Static, Dirt, and Plastic Tubes

Plastic Tube Blow-off, old method. 

A facility was manufacturing plastic laminated tubes used for packaging that was roughly 1” (25mm) in diameter by 6” (152mm) long.   At the end of the process before bulk packaging their tubes for customers, they would have to blow out the tubes to remove any dirt and debris.  (Reference photo above).  They were having issues with cleaning the tubes completely.

In their process, an operator would stack the plastic tubes into a form that held roughly 750 tubes.  Once filled, the operator would use a 6mm plastic tube on the end of an air hose to blow compressed air into each tube.   They noticed that some remnants still remained inside the tubes.  They tried increasing the air pressure, but they still had rejects for debris.  They contacted EXAIR to see if we could help.

When you speak about plastic components, static can be a real nuisance.  Static can be generated by sliding, stacking, rubbing parts together.  Once static starts to build, dust and debris like to stick to the surface; and depending on the strength of the static voltage, the force can be very strong.  Even by blowing compressed air to clean, the debris can still cling to edges or even “jump” to another location.  If the static can be removed, the particles will no longer be able to “stick” to the surface from static charges.

EXAIR offers a variety of Gen4 Static Eliminators that are compressed air assisted.  For this application, I recommended the model 8493 Gen4 Ion Air Gun Kit.   It combines a static-removal ionizer with an ergonomically-designed compressed air gun.  The kit also includes a power supply, filter and regulator.  The power supply is able to create both positive and negative ions inside the Ion Air Gun.  This can eliminate any type of static.  The efficient design of the Ion Air Gun allows for a 5:1 amplification ratio; minimizing compressed air usage while maximizing ionized airflow.  Together, the ionized airflow eliminates the static from the plastic surfaces, and the air stream will remove the dirt and debris.  With a regulator, you can control the force from a “breeze” to a “blast”, and with the filter, you can keep the supply of compressed air clean.  They replaced their 6mm blow-off device with the EXAIR Gen4 Ion Air Gun, and their process improved immensely.  While being able to remove the dirt and debris from the tubes more efficiently, the Gen4 Ion Air Gun was able to use less compressed air by 50% (saving money), lower the noise level by 10 dBA (no PPE required), and reduce the cycle time from 20 minutes to 7 minutes.

EXAIR has a variety of Gen4 Static Eliminators that can save you from getting headaches, losing money, and saving time.  If you use plastic component in your application, static will be a potential issue.  If you would like to eliminate it, please contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

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