A small brewery called looking for a static removal solution for their can filling, conveyor line. The empty cans are fed from a stacked palletizer that raises up and then an arm pushes the cans over to a large feeder tray where they are then funneled down a chute that narrows until the cans are in a single row. They run 2 separate cans on the same line at different times. The first can is painted and seems to feed fine to the conveyor. The second can is shrink wrapped with a film label. As the wrapped cans are fed down the chute, they rub against the guide rails of the conveyor and each other generating a static charge, causing them to corral at the opening to the conveyor, 2 – 3 cans wide, which restricts the flow of the cans. The customer then has to halt production and manually clear the line and feed the conveyor.
The area where they are seeing the most problem is right at the narrow opening that takes the cans down to a single row. The width of this opening is roughly 8.5″ wide, so I recommended they mount a 9″ Super Ion Air Knife about 12″ above the opening, flooding the area with ionized air. The Super Ion Air Knife is our Super Air Knife with an Ionizing Bar attached to provide a laminar sheet of ionized airflow across the entire length of the knife. The customer was concerned that their compressed air supply was close to being at max capacity so I suggested they operate the unit at a lower supply pressure. This would not only reduce the air consumption but also control the output flow and velocity so the cans are not disrupted, while still allowing for effective static dissipation.
Static electricity is a common nuisance in canning and bottling applications. If you are experiencing similar problems with your process, please contact one of our application engineers for assistance.