I was recently contacted by a medical device manufacturer who was interested in implementing a Static Eliminator in their production process. They have a manually operated vision station where a plastic substrate, about the same size as a credit card, is placed into a nest then a small amount of liquid is deposited onto the surface. An operator takes a picture of the liquid and substrate and the image is analyzed. The part is stationary in the nest until the image is taken. When the station is done, the plastic part is manually removed from the nest.
After some internal testing, they determined that static build up on the plastic part was causing the liquid to move, or “bounce” as they placed it, which was leading to a significant drop in their manufacturing yield due to faulty readings. The cycle time from taking the initial image and the analysis results is roughly 2 seconds so they were needing something that would quickly remove the charge on the plastic part.
The customer was able to email some photos and after further review, EXAIR recommended they use our Gen4 Stay Set Ion Air Jet in the process. The Gen4 Ion Air Jet is a compact ionizer delivering a quiet, focused ionized air stream to quickly eliminate the static charge on the surface of a material or object. Operating at 20 PSIG, the Gen4 Ion Air Jet is capable of dissipating a 5kV charge in 0.45 seconds while maintaining a low sound level of only 67 dBA. The Ion Air Jet entrains ambient air at a rate of 5:1 and the airflow can be adjusted from a “blast” to a “breeze” simply by increasing or decreasing the inlet pressure. The Gen4 Stay Set Ion Air Jet includes our 12” Stay Set Hose which holds position until it is physically repositioned and a magnetic base for easy installation.
If you have an application that requires a concentrated, ionized airflow or for help with selecting the best product to fit your need, give me call at 800-903-9247 for assistance.
It has been over two years since EXAIR first brought our Gen4 Static Eliminators to market with improved performance, materials and durability. The new design features continue to provide our customers with reliable, rugged and problem solving static eliminators.
More recently our Gen4 product line was completed by integrating these same beneficial features in the Gen4 Ionizing Bars, Gen4 Super Ion Air Knives, and Gen4 Standard Ion Air Knives.
There are two common ways that a Static Eliminator will start to underperform; contamination buildup and point degradation. To create ions from a metal point, a high voltage is needed. With 5,000 volts forcing its way into a confined area, the energy behind making an ion creates a corona field. Any contamination near or around that point will produce a small amount of charred material. The more contamination in the surrounding area, the faster the buildup will occur. Once a sharp point is coated, the ion production begins to decrease.
The other issue is with metal point degradation. With the cycle of heating and cooling, the material will start to lose the sharpness of the point over time. Like a wick used in a candle, you lose a little bit each time. For both methods above, once the point sharpness is reduced, the dissipation time to remove static starts to increase.
For any “forensics” analysis with the Static Eliminators, you should have a model 7905 Static Meter. Besides viewing the ion points, the Static Meter can help determine the severity of the function of the ion points. If cleaning is required, you can use a soft-bristled brush to remove any charred contamination from the point and the base area. Make sure that the power is turned off before cleaning. For resistor-based Static Eliminators, the metal ion pins are replaceable. This is model 901188. This added feature makes a cost-effective way to keeping the points sharp, and the Static Eliminators like new. The video below shows how to clean and replace the ion points.
Contact any of our Application Engineers if you have any additional questions about cleaning, about a new application or about potential solutions to static related problems.
A manufacturer of plastic bottles had a problem with static charge. Right after the bottles are extruded and cooled, they have an apparatus that “unscrambles” them and places them, single file, onto a conveyor. It does so with some fabric belts and plastic rollers. If you know anything of static electricity, dear reader, you probably recognize that there aren’t too many better ways to generate a static charge than to rub plastic against plastic, or (even worse) plastic & fabric together. Here’s a prime example of the kind of static charge you can get, just from unrolling plastic film.
Now, the bottle makers didn’t have a static meter, but they didn’t need one to know they had issues: the bottles that the “unscrambler” was putting on the belt were still very much “scrambled.” They installed a Model 112209 9″ GEN4 Super Ion Air Knife Kit, to blow ionized air up from under the bottles as they entered the belt conveyor, and they did see what they’d call an improvement, but not quite what they’d call a solution.
Unfortunately, dissipating the static from just about half of the surface area of the bottle was still leaving them with half a problem. However, by adding a Model 112009 9″ GEN4 Super Ion Air Knife (the 112209 Kit’s Power Supply has two outlets, and its Filter Separator & Pressure Regulator are capable of handling the flow to two 9″ Air Knives,) they were able to blow ionized air down from the other side, and up from where the first one was installed. A soft “breeze” was all it took…a stronger air flow would have worked against the “unscrambler” anyway…because even at very low supply pressures, the Super Ion Air Knives produce an extremely fast static dissipation rate.
Not long ago while checking out of a motel my laptop bag that was attached to the handle on my suitcase fell forward and the impact shattered the screen on the laptop. Upon turning the computer on I realized that a new screen was in order.
I waited until I arrived at home and found what I thought to be the correct monitor and quickly ordered it. It arrived two days later and I painstakingly took the laptop apart and exposed the mounting frame. The removal of the broken screen and the installation of the new was not too difficult but the cable connector was less than robust and was very tight. Carefully I worked it back and forth and it came free.
Installation and reassembly went quickly and then I powered up the machine. I was only greeted with a series of very loud and annoying beeps. At that point I shut it down and called the company I purchased the screen from and described the issue. They determined that the resolution of the screen was incorrect for my laptop and that I needed a different model. They said I could return the incorrect one and upon inspection receive a credit less the return shipping. At that point I ordered the correct screen and packaged up the wrong one and dropped it off at the parcel delivery service.
The new model arrived and it installed easily and worked perfectly. I waited patiently and never did see a refund so I called the company and they said that it was an oversight on their end and that it would be corrected within 48 hours. Sure enough they issued the credit and money was credited back to my account with one exception, the 40% restocking fee!
I can tell you that EXAIR is not that way! If you order the wrong item or are not satisfied for any reason and the item was purchased within the last 30 days we will facilitate the return and ZERO restocking fee. There are a multitude of reasons our customers would want to take advantage of our 30 day guarantee and we make it a simple transaction if you need to take advantage of it too. Testing is one reason a customer would use this 30 days, other customers may have ordered incorrectly or released product inadvertently, they may have wanted a small sample for a meeting or demonstration at a customers location.
Quite simply the GEN4 Ion Air Cannon is based on the mechanics of the 2″ diameter Super Air Amplifier that has static reduction capabilities and as its name implies it amplifies the supply air up to 25 times!
This highly engineered product is very effective at cleaning product and reducing static at distances of up to 15′ away.
The GEN4 Ion Air Cannon comes in a handy stand/mounting unit for easy installation in a wide variety of applications. It can be mounted to machine frames, mounted out of the way from a process, or placed on a bench top.
The GEN4 Ion Air Cannon is used in many applications such as bottling, manufacturing of solar panels and preparing new automobile car bodies to be painted – to name a few. Wherever static reduction and/or cleaning is required the Ion Air Cannon can contribute.
EXAIR published a whitepaper, Basics of Static Electricity, explaining what causes static electricity, how it is generated, and steps to eliminate it. Download it now by clicking the link, and begin to eliminate the static problems on your plant or process.
In this blog, I would like to expand on the subject about how static can be generated. On a molecular scale, the outer electrons that are orbiting the nucleus can be “stripped” and redistributed from one atom to another. This will cause an electrical charge imbalance called static. An additional electron will create negatively charged static while atoms losing an electron will create a positively charged static. With non-conductive materials like plastic, paper, rubber, glass, etc, the electrons cannot move back to the original atom. There are three common methods of static generation that will cause this phenomenon to occur. I will explain each one in brief detail below:
Contact – Whenever objects hit each other, electrons can be passed to or received from the surface of another object. The number of electrons being transferred is based on the type of triboelectric material. But, with plastic bottles or trays bumping into each other on conveyor belts, static is being generated.
Detachment – when one material is being separated from another material by peeling, electrons may not able to return back to the original molecule. Adhesive tape and protective films are prevalent in generating static charges by detachment because of the larger surface areas. As an example; when the backing material is being removed from labels, the static will cause the labels to be misaligned.
Frictional – This is one of the most common reasons for generating large static forces. It is caused by two non-conductive surfaces being rubbed together. The amount of force being applied to the material as it slides back and forth will create higher static charges. It is definitely noticed when you rub a balloon on your hair. The more times that you rub the balloon against your hair, the stronger the static forces, allowing the balloon to “stick” to the wall. It is also noticed as sheets of material are stacked or running over rollers.
Static tends to propagate. The more contact, detachment, and friction that occurs; the higher the static charges. Even when the static is removed from the surface, static charges can still regenerate by the mechanisms above. So, controlling the static can be determined by the treatment process as well as the location.
Another variable that affects the static generation is humidity. Most process problems are noticed during the winter seasons as the ambient air is drier. With a lower relative humidity, the development of static is enhanced; making it easier to produce static as well as creating a higher static force. We always refer to winter as static season.
Production problems with static can occur like dirty surfaces, tearing, alignment, jamming and shock to personnel. EXAIR has a number of Static Eliminators to remove these process snags and down time that will cost your company money. You can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR to discuss any static issues that are being generated.
EXAIR’sGen4 Ion Air Jet is a compact ionizer that is capable of delivering a concentrated ionized airflow that will cover a precise spot without disturbing the rest of the process. The quiet, focused air stream can quickly eliminate the static charge on surfaces. At a pressure of 80 psig the Ion Air Jet is capable of dissipating a 5kV charge in .18 seconds!
In addition to providing rapid static decay, the Ion Air Jet also helps to minimize compressed air use while maximizing the ionizing airflow. Utilizing a specially designed shim, the Ion Air Jet entrains ambient air at a rate of 5:1. The Ion Air Jet can be adjusted from a “blast” to a “breeze” simply by increasing or decreasing the inlet pressure to the ionizer.
The Ion Air Jet can be used in both fixed, permanent solutions as well as those that will require frequent re-positioning. For applications requiring a fixed position of the ionizer, the compact Gen4 Ion Air Jet is an ideal solution. It’s lightweight and easy to install with the 1/8 NPT male inlet. For applications where the positioning of the ionizer may need to be adjusted, look to the flexible Gen4 Stay Set Ion Air Jet. Utilizing a Stay Set Hose, The Gen4 Stay Set Ion Air Jet can be frequently adjusted to focus the air stream at a specific area. The hose will maintain rigidity and will not creep or bend, making it an ideal solution when accommodating different parts. The Gen4 Stay Set Ion Air Jet comes with a strong magnetic base that allows for easy mounting and portability. The 8910 Instant Blowoff Station is another option that includes the Gen4 Stay Set Ion Air Jet, power supply, foot pedal, and compressed air hoses for applications that can benefit from hands free operation.
Cold weather is still upon us. With colder temperatures come lower levels of humidity, with lower humidity comes an increase in static problems. Don’t let static hold you down. Whether it’s cleaning glass jars, removing dust from plastic medical components in a clean-room operation, or keeping a laser lens clean to eliminate false readings, EXAIR has the solution to keep you running smoothly.