Good Barbecue, Sticky Sauce Packets, And Ionizing Bars

During my time in the Navy, I grew quite fond of a particular barbecue restaurant that operates a chain of locations throughout the southeast United States. There was one right around the corner from my house in Fernandina Beach, Florida, and ever since moving to Ohio, I have the occasional tinge of regret that I didn’t eat there more often. On a subsequent trip down south, I took my Yankee girlfriend (now my lovely bride of 19 years) to eat there, and she got hooked as well.  We’ve actually planned vacation travel routes, and have chosen lodging, based on proximity to one of their restaurants.

This weekend, I found myself driving back from a quick trip to see good friends in South Carolina, and thought it would be nice to surprise my wife with some of her favorite pit barbecue slow cooked ribs. So I called in a carry-out order to their northernmost location, just off the highway in southern Kentucky…less than 2 hours from home! If the tail winds and the traffic patterns were in my favor, I’d be home in time for dinner. They weren’t, and I wasn’t, but that’s another story; not one I care to recount here.

As they were assembling my order, I told the manager what big fans we were of their fare. He truly appreciated the compliment and our loyalty…as I had really poured it on about their sauce (pun intended,) he heaped a couple of generous handfuls of individual barbecue sauce packets into a separate bag and handed it to me with the BIG bag containing the precious cargo of ribs, pulled pork, baked beans, cole slaw, and cornbread. The cornbread did not finish the trip; I succumbed to temptation somewhere south of Lexington. It wouldn’t have reheated well anyway. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I brought some of that pulled pork for lunch today, and as I squeezed the last bit of delicious sauce out of the packet, I noticed the corner that I’d torn off was sticking to my hand…not because it was sticky with sauce, but because of a little static electricity.

It’s mid-November here in Ohio, and this stuff is going to start happening…bits of plastic or paper sticking to our hands, our hair going wild when we take off our hats, shocks from doorknobs, etc.  The torn corner of the condiment pack, though, reminded me of a VERY successful Static Eliminator application.

A customer who makes & fills individual condiment packets for the restaurant industry was experiencing shorter-than-advertised life from the print heads that labeled the packets.  The supplier suggested that it could be related to static charge, so they contacted us.

After purchasing a Model 7905 Digital Static Meter, they found that their film, once unwound from the roll, developed a high static charge.  They installed a Model 7018 18″ Ionizing Bar upstream of the print head, which reduced the static charge considerably.

Initial static charge of almost 17kV (left) is almost completely dissipated by the Ionizing Bar (center) to just 0.04kV (right)
Initial static charge of almost 17kV (left) is almost completely dissipated by the Ionizing Bar (center) to just 0.4kV (right)

They went from replacing (5) print heads per month to only replacing (2) per month…exactly what the manufacturer told them the life span would be, based on their usage.  Another win-win for EXAIR and a satisfied customer!

If you have a problem with static charge, we can help.  Give us a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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