our own, we spent on average a little less than $ 3,000 for 7 days which included our room each night and 6 day park passes per person.

The timeshare rental cost was just for the nightly stay, it didn’t include any park tickets, food or other recreations. On average, the cost for 6 days worth of park passes per adult is close to $ 450.00 and per child it was around $ 400.00. Considering there are 2 adults and 1 child (at the time) we had to pay an additional cost of $ 1,300.00.

So if we joined the timeshare and stayed for 1 week once a year, it was going to cost us approximately $ 3,020.00 ($ 1,720.00 (timeshare cost) + $ 1,300.00 in tickets). In this case, it was actually going to cost us MORE in the long run than if we booked a yearly vacation on our own (< $3,000), leading to a negative ROI. (not to mention, I really didn’t want to commit to the same vacation for the next 22 years!).

When discussing replacement compressed air blowoff solutions with a customer, many times they look at the purchase price of the device and question if it’s worth it for them to make a change. If you follow along with our blog, you will notice that over the last few months we have submitted several different entries relating to this topic, like replacing drilled pipe with our 12″ Super Air Knife resulting in a 47 day ROI or where a customer replaced 4 open copper tubes with our 1110SS Nano Super Air Nozzle and recurring their expenses in just 38 days. In these instances, we show the calculations in regards to the true cost of ownership and how quickly you can recover capital funds when considering the whole scope of the project.

At EXAIR, we are committed to providing Intelligent Compressed Air® Products that reduce compressed air consumption leading to a more efficient process, as well as increasing operator safety. If you are considering an EXAIR solution for your current process but have questions about price or performance, contact one of our application engineers for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

Little things add up image courtesy of Nic McPhee via creative commons license

Return on Investment: A Calculation to Support Using EXAIR Products

EXAIR Products

Return on Investment, or ROI, is the ratio of profit over total investment.  Many people use it to evaluate stocks, financial markets, capital equipment, etc.  It is a quantitative way in determining the validity of an investment or project.   Recently, there has been a big push by power companies for energy efficiency within the manufacturing sectors.  EXAIR, in partnership with Energy Star, has been manufacturing safe and efficient products since 1983.  An ROI will give a measurable value to communicate more thoroughly with your financial decision-makers.

Equation 1:  ROI = (Total annual savings – Total Project Cost) / Project Cost * 100

In an earlier blog, I wrote about a project with a company in calculating compressed air savings; “EXAIR Super Air Nozzles: 38 Day ROI Saves Money”.  In this blog, I determined the total compressed air savings and the payback period by switching to EXAIR Super Air Nozzles.  The payback period is the amount of time it will take for the project to pay for itself; and for the above manufacturer, it was calculated at 38 days.  To associate this to a Return on Investment, I will use that information from the blog to calculate the ROI.  Equation 1 shows that for any positive ROI value means that the payback period is less than one year.  The larger the ROI value, the quicker the investment that you made will start earning money for your company.

The first part of the equation, Total Annual Savings, is calculated by amount of compressed air savings when using EXAIR Super Air Nozzles in a blow-off application.  When this customer switched from copper tubes, which uses an excessive amount of compressed air, to the model 1110SS Super Air Nozzles, the compressed air consumption dropped by 80%.  Compressed air is considered a fourth utility in manufacturing plants because the amount of electricity to make compressed air is very large.  At a rate of $0.08/KWh, each Super Air Nozzle saved this company $306.00 per year.  As described in the blog, the facility used four nozzles per machine, and they had 25 machines in their facility.  The total annual savings is calculated as follows:

Equation 2: Total Annual Savings = $306 * 4 * 25 = $30,600 per year.

The second part of the equation, Total Project Cost, is the cost of the nozzles plus the labor to install them onto the machines.  The model 1110SS Super Air Nozzle has a price of $46.00 each.  These engineered nozzles are designed to use less compressed air by entraining the “free” ambient air, making them very efficient for blow-off applications.  The amount of time required to install four nozzles to each machine was 1 hour.  This time included tapping, fixturing, and testing each setup.  The labor rate that I will use in this example is $75.00 per hour (you can modify this to your current labor rate).  The labor cost to install four nozzles is $75.00 per machine.   The Total Project Cost can be calculated as follows:

Equation 3: Total Project Cost = ($46 * 100 nozzles) + ($75 * 25 machines) = $6,475

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 = ($30,600 – $6,475)/$6,475 * 100

ROI = 373%

When a decision maker sees this large of a value for a Return on Investment, it makes it very easy to proceed with an energy-saving project to install EXAIR Super Air Nozzles on their machines.

Besides cost savings, there are some additional things that EXAIR products can provide.  It may be difficult to put a value on the savings, but these products can improve your process and save your company money.  First, they can reduce repair or replacement costs on maintenance items for the air compressors.  If you use less compressed air, then the running hours of the compressor is reduced.  Second, some things that can be easily overlooked is safety.  The Intelligent Compressed Air® products have a much lower sound level where expensive PPEs may not be required.  Another safety feature is dead-end pressure in which the operator could risk health in using open pipe or substandard nozzles.  Some other enhancements in using EXAIR products are improved system reliability, increased productivity, and reduced unscheduled downtimes (typically seen with broken plastic nozzles).  These added benefits plus the short ROI can validate a energy-savings project in your facility.

Power companies see the great value in using efficient engineered products in compressed air systems as they currently offer rebates.  If you need help to see if your local power company does offer rebates, EXAIR can research the programs for you.  The rebates will reduce the cost of each nozzle as well as cut the overall project cost.  EXAIR also offers an Efficiency Lab.  We will compare your current blowing device with an EXAIR product to find any compressed air savings.  It is simple to do.  Just fill out the form, Efficiency Lab, and ship your product to us.  We will test each product with calibrated equipment and report the results.  The comprehensive report will include compressed air savings which can be used for the ROI calculations above.  For the company above, they were able to save $30,600 a year with a ROI at 373%.  If you would like to team up with EXAIR to establish annual savings, project improvements, and rebates, you can contact an Application Engineer to get started.  We will be happy to work with you.

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

Cost Savings from Replacing a Drilled Pipe with a Super Air Knife

A few months ago, my counterpart Brian Bergmann wrote a blog providing a detailed explanation of ROI or Return on Investment. Today, I would like to take this information and apply it to a common situation we deal with regularly here at EXAIR – replacing drilled pipe with our Super Air Knife.

Drilled pipe – easy to make but extremely wasteful

Sections of pipe with drilled holes across the length are very common as they are made of relatively inexpensive materials and simple to make.  Where the cost begins to add up is on the operation side as these types of homemade blowoffs waste a ton of compressed air, making them expensive to operate.

For comparison, lets look at a 12″ section of pipe with (23) 1/16″ diameter drilled holes. According to the chart below, each hole will flow 3.8 SCFM @ 80 PSIG for a total of 87.4 SCFM.

With an average cost of $ 0.25 per every 1,000 SCF used (based on $ 0.08/kWh), it would cost $ 1.31 to operate this blowoff for 1 hour. (87.4 SCFM x 60 minutes x $ 0.25 / 1,000)

Super Air Knife – Available from 3″ up to 108″ in aluminum, 303ss and 316ss

Now let’s take a look at replacing the drilled pipe with our 12″ Super Air Knife. A 12″ Super Air Knife will consume 34.8 SCFM (2.9 SCFM per inch) when operated at 80 PSIG. Using the same figure of $ 0.25 per every 1,000 SCF used, it would cost $ 0.52 / hr. to operate this knife. (34.8 SCFM x 60 minutes x $ 0.25 / 1,000)

Now that we know the operating costs, we can make a better comparison between the 2 products.

Drilled pipe operating costs:
$ 1.31 per hour
$ 10.48 per day (8 hours)

12″ Super Air Knife costs:
$ 0.52 per hour
$ 4.16 per day (8 hours)

Cost Savings:
$ 10.48 per day (drilled pipe) –  $ 4.16 per day (Super Air Knife) = $ 6.32 savings per day

A 12″ aluminum Super Air Knife carries a LIST price of $ 297.00. If we take $ 297.00 divided by $ 6.32 (saving per day), we get a ROI of only 47 days.

As you can see, it is quite beneficial to consider ALL of the parameters when looking at a process or application, rather than just the “upfront” details. What seems like a simple and easy fix, can actually be quite  wasteful when it comes to the true cost of ownership.

If you are using similar devices in your plant and would like to see how an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product can help make the process operate more efficiently, contact an application engineer for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

EXAIR Super Air Nozzles: 38 Day ROI Saves Money

Blow off station

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.  (Reference picture)  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.  (The numbers below can be adjusted to match your application and blow-off devices).

Knowns:

Cost of compressed air: $0.25/1000 cubic feet of air (this is based on $0.08/Kwh of electrical cost)

Flow: 1110SS Nano Super Air Nozzle – 8.3 SCFM at 80 PSIG

Flow:  6mm ID copper tube – 42 SCFM at 80 PSIG

 

The difference in compressed air flows from a 6mm tube to the Nano Super Air Nozzle is (42 SCFM – 8.3 SCFM) = 33.7 SCFM.  At a 30% duty cycle, we get 33.7 SCFM * 0.3 = 10.2 SCFM (cubic feet/minute) of additional compressed air being used.

Per day, the additional amount of compressed air wasted is:

10.2 cubic feet/minute * 60 min/hr * 8 hr/day (one shift) = 4,896 cubic feet per day.

Per week, the additional amount of compressed air wasted is:

4,896 cubic feet/day * 5 days/week = 24,480 cubic feet per week.

Per year, the additional amount of compressed air wasted is:

4,896 cubic feet/day * 250 days/year = 1,224,000 cubic feet per year.

 

With the cost to make compressed air at $0.25/1000 cubic feet, we have the following:

4,896 cubic feet/day * $0.25/1000 cubic feet = $1.22 per day

24,480 cubic feet/week * $0.25/1000 cubic feet = $6.12 per week

1,224,000 cubic feet/year * $0.25/1000 cubic feet = $306.00 per year.

From these values, the payback for a model 1110SS Super Air Nozzle is just under 38 days.  Because the EXAIR Super Air Nozzles are so efficient, some utility companies will offer a rebate program to use them.  This will improve your ROI even more.  (We can check to see if your local electric company participates in these programs).  Just think, the remaining life of the Super Air Nozzle will be using less compressed air and saving much money for the company.

The calculations above are only for one nozzle.  As discussed above with the engineer, they had 4 tubes/station and 25 stations in their plant.  So, if you multiply each figure by 100, you can see the large amount of money that can be saved.   The engineer presented these figures to upper management, and it was an easy decision to replace all the copper tubes with EXAIR nozzles.

Nano Super Air Nozzle

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.

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

ROI – Return on Investment

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 personal 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-

ROI

  • 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

Gain from investment could include many factors, such as energy savings, reduced scrap savings, cost per part due to increased throughput savings, and many more.  It is important to analyze the full impact and to truly understand all of the savings that can be realized.

Cost of investment also could have many factors, including the capital cost, installation costs, downtime cost for installation, and others.  The same care should be taken to fully capture the cost of the investment.

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 $37, assuming a $5 compression fitting and $50 in labor to install, the result is a Cost of Investment of $92.00. The ROI calculation for Year 1 is-

ROI2

ROI = 1,759% – a very large and positive value.  Payback time is only 13 working days.

Armed with the knowledge of a high ROI, it should be easier to get projects approved and funded.  Not proceeding with the project costs more than implementing it.

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.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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