As they always say, “big things come in small packages”. Oftentimes, some of the things that have the most value or quality are quite small. Jewelry or diamonds certainly come to mind as some high-quality items that are relatively small in size. One little product we have at EXAIR is the Mini Cooler. Don’t let the word “Mini” fool you. EXAIR’s Mini Cooler packs a powerful punch while using minimal compressed air and not taking up valuable space on your shop floor.
The Mini Cooler is a proven, reliable way to reduce downtime and increase productivity on a wide variety of operations involving small parts where heat is causing a problem. With just an ordinary supply of compressed air as the power source, the Mini Cooler uses Vortex Tube technology to produce a 20°F (70°F compressed air temp) stream of cold air. This cold air can be directed to the part to prevent heat build-up that can cause premature tool wear, affect part tolerances and improve product finish. The Mini Cooler consumes just 8 SCFM of compressed air when operated at 100 PSIG, making it an ideal solution when available compressed air is at a premium.
The Mini Cooler can be used for a wide variety of applications, many of which we’ve blogged about here before. This application discusses a manufacturer that made surf casting bags used by fishermen fishing straight off of the beach. They had problems with the needle overheating and breaking which in turn damaged the finished product. Not only were they wasting materials, but also time spent periodically replacing the needles on the sewing machines. A focused stream of cold air from the Mini Cooler was all it took to remedy the situation.
Another application that I had the pleasure of seeing while visiting in Hungary was at a manufacturer of cataract lenses. They were using both the Adjustable Spot Cooler and the Mini Cooler in the milling process of the lenses. The cold air from the Mini Cooler replaced expensive and messy liquid coolant and was capable of maintaining a consistent temperature on the lens to prevent warping.
The Mini Cooler is available with both single and dual cold outlets, depending on the part needing to be cooled. The kit will include the Mini Cooler, a swivel Magnetic Base for precise mounting and positioning, either a Single or Dual Point Hose Kit, and a Manual Drain Filter with a mounting bracket included. If you’re experiencing heat related troubles on a small application, take advantage of EXAIR’s Unconditional 30-Day Guarantee and give the Mini Cooler a try. You’ll be HEATED if you don’t!
Not long ago while checking out of a motel my laptop bag that was attached to the handle on my suitcase fell forward and the impact shattered the screen on the laptop. Upon turning the computer on I realized that a new screen was in order.
I waited until I arrived at home and found what I thought to be the correct monitor and quickly ordered it. It arrived two days later and I painstakingly took the laptop apart and exposed the mounting frame. The removal of the broken screen and the installation of the new was not too difficult but the cable connector was less than robust and was very tight. Carefully I worked it back and forth and it came free.
Installation and reassembly went quickly and then I powered up the machine. I was only greeted with a series of very loud and annoying beeps. At that point I shut it down and called the company I purchased the screen from and described the issue. They determined that the resolution of the screen was incorrect for my laptop and that I needed a different model. They said I could return the incorrect one and upon inspection receive a credit less the return shipping. At that point I ordered the correct screen and packaged up the wrong one and dropped it off at the parcel delivery service.
The new model arrived and it installed easily and worked perfectly. I waited patiently and never did see a refund so I called the company and they said that it was an oversight on their end and that it would be corrected within 48 hours. Sure enough they issued the credit and money was credited back to my account with one exception, the 40% restocking fee!
I can tell you that EXAIR is not that way! If you order the wrong item or are not satisfied for any reason and the item was purchased within the last 30 days we will facilitate the return and ZERO restocking fee. There are a multitude of reasons our customers would want to take advantage of our 30 day guarantee and we make it a simple transaction if you need to take advantage of it too. Testing is one reason a customer would use this 30 days, other customers may have ordered incorrectly or released product inadvertently, they may have wanted a small sample for a meeting or demonstration at a customers location.
A little while back, I worked with a large eyeglass manufacturer on a sunglass lens cooling application. In their setup, they were dry cutting film-coated lenses with a router and after the lenses are cut, they are passed through several different rinse cycles and inspected for scratches or other damage. They were seeing a high number of reject parts and determined that the heat being generated by the tooling, was causing the irregularities. In an effort to alleviate the condition, they used a section of open flexible tubing to blow compressed air at the bit, which helped a little, but they were still concerned with the amount of scrap material.
I recommended they use our Model # 3825 Adjustable Spot Cooler System in the process. The Adjustable Spot Cooler incorporates a Vortex Tube to provide a temperature drop from the incoming supply air temperature. Using the temperature control valve, the exhausting air temperature and flow can be adjusted to fit the application. The system includes a flexible hose to focus the cold air to the desired area until re-positioned. The system also features a magnetic base that allows for easy mounting. By incorporating the filter separator included in the system, they can remove any moisture and/or contaminants in the air supply, relieving any concern with contamination or damage to the part.
If you have a cooling application you’d like to discuss or for help selecting the best product to fit your need, give me a call at 800-903-9247.
Even if you’re a casual reader of our blogs, you already know that EXAIR Application Engineers LOVE to preach efficiency in the use of compressed air…it’s our “bread and butter;” the very nature of our business. This year, we’re celebrating thirty-five years of leading the way in the development of efficient, safe, and quiet compressed air products. Our track record of success as a solutions provider across a diverse range of industrial and commercial applications is well documented in our blogs, as well as Knowledge Base and Case Study Libraries. We devote considerable resources (engineering, research & development, product testing, etc.) to making certain that EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products cost less to operate, and perform better, than whatever you’re using right now.
Strange as it may seem, though, sometimes our products are EXTREMELY popular in cases where they INCREASE a facility’s consumption of compressed air…by replacing something that DOESN’T use compressed air at all:
*I’ve written before about how our Large Maximum Cold Temperature Vortex Tubes have replaced liquid nitrogen rigs in freeze sealing operations. Now, a Vortex Tube directs a portion of its air supply to (usually) unusable hot exhaust, in order to generate the usable flow of cold air. When compared to the costs of liquid nitrogen and the resources involved to get it where it needs to be, though, the cost of the compressed air needed to operate the Vortex Tube is indeed the practical solution.
*Line Vacs are probably THE prime example of the value of using compressed air where it wasn’t used before…replacing a “bucket and ladder” operation:
*Then there are the situations that just come down to time. In large spaces, our Super Blast Safety Air Guns can be used to “sweep” the floor in a fraction of the time it takes an operator with a push broom.
To make a long story just a little bit longer…if you’re using compressed air, you can use it better with EXAIR’s engineered compressed air products. And there are plenty of practical applications where you’re not using compressed air right now too. If you’d like to find out more about either one, give me a call.
I wish I could quantify that, but we keep finding more and more applications for them:
Vortex Tubes are used all the time for cooling applications, down to MINUS 40 degrees (Fahrenheit OR Celsius…that’s the point where they’re both the same; no math required.) They also produce a HOT air flow, which we usually call “exhaust,” but some users actually use IT for heating, and call the COLD flow the “exhaust.”
Our E-Vac Vacuum Generators are popular for “pick-and-place” jobs…hook one up to a Vacuum Cup and you can move parts around all day long. One time, though, I helped a
customer who needed to “pick-and-place” individual small pieces of woven fabric, a lot like a coffee filter. Even our smallest E-Vac, supplied from a Pressure Regulator cranked all the way down, was too much…it would still pick up most of the stack. We found they could use a Model 120020 3/4″ Super Air Amplifierjust fine…the Pressure Regulator was still cranked all the way down, and it picked them up one at a time.
Our Super Air Knives are perfect for blow off, drying, and cooling applications…whether you’re trying to rid your product of dirt/debris, water, or heat, a laminar curtain of adjustable air flow is a “textbook” solution. But I recently had the pleasure of helping a customer who needed to KEEP SOMETHING IN PLACE and called to ask about an Air Knife. They had small cups running single-file down a conveyor belt, with an overhead brush roller pushing down on them at one point so they could be treated on one side. Without something holding them in place, the tooling would simply push them off the side of the conveyor. It required frequent adjustment because they run different sized cups…and they almost always lost some cups when they switched to a different size, while “dialing in” the brush tension. By installing a Model 110036 36″ Aluminum Super Air Knife in place of the brush, they can hold any size cup in place with the downward air flow “curtain.” No more lost product when they don’t get the brush adjustment just right!
If you have a compressed air application you’d like to discuss, give me a call. Perhaps we’ll find the next level of versatility!
If you look into the history or even the definition of a vortex tube, you’re likely to find mention of a physicist named Rudolf Hilsch. Born December 18th, 1903, Hilsch was a German physicist, professor, and manager of the Physics Institute of the George August University of Göttingen. He received a doctorate degree by the age of 24 and spent his career furthering the advancement and understanding of numerous phenomena of physics.
Although Hilsch didn’t invent the Vortex Tube (the original inventor was a physicist by the name of Georges J. Ranque), he is entwined with their history thanks to a paper he published in 1947. According to lore, this paper significantly changed the understanding and performance capabilities of the vortex tube, eventually being marked as the precursor for identifying a vortex tube as a real potential cooling device. (I’ve made attempts to find this 1947 publication properly translated into English, but to no avail. If you have it or find it, please email it to me at LeeEvans@EXAIR.com! (Original publication in German can be found here.)
Given that vortex tubes are a known EXAIR solution, it seems reasonable that today, on Hilsch’s birthday, we give recognition to this influential physicist and his mark on thermodynamic fluid flow technology. And, although we at EXAIR are connected to Hilsch through vortex tubes, everyone alive has been influenced by his work. This is because Hilsch and a partner (physicist Robert Wichard Pohl) constructed the first semiconductor amplifier in 1938, prompting Hilsch to prove (in 1939) that solid-state electronics are possible. This work paved the way for transistor and solid-state electronics technology as we know it today. Without Hilsch and his life’s work, not only would we not have vortex tubes, we likely would have any electronic devices we use every day.
Here’s to you Rudolf Hilsch. Thank you for your work, your discoveries, and your achievements.
Last year I worked with a power company that was having issues with Position Feedback Sensors overheating causing erroneous readings and early failures. The sensors were located above a steam turbine, and the ambient temperatures reached 128°F with spikes to 140-150°F. The customer had called in looking for a way to keep the sensors cool, using minimal compressed air, and in a robust package. After reviewing the details, we recommended the High Temperature Vortex Tube, model HT3210. While using just 10 SCFM of 100 PSIG compressed air, the HT3210 provides 8 SCFM of cold air at a temperature drop of 54°F from the supply air temperature. Bathing the sensor with this cool air keeps prevents it from heating up and has eliminated the bad readings and prevented the early failures.
The customer recently implemented the same fix for another set of sensors.
The High Temperature Vortex Tube is a special Vortex Tube offering from EXAIR that utilizes a brass generator and hi-temp seal for use in ambient temperatures up to 200°F. Simply supply clean, dry compressed air, and get cold air starting at 50-54°F lower than the supply air temperature. With sizes ranging from 2 to 150 SCFM, there is a Vortex Tube that will meet most applications.
If you have questions about the Vortex Tubes, or would like to talk about any of the EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.