Volume 4 www.sonicairsystems.com Issue 19

One Adjustable Air Knife System Dries 1” to 8” Cable Customer: Merritt Davis Extruder Manufacturer Hamden, CT Sonic Sales Partner: Hamer Engineering Foxboro, MA Background: Merritt Davis supplies the wire and cable industry with the latest in extruder designs. When a major cable producer ordered a new extruder line for submersible marine cables up to 8” diameter, Merritt Davis knew the standard drying system would not do. As a premier OEM to the wire and cable industry, Merritt Davis was faced with this very issue regarding drying upon exiting the cooling bath and prior to laser inspection, ink printing, and coiling. Their customer’s expectations were to have a single system to dry various cables ranging between 1” and 8” diameters. By finding a new drying technology provider, Merritt was able to accommodate all sizes through an adjustable air knife system. The air knives were assembled in an enclosure which allowed for collection of the water as well as an enclosure for the sound. This has allowed them to stay on the cutting edge of technology and manufacturing while improving their standard of quality. Application: The application involved removing cooling water from HDPE material cables ranging from 1”-8” diameters with a smooth surface on the final jacketing line. The production rate of course varied with the product size, and could be between 5-50 fpm. They required visual dryness of all outer surfaces prior to laser inspection, ink printing, and coiling. The problem with traditional compressed air wipes (aside from the operating costs) was the amount of time it consumed to perform change over for the differing product sizes. If the system used an air wipe for the largest diameter, then the drying wasn’t sufficient for the smaller cables, which required a different compressed air wipe for each cable diameter. So how do you design a system that will provide quality drying for all cable sizes without the downtime of changing air wipes? The Sonic “Engineered” Solution: Merritt decided to look towards advancing their technology and approached Sonic Air Systems (Brea, CA) to obtain the required result. Sonic Air has been providing the wire & cable industry with many advances in drying and is the only company to offer a custom engineered solution. So Sonic sat down with them, listened to their necessities, quick change over time and their need to maintain their quality at the lowest possible labor and utility costs. Sonic Air submitted a specifically designed air knife and blower package, capable of drying all sizes. The air knives were assembled in an enclosure which uses a rack & pinion design combined with two iris diaphragm valves which allowed collection of the water as well as meeting the 85dB noise requirement. This turn-key system resulted in product change overs in only 1 minute. As opposed to compressed air, the blower provides a clean, dry and slightly heated air source, without the need for regulation. The air is delivered to the product via (4) 12” air knives at 30,000 fpm velocities (340 mph) with a +40° heat rise above ambient temperatures. The Sonic rack and pinion air knife adjustment system ensures that the air knives are always within 1” of the product in order to retain that impact air velocity. The Sonic 70 with a 10hp motor also does the work of a 40hp compressor. The ability to adjust the knives in and out for varying product sizes, on the fly, provides Merritt absolute drying consistency while maintaining their customer’s required quality. They have been able to maintain their production speed while eliminating compressed air usage and change over time. With this type of forward approach Merritt has again found a way to stay on top as a result of Sonic’s custom engineered capabilities.

Published by: Sonic Air Systems, Inc. 1050 Beacon St, Brea, CA 92821 (714)255-0124 © 2004 Printed in US. Email asksonic@sonicairsystems.com