Gen4 Ion Air Cannon Explained

When larger areas need to be covered with an ionized air stream and the surfaces needing to be covered are not flat, then an array of Gen4 Ion Air Cannons can often be the solution. This is something that the automotive industry as well as many others have been using since before I have been a part of the EXAIR team. So just how does the Gen4 Ion Air Cannon achieve this?

At its core, the Gen4 IAC is designed around a 2″ Super Air Amplifier, and then we add ionization and a stand. The largest benefit to this is the ability of the Super Air Amplifier to entrain large volumes of free ambient air while using small amounts of compressed air. By entraining large volumes of free ambient air and then directing it down through the throat of the IAC and ionizing it upon exit of the barrel, we maximize the potential to eliminate static on the target surfaces and provide a good blowoff at the same time. To give a visualization of the performance, check out the video below.

When adding ionization to this airstream, complex shapes can easily have static elimination as they are being conveyed. Take an automotive body for example, as it travels down the assembly line, before paint or primer, they get blown off to ensure any debris from the facility is removed before they are coated. An array of Ion Air Cannons can be installed at a distance from the surface to fit multiple vehicle models and still target the entire surface needed.

Three Gen4 Ion Air Cannons are used to blow off the debris and remove unwanted static charge from a primer vehicle body before painting.

By arranging the blow-offs to utilize the large volume of ambient air entrained and direct the airflow at an angle in which once it hits the surface, it expands in the direction needed to remove the debris it is easy to cover irregular shapes. The setup shown above will utilize 15.5 SCFM per IAC when operated at 80 psig and give a forceful blast to remove any debris on the surface; the total consumption would be 45.5 SCFM at 80 psig to remove all debris from the top surfaces of this vehicle body before it goes into the final paint area. A centrally located 4 port Gen4 Power Supply, model 7961, can simplify cabling and installation while powering all three Ion Air Cannons. To optimize compressed air usage, an Electronic Flow Control can easily be installed to shut the air off whenever a car is not present; adding something like this ionized blowoff station to existing equipment is easier.

If you would like to discuss what the Gen4 Ion Air Cannon kit or any of our point-of-use engineered compressed air products can do for you in your facility, please contact an Application Engineer today.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer

Static Problem on your Packaging Line?

Pretty much every consumer grade product comes in packaging, so It’s safe to say most manufacturing processes end in a final packaging of the final product! One of the most common issues with Form, Fill, Seal and other general packing systems is Static! That pesky force you can’t see, but you know and can feel the effects! So how can you address those issues? With EXAIR’s line of static eliminators! With a dozen different configurations an Application Engineer can help you pick one to fit into your process and eliminate the static that’s wreaking havoc!

But let’s take a look at a couple of the most common applications!

Bottle Sleeves

Unlike the Coke bottles below, most bottoms now have the thermo shrink on the cap to secure the lid and keep it clean. (You may ask why I used the Coke photo…. well I just liked it!!) But typically a flat sheet of thermo sensitive plastic is fed through a forming block to connect the ends to make a sleeve. Then they are fed over the bottle cut and thermo formed around the bottle. There are a lot of things there that can create static! Check out this blog by Tyler. His customer used a Super Ion Air Wipe to rid the static prior to the forming!

Image courtesy of Kevin Trotman, Creative Commons License Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)


Filling a container with product is one of the most common packaging situations we encounter! Why? Because there are so many different operations that go into it. First you have to form the packaging, then clean it, then move it, then fill it, then seal it, then clean before bulk packaging. You guessed it each one of those tasks have the ability to build and be affected negatively by static.

Below is a photo of a line to fill vials with a vaccine, but first these need to be cleaned. Static can cause dirt and dust to stick inside the vial. This is a common use of the GEN4 Super Ion Air Knife, it can eliminate the static, then provide the force to dislodge the dust and dirt. Then you can push it into the air and dispose of it with a downdraft system. And just like the bottling line, they cap the vials with a thin cap cover, you can use the same product to eliminate that static to keep the flaws to a minimum.

Image courtesy of Vaccines at Sanofi, Creative Commons License Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

As the temperatures begin to decline, so does the humidity in the air. Drier air results in an increase in static problems. Get ahead of it this year and check out EXAIR’s complete line of Static Elimination products, all available to ship same-day from stock!

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer

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Eliminating Injection Molding Particulate In Secondary Operations

Some applications call for a fixed-in-place solution, like the (above, from left) Super Ion Air Knife, Super Ion Air Wipe, Ion Air Jet, and Ion Air Cannon.) Others are best suited to the hand-held convenience of the Ion Air Gun

My career has always involved working with customers and helping problem solve to success. Back in the early 90’s, I was talking with a customer and asked their buyer what his worst job was with regard to price, scrap and overall headache and if he would let me quote it for him. He then showed me a car horn button assembly for a well known automaker. He just sourced this job out, but his current supplier could not make the daily rates, was overpriced and lacked consistent quality. He said if I could meet his objectives that he had other business coming up that he would let us bid and consider us as a new supplier.

I left my customer with the part drawing, yes part drawing because this was before our company had CAD, and we had to hand calculate everything for a quote, oh the good ole days. So I went back and had a discussion with my tooling engineer. We devised a system to manufacture this horn button assembly with a vertical molding machine and incorporate a hot stamp in the mold then assemble at the turntable. After this discussion we hit the Thomas Registry back then known as “Green Books” to find reputable vertical molding machines that would incorporate a rotating table for this operation.

Upon visiting 5 machine manufactures and 3 hot stamp suppliers we made our decisions and completed our quote all within 2 weeks, can you believe 2 weeks was a fast turnaround for a complex quote back then? Green books, part drawings, no cell phones, no GPS, no Internet, but I believe we did have a fax machine back then. So off we went on a three-day road trip to visit our suppliers of choice. We quickly made decisions and confirmed our pricing with our customer. He thought we were crazy and asked us to reevaluate our pricing as we were way too low compared to his current supplier. We felt comfortable with our quote and said we do not need to evaluate, and our price was good. He then told us that our price eliminated 11 operators when compared to our competitor. The customer officially awarded us the project when we guaranteed our price and delivery.

We ordered our equipment, built our molds and assembled our hot stamp machine to the rotary table of the vertical injection molding machine. Within 6 weeks we were ready for our first trial, it was almost an instant success. We did not account for static issues before hot stamping the horn button face. We were seeing contaminants under the hot stamped products, so we went back to our “Green Books’ and found EXAIR right in our own backyard. We talked with EXAIR over the phone, and they directed us to their Ion Air Jet and said this was a perfect application for this project and was also a stock item. We were just 30 miles from EXAIR, so we jumped in our car to pick up the “Will Call” order. EXAIR helped us resolve the static issue all within the same day eliminating our 4.5% scrap rate and all within hours of our initial phone call to EXAIR.

We then asked our customer to visit and watch our run rate, so our buyer would feel comfortable with our quote, quality and production rate. He mentioned through the entire process that he did not think we could hold our price or meet the annual requirements of 480,000 sets (LH and RH). He was pleasantly surprised with our work and saw first hand that we had a system that gave him a good run at rate, quality and competitive price.

Ion Air Jet on a Stay set hose.

EXAIR’s GEN 4 Ion Air Jet delivers a concentrated airflow that can cover a precise spot without disturbing other areas. This quiet, focused airstream provides incredibly fast static decay rates and cleaning ability. The EXAIR Ion Air Jet made a nice addition to the impressive engineering that went into this horn button assembly project.

Our customer was impressed with the solution, and it helped them keep their customer happy. Ultimately, we were able to get significant, future business from this customer. Without the help of EXAIR having competent products in stock, we might not have had such a good outcome. If you have the need for static eliminating products and not sure which one is right for you, please contact one of our Application Engineers. We can suggest which static eliminator is best for your application, answer your questions and provide material to help you decide on the best course of action.

Eric Kuhnash
Application Engineer
Twitter: Twitter: @EXAIR_EK

Application Database: Super Ion Air Knife Provides Multiple Benefits For Hand Cleaner Producer

When plain old soap & water just don’t do the trick, there are a number of hand cleaners available on the market to remove even the most stubborn dirt & grime. Some are lotion-like, and leave your skin moisturized. Others have abrasive grit, and don’t. They come in all sorts of containers, too, from small jars that you dip a portion from, to large jugs with pump dispensers. The latter is oftentimes found in industrial repair shops…and they’re made on the production line of a company who needed our help getting rid of static charge.

After the extrusion process, these jugs are conveyed through a series of prep stations before they’re labeled & filled. The static charge generated along the way was causing issues with labeling: it made them skew one way or the other, or wrinkle up at certain points, instead of being applied straight & smooth on the side of the jug.

Now, all it takes to generate a static charge is contact and separation of non-conductive surfaces. Every time a roller sent a jug moving on the conveyor, or a bumper changed its direction, the static charge built up. In most applications, the best place to remove static charge is right before it becomes a problem. There was a tunnel immediately prior to the labeling station that was an ideal location to install a Static Eliminator…so they did.

Non-conductive materials “trade” electrons when they contact & separate, resulting in a static charge on both surfaces.

The tunnel was 29″ wide inside, so this was a great fit for a Model 112224 24″ Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife Kit. Blowing ionized air across the jugs as they moved through the tunnel eliminated the static charge, and their label problems.

Super Ion Air Knives come in lengths from 3″ to 108″. Kits include a Shim Set, Filter Separator, Pressure Regulator, and Power Supply.

They also noted an additional benefit: this wasn’t a huge problem, but occasionally, a jug would have some plastic chips or shavings clinging to it. Those would get rejected during quality inspection…they’d have to remove those labels and put them back in the line. Again, it wasn’t a huge problem, and was within their quality tolerances…but they went to ZERO after they started using the Super Ion Air Knife.

If you’ve got a problem with static charge, EXAIR has a variety of solutions that’ll take of them, and perhaps even others. Through the end of February 2023, we’ll even give you a free AC Sensor with any qualifying Static Eliminator Product purchase. Give me a call if you’d like to find out more.

Russ Bowman, CCASS

Application Engineer
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