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What to Know About the Air Knife

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Post What to Know About the Air Knife   Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:14 am

The basic parts behind an air knife are the following motor (or generator), filter, and the blower (knives themselves). The motor starter generates power, of which electricity if often the source. It draws in air from outside that passes through the filter before finally blown through the blades. Some air knives nowadays employ the tear-drop design to enhance velocity at a much lower energy output. Other than the blow-type, there are also compressed air knives commonly seen in large factories.

The air knife had been around as early as 1950s, but back then, it was referred to as air doctor, air jet, or air blade. Its primary beneficiaries were industries that produced large volumes of textile and print papers, mainly for the purpose of eliminating contaminants and mass drying. Air doctors became an important step in the assembly line, because they ensured proper quality control, as well as contributed to the general maintenance of huge machineries that were involved in the production.

With the advances in information technology (IT), especially at the turn of the century, air knife manufacturing is invigorated once again. Mushrooming worldwide are producers of computer mother boards, silicon micro chips, and other similar hardware. They require high precision even customized blower blades that can penetrate the smallest nook and cranny of IT products that are especially prone to gathering dust during production. Moving small parts to the next phase of production is also another application of air knives.

That it has replaced solvent-based cleaning chemicals is perhaps the greatest benefit of the air knife. No longer is CFC chemical used in factories as cleaning agents, reducing harmful effects on the environment. Cleaning and drying of assembly line products by hand are also substantially minimized, if not eliminated altogether, with the use of air blades. People are kept safe from such hazards and their energies are channelled to the more important aspects of monitoring operations and quality.

Its second greatest benefit is a natural byproduct-cost and energy savings. The air knife is anything but high maintenance. Air, being its main component to operate, is everywhere and practically available all day, all night. It can easily be designed to fit a manufacturer's production requirements, regardless of industry. It saves on power and labour cost, depending on the type of air knives used; blower-type air knives are said to be more effective at lower power output compared to the compressed-type.

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