Let’s Talk About Cooling. Yes, In January.

Well, we’re right smack dab in the middle of January, and it’s time for the annual reminder (to myself, mainly) that I surrendered my right to complain about the cold when I moved here from Florida (on purpose) some 24 years (and 2 months, 8 days, and a handful of hours) ago.  Not that I’m keeping track.  You can follow this link (and this one, and this one) to some of my former rantings on the subject.

After an admittedly mild December in Ohio, the struggle became real this week.
After an admittedly mild December in Ohio, the struggle became real this week.

But, as the title implies, I AM going to talk about a need for cooling. Of course, no matter how cold it is outside, there are many, many processes in industry that can get quite hot. Here’s one of them:

A company that operates injection molding machinery had a big problem: their machines’ molds were cooled by chilled water, and as they aged, they developed leaks, allowing water into the mold cavities. This, of course, ruined the product. To make things worse, the passages that the chilled water flows through are cast right into the machine body, so permanent repair essentially means that these bodies (the main part of the machinery) have to be replaced, at significant cost.

Last summer, they went looking for alternate methods of cooling, and found our Vortex Tubes. After some experimentation, they determined that (8) Model 3240 Vortex Tubes (2,800 Btu/hr, Maximum Cooling Power) would replicate the cooling previously provided by the chilled water systems.

EXAIR Vortex Tubes are a quick & easy method to get cold air, on demand, wherever you need it. Just like this.
EXAIR Vortex Tubes are a quick & easy method to get cold air, on demand, wherever you need it. Just like this.

They’ve since outfitted all of their injection molding machines with these, and have dodged a very expensive replacement of machinery for the foreseeable future.

If you’d like to find out how an engineered product from EXAIR’s comprehensive line can take the heat off (literally or figuratively) an application you’re struggling with, give us a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Shocking Credit Cards Costs … In Manufacturing

Winter’s weather comes with a variety of problems. I hope that folks in the Northeast get a break from all this snow soon. In Cincinnati we have not had to deal with much precipitation this year, but it has been cold and gloomy for too long. Personally, I am ready for spring to come and to the see the flowers pop up. I’m also tired of the getting shocked every time I pet my dog. Also, his hair that generally falls everywhere is now stuck to the side of couch.

On a more serious note, the dry air of winter can have a significant impact on manufacturing processes. The same static that attracts dog hair to a couch will also attract dust on to a non-conductive substrate like plastic or glass. I was working with a customer this week who manufactures credit cards and gift cards with custom logos. They fell prey to the dry, statically charged air of winter which caused a quality issue during these winter months. To create the promotional cards, the company would first digitally print the logo on a PVC substrate. This substrate is then stacked to await lamination. As they pulled each sheet from the stack, a charge would build up on the surface which would attract any dust in the area. The dust needed to be removed before the last clear layer was applied or it showed up as ugly bumps on the card surface. This dust was nearly impossible to clean off and still maintain a good finish on the PVC substrate. They tried to wipe the material off with soft fabric, but the rubbing only increased the static while moving the dust around, not off the laminate.

1559 before
Laminating station two stacks of PVC substrate in the plastic bins
1559-photo
Laminating Station with the 110036″ Super Ion Air Knife installed

Using an EXAIR Static Meter, part number 7905, the customer measured 19.5 kV/inch on the PVC sheets before lamination. Because of this charge the customer installed a 36″ Super Ion Air Knife, part number 111036, above the lamination station. The operator would pull a sheet from the stack and pass it under the Super Ion Air Knife. After passing under the Super Ion Air Knife the charge on the sheet read 1.3 kV/Inch, and the dust was removed by the air blowing from the Super Air Knife. This dust removal drastically reduced their scrap levels. In the 3 months of winter, it was accepted that they would loss approximately 15% of all the cards they created do to blemishes on the cards. After installing the Air Knives, they only scrapped 3% of the cards they created. This scrap rate was even better than there summer production. The air knives will now be used year round.  The Super Ion Air Knife reduced scrap by 80%! Also, operators no longer tried to clean the dust with cloth, which allowed them to increase their production.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
@EXAIR_DW
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com

Winter Cold = Static Issues

Winter is fast approaching us here in Cincinnati, which can mean just about anything, temperature and weather wise. For instance, 2 years ago we had a very mild winter, with warmer than usual temperatures and very little snow. I can remember golfing in December, January and even in to February, which was awesome! But last year however was much different. We experienced a very harsh winter with extreme low temperatures (several -0°F days) and a steady amount of snowfall – I know I felt like I was shoveling the driveway and sidewalk about every 2 days! The weather was so bad that local schools ran out of snow days.

brrr
There’s no stopping winter’s cold, dry air from causing static problems – solve them with our static eliminators!

The lower temperatures mean turning up the heat on the thermostat, which is going to dry out the air. As a result of the dry air, a common problem is ESD (ElectroStatic Discharge) or static electricity. All of us at some point have probably brushed our feet on the carpet to build up a charge, then “reached out and touched someone” to give them a little jolt. While this may seem slightly humorous, the truth is, static electricity can be quite problematic.

Some common static issues:

  • Spark or shocks to personnel
  • Damage to sensitive electrical components
  • Jamming of machines
  • Particulate clinging to the surface of an object
  • Unable to separate sheets or product sticking together

EXAIR offers an extensive catalog of Static Eliminators to eliminate these common issues:

Ion Air Knives – Provides a laminar sheet of high velocity, ionized airflow. Available up to 108” single-piece lengths.

Ionizing Bars – Capable of eliminating surface static within 2” of the bar.

Super Ion Air Wipe – 360° uniform ionized airflow, ideal for ionizing extruded shapes, hose, pipe, cable etc.

Ion Air Cannon – Concentrated ionized airflow, effective up to 15 feet.

Ion Air Gun – Static eliminating, hand-held air gun, allowing easy operation.

Ion Air Jet – Static eliminating spot cleaner, available in permanent or flexible mounting.

Ionizing Point – Single point ionizer, delivering a high concentration of positive and negative ions.

We also offer our Model # 7905 Digital Static Meter, allowing you to pinpoint the source of the static. Capable of reading up to +/- 20 kV with 5% accuracy (+/-) when measured at a distance of 1”.

If you are experiencing a static issue with your process, please contact an application engineer for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

Brrr! image courtesy Neil Turner  Creative Commons License

Snow Snow Go Away

Enough already! Enough is enough! I am done with Winter!

 

I’m sure that I am expressing the sentiments of  most the nation.   In my sixty some years I cannot remember a winter this severe. I shouldn’t complain though as I have heat and electricity, unlike those who are caught up in the propane shortage.

When you come to think of it, folks in the extreme northern climates deal with this kind of weather as a normal routine. It just proves that we have become so accustomed to a controlled environment, that we have lost our resilience and the ability to cope  outside our comfort zone. I am going to take this as a wake up call and stop complaining and go take the dog for a walk.

With cold gripping the country, you would not think that we would be getting calls for our Cabinet Cooler Systems. Quite the contrary as many control panels are in very warm environments such as foundries, bakeries, etc. Also Summer will be coming soon. It would be best to get a Cabinet Cooler System sized up and ready rather than wait for a heat related shutdown.

CCSizing

Our application engineers are available to help you size up your cooling requirements. We have an online form to outline  the data we will need to size one up properly. One of our engineers will do the calculations for you and get back to you promptly. Remember last summer when that one panel kept tripping out or alarming every time it got too hot…You may be cold now, but don’t let the heat sneak up on you.

Joe Panfalone
Application Engineer
Phone (513) 671-3322
Fax (513) 671-3363
Web: www.exair.com
Twitter: EXAIR_JP

How Could EXAIR Help With The Olympics?

With the Winder Olympics now officially underway I have been trying to figure out just how EXAIR could be a part of the process.  Maybe not in the forefront, but what are some applications that are there and have potential for being done by or improved by an EXAIR product.

The first even/ sport I thought of was Hockey.  When a skate is sharpened they generally do a dry grinding stone.  This can heat up the blade and cause it to become brittle.   The best way EXAIR can help is to offer a Cold Gun or a Mini Spot Cooler to apply a cold dry air to the grinding point and keep both the material and the stone cool to offer maximum tool life as well as a finer finish on the blade.  (This could probably be used in figure skating too but we’ll stick to hockey for this example.)

Skate Sharpening

5315_SCGdual

The second point was during any of the celebratory events where confetti is dispensed an EXAIR Line Vac or a Super Air Amplifier to help dispense the confetti.  We showcase how well this works in one of the Professor Penurious videos.

willitlaunch

The final would be the best in my opinion which is to use a Line Vac for a T-Shirt Cannon.  Which would help to spread the promotional items in the common areas. We have customers who build awesome t-shirt cannons used at sporting events, I’m just not sure they get the crowd that hyped up within the curling stadium.

ss lv

So whether you are in the Olympics or simply trying to make some parts for a customer we probably have a product that can help.  Feel free to contact us and find out how.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Cold Dry Air of Winter

Today, we are getting one of the  larger snow storms for Cincinnati, OH.  Compared to cities north of Dayton, OH, we don’t get very much snow, but once or twice a year we get 4-5 inches and the drivers in this city go crazy.  You won’t see anyone on the freeways driving faster than 35 MPH, but you will see a few people spun out on the side of the road.  It reminds me that winter is here.  With the snow, winter also brings dry low-humidity air which increases the number of electrostatic discharge (ESD) occurrences. ESD is the proper term for a static electricity shock.  At EXAIR, we have an entire line of products that are designed to neutralize static on a surface or a product.  To neutralize the static, we use a 5kV power supply which supplies voltage through a sharp point (emitter point) on all of our products.   This high voltage generates positive and negative ions, which we then deliver to the charged surface using compressed air to eliminate static on the surface.  See this video for more information.

static shock

So why do we have more static electricity in the winter?  Actually, we don’t.  The same amount of static is generate year round.  Here is a better question – Then why do we get shocked more often in the winter?  It really all comes down to humidity.  Water is a very conductive material. This allows the charges to spread out, around the surface area of the water and any conductive surfaces that are electrically linked with where the static charge was generated.  The charges spread out across the surface are dissipated without any ESD (shock).  For instance, a plastic sheet bolted to a metal plate.  During the more humid summer the moisture in the air will electrically link the bolt, metal plate and the plastic sheet because of the thin microscopic layer of water across the plastic sheet.  This combined surface allows the charge to dissipate by any ground that the metal plate may be attached or slowly dissipated into the air.

This week I had a customer who was looking to dissipate static in his entire facility.  This would not be a typical solution for our electric static elimination product line  but we were able to provide a different solution.  The customer had an air recirculation system that they used to heat their building.  The air would pass through a 24″ X 24″ square duct.  With the knowledge of what causes static shock, the maintenance department called asking for a recommendation for an atomizing spray nozzle that would humidify the duct without leaving a large amount of moisture.  The customer had two questions. First, which nozzle would cover a 24″ square area? Second, how to control the amount of moisture added to the ventilation system, so as not to create a hazard of standing water in the duct work.  For the first question, I was able to recommend the Internal Mix Wide Angle AW1040SS.  I recommend he use two nozzles to cover the entire duct.  The second problem would need more work on the customer’s end.  Any of the atomizing spray nozzles can come with a liquid adjustment knob, which would allow the customer to control the amount of liquid added to the duct, but the customer would need to determine how much moisture was needed in their system.  The liquid adjustment could control the flow of liquid from zero flow up to maximum flow  of 24.0 GPH.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
Davewoerner@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_DW

EXAIR Static Field Meter, Locating Your Static Problem

Static Meter
Model 7905 Digital Static Meter comes with certification of the accuracy and calibration traceable to NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology). A hard-shell case and 9 volt battery are also included.

As we finish up 2013 and head into the winter season in the Northern hemisphere, static problems begin to become more prevalent again due to the general lower humidity present in most manufacturing areas.

Some of the resulting symptoms of the static condition are: discharges to personnel, jamming, tearing, discharges to machines and sensors. Finally, discharges within a charged material can also cause blemishes to materials that must have absolute clarity within them. We’ve all been the victim of a nasty static discharge at some point or another. You can have the right tool in using an active static eliminator. But how do you know if you have your static eliminator located in the right position for maximum effectiveness?

That is where the EXAIR Static Meter model 7905 comes into play. This easy to use meter will indicate where the static field(s) are located in their process, how large they are in terms of kV / 1 inch distance from the charged target, and their polarity (+ or -). The meter can make direct readings up to +/- 20 kV at 1 inch distance.

The above pieces of information are handy for knowing where to place static eliminators for any given process. Static cannot be seen directly, and so your best bet for implementing an effective strategy is to utilize the Static Meter so that you can maximize static field reduction and minimize the effects of static re-generation by locating your equipment at the best possible points in the process.

Neal Raker, Application Engineer
nealraker@exair.com