The video below is a brief introduction to the EXAIR Efficiency Lab, a free service provided by EXAIR for customers within the USA and Canada.
If you have a single point blowoff that does not have an engineered nozzle, or if you have a wider format blowoff, manifold or home-made drilled pipe, contact an Application Engineer with EXAIR and let us help you to reduce your energy waste. Following are some examples of product where we have helped to save some serious air and reduced noise levels which heightens employee comfort.
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-
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-
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.
I recently received an inquiry from a customer to test their current air guns through our Efficiency Lab service. According to the operators, the handheld blow gun they were purchasing from a commercial retailer was too loud and complaints were rolling in. They were also hoping to save some compressed air in the process as they were performing an energy audit at the same time.
The gun they sent in looked fairly similar to our Precision Safety Air Gun but it did not have an engineered nozzle on the tip of it. Instead, it was simply a cross cut hole in a piece of material. The air inlet to the gun was a 1/4″ NPT just like our Precision Safety Air Gun, the extension on the gun was slightly longer, the only significant variance I saw was the tip.
To try and get as much information as possible I measured the O.D. and I.D. of the extension, the hole size was approximately .140″. I measured the extension on our Precision Safety Air Gun just to see what is different, it came in at the same size. So, I flow tested the competitive blow gun with their tip on it and came up with air consumption of 12.69 SCFM, noise level of 92 dBA at 3′ away, and a blowing force of 11.5 oz at 80 psig. I then measured the same attributes of EXAIR’s model 1410SS-CS Precision Safety Air Gun at 80 psig inlet pressure. The model 1410SS-CS measured 8.3 SCFM, gave 8.1 ozs of working force, and only produced a 75 dBA sound level from 3′ away.
The sound level reduction was a total of 17 dBA which is below the OSHA standard for allowable noise level exposure, as well as reduced their air consumption by 4.39 SCFM. That is almost a 35% reduction in their compressed air usage per gun replaced. After seeing these levels of reduction the customer had more than enough information to provide management with in order to replace the blow guns not just for noise level reduction but also because it will reduce air use and save money. A clear supportive role in their energy audit.
Over the past week I visited a local company here in Cincinnati that utilized a decent number of flat plastic air nozzles on their production lines. This style nozzle had been used for many years but were the reason their engineering department contacted EXAIR. The nozzles they had in place were used in many different applications from ejecting bad parts, holding up box flaps, and even positioning product correctly on the production line. Every nozzle was tied to a regulator somewhere on the machine and all of the regulators were tuned to different pressures.
The customer was experiencing, at certain points during the day, a pressure drop throughout the entire system that would cause packaging lines to shut down due to low air pressure faults. The customer called EXAIR because they determined the plastic nozzles were using too much compressed air and were also a constant maintenance problem. Primarily, they wanted to see if we had a solution to lower compressed air while still achieving the desired production results.
Being local we were able to visit the customer and after discussing the applications we set out through the manufacturing area to discover if we could offer solutions for the problematic areas. We got about 10′ away from a casing machine and I heard a loud hiss of compressed air. This was even with my foam ear plugs in. Once we reached the edge of the machine I was quickly able to trace the sound down to a plastic flat nozzle that had been mounted to the machine, broken and held back in place by a large C clamp like seen below.
As we went through the rest of this production line and the rest of the packaging facility, it was clear the customer had settled on using flat plastic nozzles throughout the plant. Generally we see this because the nozzles are cheap – when you forget to consider operating and maintenance costs. This was not the only broken nozzle being held in place by a clamp and it is also the not the only one that was using more compressed air than necessary.
After finishing the tour and performing some tests here in our lab I recommended that they utilize our 1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle with a .005″ thick shim installed. By installing the 1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle they are going to be able to mount the metal nozzles with minimal modification to their existing setup as well as lower air consumption and noise level. The metal construction makes them more durable and long lasting in an industrial environment. These nozzles will not break when an operator bumps it and the maintenance department will be able to reclaim all the C clamps that are distributed throughout the facility.
Once we have final numbers on how many nozzles have been replaced and what pressures each nozzle is operated at we will provide the customer the air consumption savings as well as the noise level reduction that they are seeing throughout the plant.
The above title proved very true in a work experience of my father’s. After working in the mill for several years, he drew up a new piece of process equipment which would eventually turn in to something that they put in place on the production line. This was all done from his idea that he was able to place on a scrap piece of paper as a drawing. While he wasn’t the decision maker in the process, he was the person who saw what kind of impact this device could have and knew the people he had to get the information to.
That brings me to the topic of this blog, don’t ever think an idea is too small to warrant a reward. This can ring true throughout any type of application, including compressed air. There have been instances where a maintenance worker, or even a new operator, have called in to speak to me here asking what can they do to lower the noise in the work area when they are using the hand held blow gun the company supplies. After talking to them about what they are trying to achieve with the blow gun and how much air they are currently using, we generally find that they can save a good amount of compressed air, lower the noise level, and become OSHA compliant, all by changing this one simple tool. Once they have all the benefits that their company will see from implementing our engineered solution, they can then propose this to the decision makers.
For the most part, companies will at the very least entertain ideas like this. When you back that idea up with some relevant data on how much money the company will save, or the fact that is will make the work environment safer and more enjoyable, then you will more than likely get a little more attention. The main point is to ensure that you are getting that information to the correct person and that you have the correct information. That is one of the many reasons that EXAIR has a full team of Application Engineers who can help you identify how much air you might be using, what products will fit the need, and what kind of benefits your company will see. On top of all the information that we have available for free, we even offer the chance to get compensation for sharing application data with us.
That’s right, we will compensate you for sharing your cost savings, sound level reductions or application improvements, with us. This is all possible through our Case Study program. All you have to do to find out more is contact any Application Engineer. We simply need some photographs of the application and some quantitative data for the benefits you have gained. Don’t know what your current device is using, take advantage of our EXAIR Efficiency Lab, that will give us a good amount of information we need to then, help you solve a problem as well as produce a Case Study.
If you would like to discuss your compressed air systems or how we can help you, please contact us.
In order to fully understand how efficient your compressed air system may be, you will need to generate a system pressure profile at some point. This is a list or diagram of what pressures you have in your compressed air system at specific locations, as well as the pressure required by all the demand devices on your compressed air system.
One of the reasons for the pressure profile is that you may have an application that is far away from the compressor but also highly dependent on a specific operating pressure. You may also find an application that, due to pressure losses within the system, causes an artificially high pressure demand.
The list below gives the critical points for measuring your compressed air system profile.
At the air compressor discharge. (If using multiple compressors, measure at each.)
If dryers of any type are being used after the compressor measure downstream from the dryer.
Downstream of each filter. (If a particulate filter and oil removal filter are being used it is best to measure downstream of each individual device. This is to tell when you have more than a 5 psig pressure drop or a clogged filter.)
At the point just before the main line from your compressor room branches off to distribution.
The furthest point of each header line you have installed.
On both sides of every filter/regulator units that are at high pressure point of use applications.
To give you an idea of why it is so important to measure these locations, take a look at the blogs we have posted on pressure drop. (Link Here) As you can tell by the list of blogs that comes up, pressure drop through piping can really cause a lot of wasted energy in your compressed air system. If you can get a good base line measurement by utilizing a pressure profile then you can start the process to optimizing your compressed air system.
This week I worked with a customer trying to separate a 135” wide paper sheet from a fabric used for commercial paper towel machines. They were using 45 spray nozzles, spaced 3” apart on a manifold, to blow off the sheet which then would fall into a chute below. The nozzles were doing the job but they were growing more concerned with their compressed air expense for this process.
The current nozzle setup was also causing another issue – there were “empty voids or gaps” in the airflow between the nozzles, which resulted in creases in the fabric. They were considering adding more nozzles and spacing them 2” apart but that was only going to increase their compressed air expense, so I asked them to consider our Super Air Knife. They were intrigued but were concerned that they would consume more compressed air, you’ll see below that the Super Air Knife uses less air and eliminates the creasing problem because the Super Air Knife provides a continuous airflow from end to end.
After reviewing the specs, I determined that each nozzle was consuming 29.6 SCFM @ 90 PSIG of compressed air, meaning they were consuming 1,332 SCFM for the process (29.6 SCFM x 45 nozzles).
I recommended using (2) 48” and (1) 42” Aluminum Super Air Knives, coupled together, to provide a 138” laminar sheet of airflow. I chose these In Stock – Ready to Ship lengths, so the customer wouldn’t have to order a special length even though that lead time would have only been 3 days. The Super Air Knife only consumes 2.9 SCFM @ 80 PSI (per inch of knife), and provides a laminar sheet of uniform airflow with a 40:1 air amplification rate, which would not only perform in the application, but also provide the needed compressed air savings.
Using the above air consumption for our Super Air Knife, 2.9 SCFM @ 80 PSI (per inch of knife or 2.9 SCFM x 138”), I calculated the Super Air Knife consuming 400.2 SCFM @ 80 PSIG.
Since their process is a 24 hour operation, Monday – Friday, every week of the year, I calculated the following (* Using $ 0.25 per 1000 SCF used):
931.8 SCFM x 60 minutes x $ 0.25 / 1000 SCF = $ 13.98 saved per hour
$ 13.98 per hour x 24 hours = $ 335.52 saved per working day
$ 335.52/day x 5 days = $ 1,677.60 saved per week
$ 1,677.60 week x 52 weeks = $ 87,235.20 in yearly savings
After reviewing this savings with the customer, they mentioned they were glad they called because they were looking at increasing their air compressor size or purchasing another auxiliary unit. Now, they were not only going to save money on their current process, but they were eliminating the need to spend major funding on another compressor – not to mention the saved compressed air being available for future growth and processes.
At EXAIR, we commit to providing our customers with solutions to optimizing their current compressed air system.