Atto Air Nozzle Saves Dental Crown Manufacturer

This blog may get a little uncomfortable for some of us. It revolves around a subject that can strike fear into the hearts of many and just the thought of it can make sounds or smells come back from memory. For me, the sound of the high-pitched drill is precisely what comes to mind when I think of the Dentist….

That’s right, today we are talking about the Dentist. Well, more so a vendor for dentists that still deals with teeth. This manufacturer came to me looking for a way to improve their compressed air consumption on a tooling blowoff for the machining of dental crowns. They used custom-made blowoffs to try and remove the residual material on their cutting tools before contacting a new part and during the machining of a crown. The customer didn’t have a ton of room, and they did not want to redesign the entire blowoff. The blowoff was essentially an open pipe that had a .085″ diameter. Each machine station had three blowoffs, there are 20 machining stations per production line, with five total production lines. So any savings will add up quickly over 300 blowoff points.

BEFORE: A .085″ diameter open blowoff at each spindle to remove debris.

They were able to cut back and thread the end of the open blowoff for one of our 1108SS Atto Super Air Nozzles. The open blowoff was consuming 6 SCFM when operating at 80 psig inlet pressure for each blowoff point. For a single machining center that equates to 18 SCFM per center. 18 SCFM times 20 machining centers equals 360 SCFM of consumption per production line. Implementing the 1108SS reduced the consumption to 2.5 SCFM @ 80 psig per nozzle and gave a more defined blowoff pattern. 2.5 SCFM times 3 nozzles per center equates to 7.5 SCFM. 7.5 SCFM times 20 machining centers per production line totals 165 SCFM per production line. 360 SCFM minus 165 SCFM equates to 195 SCFM of compressed air savings by installing the further engineered solution.

AFTER: Three 1108SS Atto Super Air Nozzles provide adequate blowoff of debris.

Per nozzle, they can save up 72 cents per twelve-hour shift. While this does not seem like much, multiply that across 300 nozzles installed. You end up with $216.00 saved per twelve-hour shift. Some other breakdowns are shown below.

If you would like to discuss just how much a “little” open pipe blowoff is costing you, contact an Application Engineer today!

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Engineered, Intelligent Compressed Air® Products: Save Air AND Get a Rebate!

This rebate example results in FREE air nozzles – read on to learn more!

Here at EXAIR we are continuously trying to share the basic facts that engineered air nozzles save compressed air. We then connect that with the amount of money that it saves, this is generally backed with formulas, this isn’t a new concept, we blog, tweet and even have easily accessed calculators for it. The final part that we like to share is that, on top of saving throughout the life of the nozzle, there are also many energy providers and municipalities that extend a rebate program as well! That means this lowers the ROI on implementing engineered nozzles into your system.

For instance, if your facility is located in Holland, Michigan, the Holland Board of Public Works wants to offer a rather simple rebate that requires the engineered nozzle and application be installed and submitted by December 31, 2022. The program is offering up to $100 per engineered nozzle installed on an open pipe or tube. (The incentive cannot exceed 100% of customer cost.) Not sure if you have open pipes in your facility? I’m sure you will hear them if you walk near the production lines where air is used. Or, better yet, get in touch with your production maintenance team and have them go throughout the facility and perform an open tube/pipe tagging event. Then report back and contact an Application Engineer here at EXAIR. We will all be able to help you with selecting the appropriately sized engineered nozzle to convert that open pipe/tube blowoff to an efficient and safe blowoff.

The Holland program is focused on open pipe/tube blowoffs while there are countless other programs out there which focus on replacing any blowoff with an engineered nozzle that also fits certain flow criteria for select pipe sizes. These programs can be searched by using the site Dsireusa.org This is a site that is maintained by NC State University and NC Clean Energy Technology. You can easily navigate to your state and scan the list for a rebate program which will then even take you to the application and stipulations for the selected incentive.

No matter where you are located in the world, you don’t have to use a rebate to save money by installing engineered nozzles. The savings and ROI all starts as soon as they are installed. The rebates available in various parts of the US are just ways to expedite the ROI. If you want to discuss any engineered nozzle application, contact an Application Engineer today.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

So Many Holes

I remember the book and movie about a young teenager who gets sent to a prison/ work camp that all they do is dig holes. Yeah, there’s a much deeper story line there and that isn’t the point of this blog. The point is, that movie is all I thought of when I encountered this customer’s nozzle solution. Their ejector nozzle on a recycling conveyor was using too much air and was too noisy.

Upon receiving the nozzle to do a free EXAIR Efficiency Lab, we were absolutely amazed at the level of care taken to make something like this. The nozzle was purpose built and definitely got the job done, it also drained their compressed air system at times and made a lot of noise while it did the work. So what did this nozzle look like, now keep in mind, this was not the customer’s design, it was a solution from the machine manufacturer.

For an idea, the customer nozzle was a 3″ overall length, and had a total of 162 holes in it. There were two inlets for 3/8″ push to connect tubing. The holes were very cleanly drilled and we used a discharge through orifice chart to estimate the consumption before testing. Operating pressure were tested at 80 psig inlet pressure.

Discharge through an orifice table.

Our estimations were taken from the table above. We used a pin gauge to determine the hole size and it came close to a 1/32″ diameter. With the table below we selected the 1.34 CFM per hole and used a 0.61 multiplier as the holes appeared to have crisp edges.

Estimation Calculation

Then, we went to our lab and tested. The volumetric flow came out to be measured at 130.71 SCFM. This reassured us that our level of estimation is correct. We then measured the noise level at 95.3 dBA from 3′ away. Lastly, we tested what could replace the nozzle and came up with a 3″ Super Air Knife with a .004″ thick shim installed. To reach this solution we actually tested in a similar setup to the customer’s for functionality as they sent us some of their material.

Now for the savings, since this customer was focused on air savings, that’s what we focused on. The 3″ Super Air Knife w/ .004″ thick shim installed utilizes 5.8 SCFM per inch of knife length when operated at 80 psig inlet pressure. So the consumption looks like below

That’s an astounding amount of air saved for each nozzle that is replaced on this line. The line has 4 nozzles that they want to immediately change out. For a single nozzle, the savings and simple ROI looks like the table below.

Air Savings / Simple ROI

That’s right, they will save 115.02 SCFM per minute of operation. These units operate for seconds at a time so the amount of actual savings is still to be determined after a time study. In videos shared, there was not many seconds out of a minute where one of the four nozzles was not activated. Once the final operation per minute is received we can rework our calculations and see how many hours of line operation it will take to pay back each knife purchase.

If you have any point of use blowoff or part ejection and even have a “nice looking” blowoff in place, don’t hesitate to reach out. These are still very different from our Engineered Solutions. We will help you as much as we can and provide test data, pictures, and even video of testing when possible.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Turn It Off: Saving Compressed Air The Easy Way

A major benefit to utilizing compressed air is the speed at which it can be shut off and re-energized for use – in fact, this can be done instantaneously. Shutting down the supply of compressed air to an application while it is not needed can drastically reduce the compressed air consumption of the process. This is an easy remedy that can produce significant savings.

Think about a place where you have a compressed air blow off with spaces between the parts or dwell times in conveyor travel. What about break times, do operators continue to keep the air on when they leave for a break or even worse, for the day?

Step number four in EXAIR’s Six Steps to Optimization is:

A simple manual ball valve and a responsible operator can provide savings at every opportunity to shut down the airflow. But an automated solution is a no-brainer and can provide significant savings.

Quarter Turn Ball Valves are low-maintenance and easy to install/use.

For a more automated approach, you can add a solenoid valve that would tie into your existing PLC or e-stop circuit, into your compressed air supply lines to aid in turning the compressed air on and off.

For an automated on/off solution can be found by using the EXAIR EFC (Electronic Flow Control). The EFC is made to accept 110V or 220V AC, and convert it to 24V DC to operate a sensor, timer, and solenoid valve. Its multiple operating modes allow you delay on, delay-off, and delay on/off among others. The operating mode can then be set to the specific time necessary for a successful application.

The spaces between parts can be turned into money saved. Every time you reach the end of a batch run, the EFC can turn the air off. You can also add solenoid valves and run them from your machine controls. If the machine is off, or the conveyor has stopped – close the solenoid valve and save the air. The modes are all defined in the video below.

So, take a look, or even better a listen, around the plant and see what you can find that could benefit from turning the air off; even if it is just for a moment it will help put money back into your bottom line.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF