Earlier this week an Ecuadorian engineering firm contacted me about a process disruption one of their clients was experiencing. On one of their production lines, shown below, the end user conveys plastic packaging material on a conveyor. When the plastic reaches the final location, there is a static charge on the surface of the packaging. The next step in the process is to individually pick up each plastic bag, but the static causes the plastic to stick together. This, in turn, causes a disruption for the next process in line, and the engineering firm sought EXAIR for a solution to the static problem.
Originally, the person with whom I was in contact showed great interest in an Ion Bar. The size and cost of such a solution were both appealing. But, using an Ion Bar we had no way to effectively treat both sides of the plastic. So, we opted instead for a pair of Super Ion Air Knives, sized appropriately to cover the full width of the conveyor (18”; model 111018).
We always recommend to treat static problems at the last possible point before the static causes a disturbance in the process. In this application, that point is as the plastic bags are stacking up. So, the recommended solution is to install one Super Ion Air Knife on the top side of the conveyor, and another on the bottom with the airflow coming up between the conveyor and the stacking location (you can see the optimal opening around the 12-13 second mark). And, we normally recommend a 45° angle of attack, as was the case in this application.
Armed with this solution, drawings, and delivery information, we were able to help this engineering house make a thorough and informed recommendation for their end user.
If you have a static problem in your application, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.