How To Solve A Problem with Compressed Air

In my (almost) six years as an EXAIR Application Engineer, I’ve learned a great many things about the capabilities of our products.  The way we do business sure does make it easy:

  • We readily share application information, as a team.  If you ask me a question, you’re asking all of us.  It does neither of us any good if I tell you something MIGHT work if one of my team knows it WON’T – or if someone knows what else DOES work.  If we can offer a solution, we will.
  • We’ll test your product, free of charge.  This is a popular way of finding out which Line Vac is best for conveying a particular product, for example.
  • If you’re considering a quiet, safe, and efficient EXAIR product as an upgrade, we’ll test your current product in our award winning Efficiency Lab, so you can compare accurate performance data and analyze the expected benefits…which can be dramatic.  Try us on that.
exair-testin

Line Vac conveyance rate testing (left;) Efficiency Lab testing (right.)

 

  • We’ll let YOU test our product, risk-free.  All catalog products come with a 30 Day Unconditional Guarantee.  We invite you to put it through its paces for up to a month.  If it’s not working out, we’ll arrange return for full credit.
  • We’ll do the math.  But first, a disclaimer: strictly comparing the force or flow of an engineered product to an open-end blow off won’t always tell the tale.  Our Intelligent Compressed Air Products are creating a laminar flow which won’t generate as high of a force/thrust as open-end blowing (which is turbulent by nature,) but is MUCH more conducive to efficiency and noise reduction, as well as similar (if not improved) performance.  But back to the math: if you know the metrics you need to meet for spot cooling (like a Vortex Tube, Adjustable Spot Cooler, Cold Gun, etc.) or for liquid spraying (the liquid flow rate and/or pattern size & shape from an Atomizing Spray Nozzle, for instance,) or the heat load that a Cabinet Cooler System can handle, we’ll do the calculations and specify the appropriate product.

Regardless of the application, if it can be solved with compressed air, it’s very likely that we have a great solution.  Call me to find out how we can help.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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EXAIR Leads the Way with Product Standards

Standards seem to continually get introduced and updated. There is an ever increasing number of local, regional, federal, and even global standards to comply with.  We pay close attention to these standards and have the largest number of standards upon our products.

meets or exceeds oshaThe standards the every EXAIR product meets or exceeds are the OSHA standards for dead-end pressure as well as allowable noise level exposure.  The dead-end pressure directive is OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.242 (b).  The standard refers to the fact that compressed air can be dangerous when the outlet pressure of a hole, hose or copper tube is higher than 30 psig (2 BAR).  In the event the opening is blocked by a hand or other body part, air may enter the bloodstream through the skin, resulting in a serious injury.  All of the compressed air products manufactured by EXAIR have been designed for safety.  All are safe to be supplied with higher pressure than 30 psig and still meet or exceed the OSHA standard.

The OSHA standard 29 CFR – 191.95 (a) refers to the maximum allowable noise exposure that an operator is permitted to be exposed to for a given period of time.   The chart of allowable exposure times is shown below.   All EXAIR products are engineered to create the minimum amount of noise while efficiently utilizing compressed air.   Many times blow offs are cross drilled to permit air to escape in order to meet the OSHA standard for dead end pressure, this process increases the noise level generated by that blow off considerably.

OSHA Noise Level

One of the most stringent compliance that EXAIR has upon its products is the UL/CUL listings and recognition.  All EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems are UL listed, we were the first to insure your electrical cabinet’s NEMA integrity remained by putting our Cabinet Cooler systems to the UL test. This means that the Underwriters Laboratories have deemed these products safe for operation throughout the US and Canada per their standards that are applicable for each of the product groups.   The products undergo numerous tests and scenarios to ensure that an operator will be safe during the normal operation of the units.   The tests for the Cabinet Cooler Systems includes environmental exposure for the given NEMA type of the enclosure along with many other tests.  The Static Eliminator Power Supplies are also UL listed.

cULlistedcULrecognized

CE is another standard which EXAIR pays great attention to to meet or exceed. CE is a standard that is normally preferred when dealing with countries outside of the US but is gaining popularity within the states as well.  CE being a European standard actually stands for a french phrase, “Confrmité Eurpéene” which is translated to “European Conformity”.  Any EXAIR product displaying the CE mark conforms where there are applicable directives.CE

The RoHS directive is targeted on heavy metals that are generally found within electronics.  Substances like Mercury, Lead, Polybrominated biphenyls, Cadmium, or Hexavalent chromium.  In order to meet the RoHs directive a product must have 100 parts per million or less of mercury and for other substances there must be less than 0.01% of the substance by weight in a raw homogeneous materials level. All EXAIR products which are electronic or contain electronic devices are compliant to the 2002/95/EC RoHS directive, also including the amendment outlined in the European Commission decision L 214/65.  This includes all EXAIR Static Eliminators, Electronic Flow Control, and Electronic Temperature Control products.ROHS_Vector

EXAIR maintains records to be sure our supply chain is providing product which meets the conflict mineral free guidelines of the Dodd-Frank Act.  EXAIR supports Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and we are committed to compliance with the conflict minerals rule in order to curb the illicit trade of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold in the DRC region. EXAIR is using the CMRT 3.02 template to document our supply chain and commitment to conflict free products. When requested we will even provide the needed forms to support our customer’s efforts in complying with the Dodd-Frank Act.

conflictfree

REACH, is another European Community Regulation this time on chemicals and their safe use.  REACH is targeted to ensure personnel and environmental health by identifying the intrinsic properties of chemical substances easily.  REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical substances and was written into law in 2007. EXAIR products are not required to be registered per Title II, Article 7, paragraph 1  of the legislation since they do not contain substances that are intentionally released.   This is to ensure compliance with Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 Title I, Article 3, paragraph 3, the European Union requires registration of chemicals and substances imported into the EU to ensure a high level of protection of human health and environment.

Reach

 

To conclude, when there is a safety audit, safe sourcing directive or some other form of standard/conformance that you need to meet, consider EXAIR compressed air products. Please contact us to find out if we can help you meet or exceed those standards.

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

Efficiency Lab Provides Specific Benefits

My Ruck sack w/ 20 lb. weight and a flag for the team to carry.

My Ruck sack w/ 20 lb. weight and a flag for the team to carry.

This weekend, myself and many others are going to be participating in an event held all over the country, the Go Ruck Light event.  This test of toughness (mental and physical) is put on by former military personnel and it is based around one of the things they do a lot of at the beginning of their military training.   This is a 7 to 10 mile event that will take up to 4 hours to complete.   It is not like a race or any other obstacle event that we have ever done.   This is an event where the leader, or Cadre, will lead you through the miles and many physical exercises along the way all while carrying a 20 lb weight in a ruck sack on your back.   This not only tests individuals but it also requires the entire group to work as a team to ensure everyone finishes and everyone is together.

While I feel that I am under-prepared for this event physically, my mind is prepared to find out just how much I really can do and it will be at the end of the test that I realize the benefits.

Not many of the tasks I am responsible for at EXAIR require that kind of physical toughness and some of them require the mental toughness. But one instance I am always prepared for is the customer that calls and thinks they have the weirdest application and that there is nothing to solve it.   We actually have this experience quite a bit and it helps make what we do more interesting and fun.  With our diverse background and extensive knowledge, chances are we have experienced the application or we have seen something that is very close.  This helps us to be specific when recommending a solution.

EXAIR feels that the best solutions can also provide information on air and dollar savings as well.  The best savings information can be provided if our customers are willing to provide us details about their current application, and there is no better way to provide us the details than to take advantage of our Efficiency Lab. It is a free service letting you to send in a sample of your current blowoff product (typically homemade nozzles, open tube or pipe, snap together coolant hose, etc.), in return we will test it for you with our calibrated equipment and provide you a detailed report on air volume, force and noise. Then you will know the specific benefits of your recommended solution.

EXAIR's Efficiency Lab is a free service to all US customers.

EXAIR’s Efficiency Lab is a free service to all US customers.

The fact is, we go into every conversation with the mentality of only providing solutions.  If we can’t provide it, we will try to direct you to someone that can.

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

 

Where Does 25 Cents For 1,000 Standard Cubic Feet Of Air Come From?

Wasting compressed air 2

Being an Application Engineer at EXAIR you tend to do a good amount of return on investment (ROI) calculations.   This is mainly to tell customers just how fast installing an EXAIR product on their system is going to pay its purchase price back and start saving them money.

In order to do these calculations there are several variables we must know.   The list is below.

  • Cost of EXAIR Product (This is an easy one for us to know.)
  • EXAIR Product Consumption (Another easy one!)
  • Current Product Consumption (If this is an unknown, we will test it for free!)
  • Cost of Compressed Air / 1,000 SCF (This is the most common unknown.)

With these four variables we can calculate the amount of air and the amount of money the EXAIR product will save over an existing non-engineered blowoff.   Let me address the two variables which have to come from you, the customer.

Current Product Consumption – If this value is not known please don’t guess at it.  We offer a free service which we refer to as our Efficiency Lab where you send us in your existing blowoff device and we will test it for force flow and noise level.   If you don’t know what pressure you are operating the piece at we will help you find out how to get that and then we will test our products at the same pressures.   This way you get a true apple to apples comparison.   Then, once we are done testing, you will get a recommendation from us in a formal report as to what EXAIR product will best replace your existing product.  Then we will pay for return shipping of your blowoff device back to you. So, if you don’t know how much air you are currently using then give us a call.  We will figure it out for you.

Efficiency Lab

The EXAIR Efficiency Lab is FREE!

Cost of Compressed Air/ 1,000 SCF – This is more often than not, the unknown variable in the equation.  The good news is there is a general standard assumption of twenty-five cents per 1,000 Standard Cubic Feet of compressed air.   This works out to be around 8 cents per kW/hr.  So even if you don’t know what you pay to compress the air, if you know what you are paying per kilowatt hour for your energy then we can calculate within reason what it costs for you to generate your compressed air. For reference, 8 cents per kilowatt-hour falls between the average US cost per kilowatt hour for commercial end-users (10.7/kWh) and industrial end-users (6.9/kWh).*

The best part of all is…EXAIR has a calculator available right on our website which provides air and dollar savings per minute, hour day and year as well as a payback in days for the EXAIR product purchase. On top of that, any step along the way that you aren’t sure of, we will help you out for free, even testing your product!

In case you would like to see the math, the formula used is below.

Basic Equation To Go From Cost Per kiloWatt Hour to Cost Per 1,000 Standard Cubic Feet of Compressed Air

Basic equation to go from Cost Per kiloWatt Hour to Cost Per 1,000 Standard Cubic Feet of Compressed Air

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

*latest U.S. EIA report here

 

 

 

Never Think Your Idea Will Not Be Heard

The above title proved very true in a work experience of my father’s. After working in the mill for several years, he drew up a new piece of process equipment which would eventually turn in to something that they put in place on the production line.   This was all done from his idea that he was able to place on a scrap piece of paper as a drawing.   While he wasn’t the decision maker in the process, he was the person who saw what kind of impact this device could have and knew the people he had to get the information to.

That brings me to the topic of this blog, don’t ever think an idea is too small to warrant a reward.  This can ring true throughout any type of application, including compressed air.  There have been instances where a maintenance worker, or even a new operator, have called in to speak to me here asking what can they do to lower the noise in the work area when they are using the hand held blow gun the company supplies.   After talking to them about what they are trying to achieve with the blow gun and how much air they are currently using, we generally find that they can save a good amount of compressed air, lower the noise level, and become OSHA compliant, all by changing this one simple tool.   Once they have all the benefits that their company will see from implementing our engineered solution, they can then propose this to the decision makers.

For the most part, companies will at the very least entertain ideas like this.  When you back that idea up with some relevant data on how much money the company will save, or the fact that is will make the work environment safer and more enjoyable, then you will more than likely get a little more attention.  The main point is to ensure that you are getting that information to the correct person and that you have the correct information.   That is one of the many reasons that EXAIR has a full team of Application Engineers who can help you identify how much air you might be using, what products will fit the need, and what kind of benefits your company will see.   On top of all the information that we have available for free, we even offer the chance to get compensation for sharing application data with us.

EXAIR Efficiency Lab

EXAIR’s Efficiency Lab will test your product for force, flow, and noise.

That’s right, we will compensate you for sharing your cost savings, sound level reductions or application improvements, with us.  This is all possible through our Case Study program.  All you have to do to find out more is contact any Application Engineer.  We simply need some photographs of the application and some quantitative data for the benefits you have gained.  Don’t know what your current device is using, take advantage of our EXAIR Efficiency Lab, that will give us a good amount of information we need to then, help you solve a problem as well as produce a Case Study.

If you would like to discuss your compressed air systems or how we can help you, please contact us.

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

 

The Rate Is Right?

This morning, we played our own little version of a popular segment of the game show “The Price Is Right,” right here in the Application Engineering department. Brian Farno (our manager and host extraordinaire) presented us with a question (that he already knew the answer to after speaking with a current customer):

What would you expect the conveyance rate to be, for an EXAIR Model 6083 1-1/2” Aluminum Line Vac, conveying hot-melt glue pellets, across a total distance of 15 feet vertically & 100 feet horizontally? (And please note we normally have a bulk density in lbs./ft3 and/or other associated information about pipe bends, product shape etc. – but we took our best shot at it anyway).

Our office doesn't look like this.  I kinda wish it did, though...

Our office doesn’t look like this. I kinda wish it did, though…

We didn’t have those cool podiums to stand behind that recorded our answers on the screen, but here’s what we came up with:

Russ Bowman: 5 lbs per minute
Dave Woerner: 10 lbs per minute
Justin Nicholl: 8 lbs per minute
Professor Penurious: 1 lb per minute (Insert $1 bid joke here)

Now, we had all referenced our wealth of data charts for conveyance rates with our Line Vac product series. We used several very different materials over a few different lengths/heights, and use that data to estimate what a user might expect to see, based on how close their application is to our actual test conditions. I actually used this data for my answer – a 1-1/2” Aluminum Line Vac conveyed tumbling media (64 lbs/cu ft; the lowest bulk density material we tested for) at a rate of about 5-1/2 lbs/minute, going 20 feet vertically.

Left: hot-melt glue pellets.  Right: tumbling media

Left: hot-melt glue pellets. Right: tumbling media

Turns out, Dave came the closest without going over: they were actually getting a little over 11 lbs per minute…again, going 15 feet up and 100 feet over. The user was so pleased with the results, they’re incorporating a Line Vac in a similar application, involving hot-melt glue pillows. We’ve now added their data to our database and are pleased with the knew knowledge.

If you have an application involving hopper loading, bulk material conveying, chip removal, parts transfer, etc., and would like to find out how an EXAIR Line Vac can help, give me a call. We might both be impressed with the results. Come on down!

Professor Penurious, by the way, is still concentrating on hosting the game shows.  Stay tuned…

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
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Line Vac Conveys Small Parts Directly From Mold Cavity to Shipping Box

In the U.S., EXAIR Corporation works factory direct with our customers. Occasionally, we will discuss applications and come up against some questions for which we don’t have a solid answer for the customer. One of the solutions we have for this circumstance is a risk free 30 day guarantee the customer can take advantage of to return the product if things don’t work out for any reason. This applies to any stock item we have and is always there to act as a reasonable back stop so that the customer isn’t stuck with a solution that is not really working for them.

Another solution we offer is our Efficiency Lab. In those cases where the customer is trying to justify the energy savings for their application but don’t have the right tools at their disposal, we can arrange to have them ship their current “air solution” to us and we can measure, force, flow, sound level and even static decay rate if necessary. We then provide a full report of what they have submitted and make a recommendation of a suitable EXAIR product that could take the place and provide a higher efficiency in operation which will translate into operation cost savings, process improvement, increased safety, lower sound operation or all of these combined.

A customer in the plastic injection molding industry contacted me the other day and wanted to know if he could convey his parts (a small, barrel-shaped component used in coax cable connections). He wanted to use a ¾” Line Vac model 6080 to do it. I had some reservations about it because his part had an outside diameter of .435” and a length of .62”. Since it was a barrel shape and was so close to the ½” inside diameter dimension of the Line Vac,  I was concerned that they could cock in the tube leading to the Line Vac and get stuck. Another concern was that the customer wanted to mount multiple, ¾” hoses side by side on a fixture and have the fixture come up to within 7” of the parts and have the parts drop off their ejector pins and go right into the throat of the hoses. Again, I had serious doubts.

I mentioned our options above and he asked if I could run a quick test for him if he sent me some of his parts. I agreed and a couple days later I had the parts laying on my desk. We pulled together a model 6080 ¾” Line Vac and some ¾” ID hose, connected the air and began testing. I started with a healthy 80 PSIG and those parts shot out of the output hose like a bullet. Nothing got stuck, no matter how I oriented the parts to the suction hose, the capture velocity at the tip of the suction hose worked to properly orient the part and pull it in.

After I determined that it would work at 80 PSIG, I wanted to see how low I could go with the input pressure and keep good performance. I went down to 30 PSIG and did have some problems with parts getting stuck just before the Line Vac. So, I bumped the pressure up to 40 PSIG. Everything worked smoothly and nothing became stuck.

Next I wanted to actually drop the parts into the suction hose to see if they could manage to go in. It worked beautifully!  I held the parts directly above the hose at about 7 inch height and the capture velocity of the vacuum flow oriented the parts properly again and pulled them right on through.

Now, the customer will be buying one himself to run his test. If all goes well on his end, we’re looking at another 15 pieces to be used on a single molding machine and there are multiple machines to outfit.

Neal Raker, Application Engineer
nealraker@exair.com

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