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.
Last week I took a call from an automation company who had been working with a fiberglass insulation manufacturer on a blanket rolling application. After the manufacturing process, the fiberglass blankets are rolled up and a protective film wrap is placed around the ends. The end user was currently using a section of 3/8″ pipe with several 1/8″ holes drilled along the length to hold the ends of the blanket in place as the wrap is applied. The current setup was using a lot of compressed air and was creating an unbalanced airflow that was strong at one end but much weaker at the other, causing the ends of the blanket to begin to “roll up” and either damage the shrink wrap or the blanket itself. They also believed the setup was starving other processes in this particular area of the plant and initially were considering purchasing an auxiliary air compressor but due to the capital expense, instead reached out to the automation company for other options.
We have worked with this particular automation company in the past so they were familiar with our product offering and knew they wanted to use an EXAIR Air Knife in the application. However, they were unsure if they wanted to use our Super, Standard or Full-Flow Air Knife . Their need was to improve process results, reduce the air usage and to fit inside a tight area.
I recommended they use our 36″ Full-Flow Air Knife in the application. The Full-Flow Air Knife is our smallest profile offering at only 1″ x 1.03″ (aluminum construction) and uses a 30:1 amplification rate (entrained air to compressed air) to produce a high velocity, laminar curtain of air that travels the entire length of the knife. These units are in stock, ready to ship, offering the end user a low cost, quick solution to replace the existing drilled pipe.