I was recently contacted by a manufacturer of specialty food products that was looking to increase productivity on one of their packaging lines. In order to do so, they needed a longer Super Air Knife.
They manufacture a variety of different products, but this application was involving small snack-size blocks of cheese. They’re placed into individual plastic containers and before they seal the packaging any residual particles must be blown off or it will affect the seal. Any residual particles of cheese around the container would allow air to come into contact with the product and affect shelf-life.
In the current setup, they were using EXAIR’s Model 110012SS-316 a 12” 316 grade Stainless Steel Super Air Knife and the Model 9060 Universal Mounting System. They wanted to add in an additional two rows of cheese to help increase throughput. To do so, he needed an overall width of 18”. We do have an 18” available from stock, but rather than having a spare 12” model lying around he wanted to try and utilize what he had without having to purchase an entirely new knife.
Fortunately, EXAIR’s Super Air Knives can be coupled together to create a wide variety of different lengths. From stock, the Super Air Knife is available from 3”-108”. With the help of a Super Air Knife Coupling kit, we can achieve much longer lengths. In this case, although we did have an 18” knife available, we could also couple the existing 110012SS-316 (12”) with our Model 110006SS-316 (6”). This option was a bit cheaper than going with a new knife, and still allowed them to utilize the 12” that they already had.
While this isn’t the typical place we’d recommend a coupling kit, it was an option that allowed the customer to save a bit of money but still get the same effect that they’d achieve with the 18” single piece knife. We also manufacture a wide variety of custom knives per customer specifications. If you’ve got an odd application that you don’t think is best served by a stock offering, give us a call. An Application Engineer will be happy to take a look at your application and help recommend the most suitable product.
A machine manufacturer was working with a food company who was looking to design a blowoff station for their cookie making process. During the production cycle, the cookie dough is put into a former that pushes the dough through round dyes that forms several rows of cookies across a conveyor. As the cookies travel down the conveyor, they are topped with ground peanut bits and sent through a flash freezing process. It was after this process, the company was looking to install the blowoff station to remove any excess peanut bits but were concerned if the air velocity was too high, they may remove too much of the ground peanuts or possibly blow the cookies themselves off of the conveyor. Another area of concern was the amount of space available to install the station was limited, so they were needing something “compact” so they could design the machine to take the least amount of real estate as possible.
The machine designer was somewhat familiar with our Air Knives, but was unsure which design would best fit the customer’s needs so they decided to reach out for assistance. After discussing the particulars, I recommended our 36″ Stainless Steel Full-Flow Air Knife Kit. Of the 3 designs of Air Knife we offer, the Super, Standard and Full-Flow, the Full-Flow Air Knife produces the lowest outlet velocities, it is also our smallest profile offering at only 1.25″ x 1″ for stainless steel construction. The Full-Flow Air Knife provides a laminar flow of air the entire length of the knife and uses a 30:1 amplification rate (entrained air to compressed air) for efficient compressed air usage. By incorporating the pressure regulator included in the kit, they would be able to easily control the exiting air velocity to effectively remove the excess peanut bits without ejecting the cookies from the line.
For assistance in selecting the best Air Knife to fit your needs or for additional support with another application or EXAIR product, give me a call at 800-903-9247, I’d be happy to help.
We blog about this topic quite a bit, and almost every section of our catalog has a page set aside just for special / custom product configurations that have been created by request from many of our customers.
This is the latest and greatest special that I have seen roll through the production area here at EXAIR. This is a special 4″ 303 Stainless Steel Adjustable Air Amplifier with a 4″ Tri-Clamp flange on the discharge side and a 6″ Tri-Clamp flange on the suction side of the amplifier.
This had been an ongoing project with the customer that started with them testing a stock Adjustable Air Amplifier in the application to ensure that the performance would meet their needs. The application was to boost a low flowing fume exhaust that was causing slow downs in their production line. Fans and other traditional methods would require maintenance and would wear out. The stock Adj. Air Amplifiers exceeded their performance needs but did not easily mount into their duct work because they used all standard size tri-clamp fitting in the ducting, so the next step was to see if we could manufacture a Special Adjustable Air Amplifier just for their needs. The dimensions of the existing Adjustable Air Amplifier came close enough we were able to easily create a Flanged Adjsutable Air Amplifier that would clamp straight into their existing duct work, exceed their performance expectations, help their process, and be ready to ship within a very reasonable lead time.
Like we have said before, if a stock, cataloged, product doesn’t fit your application exactly, contact us and let us find a way to customize and fit the need.
I was working with our Indonesian distributor the other day on an interesting application in the sugar refining industry.
The application was in a sugar refining plant. As the sugar cane is cooked down, the resulting gas vapor is pulled up through a vent hood and exhausted outside the building. The customer was using a 16” diameter blower to create the needed draft to draw the vapors. The problem is that the vapors are corrosive and sticky when cold. The effect is that the blower blade becomes caked with deposits which, in turn corrode the blade and it must either be cleaned and/or replaced at frequent and regular intervals.
The customer wanted to get away from having to deal with the blower issue if they can, so they turned to our distributor for ideas on how to solve the problem using EXAIR equipment. Turns out that a cluster of (3) model 6034 4” Adjustable Air Amplifiers operating at 5 BARG input pressure are able to generate the necessary flow to replace the blower in this system.
The keys to success in the application were the fact that the Adjustable Air Amplifiers are constructed of Stainless Steel to resist the corrosive effects of the gas vapor. Also, there isn’t any deposits on the blade that need to be dealt with. While cleaning of the Air Amplifiers is recommended in this application, the maintenance interval was able to be much longer between cleanings.
In many industrial applications, blower driven or electric motor driven equipment is usually preferred in an effort to save energy. This was a good example of a case where the quality of having no moving parts was able to offset other maintenance costs that made use of a blower actually more expensive for the user.