CE Compliance

These words elicit multiple responses and emotions in individuals depending on the context in which they are used, and the background of the person hearing or saying the words. In this day and age, no one likes to be told what to do, to conform to comply. If you aren’t different you are the weird one, right??? Following the rules is for the weak??? Social media has made it easy for keyboard warriors to push back and fight the standards, the rules and the laws. Some of this has led to great change, and some has led to great disaster. Thankfully, most of us understand the need for compliance in marketable goods and services. Standards, policies, regulations, compliance, etc… These things lead to repeatable quality products and services that businesses, and consumers depend on.

Have you ever wandered what the CE mark really means? Let’s dive in and find out. First off, CE is short for the French words Conformité Européenne or European conformity. It means that a manufacturer has taken the responsibility for compliance of a product meeting all European Health, Safety, performance, and Environmental requirements. This is a required (EU Legislation) certification for most products that are sold in the European Economic Area (EEA). The CE markings on a product assure that the product can be sold in any EU country, regardless of the country of origin. It has become an acceptable standard for much of the rest of the world as well, it just holds no weight other than in Europe.

At EXAIR we go to great lengths to lead the way in standards compliance. Each of our products are engineered with the best technical knowledge, and perform at peak efficiency. All of our compressed air products comply with OSHA’s Safety Requirements (29 CFR1910.242(b), and the EU General Product Safety Directive 2001/95/EC, and they also meet the noise limitation requirements 29CFR-1910.95 (a), of the EU Machinery directive 2006/42/EC. Some EXAIR products display the CE mark where there are applicable directives. All sound level measurements are taken 3 feet from product. On top of all this, you will get the best customer service anywhere. Myself and the other application engineers are here to assist you in choosing the best product for your application.

If you have any questions or need assistance with any of EXAIR‘s products or our certifications please do not hesitate to reach out.

Application Engineer

Brian Wages

EXAIR Corporation
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Compliance photo by xdfolio with Pixaby License

A-Z of Compressed Air Systems & Maintenance

To fully appreciate how impactful a properly functioning air compressor system is to your bottom line, it is foremost important to fully understand how much your compressed air costs. Compressed air is a self generated utility within your facility that is a top 3-4 utility expense for your company. This fact is often overlooked or misunderstood, because the expense is primarily linked to the electric and or gas bill. This can be a costly oversite. You will see an example below where a single common maintenance issue causes a 4psi reduction in performance and resulted in $1265 in additional annual cost to that company. Imagine when/if there are multiple issues…

In order to calculate the compressed air cost, some companies use an educated guess of @$0.25 per 1000 cubic feet of compressed air consumed, and others are more precise. The U.S. department of Energy performed an energy saving study in 2004 and they show a precise way to calculate your compressed air cost. Here is their sample calculation:

“Compressed air is one of the most expensive sources of energy in a plant. The overall efficiency of a typical compressed air system can be as low as 10%-15%. For example, to operate a 1-horsepower (hp) air motor at 100 pounds per square inch gauge (psig), approximately 7-8 hp of electrical power is supplied to the air compressor. To calculate the cost of compressed air in your facility, use the formula shown below:

Cost ($) = (bhp) x (0.746) x (# of operating hours) x ($/kWh) x (% time) x (% full-load bhp) ÷ Motor Efficiency
Where:
bhp = Motor full-load horsepower (frequently higher than the motor nameplate horsepower—check equipment specification)
0.746 = conversion between hp and kW
Percent time = percentage of time running at this operating level
Percent full-load bhp = bhp as percentage of full-load bhp at this operating level
Motor efficiency = motor efficiency at this operating level
Example:
A typical manufacturing facility has a 200-hp compressor (which requires 215 bhp) that operates for 6800 hours annually. It is fully loaded 85% of the time (motor efficiency = .95) and unloaded the rest of the time (25% full-load bhp and motor efficiency = .90). The aggregate electric rate is 0.05/kWh.
Cost when fully loaded =
(215 bhp) x (0.746) x (6800 hrs) x ($0.05/kWh) x (0.85) x (1.0) = $48,792
.95
Cost when unloaded =
(215 bhp) x (0.746) x (6800 hrs) x ($0.05/kWh) x (0.15) x (0.25) = $2,272
.90
Annual energy cost = $48,792 + $2,272 = $51,064″

Pic courtesy of Gunjan2021 Pixaby License

I encourage you to calculate this self generated utility cost for your facility. Also keep in mind that this example is using $0.05/kWh, this example was form 2004, today the average industrial sector cost in the US is $0.0747 (see more here). This annual cost puts so many things into perspective. First and foremost the importance of Maintenance. Even more specific, the preventative maintenance costs become much lower than the impact of even one small oversite. Here is an example from the Department of Energy that discusses a specific and common maintenance issue and it’s annual impact.

“A compressed air system that is served by a 100-horsepower (hp) compressor operating continuously at a cost of $0.08/kWh has annual energy costs of $63,232. With a dirty coalescing filter (not changed at regular intervals), the pressure drop across the filter could increase to as much as 6 psi, vs. 2 psi when clean. The pressure drop of 4 psi accounts for 2% of the system’s annual compressed air energy costs. (or an increase of $1,265 per year)”

The realization of the dollars spent for compressed air certainly pushes the priority of maintenance. If we extrapolate from the above filter example, we can see that a 4 psi pressure drop in that system increased the cost by $1265 per year. We need to then ask ourselves, what other areas could be causing a pressure drop or stressing the motor? And if there is an issue upstream to this issue, will it cause even more issues, or more pressure drops?

There are many tips, tools, websites, YouTube videos and more, out there that address the recommended maintenance of your compressor and system. Many of you already have specific guidelines for your precise system, and set maintenance schedules in place. Below is a sample checklist (not all-inclusive) of maintenance items to watch for with your compressor in case you need a starting point. If left unchecked and or uncorrected, any of these (if an issue) will cost your company money – over time, lots of money.

  • Visually Inspect Air Compressor
  • Check moisture traps
  • Change Air Filters
  • Change Oil Filters
  • Change Oil/Water Separators – could (should) be many of these on the lines
  • Change Oil Separator O-Ring if necessary
  • Inspect Couplers, Hubs and Shaft Seals
  • Check Drive Belts condition if applicable
  • Check and Log Drive Motor Bearing Temps
  • Check and Log Fan Motor Bearing Temps
  • Change Oil if necessary
  • Check and Log Oil Cooler Temps
  • Check and Log After Cooler Temps
  • Blow Out Coolers

I would be amiss if I finished this blog without mentioning the perils of pressure leaks. The Compressed Air and Gas Institute stated that a single 1/4″ leak, can cost you between $2500 and $8000 per year (CAGI article). Imagine the impact of several leaks!!!

How do I find leaks? I’m glad you asked. The first step is to walk your lines and check any or all of the following areas for leaks or damage.

  • Couplings
  • Hoses
  • Tubes
  • Fittings
  • Point-Of-Use Devices
  • Pipe Joints
  • Quick Disconnects
  • Filters
  • Regulators
  • Lubricators
  • Condensate Traps
  • Valves

A great way to identify leaks is to use our Ultrasonic Leak Detector to listen for leaks. Look for and ask the technicians if there seems to be a change in productivity. Install Pressure Regulators and gauges at each point of use in your facility – monitor and log these pressures often. Once you find an issue, no matter how small, correct it. A small leak adds up $$$ over the hours, weeks, and months.

In addition to leaks, there are many times that air is wasted by being blown on empty space (i.e. the space between items on your conveyor). you, please look at our Electronic Flow Control (EFC) product, this device gives you an out of the box automation solution that can be set up in minutes and save thousands. There are so many clogged and leaking pipes, bad hoses inside many plants, this coupled with using an poor performing Air Gun, or Air Nozzle all have large dollar impacts for your company. EXAIR has products that can help in all of these areas…

In parting, please keep in mind that many Utility companies offer incentives to companies that take an initiative to reduce their energy footprint. In our current time of inflation this is a real way to reduce costs, many times significantly. We are here to help. Please contact us for assistance in dramatically reducing both your utility costs, and your environmental impact.

Pic courtesy of PIRO4D Pixaby License

Thank you for stopping by. Please reach out if you have any questions about this Blog, or any of EXAIR’s amazing products.

Brian Wages
Application Engineer
E-mail: BrianWages@EXAIR.com
Follow me on Twitter

Understanding EXAIR Air Amplifiers and Air Pressure Amplifiers

Adjustable Air Amplifier

I take many calls regarding Air Amplifiers but sometimes I get calls that confuse EXAIR Air Amplifiers with air pressure amplifiers. EXAIR’s Air Amplifiers and air pressure amplifiers are fundamentally different and have different purposes.

First, EXAIR’s Super Air Amplifiers and Adjustable Air Amplifiers increase air volume, not pressure. Air pressure amplifiers increase air pressure from typical system pressure of 80-130PSIG up to 5000 PSIG. Air pressure amplifiers are an excellent solution for applications that require higher air or nitrogen pressure such as increasing force for clamps or presses and pressure testing processes. They are also known as air boosters.

Air Amplifiers use the Coanda Effect to generate high flow with low consumption.

EXAIR Air Amplifiers are a low cost way to move air, smoke, fumes and light materials. These Air Amplifiers use the Coanda effect to create a low pressure area which draws in surrounding air to efficiently deliver a high volume of air on to a target. Using a small amount of compressed air as their source, Air Amplifiers are among the most efficient products within EXAIR’s entire product line. EXAIR Air Amplifiers will create output flows up to 25 times their consumption rate and deliver it at a high velocity. The entrainment of outside air amplifies the total volume of air output which also increases force, cooling ability and circulation.

EXAIRs Air Amplifiers have no moving parts, assuring maintenance-free operation. Fine tuning flow, vacuum and velocity are easily controlled by regulating the pressure. For gross adjustment of air flow and vacuum an internal shim is used to increase or decrease the internal “air gap” that the compressed air flows through. Both vacuum and discharge ends of the Air Amplifier can be ducted, making them ideal for drawing fresh air from another location, or moving smoke and fumes away.

I hope this helps distinguish EXAIR Air Amplifiers versus air pressure amplifiers. If you have questions regarding EXAIR Intelligent Air Products please contact one of our Application Engineers as we are always ready to help.

Eric Kuhnash
Application Engineer
E-mail: EricKuhnash@EXAIR.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_EK

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