It’s a new year, and with it comes new opportunities and new applications. With the recent cold spell that’s taken hold of the U.S., and the Midwest especially, the applications susceptible to static have spiked. Yesterday I spoke with an end-user in Texas experiencing the coldest temperatures on record, and with those low temps came low humidity and the perfect environment for static accumulation.
The process in the application was to feed a pill filling machine (machine fills gelcaps with small beads of XYZ) from a hopper a short distance away. Typically, the feed from one to the other is accomplished with gravity. The hopper sits about 5 feet higher than the pill filler and when more material is needed, a valve is opened and viola!
But the transfer of the material had slowed to a creep and then to a fully unacceptable rate. The end-user decided to install an EXAIR Ion Air Jet, and to their surprise, there was no change. So, they called in and sought guidance on how to move forward.
The first step in such a situation is to make sure the unit is properly installed. Most often, when an EXAIR device doesn’t function as intended out of the box it is due to improper installation. When asked what the pressure at the device was, the end-user said “Probably pretty low. There’s about 30 feet of ¼” line and at least two quick disconnects feeding the unit.” When asked what the airflow through the Ion Air Jet felt like, they again replied that it was low and we traced this to the poor plumbing.
But what about neutralizing the static? Poor plumbing can account for a portion of that but we should still see some achievable results even with low airflow. (In fact, low airflow is common in a static application because once the static is removed, any process disturbance or dust adhered to the product blows away with relative ease.) We went through the steps to connect the Ion Air Jet to the power supply, and found that the ground was not connected to the power supply! The end-user connected the ground, and reset the Ion Air Jet to meet the desired results.
EXAIR static eliminators are designed for ease of use and if they ever become problematic, Application Engineers are on staff to get the product, and the application back on track.
Side note: With the A4 running (and DESTROYING the snow) I’ve been cruising the local ads to see what’s out there. (I blame @EXAIR_BF for asking me to help him find a car. Ok, he didn’t ask, but he wants something German and I don’t need much of an impetus.) I ran across an E36 3 series BMW that blew the head gasket and the owner tried to repair. Halfway through the job they realized they were in over there head, put the top half of the engine in the trunk, and threw it up for sale cheap (just how I like ’em :) ). Can I take boxes of engine parts tossed into a trunk and make a car run again? Let’s find out! I’ll update the 3 series progress and post a few pics when the weather breaks.