One of the well known truths in the industrial world is that lower temperatures increase the potential for static. Another truth is that static problems wreak havoc on industrial processes.
Sometimes the process disturbance repels a label or a printing onto a material, sometimes the static causes shock hazards, and sometimes the problem is with material flow. In the photo above, their problem was the latter of those three.
The problem for the end user was the clinging of material, preventing proper conveyance into the machine on the other side of the hopper that we can’t see. But, looking closely at the reflection in the glass and noting the attire of this employee, we can see that this is a clean room application.
In discussing options with the end user, we determined that using an air assisted solution, such as a Super Ion Air Knife or Ion Air Cannon, posed a risk of taking any existing dust airborne without adding suitable dust collection. Given that the problem was localized to the hopper, and that adding dust collection would increase the complexity of the solution, we sought to remove the static without air.
This left us with the tried-and-true solution of static removal without air – an Ion Bar. The Ion Bar can eliminate a 5kV static charge in 0.30 seconds at a distance of 50mm (2″). In this application that decay rate was more than adequate and installation of two bars across the top of the hopper “raining” ions down onto the caps was the final choice of the end user. To allow for adequate treatment of all caps, the personnel using the machine intermittently “mix” the caps, allowing static eliminating ions to contact more of the material.
This application was a great example of how an EXAIR solution can solve a problem to increase machine throughput. If you have an application with a similar need, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.