Safety is a key part of our culture at EXAIR Corporation. We have regularly scheduled, all-hands required, safety training on a number of topics. Our Order Entry team can likely tell you as much about our lockout/tagout procedures as our Machinists can. Nobody even thinks about entering The Shop without safety glasses, and it’s not just because of the signs.
OSHA 1910.242(b) states that “Compressed air shall not be used for cleaning purposes except where reduced to less than 30 p.s.i. and then only with effective chip guardingand personal protective equipment.“ (emphasis mine) All EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products are engineered to meet the requirements of the first part (30psi outlet pressure to prevent dead ending…we’ve written about that numerous times, including here, here, and here) and we can also provide pre-installed devices to satisfy the second part: the EXAIR Chip Shield.
Any EXAIR VariBlast or Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun can come fitted with a Chip Shield, and any Soft Grip Safety Air Gun, except for those with Stay Set Hoses, can as well. Safety Air Guns with Back Blow Nozzles automatically come with a Chip Shield. The principle is simple: a clear polycarbonate (so you can still see what you’re doing) round disc slips over a short (or long if you want) pipe extension between the gun & the nozzle. It’s fitted with a rubber grommet so you can position it to where it’s most effective – sometimes that might be closer to the part being blown off; sometimes it may be back a little closer to the operator.
If you already have an air gun that’s doing the job, you can easily add an EXAIR Chip Shield to it. They’re made to fit a wide range of extension diameters, and can even come with the extension if you need it. We also stock a number of adapter fittings; if you know what threads your air gun has (or if you can send us some photos) we can quickly & easily spec those out for you.
Since 1983, EXAIR Corporation has been manufacturing quiet, safe, and efficient compressed air products for industry (emphasis mine.) If you have concerns or questions about safety in regard to your compressed air use, call me.
Visit us on the Web
Follow me on Twitter
Like us on Facebook
I recently worked on a unique application for EXAIR’sBack Blow Nozzle. Generally, these products are used to clean out chips, debris, and coolant from the ID of pipes or tubes. With (3) different sizes available to clean out IDs ranging from ¼”-16” it’s the ideal solution for cleaning out pipes where blowing forward into the pipe won’t work. They’re also available on the end of a Safety Air Gun with extensions up to 72” long, allowing you to get to hard to reach areas.
This particular application, however, was slightly different. The customer has a large machine that rotates a large drum to dry the tobacco, much like a standard clothes dryer. Inside of this drum is a “spray boom” with an angled top designed to prevent the tobacco from settling and sticking in large quantities. At the end of this “spray boom” are Atomizing Nozzles used to apply a cleaning solution after each drying process is completed at the end of the shift. Unfortunately, the angled design didn’t work quite as well as they’d intended.
The customer needed a solution that could periodically clean off the boom while the drying was in operation. It wasn’t reasonable to do this at the end of the drying process once the majority of material had passed through. The accumulated tobacco on the boom was perfectly usable product and anything stuck after the cleaning operation would have to be thrown out as waste. In order to clean the boom and allow the stuck tobacco to remain as usable product, we needed an automated solution.
The customer installed (4) of the 1006SS Back Blow Nozzles situated around the boom to remove any stuck-on product during the drying process. The results spoke for themselves, at 90 PSIG it removed a 14” wide radius of material from the surface. By implementing the Back Blow Nozzle they were able to reduce waste and eliminate a daily 1-hour long cleaning process to remove stuck on material from the boom.
Just because it’s an outside-the-box application for one of our products, doesn’t mean it won’t work!! With EXAIR’s Unconditional 30-Day Guarantee, you can test any of our stock products out before committing to keep them. Reach out to an Application Engineer today if you have a unique application you’d like to discuss!
Safety should always be a serious concern within industrial environments. Walk through any production facility and you should see all kinds of steps taken to give a safe workplace to the operators, contractors, and other team members. Whether this is through a sign showing PPE required to enter an area, an emergency exit sign, a safe walkway, or machine guards. Safety has become a standard that should never be lowered and there is good reason for that.
EXAIR designs all of our products to be safe and they meet or exceed OSHA standards that are directed toward compressed air safety. The first is to ensure that an operator or maintenance worker will not be injured through air impinging their skin should they come into contact with an EXAIR product. This OSHA standard is 29 CFR1910.242(b) claiming that all point of use compressed air products must be regulated to have less than 30 psig of dead end pressure. This directive is critical for worker safety and the way many blowoffs skirt by is to cross drill holes in the end of the blowoff.
Cross drilled holes may satisfy the dead end pressure standard but it does not address OSHA’s next important compressed air standard about noise exposure, OSHA standard 29CFR1910.95(a). The allowable noise level standard combined with 30 psig dead end pressure will render many home made or retail nozzles near useless because few, if any, meet both standards. Again, EXAIR has engineered and designed our Super Air Nozzles to permit 80 psig inlet pressure and still meet or exceed both of these OSHA standards so that the work can still be done by the operators while remaining safe and retaining their hearing.
For a better explanation and demonstration of how our nozzles meet these standards please see the video below.
While I use nozzles and cross drilled pipes as examples within this blog these safety features are designed into every product that EXAIR offers. This is due to the fact that OSHA, NIOSH, and the CDC do not delineate between a blow gun, blow off within a machine, or even a Cabinet Cooler System. If the device is powered by compressed air then the two key OSHA standard are in effect due to the inherit dangers of compressed air.
I encourage you now to walk through your facility and try to listen or spot compressed air points of use within your facility. Then, I ask you to call, chat, e-mail, or tweet an Application Engineer here at EXAIR and let us help you determine the most efficient and safest product to get the work done.
I recently spoke with a customer who is a casting / machining manufacturer. They had an automated cell that was finish machining a feature on a cast aluminum part then placing it on a conveyor belt for an operator to pick up and continue processing.
The parts were placed 3 pieces wide per row and the conveyor would index with every three parts. The operator would pick three pieces up and transfer them to another station during the machining time. These parts were carrying residual machining coolant and debris onto the outbound conveyor.
The operator would blow them off with a handheld blow gun and all the coolant and chips would generally end up on the floor in the area causing a slip hazard. The focus of the project is to eliminate the safety hazards and leave the parts as clean as possible for the inspection and further process.
The metal parts were positioned similar to the parts I placed in the mock up picture below. The conveyor the customer has is an open mesh conveyor so the process will work better than if it was a solid belt like in the mock up.
The bulk of the concern from the customer was the outside of the part and they stated that anything to blow out the internal is a bonus. The objective is to get as much coolant off as possible. For that we recommended they span the conveyor with a Super Air Knife Kit to blow all the parts off at once. This is mounted closely in the mock up because the customer had space restrictions.
Then, because the parts are always placed in the same location with the same orientation we can locate the ID hole with a Mini Super Air Nozzle on a Stay Set Hose of varying length to reach each set of parts as they come through. Once I had the idea and the products in place I delivered the customer a quote and dimensional CAD file for each part.
Another recommendation was to use a regulator and filter to control just the knife then operate the three nozzles off their own regulator and filter so that the forces between the two can be varied and the performance of the other is not effected. Accompanying the models were installation sheets for each item as well. Followed by the pictures of this mock up for their application.
Needless to say the customer was amazed that we would go to such lengths just to give them more assurance than our 30 day guarantee. They were extremely thankful and are pleased we shipped from stock and met their installation window.
If you are looking for a creative solution, next level customer service, same day product availability, or just a nice human to talk to about compressed air, contact us.
Look at the picture below of a band saw cutting a piece of tubing. The amount of debris and coolant that is coating the pipe on the inside diameter and outer diameter is substantial. Cleaning off the outside of a pipe is fairly easy and straight forward. Cleaning the ID can be difficult. This is a single instance where one of the EXAIR Back Blow Air Nozzles can turn a cumbersome job into a quick and easy step in the process.
The tubing in the photo appears to be around a 3 or 4″ ID tubing which makes it ideal to be cleaned out internally by the model 1006SS – 1/4″ Back Blow Air Nozzle. This nozzle is ideal for passage ways ranging from a 7/8″ diameter up to a 4″ diameter.
While cleaning out the short section may be able to be obtained with a forward blowing Safety Air Gun, if this was being cut from a 20′ length of tube it would be difficult to remove the debris from the remnant section of tubing. The advantage being the debris from the saw cut no longer has to be blown out or left in the longer lengths of the tube. The Back Blow Air Nozzle can easily be inserted and remove debris back from the saw cutting end. Lee Evans demonstrates this in a video below.
If you would like to discuss any compressed air application, please feel free to contact an Application Engineer. We will gladly help you determine which EXAIR product may be right for your application.
EXAIR manufactures a variety of nozzles that are OSHA safe, high quality, and very efficient. They are engineered to entrain the “free” ambient air into the air stream to create a powerful force while reducing compressed air usage. Thus, saving you money. With a multitude of blow-off applications like clearing small holes to quickly cleaning gantry CNC tables, EXAIR has the nozzles for you. In this blog, I will discuss the features and benefits of the EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles.
The EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles are manufactured to blow a wide forceful stream of air. Their patented design creates a high velocity, laminar air stream with minimal air consumption and low noise. They come in two widths; 1” (25mm) and 2” (51mm). EXAIR offers a standard Flat Super Air Nozzle and a High Force Flat Super Air Nozzle in two different materials, zinc-aluminum alloy and 316 stainless steel. And with a metal construction, breakage is not a concern and performance are not sacrificed even in the harshest of environments. The unique patented shims inside the EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles will give you three improvements to the design and function. First, they come in different thickness to create a wide range of forces. In conjunction with a regulator, you can “dial” in the correct amount of force from a breeze to a blast without overusing your air compressor. The patented design also allows an even flow across the entire width of the air nozzle. Lastly, they help to entrain the free ambient air; so that less compressed air is required. The high efficiency design will save you money. The EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles are effective in uniform blowing with safety and efficiency in mind.
To expand more on force adjustments with the Flat Super Air Nozzles, EXAIR has an easy way to change the shim to better suit your application. You can increase or decrease the force of the nozzle by just removing two screws and changing the thickness of the shim inside. EXAIR offers a variety pack called a Shim Set to give you a wide range of forces with the nozzles. For the standard Flat Super Air Nozzle, they come stock with a 0.015” (0.38mm) shim for both the 1” and 2” sizes. The corresponding Shim Sets will include a 0.005” (0.13mm), 0.010” (0.25mm), and 0.020” (0.51mm) shim. The High Force Flat Super Air Nozzles will come standard with a 0.025” (0.64mm) shim; and the Shim Set will include a 0.020” (0.51mm) and 0.030” (0.76mm) thick shim. This is a unique feature as most competitive flat nozzles do not allow you to do this. The chart below corresponds the appropriate Shim Set to the Flat Super Air Nozzle.
What can make the Flat Super Air Nozzles even better? Flexibility. The Stay Set Hoses can add this for positioning the Flat Super Air Nozzles. They are designed to manually move the Flat Super Air Nozzle to accurately target the air stream. They allow the maneuverability to locate the nozzle at different heights or angles; and once positioned, the Stay Set Hose will hold the nozzle in place. They come in different lengths from 6” (152mm) to 36” (914mm). We carry two different styles of connections to adapt to any of the Flat Super Air Nozzles. You can select the different lengths of Stay Set Hoses to the Flat Super Air Nozzle by the model number make-up sheet below.
EXAIR also can offer a Magnetic Base to your Stay Set Hoses and Flat Super Air Nozzles. The Magnetic Base has a powerful magnet on the bottom to securely attach the blow-off nozzles vertically or horizontally. This feature is great if you need to move the nozzles to different locations in your application. EXAIR manufactures a one-outlet and a two-outlet design. Each outlet has a ¼ turn valve to manually turn on or off the nozzle. To add this product to the Flat Super Air Nozzle and the Stay Set Hose, you can use the model number make-up sheet below.
With the EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles, you can take advantage of the durability, safety, and efficiency for your blow-off devices. In addition, you can build a system that will best suit your requirements by adding different lengths of Stay Set Hoses and/or Magnetic Bases. With these combinations grouped in one model number and in stock for quick shipments, it makes it simple to purchase from EXAIR. And just to let you know, if you are within the U.S. or Canada, they come with a 30-day unconditional guarantee to try them out. If you need any help with our Flat Super Air Nozzles or how to build an optimum blow-off system, you can speak to an Application Engineer at EXAIR. We will be happy to assist you.
In industrial settings, having a single air nozzle or other blowoff product is often not the scenario that is seen. Many applications require multiple points of blowoff, even if not in the same direction or for the same position within the machine. In the scenario where multiple nozzles are used, sound levels can get tricky to calculate and is often thought of as a mystery. If you follow our blog then you may have seen this excellent blog that shows all the math behind calculating the total decibels when multiple sources of noise will be present. The video below gives a demonstration of utilizing two of the EXAIR model 1100 – 1/4″ FNPT Super Air Nozzle.
In the video you see a model 1100 being operated and producing a sound level of 74 dBA from 3′ away from the nozzle point. When the second nozzle is turned on (also producing 74 dBA individually), the pressure is adjusted back up to the same input pressure and the sound level meter registers 78 dBA from 3′ away. Following the math laid out in the “excellent blog” link above, the sound level calculated comes out to be the same 78 dBA that is shown in the video using EXAIR’s Digital Sound Level Meter.
If you would like help determining the sound levels within your facility, check out the EXAIR Digital Sound Level Meter as well as reach out to an Application Engineer.