Video Blog: The Monetary Benefits of an Engineered Solution

This video highlights the value and benefits of an engineered blow off solution.  We take a homemade open pipe blowoff and replace it with an EXAIR model 1100 Super Air Nozzle.  This air nozzle is then controlled through our Electronic Flow Controller, allowing for intermittent On/Off of the compressed air flow.  And, these solutions are wirelessly monitored via Zigbee network using our Wireless Digital Flowmeter.  Implementing these solutions results in a compressed air reduction of over 90%!!!

 

Full calculations along with supporting flow values (pulled from the same data shown in the video above) are shown below.

Screengrab of the flow values shown in the video above. Click for larger image.

The open pipe:

The first compressed air flow values to show up on the EXAIR Logger are for the open pipe blow off.  At 1 BAR operating pressure, this “solution” consumes 22.3 SCFM of compressed air.  At a cost of $0.25 for every 1,000 cubic feet of compressed air, this nozzle will cost $695.76 to operate 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, 52 weeks per year.

The engineered EXAIR Super Air Nozzle

Model 1100 EXAIR Super Air Nozzles consumes 4.7 SCFM at an operating pressure of 1 BAR – a reduction of 79% compared to the open pipe.  These savings prove out in terms of operating cost as well – $146.64 per year, compared to $695.76.

The engineered EXAIR Super Air Nozzle with Electronic Flow Control (EFC)

By controlling the “ON” time for this application with an EFC, we are only blowing for 32% of the time for each minute of operation which changes the required compressed air flow from 4.7 SCFM to a peak value of 1.5 SCFM. This control saves an additional 68% of compressed air flow.  And, these savings are compounded by eliminating the need for constant compressed air flow.  Total annual operating cost for the EXAIR 1100 Super Air Nozzle with Electronic Flow Control is just $46.80.

Implementing an engineered solution can have a TREMENDOUS impact on energy costs and operating costs in your facility.  Compressed air is the most expensive utility to produce and consume, making the impact of proper solutions of high value to any business.  Let us help you utilize engineered compressed air solutions in your facility by contacting an EXAIR Application Engineer today.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.95 – Standard on Occupational Noise Exposure

Last week, the EXAIR Blog featured an article about the OSHA Standard 1910.242(b) – Reduction of Air Pressure below 30 psi for Cleaning Purposes.  This week, we will review another OSHA standard that affects many of you in manufacturing and other industries.

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.95 – Standard on Occupational Noise Exposure discusses the effects of noise and sets limits for exposure.  Occupational noise can cause hearing loss, and also interfere with concentration and communication, disrupting the job performance. Below is a summary from the standard of the Permissible Noise Exposure (OSHA Table G-16)

OSHA Noise Level

From the chart, the time an employee can be exposed to loud noise is greatly reduced as the sound level goes up.   The use of hearing protection is helpful but relies on the operator to use consistently and correctly.  Ear plugs or ear muffs can be uncomfortable and hot, leading to possible reduced usage.  OSHA can come on site, and if violations to the sound level exposure limits are found, they can impose fines and mandate corrective action be taken place.

The recommended course of action when an operator is subjected to sound exceeding those in the chart above is to enable feasible administrative or engineering controls. Engineering controls is the arena in which EXAIR can be a great resource.

The first step in understanding and addressing any sound level issues is to measure the sound. The easy to use Digital Sound Meter, model 9104 shown below, allows for accurate testing of noise levels throughout the facility.  Noisy areas can be quickly identified, leading to review, design and implementation of the engineering controls.

SoundMeter_new_nist225

Some of the worst offenders for noise violations is compressed air usage.  A prime example would be inefficient blowoffs, used for cooling, drying, or cleaning.  Open pipe, copper tube or drilled pipe are a few of the common culprits.  Not only do they consume excessive amounts of compressed air, they can produce noise levels above 100 dBA.

EXAIR manufactures a wide variety of engineered products that utilize compressed air and deliver it in a controlled manner.  This allows for the most efficient use of compressed air and keeps the sound levels much lower than the inefficient methods.  A Super Air Knife can replace a drilled pipe, reducing sound by as much as 20 dBA, while using 50-70% less compressed air.  An engineered Super Air Nozzle can replace an open pipe or copper tube and reduce sound levels down to 74 dBA, and even down to 58 dBA for the smallest available nozzles.

EXAIR has been providing Intelligent Compressed Air Products since 1983.

If you have questions regarding noise limits and how to solve any issue with 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.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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PEEK Super Air Nozzles Resist Corrosion; Won’t Scratch Sensitive Surfaces

Because they might be needed in some pretty aggressive environments, EXAIR offers many of our Intelligent Compressed Air Products in a variety of materials. One particular material of construction, however, has two distinct benefits. PEEK (Polyether Ether Ketone, for those of us who ruined the grading curve in CHEM102) plastic offers not only superior chemical corrosion resistance; it’s also non-marring. Since EXAIR introduced the first PEEK Super Air Nozzle in 2005, they’ve been specified all over the world; sometimes for their corrosion resistance; other times so they won’t mar or scratch sensitive surfaces…and every once in a while, for both.

I recently had the pleasure of discussing blow off applications with the production manager of a large anodizing & plating company. The chemicals used in these processes are extremely corrosive, and the equipment used in those areas has to be made of something that’ll handle it. PEEK plastic is just such a material. Also, once they’ve treated their customers’ parts, they need to handle them with care…they’re getting paid a premium to provide nice, shiny parts with a perfect finish. When they’re blowing them off, they need to use something that won’t scratch up the surface if the operator makes incidental contact with the blow off tip. Again, PEEK plastic is just such a material.  Since their existing blow offs were fitted to 1/8 NPT connections, they chose the Model 1102-PEEK Mini Super Air Nozzle.

EXAIR’s PEEK Super Air Nozzles can be mounted in place or on a Safety Air Gun, depending on your needs.

Corrosion resistant and non-marring…EXAIR offers our PEEK Super Air Nozzles in six sizes, from the Atto (M4x0.5 threads; 2.5 SCFM; 2 oz force applied) to our High Force Model 1104-PEEK (3/8 NPT threads; 35 SCFM; 1.9 lbs force applied) for an incredibly diverse range of applications.

If you’d like to discuss what material(s) of construction your application(s) require, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Tiny Engineered Nozzle Saves 91 SCFM for Engine Block Blow-Off

Drilled pipe

Air Box with homemade nozzles

Above, you see a photo of what our customer calls an “air box”. It is aptly named as it consists of approximately 65 homemade nozzles, connected to a large plenum, which are able to be aimed in a variety of directions to blow out the numerous holes that are machined into the bottom of an aluminum engine block.

The engine (1024x621)

Engine Block with multiple holes to be blown out

Each of the nozzles above were hand-made for the air box fixture with an internal hole diameter of 1.6 mm. and which produced a force of about 50 grams with 6 BARG inlet pressure. The goal of reviewing the application was to see what if any EXAIR nozzles could replace these custom-made units to produce an air savings and thus cost savings for operating their fixture.

1108ss_profile

Model 1108SS Super Air Nozzle

After determining that the existing nozzles consumed 4.1 SCFM @ 6 BARG inlet pressure, I was able to make a comparison to the Super Air Nozzles that make up the smaller end of our flow range. In comparing these nozzles, I was able to determine that the Atto Super Air Nozzle, model 1108SS consumes 2.69 SCFM @ 6 BARG and produces 61 grams of force per nozzle.

The calculated air savings between the existing nozzle and the EXAIR Super Air Nozzle was about 34%. That’s a savings of 1.4 SCFM per nozzle. In terms of sheer air volume, that’s not a lot, BUT when you multiply that up over 65 nozzles, total air savings is 91 SCFM. That is close to saving the full output of a 25 HP air compressor!

And so, if you run out the cost to operate a 25 HP air compressor for a year’s worth of production, the savings becomes quite clear that by simply swapping out these homemade nozzles for an engineered solution with EXAIR Super Air Nozzles, the customer can achieve their goal for reduction in air use. Not to mention a significant reduction in the noise level for the application as well as enhanced safety with OSHA compliant nozzles.

Do you have a blowing application that could benefit from the same kind of simple, swapping of nozzles to bring your production costs down? Give us a call and let us know about your application. We would be happy to discuss with you and provide a similar comparison to determine how much air you could save!

Neal Raker, International Sales Manager
nealraker@exair.com
@EXAIR_NR

Spending Some Extra Time Can Save Money (and Stress)

If you are familiar with our blog, you will see where I have recently written about coaching my oldest son’s pee wee football team this year. Things slowed down this past week as the team had a bye so that meant a “free” weekend or as my wife called it – “a chance to do some of the things you have put off over the last few months”. On the top of the list was painting our bedroom.

painting

Not my idea of a fun weekend!

My oldest son loves to help with projects and I never want to discourage him so when he asked if he could help, of course the answer was “yes”. Not only did this mean I had to spend some extra $ to get some supplies “for kids”, as he put it, I also needed to spend some time explaining what he needed to do. As we started to prep the walls, I went ahead and cut in around the ceiling, doors, baseboard and trim. My plan was that I would paint the top portion of the wall while he worked on the lower. I set up his little roller and watched him paint about a 4 foot wide section and much to my surprise he did a pretty good job. My wife needed a hand with our infant son, so I felt somewhat confident leaving our oldest unsupervised for a few minutes. BIG mistake!

When I got back upstairs, he had painted over the baseboard, trim and managed to drip paint all over the hardwood floors. When I asked him what happened, he responded with “well dad, I wanted to hurry because it’s really nice outside and I NEED to go out and play! Besides you said you were going to have to clean up anyway”. Go outside son, PLEASE, go outside and play. Now not only did I have to clean up the paint, but I also had to spend more money on new baseboard and trim because there is no way I was going to be able to salvage his masterpiece. Maybe I should have spent a little while longer explaining the process? Regardless, my next few moments of “free” time have all been filled.

Taking the time to review your compressed air system can be very important to your company’s efficiency. In many industrial settings/facilities, the compressed air system is an opportunity for savings and efficiency. In fact, the largest motor in a plant is often on the compressor itself. Leaving a small compressed air leak unattended or using an inefficient blowoff for a long period of time can result in very expensive electrical waste. This excessive expense and waste can negatively affect a company’s profit margin as well as reduce performance and increase production costs.

Luckily, EXAIR can help optimize your compressed air system by using our 6 Simple Steps:

6 steps

Measure the compressed air usage using a flow meter. Once you have identified your usage, you can work on finding a more efficient alternative.

Use a leak detector to locate expensive, wasteful leaks.

Replace the inefficient sources with a more efficient engineered solution

Operate the compressed air only when it’s needed. Our Electronic Flow Control (EFC) is an ideal choice to use for on/off service or to set up on a timed basis.

Install a Receiver Tank to provide additional compressed air supply for applications requiring large amounts of compressed air.

Control the supply pressure to the device using a regulator. Sometimes operating at lower pressure can still be effective and can reduce the overall energy cost of the operation. 

While I can’t recommend my son to lend (2) little helping hands, I might be able to provide some assistance with optimizing your compressed air system. Give us a call at 800-903-9247 to see how we can help.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

Painting Supplies image courtesy of TedsBlog via Creative Commons License

 

Big TV’s and Big Compressed Air Savings

My great big TV bit the dust recently. It was a 65” rear projection, high definition…quite an upgrade over the 32” tube set that it replaced, a decade ago. One thing I remember from the day I bought it: the seller said to me as we were loading it up, “A warning: you’ll never be able to watch anything smaller.” The other thing I remember from that day was getting it back to the house and set up before my wife got home. She walked in, looked at its huge awesomeness in our modestly sized living room and said, “That’s almost embarrassing!” To which I replied, “I KNOW!!!”  Now, it WAS a little big for the room, but we acclimated quickly.

Until last month, when the display started to malfunction. I looked it up, and it was a fatal flaw: the parts would cost almost as much as a new 65” flat screen. Which we’re saving our money for…for now, though, we’re “getting by” with a 42” plasma TV that we “repurposed” from the back room. And the seller’s warning proved mostly true, although I’ve almost adjusted to the smaller screen. First world problems; I know.

One benefit of the smaller screen and advanced technology (plasma vs. those three big light bulbs in the rear projection) was decreased operating cost. Turns out, the 42” plasma uses less than 1/3 the power of the 65” rear projection (91 Watts vs. 283 Watts, respectively.) When my next electric bill comes, I’m wondering if I’m going to be pleased with the reduction, or if it’s going to put into perspective just how much TV I really watch. Stay tuned for more on that…

I recently had the pleasure of helping a customer realize a similar “a-ha” moment, with the amount of compressed air they were using throughout their plant. They were running (40) production machines, turning out custom plastic parts. Each machine had a ¼” crimped-end copper tube, which blows off the part as it’s being machined.

Each of the crimped copper lines uses approximately 30 SCFM when supplied at 80psig. These are being replaced with our Model 1100 Super Air Nozzles. They were able to quickly and easily adapt these by simply cutting off the crimped end, and installing a compression adapter fitting:

EXAIR Model 1100 Super Air Nozzle installs easily on copper lines, with a simple compression adapter.

EXAIR Model 1100 Super Air Nozzle installs easily on copper lines, with a simple compression adapter.

The Super Air Nozzle consumes just 14 SCFM @80psig, so we should be looking at around a 50% reduction in their compressed air usage in the operation, across their (40) machines. While all the data is still not compiled to determine their actual savings, the noise reduction alone has made a noticeable difference in the plant, which they’re getting used to a LOT quicker (and more agreeably) than I am to the smaller TV screen. But enough about that…I’ll be all right; really.

So that’s two of us, waiting for the next electric bill to see just how happy we can be with our energy savings. I don’t know what they’re going to do with their savings, but mine’s going into the 65” (energy efficient) TV fund.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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One Air Nozzle Saves $960 per Year – How Many Nozzles Could You Use?

A cardboard manufacturing facility was using a 3/8” outside diameter (OD) open tube to blow scrap cardboard off a conveyor. This scrap cardboard would occasionally be blown inside the roller area at the end of a conveyor creating a maintenance nightmare that required hours to disassemble and remove. To prevent this from occurring they installed another 3/8″ OD open compressed air tube to divert any cardboard headed toward the conveyor roller. The 3/8″ open tubing eliminated the scrap problem, but introduced a few new ones. The open hose is extremely noisy over (100 dBA). It does not comply with OSHA standard CFR 1910.242(b), which requires that a compressed air blow off device may not be dead ended at more than 30 PSIG. The most costly problem though is a 3/8″ open tubing uses a tremendous amount of compressed air.

They were using so much air in the facility that they were draining the system pressure in their facility. Obviously, they were going to replace the open tube with EXAIR 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle. Replacing this open blow off with an intelligent compressed air product, like the HP1125 High Powered Flat Super Air Nozzle or the 1104 Super Air Nozzle, would lower the noise level below 83 dBA. Also, those nozzles use significantly less air. They decided to use the model HP1125 for its thin profile to fit into the tight location. The only question was how much air and energy cost would they save. They could have easily installed a Digital Flow Meter on the supply pipe of the open tube to measure the change in flow once the EXAIR nozzle had been installed, but they wanted to try and estimate the air usage.

Using EXAIR’s test data, we know a 3/8″ OD open tube that is 18″ long will flow 68.5 SCFM at 80 PSIG. An HP1125 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle utilizes 37 SCFM when fed with 80 PSIG inlet pressure. By removing one 3/8″ OD tube the cardboard manufacturer saved 31.5 SCFM of compressed air. With an electrical cost of $0.08 per kWh, compressed air costs $0.25 per 1000 SCF. Saving 31.5 SCFM reduces the manufacturers electrical bill by $0.48 every hour, $3.48 for every 8 hour shift, and $960 per year (250 working days, eight hours a day). If the manufacturer runs two shifts, the savings will double. The simple return on investment for this nozzle is 130 hours! How many projects can you measure a return on investment in hours?

2 Inch Flat

EXAIR’s 2 Inch High Power Flat Super Air Nozzle, HP1125

Take advantage of our free service – the EXAIR Efficiency Lab. Our Application Engineers will test any nozzle or device you choose to send in to the Lab using our calibrated testing equipment. We’ll compare the performance of your existing product (air consumption, noise, force, etc.) with an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air product. The results will be published in a comprehensive report, including a cost savings analysis with simple ROI. For most applications, EXAIR products can help you improve compressed air efficiency AND pay for themselves in a matter of weeks!

EXAIR intelligent compressed air products are easy to install, safe, and efficient. By installing these products instead of using unsafe open blow offs, your company can save thousands of dollar every year with minimal investment. While saving electrical expenses, we decrease the noise level which makes your production force a nicer place to work. We also comply with OSHA’s standards. Finally, we may be able to design the blow off better to consistently produce the quality product you expect. Call EXAIR today to discuss your application.

Dave Woerner
Design Engineer at EXAIR Corporation
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com

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