Built to Last

The past few months many of our lives have been altered in some fashion due to COVID-19. Personally, my three daughters began staying home full time and attending school through distance learning.  I myself switched to working some alternate shifts which EXAIR changed to in order to optimize our availability to our customer base as well as protect our team members effectively. I know many in manufacturing that have been furloughed. Even worse, some have been forced to work in unsafe conditions.

All of this has made me thankful I am part of a team that cares about our employees first, and then we all work towards ensuring our customers are taken care of. Our new shift structure has also given me time to reflect on many aspects of my life.

When I was younger, like many kids, I always wanted something I received to be new. I didn’t want an older hand me down bicycle, I wanted new.  Little did I know I would reach a point in life where I prefer things to be a little older, a little more seasoned, even broken-in if you will.  The days are here where disposable is what everyone expects whenever they purchase anything. Repairable is often a thing of the past and or requires specialty tools and or software.  I’ve been recently working on lots of small engines from friends and family members yard equipment and recreational vehicles.

I’ve worked on a 1970’s era Stihl chainsaw that the only safety is the weight of the saw and an on/off toggle switch, up to an imported 4 wheeler that instead of buying a single piece or carburetor kit, most people throw them away and buy new.  Something about the older equipment makes me think I was born in the wrong era. The time of working hard for what you make and taking pride in products lasting a lifetime is often gone from consumer-grade products.  When carburetors are riveted together to make them faster and cheaper to assemble, but also not easily repairable, the chance of someone repairing it 40 years from now diminishes.

It could be that I am closer to 40 than I am to 30, however, I find that being able to source parts direct from a manufacturer as well as being able to get support direct from the manufacturer is something I desire. This could also be because this is how we do business at EXAIR. Our compressed air products all carry a 5 year Built to Last Warranty, we service them, sell replacement parts for them and take pride in their ability to last.

There are few items that I am okay with going a cheap route on, spare screwdrivers, you know the ones you use as pry bars and oil filter punches, and anything I know I am only going to use once and I am okay if it breaks as long as it is worth a laugh.  When I went to repair a weed eater for a neighbor I found the engine casing was plastic, there was barely anything to the motor and the lack of maintenance on his part as well as the ethanol in the fuel with lack of stabilizer had gummed up the entire fuel system.

This was a disposable weed eater and he admitted it wasn’t cheap but he also knew it wasn’t a big brand name. Experiencing this, made me laugh.  I went to my older weed eater that has seen many days. It was bought used at an auction. I gladly started it up for him and offered to loan it out whenever he needed. That weed eater was built to withstand its use. Parts are readily available and it is so popular there are many of the parts reproduced through third party factories pretending to be the company.

Next up on my project list may be the biggest project yet, a tiller that is far older than I am. This again has been brought on by the want for a healthy garden and the ability to also help neighbors and friends when they are ready for their gardens.  Rather than looking new, I started at the old, something I knew was built for hard work, and was ready for the task.  I doubt there is a single piece of aluminum on this thing, it has probably seen more sweat throughout its years than I have in my lifetime.  First, the research though.  Parts, service manuals, and then the negotiation of the purchase. (Both with my wife, and the seller. Separately of course.)

Here at EXAIR, we can get nostalgic over some of our products and processes as well. At the same time, we continuously flex and work with the matters a hand. If you have an old product of ours that you think may not be worthy of use, give us a call. With a few pictures and some information, our team of Application Engineers should be able to help determine if it is in good working order or not.  If we cannot determine from pictures, we can always receive the unit in and inspect it for you. In the event it is not in working condition, we more often than not can refurbish the unit and have you back up and running within a few days.  Our Super Air Knives are a product that often gets overlooked when they get covered in debris from a process. We can inspect them, clean them, and often restore them to flowing like a brand new knife.

Brian Farno
Aging Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

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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EXAIR’s 2015 Year End Review!

In case you were too busy to notice, it’s 2016!  With the start of the new year I would like to review just a few milestones EXAIR reached which will help continue to serve our customers and provide solutions to manufacturing problems. The year was extremely busy for us and so far, 2016 is looking to be even better.

Throughout the course of the last year EXAIR has released hundreds of new products. We continue to increase our Atomizing Spray Nozzle product line and we received the official patent on our No Drip Atomizing Spray Nozzles. The No Drip versions of our spray nozzles have a patented design which helps conserve precious liquids, including water, while also preventing drips which could affect your product finish.

Stay up to date with EXAIR Press Releases
Stay up to date with EXAIR Press Releases

Our new line of Back Blow nozzles have been created to clean the inside of pipe, tube, hose, channel or shafts and prevent the operator from pushing debris further inside by directing the airflow and debris back out toward the nearest end. We have also outfitted our air guns with these nozzles to provide an easy to activate and ergonomic solution. EXAIR also expanded our swivel fitting, air operated conveyor, industrial housekeeping and Cabinet Cooler product lines. See our website for more information on these products. These new stock products ship same day on orders received by 3 PM EST for orders within the United States.

Custom products helped solve problems for hundreds of customers with manufacturing solutions that just didn’t quite fit the bill of our off the shelf products. Since we are a manufacturer (located in Cincinnati, OH) we have the ability to modify stock products, create custom solutions, provide timely information and fast lead times for special products. We blog about specials a lot and we continue to help customers with custom fit products that will surpass their expectations.

With all of the new products and customs, we continued to achieve higher levels of shipping accuracy.  We now have a 20 year streak of shipping complete, on time, correct orders if over 99.9%! There are not many companies that I deal with on a personal level or through EXAIR which can claim their accuracy is this high.

When we weren’t shipping orders or helping customers with custom solutions we also managed to post more than 1 blog per business day, I don’t even want to count the thousands of other Social Media posts we have done, and released numerous videos of tips and tricks for many of our products.

The message I am trying to get across is that we press forward here at EXAIR.  We are constantly making moves and trying to ensure that we offer our customers every item they may need, in a timely manner, correctly, of high quality, and easy to do business with.

That is the only way that we can continue to be the best company for Intelligent Compressed Air Products!

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

Minor Adjustments, Advice From An Expert Source

It’s not every day that we hear a customer say that our products aren’t consuming ENOUGH air, but that’s exactly what happened to me yesterday. I received a call from one of our long-standing customers who was experiencing reduced air consumption with our Model # 3202 Vortex Tube. The Vortex Tube uses compressed air to create a stream of cold air and a stream of hot air, providing a temperature range from -50°F to +260°F and cooling capacity up to 10,200 Btu/hr. Also, these units have no moving parts and are virtually maintenance free, making them the ideal choice for a variety of industrial spot cooling applications.

Vortex Tubes

This particular customer has been purchasing this model for several years, so they are pretty familiar with the performance and operation of the unit. They advised they were used to seeing air consumption at approximately 60 liters/minute or 2 SCFM (exactly what the Model # 3202 is designed to consume at 100 psig inlet pressure) but were starting to experience about a 50% drop to 30 liter/minute or 1 SCFM. We discussed the common troubleshooting:

  • Low supply pressure? (measuring at the inlet of the Vortex Tube during operation)
  • Compressed air inlet temperature? (warmer than ambient air – reducing performance)
  • Reduced cold flow? (possible clog from contaminants in the compressed air supply)
  • Unit seeing any back pressure? (up to 2 PSIG is acceptable, 5 PSIG will reduce approximately 5°F)
  • Over-tightened Cold Cap or Cold Muffler? (is it too tight?)

The customer advised they were using a push-to-lock fitting, where they drilled out the center and then would install it in the Cold Cap of the Vortex Tube. Their operator would hold the body of the Vortex Tube, by the air inlet, then take a wrench and thread the fitting into the ¼” NPT female opening on the Cold Cap. Without realizing, the operator was also turning the Cold Cap which was causing it to become over-tightened.  This in turn would reduce the consumption of the unit because it would shrink the internal air chamber.

Vortex Tube Exploded View

 

I made the suggestion to my customer to slightly loosen the Cold Cap and see if that didn’t fix the consumption issue. They called me back about an hour later and were very pleased to advise that now the unit was “working great!”.

We want to help you maximize our products, while optimizing your compressed air system. If you have a similar performance issue or would like to discuss your application, please contact us.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_JN