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In more ways than one, custom injection molding is a hot industry.  It’s a competitive market, with a wide array of industries that demand injection molded components, each requiring a different approach to design, tooling, production and quality. There’s also the fact that molding plastic components requires the injection of molten materials at very high temperatures.

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A customer contacted ITW Air Management: Vortec about an application for an ATEX Vortex AC enclosure cooler.  The customer’s enclosure was in an ATEX Zone 2 location but the customer stated that the components within the enclosure were already rated and approved for the hazardous location, so they said there was no requirement for a purge system. The customer wanted to know “can an ordinary locations NEMA 4 enclosure cooler be used on their enclosure?” or alternately they asked, “Would our ATEX Vortex AC unit function properly without a purge system?” It is always best to consult with your company’s safety engineer and/or certification engineer on situations like this but this is Vortec’s take on the matter:

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In a small corner of dry, arid Colorado, inside a small electric enclosure, a compact but highly advanced piece of technology is helping to keep the power on for thousands of houses across a four-state region. This generation and transmission facility supplies power to dozens of power companies throughout Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming, producing over 11 million megawatt-hours of power through coal, natural gas, and renewable sources.  

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Many companies struggle with compressed air issues. At the heart of it all is ensuring that you maintain the right pressure to ensure your compressed air tools are working effectively. You may be spending money to operate your air compressor at a pressure that is higher than necessary just to generate the pressure needed at the tool’s point of use. If so, then there may be problems with the supply side of the system.

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For Max Imaging & Electrical, an electrical service company outside of Atlanta, Georgia, their bread and butter is well, bread and butter. Among other clients, Max Imaging services the automation controls on food facilities that bake bread and deep fry products. Baking is a messy business, and mass producing breads, pies and fried goods is a messy industry: flour, breading and batter cloud the air and air conditioners take the brunt of the beating. When the air conditioners on control panels and electrical enclosures goes down, temperature goes up, causing production to shut down for repairs. That’s just the way the cookie crumbled, until Chuck Cohran, President of  Max Imaging & Electrical found Vortex Enclosure Coolers from Vortec.

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A large domestic component repair facility that specializes in re-building and testing hydraulic, electro-mechanical and fuel system components for the aerospace and aviation industries needed a solution to cool a fuel control valve for one of their customers. The control valve must accurately regulate fuel flow in response to the Vortex Tube cooling application for aerospace and aviation testingtemperature. One of the tests required the valve to be cooled to -25°F plus or minus 2°, and the fuel flow measured.

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Close up of a Compressed Air FilterAir Filters are an important part of maintaining an efficient and effective compressed air system. I have often told customers, “The compressed air product is only as good as the compressed air going into it” in other words: “garbage in-garbage out”. Contaminants in the air can quickly clog up and ruin not only the compressed air device, but also your product that depends on it. Oils, vapors, dust, pollen and other particulates are often found in manufacturing facilities. These contaminants, along with moisture, pipe scale, and rust, can easily be produced or find their way into your compressed air distribution system. Therefore, it’s vital to ensure that you eliminate contaminants where the compressed air is being applied, to prevent problems. Most compressed air systems employ filtration at the outlet of the air compressor. This is essential, however filtration at the point of use is also critical. This ensures that additional moisture, rust, etc. is not present in the compressed air piping system before reaching the intended source/product.

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How to Take Apart a Cold Air Gun

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Cold Air Guns and vortex tubes are popular spot cooling products that are used in a wide variety of applications, ranging from cooling cutting tools such as band saw and circular saw blades, router bits, lathe tools, HSS drills and milling cutters used for machining of metals, plastics, paper and wood. They are also commonly used to cool parts, dehumidify gas samples, cool sensors, test thermostats and many other applications where an instant and reliable supply of clean cold air is required. Vortex tubes and Cold Air Guns have no moving parts and use only a clean dry source of compressed air for creating cooling capacities up to 6000 btuh (1758 watts).

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When considering a solution it is important to look into every stage of the implementation, not just the final result. Often times the solution can be improved upon, or the process can be altered, to improve the final outcome. For this compressed air solution we had the pleasure of working with a manufacturer of industrial valves for numerous chemical companies. They noticed that their cooling time had been increasing over time and their goal of cooling the valve molds in 15 minutes or less, was now closer to 45 minutes. In analyzing their system we quickly realized they could greatly improve their cooling time with a few changes to their set up and ensuring their compressed airflow was clean. See below the details in how this company was able to get their cooling time down to 12 minutes, almost quadrupling their productivity!

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