This week I had the opportunity to work with a customer that manufactures automotive glass. Part of the process of manufacturing the glass is to apply a thin plastic film of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) in between glass sheets.
This creates the laminated safety glass that protects passengers from flying glass shards in the event of an accident.
The customer was having a quality problem. Glass was being rejected on their low volume compound curved glass production line for debris being trapped between the layers during the laminating process. We worked on identifying how the dust could be introduced into his laminating process. First, each of the glass panels are cleaned by hand with a cleaner and a soft cloth to remove any dirt, grease or oil that can be left behind from production, shipping, or handling. The soft cloth can leave behind some lint.
On the high production line, a cleaning roller would remove any lint left behind on the flat glass. On the curved glass of the low production line, the curvature of the glass prevented the roller from applying even pressure across the glass and was leaving lint of the cleaning cloth is left behind. This lint will become a defect in the glass after the glass is cured in an oven.
I recommended the customer use an Ion Air Gun immediately after the hand cleaning cloth step since the Ion Air Gun is also a manual, hand held product. The PVB is pulled from a stack of thin film which generates a static charge from dragging one sheet over another and increasing the chance that lint will stick. The Ion Air Gun will remove the static charge and blow off the lint just prior to lamination. If this was a high volume product, I would have recommend one of our long one piece Super Ion Air Knives to cover the whole piece of glass in a single blow off. Because this was already a manual process due to a low volume specialty glass, the Ion Air Gun is the best product for the job.