Sound familiar? That is what a converting equipment manufacturer who called me last week was experiencing. They were making a machine for a 48″ wide aluminum web. It was to unroll the web from a master roll, send it through an acid bath, then a heating system to dry the web, and finally an electrostatic oiler, before being rewound onto another roll.
However, as indicated by the title of this post, the process did not always run smoothly. The actions of unwinding and rewinding generate quite a lot of static buildup due to friction between the aluminum layers on the roll, which eventually causes the web to jam up. Then, they have to stop the machine, unjam the web, remove any damaged portions, realign the web, and re-start the process. This can add up to a significant amount of down time, depending on how many jam-ups occurred in a given day.
My suggestion of a solution for his problem was a pretty straight-forward one. I recommended that they install 1pc of our 48″ Super Ion Air Knife at both the master roll from which the aluminum was being unwound, and at the roll onto which the finished web was being wound. The 48″ unit will exactly cover the width of the web, removing static from across the entire surface.
The airflow from the knife will actually serve dual purposes. It will carry the ions to the surface of the web. It will also help to float or push the web along in the process, helping to keep it flat, and moving along smoothly, onto and off of the rolls. This will allow the process to continue uninterrupted, with virtually no downtime due to machine jam-ups.