Solving Static and Increasing Print Quality on Food Packaging

Gen4 Static Eliminators

A yogurt company printed bar codes on every cup that they produced. This was necessary for registering and tracing their product. After failing a bar code reader quality test, they started noticing some print issues during batch runs. They would have to stop their system, clean the inkjet printer head, and scrap product that would not register with the bar code reader.

This affects production rates, scrap rates, and overall cost. They stated that they threw away 30 to 40 cases per batch of yogurt due to this problem. They had an EXAIR catalog where they found a similar application within our Gen4 Static Eliminator product line. They contacted us to see if we could find a solution.

With non-conductive material like plastic, static is easily generated; especially during cooler weather. Static can be in a negative state or a positive state dependent on the material. For 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.

For the company above, the yogurt cups moved along a 7” (178mm) wide conveyor before they reached the bar code printer. This movement causes static to be generated on the surface of the cups. But, what about the inkjet printer? The function of the printer charges the ink droplets for direction and positioning. Since the ink droplets and the cup surfaces have the same charge, the droplets were being “pushed” back toward the printing head (reference photo below). Thus, the ink would dry on the surface and affect the quality of the bar code.

Bar Code Printer

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. Since we only had to remove the static from the surface of the cup, I recommended a Gen4 Ionizing Bar. With a quick static decay rate, we can remove the static right before the bar code printer with only one Gen4 Ionizing Bar. For this application, I recommended the model 8003 3” Gen4 Ionizing Bar and a model 7960 Gen4 Power Supply. Together, it was very easy to mount and start using. EXAIR stocks lengths from 3” (76mm) up to 108” (2743mm), and we can ship a solution the same day. When you are losing 30 to 40 cases, time matters. And for this company, they received the items the next day to correct the misprints and short printing runs.

Gen4 Ionizing Bar w/ power supply

When problems occur, time can be of the essence. This is why EXAIR stocks our cataloged items for fast delivery.  For the company above, they had an EXAIR catalog which helped them to find a solution. If you would like to have an EXAIR catalog, you can click here to get one.   After they started using the Ionization Bar, the static was removed, the bar code was clean, and the operation ran smoothly. If static is causing issues for you, you can contact EXAIR and speak to one of our Application Engineers. We will be happy to assist you.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

EXAIR Remains Open for Business

To all of our customers and partners around the world-

As global and local concern about the current COVID-19 outbreak grows, we’re doing our best to keep everyone healthy and safe in the workplace while also minimizing the disruptions to our day-to-day operations.  At the same time, the landscape is changing almost by the day.  New public restrictions are put in place virtually every day.  The US is just entering the most crucial phase of this outbreak, if the lessons of other countries are any guide.  We know that many businesses, especially in Europe, are closed right now.  At the same time, our customers in Asia are beginning to come back online.

Yesterday, the state of Ohio issued an order requiring most residents to stay at home for the next 14 days and for most businesses to close during that time.  That order takes effect tonight, March 23rd.  After being able to read the order, EXAIR is exempt from it.  EXAIR is involved in nearly every industry listed by the Department of Homeland Security as critical industries, and those guidelines were part of the basis for the details of today’s order by the state of Ohio.  We know that is true through our many distributors worldwide as well.

Many industries that we support like food, pharmaceutical, medical equipment and related industries are absolutely critical right now.  If they need us, we need to be there for them.  The Governor’s press conference today stressed how important it was to everyone to keep supply chains moving, especially for critical industries.  EXAIR is part of that chain and will continue to do our part to the best of our collective abilities and we hope that our partners around the world can continue to do the same.

Please take care of yourselves, your families and each other.

Thank you for all you are doing.

Bryan Peters
EXAIR Corporation

EXAIR Vacuum Generators and Accessories

So, you’re looking at picking out a vacuum generator for your application but don’t know what accessories you need? Well here is a little overview of EXAIR’s E-Vac system’s accessories that you have to choose from. The E-Vac has a variety of uses from pulling a vacuum on a chamber to lifting Concreate cinder blocks. Here at EXAIR we offer everything that you may need to get started; this includes mufflers, vacuum cups, hose, and fittings.

Vacuum cups for E-Vac generators

Every time I hear someone talking about trying to pick something up the first line that comes to mind is “The claaaaaaw.”. But sometimes a claw or gripper isn’t the answer for the solution; using a variety of vacuum cups one can practically pick up almost anything. We offer four different kinds of vacuum cups to choose from stock; available are small and large Round, Oval, and Bellow styles. Round cups are more suited to being used on smooth, flat surfaces. Oval cups provide the most vacuum due to the larger surface area making them ideal for lifting heavy loads. The Bellows style is best suited for textured or uneven surfaces; the folds provide a collapsible area that allows the cup to compress and seal on the uneven surface.

EXAIR’s Standard and Straight Through Muffler

Next up is the mufflers; EXAIR’s mufflers do just that, they muffle down the sound generated by the E-Vac. There are two different types of mufflers that are available; these are the Standard and the straight through mufflers. The Standard muffler is designed to be attached to the discharge end of an in-line      E-Vac and has a closed end. These are best suited for applications that are free from dust and debris. The straight through muffler is open all the way through and are more suited to applications were dirt dust and debris is present. The straight through style also offers the best sound level reduction, up to 26 dBA.

Lastly the E-Vacs have an NPT threaded connection that will allow for a suitable connector to be properly installed. From here different connectors can be used to attach the various amounts of vacuum cups. The connectors provided are Push-In Connector Type Fittings of assorted styles available with our polyurethane tubing to make the installation and plumbing a cinch.

If you have any questions or want more information on EXAIR’s E-Vacs and their Accessories. Give us a call, we have a team of application engineers ready to answer your questions and recommend a solution for your applications.

Cody Biehle
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Advantages Of Compressed Air Operated Industrial Vacuums

Last week, I wrote about the benefits and advantages of the EXAIR Chip Trapper System. It’s just one workhorse in our stable of durable and reliable compressed air operated Industrial Housekeeping solutions.  All of our systems in this product line are compressed air operated, which means they offer several benefits that you don’t get with an electric powered vacuum:

  • Our air operated vacuums have no moving parts.  That means nothing to wear out & replace.
  • Electric motors burn out over time, and have to be replaced.  Not a problem with our products…if you supply them with clean air, they’ll run darn near indefinitely, maintenance free.
  • Using electric vacuums in wet areas can prevent a very real risk of electrocution.  This hazard does not apply to a compressed air hose, which is all it takes to run our products.
  • Long, stringy chips can get clogged in the impeller & rotating parts of a motor-driven vacuum.  Ours have no moving parts, which means nothing for detritus to get tangled up in.
Electric Vacuums are prone to clogging, wearing out, and motor failure.

Which EXAIR Industrial Housekeeping Product is right for you?  It depends on what you’ll be using it for.  Very generally speaking, here’s a brief overview of the product line:

Chip Vac Systems:

  • Pick up dry or wet chips and transfer them into a standard open top drum.
  • Available in four sizes: 5, 30, 55, or 110 gallon drums.
  • Turns your own 30, 55, or 110 gallon open top drum into a powerful vacuum system, in minutes, with a standard system.
  • Add portability and flexibility with a Deluxe System, which includes a drum dolly and a Tool Holder.
  • For a total Industrial Vacuum System, complete & ready to go right out of the box, the Premium Systems add a drum, a compressed air supply hose, an upgrade to Heavy Duty Aluminum Tools & a Static Resistant Vacuum Hose.
  • For smaller jobs or in tight quarters, the Mini Chip Vac System comes with a compact 5 gallon drum.  The Deluxe System adds a drum dolly for portability.

Heavy Duty Dry Vac Systems:

  • Function is similar to the Chip Vacs, but the vacuum itself is made of a hardened alloy, and offers higher vacuum power for dense and/or abrasive material cleanup.
  • Fits your existing 30, or 55 gallon drums for a quick & easy, basic high powered vacuum solution.
  • Deluxe Systems add Heavy Duty Tools & Tool Holder, and a Drum Dolly.
  • Premium Systems come with a 30, 55, or 110 Gallon Drum.

Heavy Duty HEPA Vac Systems:

  • All the power, durability, and convenience of the Heavy Duty Dry Vac Systems, but with a HEPA filter for contaminants such as mold, allergens, and other airborne irritants.
  • Fits your existing 30 or 55 gallon drums, or Deluxe & Premium Systems add the same accessories as the Heavy Duty Dry Vac Systems.
(Left to right) Chip Vac, Heavy Duty Dry Vac, Heavy Duty HEPA Vac

Reversible Drum Vac Systems:

  • These are our drum mounted vacuums for liquids.  They’ll fill or empty a 55 gallon drum in 90 seconds (tested with water.)
  • Fits an existing 30, 55, or 110 gallon closed top steel drum in good condition.
  • Deluxe Systems add a drum dolly, a Tool Holder and a set of plastic tools including a Spill Recovery Kit, for a multitude of cleanup needs.
  • Auto shutoff float prevents overfilling the drum.
  • Premium Systems add a 30, 55, or 110 gallon drum, Heavy Duty Aluminum Tools, and a compressed air supply hose.
  • High Lift Systems are available for higher viscosity (ups to 1400 cP) liquids, or when pumping from below grade (180″H2O suction lift.)
  • This same technology is incorporated into the Chip Trapper Systems, which (as detailed last week) trap incoming solids in a Filter Bag, allowing for instant pumping out of freshly filtered liquid.  They’re available with the High Lift capability as well.
Reversible Drum Vac, High Lift Reversible Drum Vac, Chip Trapper

Vac-u-Guns:

  • Handy and portable, the Vac-u-Gun is a lightweight handheld vacuum, blow gun, and transfer tool, all in one.
  • Collection System comes with a vacuum bag w/shoulder strap, extension wands, a crevice tool, skimmer tool, and round brush tool.
  • Transfer Systems come with the same tools, but include a 10ft hose instead of the vacuum bag.
  • All Purpose Systems come with the tools, the vacuum bag, and the 10ft hose.
  • Deep Hole Vac-u-Guns are fitted with a blow tube for stirring up fine debris from drilled holes, where it’s quickly and efficiently vacuumed away.

Regardless of your application, EXAIR has an Industrial Vacuum to fit.  Orders for qualifying systems through the end of May 2020 will include a free Vac-u-Gun.  If you’d like to discuss your Industrial Housekeeping needs, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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A Cold Winter’s Chill and Vortex Tubes

Two weekends ago I had the pleasure of flying out to meet my friend in Colorado Springs and ski the weekend at Breckenridge. As an avid skier Breckenridge has been one of the resorts I have been wanting to ski since I started skiing out west. The weather was amazing and I couldn’t ask for better; the Saturday blue skies and cool breeze followed up by a Sunday of snow fall. The Trip was a dream come true. Breckenridge is specifically known for having high winds that howl across the peaks that stand at a max of 12,998 ft. above sea level. These chilling winds would freeze just about anyone if you aren’t dressed prepared for them as they blow right in your face on the lift. As I was sitting on the lift with these cold winds blowing in my face it brought to mind EXAIR’s Vortex Tubes, Cold Guns, and Cabinet Coolers.

EXAIR’s Vortex Tubes and similar products provide everything from a cool blast of air to a frigid breeze to cool off various parts and products. In a lot of smaller milling and grinding applications the Cold Gun has been used as a replacement to costly coolant-based alternatives. Vortex tubes have been used in cooling applications since 1945 and assist in everything from stress testing electronics to cooling down plastic parts during ultrasonic welding.

 Vortex tubes use a source of compressed air to create a hot and cold stream of air coming out on opposite ends of the device. This means that not only can the vortex tube be used for cooling but also heating applications. In one case a vortex tube was used to heat up an adhesive before it was sealed to get a better adhesion. Although the vortex tube can be used for heating purposes those applications are few and far between as usually a heating element or other heating source is more applicable.
Vortex tubes are quickly adjustable, just as the winds of Breckenridge can change from being a breeze to almost blowing you off of the mountain. Weather in the mountains is always varying and so are EXAIR’s Vortex Tubes.

If you have any questions or want more information on how we use our vortex tubes to improve processes all over industry. Give us a call, we have a team of application engineers ready to answer your questions and recommend a solution for your applications.

Cody Biehle
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Industrial Vacuum System Promotion Through 5/31/20 – Receive A Free Vac-u-Gun!!

From now through May 31, 2020, we are offering a FREE Vac-u-Gun with any order for one of our Industrial Housekeeping Vacuum Systems. The Vac-u-Gun is a multi-purpose tool that can be used to vacuum or transfer material from one location to another or it can be used as a powerful blow gun to clean debris off of the surface of a part or workstation. There is no electricity required to operate and no moving parts to wear out, providing for a safe, maintenance free operation.

EXAIR Vac-U-Gun

Our systems are designed to be either solids handling or liquid handling.

Our Chip Vac Systems are the ideal choice when looking to vacuum dry or damp debris left over from machining operations and delivers them to a standard open top steel drum. For more abrasive material, such as sand or steel shot used in sandblasting processes, the Heavy Duty Dry Vac provides superior wear resistance due to it’s proprietary hardened alloy construction.

If you are looking to vacuum liquids we offer our Reversible Drum Vac and High LIft Reversible Drum Vac providing higher suction lift, up to 180″ H2O.

Our Chip Trapper and High Lift Chip Trapper are also used in liquid applications but these systems incorporate a filter bag inside the drum to capture any suspended solids in the liquid so only clean fluid is pumped back into the reservoir or tank.

In dusty applications we offer the Heavy Duty HEPA Vac which uses the same vacuum as the HD Dry Vac but this system provides a higher level of filtration meeting HEPA requirements of 99.97% filtration at the 0.3 micron level.

Vac-u-Gun

All of these products are In-Stock, Ready To Ship.

To take advantage of the offer, you need to order using the promotional Model number. Ordering is easy – you can email the order to orders@exair.com or place your order online at www.EXAIR.com. If you’d rather place your order over the phone or have any technical questions about our products, you can call us at 800-903-9247 and one of our reps will be happy to assist.

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer

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I Pick Things Up & I Put Them Down

This past weekend in Columbus, OH was a sporting event hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger.  This event has many aspects of it and this past weekend was the first year where spectators were not permitted due to the COVID-19 risks and scares.  The caterer for the event had already prepped all of the food to prepare for thousands of people so instead of donating locally, they connected with head chefs in Nashville, TN to create a “tailgate extravaganza” to try and lift the community up after the recent tornado and storms ravaged the area and demolished homes as well as communities.  The Arnold still happened, with participants only, they were all, “Picking Things Up and Putting Them Down.”

Arnold Sport’s World Record Lift

Seeing these giant athletes perform deadlifts always reminds me of the EXAIR Adjustable E-Vacs and how they are used frequently to pick things up and put them down.  When determining the correct Adjustable E-Vac I always like to start with the shape, weight, and surface of the part.  This is how I determine which vacuum cup can be utilized.  The good news is as a customer, the choice doesn’t have to be made alone, that is why the Application Engineering team is here, we’ll help you determine which vacuum cup will suit the given application.

These are all examples of how an E-Vac pick-and-place system is just a solenoid valve away from automation.

Some of the factors we use to determine the suction cup is listed out below.

Is the lift going to be a vertical cup lift or a horizontal cup lift?  This means is the face of the cup vertical, picking up a box from the ground by the sides, or is it going to be horizontal where the face of the cup sits horizontally over the part.

For a vertical cup face, if lifting the part up vertically then a bellows cup will not be suitable and something with a cleat will be needed due to the rigidity of the cup to help keep the cup and part stable.  The bellows may collapse due to the weight of the product, where the cleats will interface with the part and create a solid connection to aid in the lift.

For a horizontal cup face, if lifting the part up vertically then a bellows cup would work ideal in the event the surface is uneven.  Maybe one end is slightly taller, in this scenario, a bellows cup would help the cups to all seal to the surface and still be able to pick up the item.  These cups are also thinner to help adapt to an irregular surface on the part or to help keep suction if the part deforms upon being picked up. The bellows is not recommended for rather heavy objects as the bellows may collapse under extensive load and cause the cup to lose suction.

Talking about the weight of the item, this also becomes a major factor as each cup has a maximum lifting weight and that is determined by the surface area of the cup as well as whether it has cleats, bellows, or just a plain cup.  Our goal when sizing the cups to the parts is to ensure they are going to engage the surface in a solid secure manner that makes the lifting rig safe and stable to use.

For example, take a look at this solar lens manufacturer who utilizes many EXAIR products in this pick and place operation.

If you would like to discuss your Adjustable E-Vac, Vacuum Cup, or heavy lifting, please contact me.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
@EXAIR_BF
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com

 

The 2020 ASF Media Room – Arnold Sports Festival, 2020 – https://www.arnoldsportsfestival.com/visitor-info/media/