Designer's Corner

Cooler, cleaner oil

Piston-engine oil-change intervals might be lengthened if the oil could be isolated from fuel-air and combustion gases that leak past the pistons into the oil sump. This oil-pan design accomplishes just that with a shallow funnel shape leading into a constricted-neck sump chamber. A loose-fitting float surrounding the oil-suction pipe minimizes oil contact with blow-by gases while permitting oil from the engine to enter the sump. The float could easily double as a sensor for a remote oil-level indicator.

R. Rangan , 29 Padayachi St., Mohanur-637015, Namakkal-TK, TN, India, +91 0212 772851, x2009.

Sensor window

Forget troublesome alignment of photosensors with light sources or reflectors in parts-counting applications. With the Dynamic Optical Window, IR sensors and sources come pre-aligned in an IP65 anodized aluminum frame. Available in three sizes, 1.5 x 3.1 inch, 3.1 x 3.1 inch, and 3.1 x 4.7 inch, the windows feature adjustable trigger rates and signal duration to tailor output to the application.

Its manufacturer claims that the smallest window offers the highest resolution sensor of its type-it's able to detect objects as small as 0.03 inch as they cross the sensor-array plane.

James Birkmeyer, Balluff, Inc. , 8125 Holton Dr., Florence, KY 41042, (800) 543-8390.

Easy-clean exchanger

Cooling industrial process gases rapidly with an in-line heat exchanger can cause problems. Viscous condensates forming on the exchanger fins interfere with gas flow, necessitating too-frequent halts for cleaning.

FilterFin(TM) heat exchangers alleviate the problem with easily replaceable sets of fins sandwiched between aluminum frames and copper cooling-fluid tubing. The fins' design maximizes heat transfer while trapping condensate internally for proper disposal. In addition to improving up-time, the exchangers may permit more compact process-equipment designs.

Doug Vrooman, Lytron, Inc. , 55 Dragon Court, Woburn, MA 01810, (617) 933-7300.

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