## Solving a Static Electricity Problem when Applying Labels

A company was applying labels to their plastic containers.  The labels were 4” (10cm) wide by 9” (23cm) long in size with a protective backing.  The backing material had to be removed prior to applying the label to a 9” (23cm) tall container.  With their label applicator, the label would wrap around the container.  They started to see misalignment and wrinkles in the labels when they were applied.  For the nonconforming parts, they had to remove the label and clean the surface to reapply another label.  This was time-consuming and a pain in the neck.  Since winter is here in the Northern Hemisphere, the drier air makes static very easy to create and will cause issues.  They contacted EXAIR to ask about our Gen4 Static Eliminators.

With non-conductive materials like plastic and paper, static is easily generated; especially during cooler weather.  Static can be in a negative state or a positive state depending on the type of material.  With opposite charges, things are attracted to each other and will “stick” like magnets.  For similar charges, they will repel each other.  The higher the static charge, the stronger the force.  Static is generated from rubbing, hitting, and peeling which can cause electrons to be stripped from a surface.  For the customer above, the peeling away of the backing from the label caused the negative electrons to build on one surface.  And with the containers shifting, bumping and moving along the conveyor; static was also being generated.  Since like charges repel each other, the labels were not able to stay aligned and were creating bubbles on the surface.

When it comes to removing static, EXAIR is a leader in this market.  We have a large product line of different types of Static Eliminators.  Our design generates both positive and negative ions to remove any type of static charge up to 20 feet (6m) away.  In this application, I wanted to target two areas where static is present; the labels and the containers.  Since we could get close proximity to the label and the containers, I recommended using the Gen4 Ionizing Bars.  With a quick static decay rate, we can remove the static right before applying the label.  For this application, I recommended the model 8006 6” Gen4 Ionizing Bar and two model 8009 9” Gen4 Ionizing Bars.

EXAIR’s power supplies are what gives the Gen4 Ionizing Bars energy to create ions.  EXAIR offers two models of Gen4 Power Supplies; model 7960 which can power up to two Static Eliminator products and model 7961,  which can power up to four Static Eliminator products.  Since the Gen4 Ionizing Bars were mounted in the same area, the model 7961 Gen4 Power Supply was used to run three Ion Bars at once.  This helps to save money as they did not need to buy multiple power supplies.

Together, it was very easy to mount and start using.  The model 8006 was mounted right after the backing was removed from the label.  One model 8009 was positioned in the front of the container; and the second model 8009 was positioned in the back of the container.  Now they were able to remove all the static before the label was placed on the container.

EXAIR stocks lengths from 3” (76mm) up to 108” (2743mm), and we can ship a solution the same day.  When you are losing time and working hours due to static buildup like the company above, the Gen4 Static Eliminators can resolve it quickly and easily.

If you are having problems with static in alignment, jamming, contamination, or shocking staff; you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  The Gen4 Static Eliminators can remove the static and keep your process running smoothly.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com

## Another Label Problem, Another Super Air Knife Solution

Last week, I used this space to brag on our Super Air Knives, and how they solve a common problem in bottling applications: label adhesion. This week, I have another opportunity to brag on the Super Air Knife. AND it’s another solution to a labeling problem.

Self-adhesive labels are commonly applied to goods are they travel on high speed conveyors. If they’re going onto a flat, smooth surface (like a box,) it’s pretty easy…they come right off a timed roller with a wheel that presses them in place. This can even work with round containers (like drums, jars, or bottles) by putting an idler on the wheel to take up the slack as it rolls over the rounded surface.

Sometimes, the label needs to go around the corner of a box. This requires the roller to turn that corner. Or two rollers to pull the old “one-two” on the label. Either way, that’s going to slow down the speed at which the conveyor can be run. And time is money.

Enter the Super Air Knife…mount it so it’s blowing at the corner. The laminar, high velocity air flow will then press the label in place on each adjacent surface.

Another benefit: when supplied with clean, dry air, the Super Air Knife will run darn near indefinitely, maintenance-free. Those rollers get dirty, and the bearings will fail eventually. Same with the idlers, and they’ll need adjusted from time to time.

The Super Air Knives come in lengths from 3″ to 108″ – if you’d like to discuss how these, or any of our Intelligent Compressed Air Products, can make a difference in your processes, give us a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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