Video Blog: How To Rebuild Pressure Regulators

Today’s video blog is a how-to on rebuilding EXAIR pressure regulators.   Regulators can wear out over time and extensive adjustment as well as if they are not used on a clean compressed air supply.  If you have any questions on an EXAIR product, please contact an Application Engineer.

Thanks for watching!

 

 

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

Thank You For The Video Ideas

Over the past month or so I have been doing some update projects at home.  Tearing out wood paneling, drywalling, and even tearing out some old tile to install new inside of an entryway.  While I have helped with drywall before it was when I was 16 and let’s just say that the details are a little fuzzy on the right way to do quality drywalling.  Instead of calling a professional in, I looked to my readily available options on where to find information.  I reached out to friends and family that I knew had experience with it and then I turned to the internet.

One simple search for “How to tape and mud drywall” or any combination of those words and I was spoon fed hundreds of videos that showcase how many different people go about the process. (Some professional, some not so professional.)   I never like to watch just one so I checked out a dozen or so and decided to give it a go.  The point is, I didn’t spend time reading through instructions or finding books on the matter,  I went to people that I knew had the knowledge then straight to videos for help.  This is why I want to thank all of our customers who have ever asked the question “do you have a video on that?”.

Customer inquiries and FAQs are where a good number of our video topics on our blog and YouTube channel are generated.   A simple search on our blog for video will show all of the tips and tricks videos that the EXAIR Application Engineers have released over the past handful of years.   This count continues to go up as a new video is released every month since 2011. We currently have 54 EXAIR product related videos on our blog. Our YouTube channel features additional videos for product categories and some humorous (subjective, we know) videos from Professor Penurious.

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Click on the image above to see all of our “Video Blog” entries. 

If you have a topic you would like to discuss or something you think would make a good how to video for us, contact us and tell us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

 

What Video Would You Like To See?

Over the past several years we have posted nearly 75 videos to our YouTube channel.   Our channel has just received a fresh new layout to help you better find the videos you are looking for.   The videos on our YouTube channel vary from Featured Product Videos, Professor Penurious videos, and all of the Application Engineer’s Tips and tricks videos that span across all product lines.

The EXAIR Corporation YouTube Channel
The EXAIR Corporation YouTube Channel

The ideas for the A.E. Tips and Tricks videos are all spawned from our daily conversations with customers.   So that brings me to ask you, our reader: “What would you like to see next?

If there is a certain EXAIR product you would like to see more of, or maybe you aren’t sure if you are using your EXAIR product to its full potential, let us know through comments, tweets, calls, emails or even faxes.  We’ll see what we can do to make a video that will help you, as well as see if we can’t help while we are in contact with you.

So shoot us a message and we will do our best to help as fast as we possibly can.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

Engineered Solutions Are Cost Effective

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One of the easiest ways to solve a blow off application is to install an open pipe or tube; it’s generally quick and available. They are easy to make, mainly you just need some pipe, maybe a hacksaw and hammer, and a way to hook them up to your compressed air system.  They will provide a good amount of force but at the cost of safety, noise level, and air consumption. That’s right: it will cost you in SAFETY, NOISE EXPOSURE and COMPRESSED AIR CONSUMPTION. I’m going to go out on a limb here (not really) and wager there are a number of folks in any organization unwilling to pay those costs – if you are willing, you may want to reconsider.

I have been to many manufacturing facilities where they have used copper line to bend into a tight space and then pump 85 psi into the pipe in order to try and blow a piece of lint out of a roller or to keep trim from getting caught in a pulley system.  In some cases I have seen 3/8″ ID pipe to keep dust and lint out of a pulley.

This is not needed at all.   The estimated flow through a 3/8″ ID tube that is around 3′ long would be roughly 109 SCFM when powered at 85 psig.   All to keep dust off and loose fiber out of a certain area.  The reason they plumbed this large of a piece of tubing into the area was simple, it’s what they had and it worked great (words from the maintenance worker). For additional reference, our 91 SCFM air nozzle produces 4.5 pounds of force which seems a bit of overkill when you can blow dust away with your breath.

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In one instance I looked over the material and scrap they were trying to keep from getting to the outer workings of the machine I made the recommendation for them to utilize a model 1100SSW, –  a 1/4 NPT Stainless Steel Super Air Nozzle w/ Swivel Fitting.   This would give them flexibility to target the right area through the swivel and require them to change the existing tubing out to a schedule 40 threaded pipe, or use a compression style fitting.

By replacing the single nozzle, the customer was able to reduce compressed air consumption in just this single blow off point from 109 SCFM at 85 psig to 14 SCFM at 80 psig inlet pressure.  This single replacement equates to saving 95 SCFM, or $11.40 per 8 hour shift that the blowoff is operated.   If the customer operated this blowoff 24 hours a day it would take a mere 4 days to pay the unit back in air savings.

The above savings do not include the benefit of being able to reduce the overall operating pressure of the compressed air system feeding this application to 80 psig, instead of 85 psig. In case you weren’t aware, if you lower the pressure value where your compressor shuts off, say from 85 psig to 80 psig, it will save an estimated 2.5% of drive energy for their air compressor.   Depending on the type and size of the compressor this could amount to a substantial savings.  This system pressure reduction will also lower the operating pressure of any leaks that may be within the system which will also be another amount of savings.  All of this is from simply replacing open pipe with an engineered nozzle.

This was just one area where the quick and easy way turned out to be the costly and dangerous path.  The best part about our engineered solution is they are all in stock, ready to ship same day.  This means you can find the problem today, have a solution waiting to be installed tomorrow.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

3 Common Mistakes in Your Compressed Air System

Every day I speak with engineers who are having trouble using compressed air products. A common problem they have is not providing an adequate air supply to their unit. I go through a basic troubleshooting technique to ensure that their pressure and flow rate is adequate. I ask them to install tee on the inlet to the compressed air product in order to install a pressure gauge right at the inlet to the pipe. This allows us to know exactly what pressure we are supplying to the product. Customers are always surprised how the gauge on the compressor or the regulator may read 120 PSIG, but the gage on the inlet to the compressed air product is significantly less.

Last year, my colleague, Russell Bowman, made an excellent video showing how the inlet pressure at the knife will have a significant impact on the performance of the Super Air Knife.  In the video, he changes the length and ID of the compressed air supply to illustrate the difference a proper supply line will have on the performance of a compressed air products.

Not providing adequate air supply is commonly caused by these three mistakes, when plumbing compressed air systems.

1. Incorrectly Sized Piping – This can be the single biggest problem. A lack of planning before installing a compressed air product. Not all compressed air systems are created equal. Though a 1/4″ shop air hose may work for a number our products, some of our products require a larger air line because they require more volume of air to be effective. We often speak with customers an illustrate this problem by stating small air lines are like trying to feed a fire hose with a garden hose – there simply is not enough volume to create the pressure necessary to reach the fire, or solve the application in our scenarios. We publish the flow rates for all of our products and make inlet pipe size recommendation in the installation and maintenance guide furnish with the products so you may avoid this common problem. We also have air data tables in our Knowledge Base or  you may consult an application engineer who will be happy to make the proper recommendation.

2. Quick Disconnects – These handy connectors are great when operating a brad nailer, or a small blow gun, but the small through diameter can severely limit the flow rate into a long air knife, large diameter air operated conveyor, or big vortex tubes.  Due to this fact it is strongly advised to use threaded fittings or over-sized quick disconnects.

3. Adding extra hose or pipe – Extra hose is never a bad thing, right? No, an extra 30 feet of air hose can significantly drop the pressure of a compressed air system. 20 feet of ½ Pipe can flow 70 CFM with a 5 PSI pressure drop.  50 feet of ½” pipe will only flow 42 SCFM with the same 5 PSIG pressure drop. Keep your hose or pipe lengths to a minimum to improve the volume of air you can deliver to a compressed air product.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_DW

I’m Back! But My A4 Isn’t…Commence Troubleshooting

Last week I enjoyed the company of Airtec Servicios, Dansar Industries, and Global Automation (EXAIR’s distributors in Mexico and parts of South America).  We met in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, for an EXAIR training event that covered all topics of EXAIR products.

Following my return to the States, I dug into a project at home that I’ve been working on here-and-there; my 98 Audi A4.  In an earlier blog post I showed the damage done to the cylinder head when a valve-train component failed and a few valves were bent.  After rebuilding the cylinder heads on a bench here at EXAIR, I finally got the engine back together and hit the key for the first time since I bought the car.

Fortunately, the valve timing was perfect and the engine fired right up.  Unfortunately, however, was the terrible knock from the bottom half of the engine – the half I left untouched during the initial repair.  (See image below for my feeling on the issue)

Lie_down_try_not_to_cry_cry_a_lot_cleaned_525Now I’m faced with a dilemma of the best course to take, and after chewing it over, I’ve decided to open up the bottom half of the engine and make the repair.  The most likely cause for the noise is a defective wrist pin or connecting rod.  When I open it up, I’ll be sure to take pics and share for those interested. I had thought repairing the top half of the engine would make the fix because most of the time that is the case. Similarly, we occasionally experience reduced performance in our Reversible Drum Vac. Most of the time (I’d speculate 95%-99%) a simple cleaning is all that is needed (see video demonstration here) because this product has no moving parts there is little to go wrong. Occasionally it is another issue that is causing reduced performance; for these times we have the Reversible Drum Vac troubleshooting guide:

lit6203-Reversible Drum Vac Troubleshooting

So, sometime soon I’ll run through the next troubleshooting steps for the engine in the A4. If you need help troubleshooting an EXAIR product or a compressed air application, please contact EXAIR.

In the meantime, the A4 is relaxing, hanging loose at home – and I am too.  Mexico was wonderful, and the people were more than kind.  But, it feels good to be home.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Tips and Tricks

When I was in the fifth grade, I joined the school band.  I was already a fairly proficient piano player (for a 10-year-old), and decided I wanted to try my hand (and lip) at the saxophone.  My Mom took me to a local music store, and we left with a very nice student model alto sax.

When I got it home, we took it out of the case and tried to assemble it. It was only three pieces (body, neck, and mouthpiece), and we had seen saxophones before, so it went together pretty quickly. Thing is, we couldn’t figure out how to get the cap off the mouthpiece…it looked like this:

We loosened the screws, and it all fell apart in my hands…this was before I learned to pay close attention to what something looked like in its properly assembled state BEFORE I started messing with it…and I had no idea how to get it back together.

Right then, my best friend Danny, who lived down the street, and had been playing the trombone for a whole year, dropped by. His older sister played the clarinet, so he knew exactly how this thing worked, even if he didn’t know how to play it himself. He put it back together for me, and showed me that all you had to do was remove the cap, and it was ready to go:

This is the first time I’ve told this story in public. I’m a lot more mechanically inclined now than I was in grade school (although, admittedly, it would be hard not to be,) but I do think back to that day whenever I have the pleasure of helping a customer out with a particular issue with a Vortex Tube: We offer a Cold Muffler for sound level reduction for all three sizes of Vortex Tube. The one for the Small Vortex Tube simply threads into the Cold Cap…I could have done this when I was ten; no problem. The Cold Mufflers for the Medium and Large Vortex Tubes, though, have threads that engage the Vortex Tube body, not the Cold Cap outlet.  Here’s how it works with a Medium Vortex Tube.  The Large is…well, larger, but the concept remains the same:

EXAIR Application Engineers are keenly interested in helping you get the most out of our products. This is just one of the many “tips and tricks” we can provide. If you need help, we’re only a phone call, email, or Live Chat away.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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