A manufacturer of high speed industrial machinery makes a sorting machine for seeds. There’s a clear plastic cover for operators to see the seeds as they pass through the machine. Many seeds are dense enough to move right on through, but some lower density seeds (canola, lettuce, and flax seed, specifically) bounce around a bit, and even the slight static charge that builds up as they move through causes them to cling to the inside of that viewing window.
This was a great fit for our Model 8406 6″ Gen4 Standard Ion Air Knife Kit…”fit” being the operative word. While the Super Ion Air Knives are more efficient and quieter, there simply wasn’t very much room at all for mounting inside, so the smaller profile of the Standard Ion Air Knife made all the difference in the world. Also, since they just need static dissipation of such a small area, and not much flow at all is required to blow off these lightweight seeds, the differences in compressed air consumption and sound level were not very much at all.
Like many of us, my household is in the full swing of outdoor projects and tasks. Entering into our second summer at our new house, we still have quite the laundry list of things we’d like to accomplish this year. Currently, I’m working on replacing an old privacy fence in my backyard and also having a new driveway poured. The old fence has been up since the house was built in 1973 and the driveway has without a doubt seen better days.
Some features of the new Gen4 Static Eliminator include:
UR recognized power supply and products. The unit is constructed of UL Recognized components that have been independently tested to meet safety standards set forth by UL
CE Compliance available for both the power supplies and all ionizers. The previous rendition of Static Eliminators included CE Compliance for the Power Supply only.
Single-wire, integrated ground design on the high voltage cable. The grounding is integrated into the steel conduit, protecting the inner cable.
Stainless steel connectors on the Power Supply. This replaces the previous plastic connections and dramatically enhances durability.
Replaceable parts on the Power Supply: An integrated fuse (0.1 amp 240V, fast blow), power switch, and modular power cable.
Power Supply voltage selection: With the turn of a switch, the Power Supply is now suitable for use with either 115 or 230 VAC.
Armored high voltage cable, built to withstand tough industrial environments and resist cuts and abrasions.
Enhanced performance, Ion Bars are now capable of eliminating a static charge at a distance 2x that of the older versions without a compressed air supply.
No matter the application, EXAIR has a Static Eliminator ready to tackle the job! If you have an older model Static Eliminator, be prepared to make the upgrade to the new Gen4 Static Eliminators. With the increased durability and enhanced performance that the Gen4 models offer, it’s time to bid adieu to the old-style Ionizers. Give us a call and upgrade your Static Eliminators today!
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 customer had an application where they were using a plastic blasting media (PBM) to remove a coating from composite sheets. Being that I was unfamiliar with this type of blasting media, I went to the web for research. This process is very interesting as it can remove coatings, paint, powder coats, etc. without harming the substrate. It is widely used in the automotive and aerospace industries as it can be used on materials like very thin metals, composites, and even hardwood.
In our experience with non-conductive materials, static can be a huge problem. And in this case, it was. The PBM was “sticking” to everything including the composite material that was being cleaned. They were losing material as it was leaving the blasting chamber. As with any type of blasting system, you want to reuse the material to economically reduce waste and keep the operation running longer. As you can see in the picture below, the PBM is clinging to the internal components because of static. This static force was keeping the PBM attached to the composite sheet and allowing it to leave the chamber.
As a quick remedy, they tried to use compressed air to blow the PBM back into the cabinet. They were using copper tubes that were flattened to create a homemade nozzle. This style of nozzle is unsafe and very loud. It was also difficult to get the correct amount of blowing force because static can build at different rates. The higher amount of static charges, the stronger the attraction. They needed a better method as they found themselves wasting not only the blasting material, but also much compressed air.
With applications similar to this, we like to remove the static at the problem area. Then, we do not have to be concerned about the static forces. For their application, the cabinet had a 6” wide opening where the composite material would exit. So, I recommended two pieces of the model 111206, 6” Super Ion Air Knife Kits, to be mounted just outside the cabinet. One Super Ion Air Knife would be mounted above the sheet to clean the top surface, and the other mounted below the sheet to clean the bottom surface. I recommended that they position the Super Ion Air Knives at a 45 deg. angle to the surface of the composite sheet in the counter-flow direction.
This position will optimize the performance of the Super Ion Air Knife. It increases the contact time to coat the surface with ions to remove the static and to keep the PBM inside the cabinet. With the design of the EXAIR Super Ion Air Knife, it has a 40:1 amplification ratio. That means that for every 1 part of compressed air, it will entrain 40 parts of ambient air. So, it can operate with much less compressed air. Once they mounted the Super ion Air Knives, they were amazed at the performance. It was very quiet; it used very little compressed air; and it kept the composite sheets completely clean. After the static forces are removed, it only needed a light breeze to remove the PBM from the surface.
If you find that static is creating process problems, wasting time, and costing you money, EXAIR has a large line of Static Eliminators that can help you. For this customer, it was a simple phone call to EXAIR that got his operation back up and running fast and smooth without static.
Last week I worked with a specialty glass manufacturer who was experiencing a static issue in their fiberglass mat production. Their particular production cycle consists of a rotary spinning process where molten glass exits a furnace and goes into a cylinder with several holes that rotates at high speed, causing the glass to be “pushed” through the holes. Upon exiting the cylinder, the fibers are blown down on to a conveyor belt underneath, treated with a binder and pressed together, then sent to an oven to cure. After the sheets exit the oven, they are air cooled, cut to the desired length, then sent to a sorter that directs the material to collection bins, based on thickness and length. It is at this point that they were seeing the parts start to “bunch” up, which caused the system to be shut down so an operator could manually clear the jam and sort the mats. The customer has experienced static issues before in other parts of their plant and took some readings and were seeing a 4 kV charge on the surface of the mats.
After discussing the details of the application, I recommended they use our 24″ Ionizing Bar, the width of their widest mat. The Ionizing Bars produce a high concentration of positive and negative ions to eliminate the surface static of an object when mounted within 2″ of the surface of the material. At 2″ away, the units are capable of dissipating a 5kV charge in less than half a second. By placing a unit above and below the exit point of the sorter, they would effectively remove the surface charge and eliminate the potential jam.
Our Ionizing Bars are available in lengths from 3″ up to 108″ for a variety of small or wide surface treatment applications. For assistance selecting the best product for your specific requirements, please contact one of our application engineers at 800-903-9247.
If your familiar with our blog, you may have noticed that a common theme lately has been static. Take for example our recent blog titled Static Can Become A Big Issue With Winter Approaching , details how static was negatively affecting an automobile instrumentation assembler’s production or another one titled Static Electricity – What is it? , providing a better general understanding of the phenomena. Here in Cincinnati we’ve had some relatively mild temperatures lately but this weekend it was just downright cold. Now that our furnace is running, the humidity in the house is starting to be removed which not only wreaks havoc on our hardwood floors, but in winter’s past, it seemed like every time one of us touched each other or something metal , we got “zapped” due to static. As many homeowners do, I’ve purchased several humidifiers and strategically placed them throughout the house which has helped immensely. While this is a good approach for a residence, it’s not as easy an alternative when dealing in an industrial setting.
I recently worked with a customer in the northeastern U. S. who manufacturers Teflon gaskets. As the Teflon tube exits the extruder, a blade passes by and cuts a very thin cross section of material which drops into a collection bin underneath. During the spring and summer months, the process was running seamlessly but over the past couple weeks, temperatures in the area have dropped, causing the company to turn on the large, gas heaters on the production floor. Now that the air is starting to dry out, they are beginning to see the gaskets cling to the blade and surrounding tooling which is not only causing damage to the part itself but it’s also resulting in production delays.
Since the area they are needing to treat is relatively small, I recommended they use our Ion Air Jet. The Ion Air Jet provide a focused stream of ionized air to eliminate the surface static of a material or object. By incorporating a pressure regulator to operate at low pressure, they would be able to reduce the outlet force and velocity, allowing them to gently blow the airflow across the area as to not disrupt the collection of the parts.
Static can cause a variety of nuisances in industrial settings ranging from damage to sensitive electronics, machine jams, parts or sheets sticking together, and personnel shock just to name a few. If you need any help selecting the best EXAIR product for your needs, don’t hesitate to ask one of our application engineers for assistance. I’d be shocked if we couldn’t help. (I know, not punny).
Recently a customer called in to EXAIR to discuss a static issue in a stretch wrap process in the plant. Stretch wrap is a highly stretchable plastic film. The elastic recovery keeps the wrapped load tightly bound. The most common stretch wrap material is a linear low-density polyethylene or LLDPE. The combination of the stretching of the plastic film and the sliding of the film on the cardboard boxes as it is being wrapped causes a build up of static. This static can cause serious havoc and issues in the process including personnel shocks, zapping counters and other sensors causing failures, and preventing marking systems from delivering good information on to the stratch wrap.
The discussion started with minimum and maximum load sizes and how to design a system that would work with all configurations and be as flexible as possible. We spoke of dimensions and where we could we could mount on 3 sides, and so forth.
Then came the question that we invariably get to and that is ‘what issue does the static cause and how does it affect the rest of the process?’ The answer here simple, ‘an operator has to write a code number on the side and affix a label, and in doing so, receives a shock.’ When it was determined that only a small section of one side of the load needed to be treated, the solution was simple. We proposed an 18″ Ionizing Bar and Power Supply. Because the machine had a fixed datum, all loads would pass within 1-2″ of a vertically installed Ionizing Bar, so no adjustment is needed for different load sizes.
The Ionizing Bar quickly dissipates a strong static charge as shown in the chart below.
EXAIR offers many systems for total static control. When static is a problem on moving webs, sheet stock, three dimensional parts, extrusions or packaging, EXAIR has a solution.
To discuss your application and how an EXAIR Static Eliminator would help out, feel free to contact EXAIR and one our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.