Pick-and-Place for All Materials! EXAIR Offers Both Porous and Non-Porous Vacuum Generators

EXAIR’s E-Vac Vacuum Generators are a simple solution for creating vacuum for a variety of different applications from: pick and place, clamping, chucking, lifting, surface mounting, and vacuum forming. Our In-Line E-Vacs are available in two different styles: porous or non-porous.

The material that you’ll be picking up will dictate which model is most suitable for your application. For porous materials such as paper or cardboard, we offer the low vacuum level, high vacuum flow vacuum generators. With vacuum levels up to 21” Hg and vacuum flows up to 18.5 SCSFM, this style generates more vacuum flow to overcome porosity and leakage. They can also be used to lift or hold delicate materials and prevent any warping, marring, dimpling, or disfiguring of the surface due to excessive vacuum.

Non-porous materials such as glass, steel sheet, and plastic are much more rigid and do not allow any of the vacuum flow to pass through the material. For these materials, EXAIR offers high vacuum units with vacuum levels of up to 27” Hg with vacuum flows up to 15.8 SCFM. These vacuum generators offer maximum holding capacity for heavy materials. Sizes are available with compressed air requirements as little as 2.3 SCFM at 80 PSIG and up to 30.8 SCFM for the largest and heaviest materials.

In addition to the vacuum generators themselves, EXAIR offers a variety of different accessories to help you build a complete system. To minimize the sound level and ensure you’re adhering to OSHA 1910.95, we have Standard Mufflers as well a Straight Through Mufflers. The Straight Through Mufflers offer the best level of sound reduction, up to 26 dBA!!

With no moving parts to wear out, EXAIR’s E-Vacs are virtually maintenance free when supplied with clean, dry compressed air. To maintain proper operation of your E-Vac, installation of an Automatic Drain Filter will remove any particulate and moisture from the air supply. In addition, oil removal filters are also available if your compressed air supply contains any oil as is common in many compressed air systems.

For pick and place or lifting applications, vacuum cups will be necessary. With a wide variety of different vacuum cups available: Small Round, Large Round, Oval, and Bellows, we can accommodate nearly any size or shape material. For heavier materials, round cups with cleats provide rigidity and ensure that the load remains stable. For applications on textured or uneven surfaces, Bellows style cups have convolutions that allow for the cup to quickly decompress when it touches the surface of an uneven part or material.

With all of the different options making a selection can seem like a daunting task. If you’re struggling to determine the most suitable E-Vac and Accessories for your application, give an Application Engineer a call today!

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@Exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

Vacuum Cups — Choosing the Right Size, Shape and Quantity

There is a lot to be said about EXAIR’s E-Vac systems. We have over 10 pages dedicated to this in our catalogue, and many blogs. Click here to see a great blog about selecting the correct E-Vac. Once you have selected the correct E-Vac Generator, we now need to set you up with the right accessories. The connectors and hoses are the easy part – this circles and squares. The magic comes when selecting the proper cup size, shape and quantity. Let’s start by looking at the 3 shapes available; Round, Oval and Bellow.

Round Cups are great for smooth, flat surfaces. They will grip and release quickly, and hold their shape well over extended use. These grip very well on vertical surfaces. For light lifting, use the non-cleated cups, and the cleated cups for heavy lifting. AS you see here we offer a small round and a large round cup.

Oval Cups have the largest surface and therefore provide the most vacuum. You will want to use these on the very heavy items. These are designed to handle flat rigid sheet materials like wood, glass, cardboard boxes and the bulkier items with a flat surface.

Bellow Cups are where we turn when your surface is uneven or textured. The “convolutions” or folds, provide a collapsible area that allows the cup to quickly compress when it reaches uneven surfaces. This cup will take longer to attach and to release due to the larger volume of the cup.

It’s important to note that all EXAIR vacuum cups are vinyl and are ideal for general purpose applications and will wear well. The Durometer rating is A50 and the Temp range is 32°F to 125°F.

From the information above, you should be narrowing down the shape of the cup you need based upon your product. But each of these shapes come in different sizes. Here is a table that shows you all the sizing options of each cup. You will want to keep in mind the size of your product, and the size of these cups. You will most likely need multiple cups to lift your item, so be thinking about how the actual size of the cups will fit evenly spaced on your product. The next step will get us home…

Our last step is to determine exactly how many cups we need to make this a viable and safe application. The first step is to calculate the amount of weight we need to lift. This is determined using a safety factor of 2 for cups positioned horizontally, and a factor of 4 for cups positioned vertically. So if you are moving a 10 lb box, and the cups are on top, you need to account for 20 lbs, and if the cups are on the sides, you need to account for 40lbs. Using the table below, you can see how many pounds that a single vacuum cup can hold, according to the “Hg applied. *** “Hg is based upon the E-Vac you chose earlier ***

As we put all this together it would look something like this. Using the example above, with a box size of 12″x12″x12″ weighing 10 lbs. We will be picking this up with the cups on top of the box, so our total safety weight is 20 pounds, You can see that there are many options that can get this job done. You can use 1,2,3, or even 4 vacuum cups. 1, 2, or 3 E-Vac’s. The key here is to think about safety first, and then consider what issues may arise if something goes wrong. In this scenario, I would consider what is in the box. But if it falls, will it break? If it breaks how much will that cost you?. Also, what happens to production if something tweaks the cups and boxes start piling up. If the penalties are low, I would use 1 cup like a large round (900756) and 1 E-Vac that pulls 10 Hg”. This gives me 34.8 pounds of lift. More than enough. If the box falls and will cost a lot of money, break, slow the process, the 1 cup option is still ok, but I would make this 3 small round cups (900755) and 1 E-Vac that will pull 10 Hg”. This gives me 12.1 pounds of lift on each cup, so if one doesn’t seat correctly, the other 2 (or even one) will still protect me. There are multiple other options as well.

At EXAIR, we have a lot of experience walking through these scenarios and helping make recommendations. Please feel free to call and ask for any of the application engineers for questions or assistance.

Application Engineer

Brian Wages

EXAIR Corporation
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Adjustable Vacuum Levels for Different Materials from These Vacuum Generators

When determining a single vacuum generator that will fit a variety of demands, whether it be varying weights, surface finishes or materials, the Adjustable E-Vacs can make quick work of the task at hand. This minimizes the number of parts needed for a variable product line. It also means each application can be adjustable as well. So why would this be needed?

Let’s look at a custom woodworking shop. They could be lifting slabs of lumber that may be rough cut, maybe they are lifting a smooth epoxy river slab, or even sheet of MDF. Each one of these materials will require some adjustment on the vacuum end. The reason being the surface finish and porosity of each material is considerably different.

MDF, expanded out as Medium Density Fiberboard is a common material for woodworkers to use. This material looks and feels smooth and fairly solid. The trick is, it is actually a porous material. You can hook a vacuum hose to one side of it and hold a piece of notebook paper to the other side because the vacuum flow will be pulling through the MDF. This presents a problem when trying to use vacuum to pick and place the board. You will need a higher vacuum flow in order to compensate for the leakage of air when pulling a vacuum. An epoxy coated slab on the other hand, is generally a smooth surface that is non-porous and will require less vacuum flow.

Adjustable E-Vac: How it works

The greatest benefit to the Adjustable E-Vac is being able to easily adapt to meet the needs for both of these materials with a tool-free adjustment. A great example of this is in the video below.

If you would like to discuss which of the Adjustable E-Vacs is right for your variable application, reach out an Application Engineer today. We can all help you determine which of the 4 Adjustable E-Vacs will best fit your application and even help you understand what kind of adjustments will need to be made.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Video Blog: Venturi and Coanda Effects

In this video, I will be demonstrating the Bernoulli’s equation and how low pressure can be generated with either the Venturi effect or the Coanda effect. EXAIR uses this principle to make our products very efficient and very effective.

If you have any questions about how EXAIR uses Bernoulli’s phenomenon to create the most efficient products in the compressed air industry, you can contact an Application Engineer. We will be happy to help you.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb