EXAIR Products Receive Plant Engineering Product of the Year Awards: Silver and Bronze

Since 1983 EXAIR Corporation has been the one stop shop for all your Intelligent Compressed Air needs. Throughout this time, we have taken pride in providing quality, engineered products for our customers. With innovation as a major driving force in our success, we are constantly looking to improve on existing product lines while also releasing new products into the market. These new products are often recipients of various awards and our trophy case out front has grown substantially in size over my 10 years here. In fact, I think we’re about due for another soon after our most recent additions.

That cabinet is filling up again!!

In April 2020, just as the pandemic was increasing momentum, Plant Engineering issued their 2019 awards. In 2019 EXAIR received the prestigious Product of the Year award from Plant Engineering. In the compressed air category, EXAIR took both 2nd and 3rd place bringing home a silver and bronze to add to our trophy case.

Coming in 3rd with the Bronze award was EXAIR’s Gen4 Ionizing Bar. The Gen4 Ionizing Bar was redesigned and engineered to perform up to 25% better than previous generations. In addition to improving on decay speeds, it also increased the effective range by 100%!

Life expectancy has been extended by insertion molding the stainless steel ion emitters into a durable engineered polymer. There are no openings or grooves to accumulate dirt that could cause shorting or arcing. A 5 kV rugged, integrated ground steel reinforced power cable protects against abrasion, tears, and damage common in a rugged industrial environment.

Coming in 2nd place with the Silver award was EXAIR’s Soft Grip Atto Back Blow Safety Air Gun. Using the smallest Back Blow Nozzle available, this gun delivers a strong blast of air capable of blowing out debris and liquids from the ID of small pipes or hose, channels, bores, holes, internal threads, and internal part features. The ergonomic design keeps the operator’s hand comfortable so it can be used for hours without fatigue. A 360° array of holes on the nozzle blows backwards clearing out coolant, chips, and light oils from machining processes. A Chip Shield installed on the extension of the gun then protects operators from any flying debris.

Another year, and another couple of awards for EXAIR. You can count on the sun coming up in the morning, and you can count on EXAIR to consistently provide new innovative products. Year in and year out we continue to provide new solutions for common applications. Give us a call, we’ll be happy to help determine how we can help you improve on your current processes.

Tyler Daniel
EXAIR Corporation
E-mail: TylerDaniel@EXAIR.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

The Makeup of Earth’s Air

Most people know that oxygen, makes up about 20% of the earth’s atmosphere at sea level, and that almost all the rest is nitrogen. But did you know there’s an impressive list of other gases in the air we breathe

whats in air
Reference: CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, edited by David R. Lide, 1997.

We can consider, for practical purposes, that air is made up of five gases: nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide, and water vapor. But because water vapor is a variable, this table omits it, water vapor generally makes up 1-3% of atmospheric air, by volume, and can be as high as 5%.  Which means that, even on a ‘dry’ day, it pushes argon out of third place!

There are numerous reasons why the volumetric concentrations of these gases are important.  If oxygen level drops in the air we’re breathing, human activity is impaired.  Exhaustion without physical exertion will occur at 12-15%.  Your lips turn blue at 10%.  Exposure to oxygen levels of 8% or below are fatal within minutes.

But here at EXAIR we care about how compressed air can be used efficiently to better your process! 

Any of our products are capable of discharging a fluid, but they’re specifically designed for use with compressed air – in basic grade school science terms, they convert the potential energy of air under compression into kinetic energy in such a way as to entrain a large amount of air from the surrounding environment.  This is important to consider for a couple of reasons:

  • Anything that’s in your compressed air supply is going to get on the part you’re blowing off with that Super Air Nozzle, the material you’re conveying with that Line Vac, or the electronics you’re cooling with that Cabinet Cooler System.  That includes water…which can condense from the water vapor at several points along the way from your compressor’s intake, through its filtration and drying systems, to the discharge from the product itself.
  • Sometimes, a user is interested in blowing a purge gas (commonly nitrogen or argon) –  but unless it’s in a isolated environment (like a closed chamber) purged with the same gas, most of the developed flow will simply be room air.

Another consideration of air make up involves EXAIR Gen4 Static Eliminators.  They work on the Corona discharge principle: a high voltage is applied to a sharp point, and any gas in the vicinity of that point is subject to ionization – loss or gain of electrons in their molecules’ outer valences, resulting in a charged particle.  The charge is positive if they lose an electron, and negative if they gain one.  Of the two gases that make up almost all of our air, oxygen has the lowest ionization energy in its outer valence, making it the easier to ionize than nitrogen.  You can certainly supply a Gen4 Static Eliminator with pure nitrogen if you wish, but the static dissipation rate may be lesser.

If you want to learn more about the compressed air or any of our point of use compressed air products, you can contact an Application Engineer.  We will be happy to help you.

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer

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Twitter: @EXAIR_JS

Air photo courtesy of Barney Moss Creative Commons License

Super Ion Air Knife Stops Material Jamming During Unwinding

gen4-static

Static electricity is something that we talk about often here at EXAIR. When an atom gains or loses an electron from its outer shell, it becomes electrically imbalanced. A material’s propensity to either gain or lose an electron is “ranked” on a list known as the Triboelectric Series. Static Electricity is generated in a few different ways: contact static build up, detachment static buildup, and frictional static build up.

Detachment static build up occurs when a material is in contact with another and these two surfaces separate from one another. During the separation, not all of the electrons are able to get back to their original molecule. This results in an instantaneous static charge as the electrons are transferred from one object to another in accordance with the Triboelectric Series. Due to the large surface area in most detachment static buildup scenarios, the amount of static generated is typically far greater than contact static buildup.

One of the most common types of detachment static buildup occurs as material separates from a roll. This typically occurs at a high rate of speed and the large surface area across the width of the roll presents an ideal situation for static buildup. This charge can cause the material to stick to itself and not come off the roll properly, creating issues down the line. It can also result in painful shocks to operators, which not only presents a safety hazard but also negatively impacts productivity and morale.

I recently worked with a customer that needed a solution for removing this static from a roll as it was placed onto their work table. The customer manufactures a variety of clothing and equipment used by the military. One of the materials used in their combat clothing provides protection against heat transfer should the wearer be exposed to fire, explosions, etc. that are common on the battlefield. The material is lightweight, but a coating on the surface allows for a significant amount of static to generate as it is unrolled. This presents two separate issues for them. The machine must be stopped to fix the roll as it jams. When fixing the jam, the operator must grab a hold of the material and manually feed it back onto the roll. When doing so, they’re occasionally met with a very unpleasant jolt in addition to the time wasted stopping and restarting the process.

The solution was to install a 42” Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife blowing onto the roll as it unwinds. The positive and negative ions from the knife neutralized the charge on the surface of the material and stopped it from jamming. The customer estimated an increase in production of nearly 20% as they weren’t stopping to fix the jam. The shocks that resulted from having to fix the subsequent jams also stopped. If static is causing production problems in any of your processes EXAIR has the solution ready to ship from stock. Give us a call today and an Application Engineer will be happy to help prescribe the solution to all of your static woes.

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

Solving Static and Increasing Print Quality on Food Packaging

Gen4 Static Eliminators

A yogurt company printed bar codes on every cup that they produced. This was necessary for registering and tracing their product. After failing a bar code reader quality test, they started noticing some print issues during batch runs. They would have to stop their system, clean the inkjet printer head, and scrap product that would not register with the bar code reader.

This affects production rates, scrap rates, and overall cost. They stated that they threw away 30 to 40 cases per batch of yogurt due to this problem. They had an EXAIR catalog where they found a similar application within our Gen4 Static Eliminator product line. They contacted us to see if we could find a solution.

With non-conductive material like plastic, static is easily generated; especially during cooler weather. Static can be in a negative state or a positive state dependent on the material. For opposite charges, things are attracted to each other and will “stick” like magnets. For similar charges, they will repel each other. The higher the static charge, the stronger the force.

For the company above, the yogurt cups moved along a 7” (178mm) wide conveyor before they reached the bar code printer. This movement causes static to be generated on the surface of the cups. But, what about the inkjet printer? The function of the printer charges the ink droplets for direction and positioning. Since the ink droplets and the cup surfaces have the same charge, the droplets were being “pushed” back toward the printing head (reference photo below). Thus, the ink would dry on the surface and affect the quality of the bar code.

Bar Code Printer

When it comes to removing static, EXAIR is a leader in this market. We have a large product line of different types of Static Eliminators. Our design generates both positive and negative ions to remove any type of static charge. Since we only had to remove the static from the surface of the cup, I recommended a Gen4 Ionizing Bar. With a quick static decay rate, we can remove the static right before the bar code printer with only one Gen4 Ionizing Bar. For this application, I recommended the model 8003 3” Gen4 Ionizing Bar and a model 7960 Gen4 Power Supply. Together, it was very easy to mount and start using. EXAIR stocks lengths from 3” (76mm) up to 108” (2743mm), and we can ship a solution the same day. When you are losing 30 to 40 cases, time matters. And for this company, they received the items the next day to correct the misprints and short printing runs.

Gen4 Ionizing Bar w/ power supply

When problems occur, time can be of the essence. This is why EXAIR stocks our cataloged items for fast delivery.  For the company above, they had an EXAIR catalog which helped them to find a solution. If you would like to have an EXAIR catalog, you can click here to get one.   After they started using the Ionization Bar, the static was removed, the bar code was clean, and the operation ran smoothly. If static is causing issues for you, you can contact EXAIR and speak to one of our Application Engineers. We will be happy to assist you.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb