Finding The Right Solution Through Dedicated Engineering Support

crate

Plastic crate in need of blow off after washing

An OEM of crate washing equipment in Lebanon recently contacted me about an application on one of their conveyors.  The conveyor carries a plastic crate out of a washer and excess water on the crate was presenting a problem in the application.  In order for the crate to move on to the next step in the machine, a blow off solution was needed, but the exit rate from the washer was inconsistent.  In a given minute there could be 5 crates exit the washer, or there could be 20.  So, the ideal solution needed to have intermittent control options with instantaneous on/off functionality.

We immediately began discussing Super Air Knives, not only because we show plastic crate blow off in one of our many videos, but also because these units are instant on/off with full compatibility with a flow control device.  Utilizing a flow controller, such as the EXAIR Electronic Flow Controller or PLC device, will allow for precise control of the blow off solution, limiting compressed air use to a minimum.

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The first blow off system design

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This layout utilizes Air Knives on each side of the blow off as well as the top

After discussing application details we came to the design shown above, using one 24” Air Knife on the top of the crate and two 9” Air Knives on the sides.  However, this OEM had purchased numerous 2” Flat Stainless Steel Super Air Nozzles in the past (model 1122SS) and had a number available on site.  Modifying the system to utilize the nozzles already on-site, we came to this design:

system-layout

The finalized layout for this blow off system. Click for a larger view.

This layout utilizes (1) 24” Stainless Steel Super Air Knife on the top of the crate and (2) sets of (3) 2” Flat Stainless Steel Super Air Nozzles on the sides, held in place with EXAIR Stay Set HosesNotice the independent pressure regulators for the nozzles and the knife.  This is to allow the customer to balance the air flows, because the 2” flat nozzles will create a higher force than the Air Knife when operating at the same pressure.

In this application we were able to help a returning OEM solve their problem with the right mix of needed products.  Exploring the problem and discussing numerous viable solutions led to the best fit for the application and customer.  That’s precisely why EXAIR Application Engineers are available for any application call or question.  If you’d like to explore an EXAIR solution we’ll be happy to help.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

 

“(Stay) Set It And Forget It”

The Stay Set Hose is a popular, and practical, accessory for use with many of our blow-off products. Thread one end onto a compressed air supply connection, thread a Super Air Nozzle (or maybe even a small Air Amplifier or short Air Knife) onto the other end, and you’ve got an easily repositionable blow off…which will reliably hold its position.

That last part was of considerable importance to a caller I had the pleasure of assisting recently. Some of the CNC machines in their shop were fitted with flexible plastic tubing (commonly used for coolant & cutting fluid,) supplied with compressed air to blow off chips & debris from the tooling as the parts were being machined. They use our Super Air Knives in other blow off processes (where they used to use costly & loud open blow off devices,) and wanted to see if engineered products might reduce their compressed air consumption & noise levels in the machine shop too. (spoiler alert: Yes, they can.)

Thing is, they really needed the flexibility of the modular hose, but it’s not rated for the pressure supply required for a Super Air Nozzle. This is what makes our engineered products so efficient; they use the Coanda effect to amplify the compressed airflow..and they use the supply pressure to do that. So they can’t install a Super Air Nozzle on what they have now.

Enter the Stay Set Hoses: They’ll bend to direct the nozzles’ air flow right where you need it, and they’ll keep it there until you bend it again. Which (back to what’s most important to this caller) is exactly what they needed. With our efficient & quiet Super Air Nozzles, they’re saving compressed air and improving the conditions of their work environment. With the Stay Set Hoses, they’re able to quickly & easily rig the air flow before running a job, knowing they won’t have to worry about it until the job’s done.

EXAIR Stay Set Hoses hold their position as long as you need them to. All day, every day.

EXAIR Stay Set Hoses hold their position as long as you need them to. All day, every day.

“Set it and forget about it” is a benefit you can realize from many EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products. If you’d like to find out more, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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High Power Super Air Nozzles Provide Forceful Air Flow

When considering the application of a compressed air product, we have an awful lot of discussions with callers about the amount of force generated.  Now, if that’s all you want, you’re not going to get more force from compressed air flow from anything but an open ended blow off.  There are problems inherent with this: it’s unsafe, it’s loud, and it’s a horribly inefficient way to use compressed air.  By the time they’ve called EXAIR, they probably know this, but the main concern is still the same: solving their application.

Good news is, you don’t need a lot of FORCE for most blow off situations.  Think about it…how much do sawdust, machining chips, coolant droplets, etc., weigh, anyway?  All you really need to do is optimize the air flow, which is EXACTLY what EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products are engineered & designed for.  So, we talk a LOT about how often a high amount of force isn’t needed in compressed air blowing applications.

Then…I got a call from a user who needed force.  They had an air knife installed to blow parts out of a mold, as the halves separated.  There’s a rectangular array of parts in a multi-cavity mold, and the air knife just wasn’t getting them all out, all the time.

The air knife, was, of course, originally chosen for its efficiency, but it just wasn’t delivering the needed “punch.” They even tried other shim thicknesses (which increases the outlet air gap) to increase the flow & force delivered, and that helped a little, but wasn’t 100% effective.

The solution came in the form of an array of HP1125-9212 2″ High Power Flat Super Air Nozzles, supplied with 12″ Stay Set Hoses.  They’re able to mount these closer to the mold than the air knife, and the ability for each nozzle to operate independently meant they were able to be aimed precisely where they can do the most good.  They are now able to evacuate the molds the first time, every time.

Sometimes, you DO need the high force of the HP1125 2″ High Power Flat Super Air Nozzle

If you have questions about how to get the most out of your compressed air use, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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This Is A Hold Up

To clarify, right off the bat:

  1. Nobody is getting robbed here.
  2. Nothing is being delayed, especially a shipment from EXAIR. If it’s in the catalog, it ships on time, 99.97% of the time, for 17 years & running. This has nothing to do with this blog; I just never get tired of bragging about that.

Today I wanted to write about installing EXAIR products, but hey, it’s Friday, so I thought I’d start with something that would get your attention. If you’re still reading, I guess it worked.

We talk to users…and potential users…all the time about how to install an Air Knife, Air Nozzle, Vortex Tube, etc. And the answer is…it depends. But, it’s almost always quick and easy.

Consider the EXAIR Super Air Knife. There are a few ways to hold one in place:
*There are 1/4″-20 tapped holes, every 2″ along the bottom. These can be used to bolt it to just about anything you want to bolt it to.
*The 1/4″-20 cap screws can also be replaced with fasteners of sufficient length to allow use of a bracket. In fact, this is what we use for…
*The Universal Air Knife Mounting System – it’s a quick and convenient way to support an Air Knife. It’s especially beneficial to precisely position the Super Air Knife for optimum performance.
*Last but not least, Super Air Knives 24″ and longer need to be plumbed to both ends for proper performance. If you hard pipe it in, it’ll be as well supported as the piping.

EXAIR Super Air Knives are easy to install, no matter what the length, or application.

EXAIR Super Air Knives are easy to install, no matter what the length, or application.

Then there’s our Super Air Nozzles:
*With standard, common NPT threads, these are easy to install anywhere you have an existing air line. You can get NPT adapters for darn near any threaded connection, off the shelf, from a friendly local air compressor or hydraulic/pneumatics shop.
*We’ve got Stay Set Hoses in lengths from 6″ to 36″ – these let you reposition the Air Nozzle at will. It’ll “stay set” until you bend it again.
*Our Swivel Fittings can be used with any of our Super Air Nozzles, as well as our Air Amplifiers, for sturdy, yet easily repositionable, installation.

EXAIR Swivel Fittings or Stay Set Hoses - no better way to optimize your air flow than aiming it where it needs to be!

EXAIR Swivel Fittings or Stay Set Hoses – no better way to optimize your air flow than aiming it where it needs to be!

We’re even committed to making our air preparation accessories easy to install…our Automatic Drain Filter Separators, Oil Removal Filters, and Pressure Regulators (up to 1/2 NPT) can be coupled via a modular block assembly that eliminates a threaded connection between them, and is ideal for close quarters.

EXAIR Model 9027 Oil Removal Filter, installed between Model 9004 Filter Separator and 9008 Pressure Regulator, using our Modular Coupling Kits

EXAIR Model 9027 Oil Removal Filter, installed between Model 9004 Filter Separator and 9008 Pressure Regulator, using our Modular Coupling Kits

That’s not even mentioning the products that are ready to install, right out of the box with a convenient Magnetic Base:

From left to right: EXAIR Mini Coolers, Cold Guns, and Adjustable Spot Coolers come with Magnetic Bases for instant installation.

From left to right: EXAIR Mini Coolers, Cold Guns, and Adjustable Spot Coolers come with Magnetic Bases for instant installation.

If you’d like to find out more about how easy it is to install an EXAIR Compressed Air Product, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Flexible Stay Set Hoses

Adjustability and flexibility have been common themes for some of my recent blog posts. The EXAIR Flexible Stay Set Hoses certainly exhibit those same characteristics and more. For applications where frequent re-positioning of the air product, whether it be a Super Air Nozzle or Jet, or small Super Air Knife, the Flexible Stay Set Hoses are ideal.  Simply mount the hose near the area of application, and bend and shape it to deliver the air flow precisely as needed.

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Flexible Stay Set Hoses

The hose was designed and manufactured to have “memory”, and it will not creep or bend. It will maintain the positioning and directional aim of the air flow until it is reshaped to a new position.  The materials of construction allow it to withstand temperatures up to 158°F (70°F.)

The Flexible Stay Set Hoses are offered in 5 different lengths – 6″, 12″, 18″, 24″, 30″, and 36″ and with 2 different end configurations – 1/4 male NPT x 1/8 female NPT and 1/4 male NPT on both ends, providing many options to match the needs of the application.

The Magnetic Base works in conjunction with the Stay Set Hoses, as they also allow a flexible location for positioning the hose.

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Magnetic Base, 24″ Stay Set Hose and 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle Provide Blowoff for a Machining Operation

For additional information on the Flexible Stay Set Hoses including the proper way to install and set the position for long lasting service, check out the Video Blog.

To explore how the Stay Set Hose could be of use in your facility, feel free to contact EXAIR and one our  Application Engineers can help you determine which solution can help you.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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The (Not So) Dreaded Warranty Claim Call

If you’ve ever worked in customer service or technical support, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that you’ve spoken with someone who isn’t getting what they wanted from your products and/or services. And no matter who you are, you’ve almost certainly spoken with someone you’ve bought something from, because you’re not getting what you wanted from it, right? And we can all (I hope) agree that there are MANY things we’d rather do than make…or receive…those calls.

I had the pleasure of assisting a customer yesterday who wasn’t getting what he wanted from an EXAIR product: in this case, it was one of our Stay Set Hoses. It seems that the bendable element inside had broken, meaning the Stay Set Hose was no longer “staying set.”  Since this unit had only been in service for about a month, I was anxious to know what would cause such a failure on a solid product with such a successful track record.  The caller was up front, early in the conversation, with his understanding that we can’t warranty against everything that a user might do to our products (the fact of the matter is, we do honor a 5 year “Built To Last” warranty against manufacturing defects,) and we shared a quick laugh because we both remembered this luggage commercial:

By this time, it was the best warranty claim conversation ever.

Flexible and durable, EXAIR Stay Set Hoses come in lengths from 6" to 36".

Flexible and durable, EXAIR Stay Set Hoses come in lengths from 6″ to 36″.

This particular Stay Set Hose was one of many in their plant, so we had a good discussion of some common best practices for their use:

*Keep bends as gradual as possible, especially if repositioning is frequent.

*Use two hands to bend the hose, as much as possible, to prevent/limit an excessive amount of leveraged force being applied to the connecting end of the bending element.

*When re-positioning is needed, do not grab onto the point of use device (Air Nozzle, Air Amplifier), but instead, use the spring relief as a grip to bend the blow off device into place.

*Keep in mind they’re PVC…temperature rating is 158°F. They’ll handle a fair amount of heat, but take advantage of their flexibility and bend them well away from any hot surfaces.

Like I said, this hose had only been in service for about a month, so we’re getting it back in the shop for failure analysis. Stay tuned for a future installment, where I’ll tell you how the rest of EXAIR’s warranty evaluation process works.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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How To Hold Up Just About Anything

My youngest asked me if we had any duct tape the other night. I got a swell of pride from the confirmation that I had indeed been successful in teaching him at least half of the basics of mechanical repair:

WD40 Duct Tape Flow Chart

However, he’s eleven, and I distinctly remember being an eleven year old boy, so I (prudently) asked what he wanted it for. He said he wanted to hang some posters in his room. Two things popped into my head:

1. I (or, even worse, his mother) would eventually be responsible for removing the duct tape, and
b. I know what duct tape can do when you try to remove it from drywall (again, from my experience as a former eleven year old boy),

I suggested that we use a more appropriate method, like Scotch tape. He was OK with that.

At EXAIR, we get questions from customers all the time about how to properly install/mount/support our products. Some are fairly straight-forward:

*Super Air Amplifiers (up to 4”) have an integral 2-bolt flange for secure mounting.

*Line Vacs (except Light Duty) are available with a rigid mounting bracket…these come with the Kit, or can be purchased separately.

*Cold Guns, Adjustable Spot Coolers, and Mini Coolers are supplied with magnetic bases for quick and easy mounting & positioning.

*We have a brand-new mounting bracket for our Atomizing Spray Nozzles…they have no fasteners; the Spray Nozzle simply “snaps” in, and out, as needed.

*The Ion Air Cannon comes with a sturdy stand for easy wall, bench, or machine mounting.

*Modular E-Vacs are block design, and have a series of mounting holes for convenient mounting.

*Even our Soft Grip Safety Air Guns have a built-in hook, for easy storage when not in use.

Many other products, like our Super Air Nozzles, Small/Medium Vortex Tubes, and our Adjustable Air Amplifiers (to name a few) are lightweight and compact enough to be secure when installed on properly supported compressed air piping. For added convenience, though, we offer value-added accessories such as Stay Set Hoses, Magnetic Bases, and Swivel Fittings as well.

Perhaps the most versatile product, as far as mounting is concerned, is the Super Air Knife. The 3” unit can actually be secured in place by properly supported piping, like the above mentioned lighter weight products. All Super Air Knives have ¼”-20 tapped holes, on 2” centers, along the entire length – these provide an easy way to mount to any nearby sturdy structure. If you’re mounting one over a conveyor belt, you can even support them by plumbing the compressed air with hard pipe to both ends. For quick, convenient, and easily re-positionable mounting, our Universal Air Knife Mounting Systems are just the thing.

These are just a few of the installation options available for some of our products. If you have questions or concerns about how to mount an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product, give us a call…we’re eager to help!

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: http://www.exair.com
Blog: https://blog.exair.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
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