EXAIR Eliminates Static – Public Enemy Number one in the Printing Industry

Static electricity is the enemy of the printing industry. Downtime and inefficiency caused by static means longer lead times and angry customers! EXAIR can remove static electricity in the many printing applications across wide and narrow webs.  With our rugged line of EXAIR Super Ion Air Knives and Ionizing Bars, EXAIR can improve your efficiency and printing quality.

Digital printing dries out the printed substrate, creating high static charge that can cause printing defects, ink overspray, and even print head clogging and print head shorting issues. If a press is printing on non-porous substrates like plastic, metallics and highly coated glossy papers, a device called a corona treater is used to increase the surface energy of the substrate to ensure the ink droplets adhere and do not spread too much on the substrate. A byproduct of the corona treatment is static charge, which must be removed. This can be achieved by installing an EXAIR Ion Bar after the corona treatment device across the web.

Static is also created anywhere in the printing or finishing operations where sheets are moved over each  other.   Sheet-fed presses, for example, create friction in the stacking of individual sheets on top of each other.  This friction induced static creates misfeeds, print registration issues, multiple sheet pickups and equipment jams.

Folding operations cause static issues too. Like a sheet-fed press, static is created by folded pieces being dragged across each other.

In both cases, installing an EXAIR Super Ion  Air Knife or Ion Air Cannon that can direct a stream of ions between the stack and the top sheet can eliminate the static that causes misfeeds and jams.

The typical easy fix printers employ is what’s called a tinsel bar. Also called garland, it looks just like what you drape on a Christmas tree, except that it’s made of highly conductive copper that needs to be grounded to the printing press.The problem with tinsel bars is that although they are cheap initially, they don’t last long. They’re not a set-it-and-forget-it solution. The sharp strands work on induction and interact with the static field on the substrate creating a neutralizing cloud that surrounds the area, reducing both positive and negative ions. Printing operations are usually dusty environments and when the tinsel becomes dusty, oxidized, or matted and crumpled, they don’t work as effectively.

Static is also created in unwinding and rewinding operations, when rolls are slit to needed widths of various presses. The removal of the web from the roll creates static charge that attracts dust to the substrate surface and can cause major problems in downstream printing operations. Installing an EXAIR Ion Bar on top of the web can eliminate this static.

EXAIR Super Ion Air Knives don’t need to be placed close to the surface like a tinsel bar. Static dissipation of 5 KV can occur in less than a half second up to 20 feet away and can be adjusted from a blast to a breeze, depending on static level.

If you are a printer, finisher or labeler, EXAIR has a static elimination product that can improve your operations. For more help you can contact one of our EXAIR application engineers to talk you through a solution.

Dann Woellert
Application Engineer




Video Blog: How To Clean & Replace Emitter Points for the Ion Air Gun & Ion Air Jet

This video will give a thorough walk-through on how to clean the emitter point on EXAIR Ion Air Jets model 8194 and Ion Air Guns model 8193.  This is the same procedure for replacing a damaged emitter point.  This procedure is for new style Static Eliminators with integrated grounded terminals, released on February 1, 2016.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager

A “Static Season”-al Affective Disorder Blog

One of the more popular inquiries we get this time of year is for Static Eliminator Product selection assistance. EXAIR offers a variety of Static Eliminators, to accommodate a wide range of applications.

Static charge can be caused by contact or friction between non-conductive surfaces…and you don’t need a lot of contact, or motion, to produce a decent charge. We keep some clear plastic Lexan plates in our Efficiency Lab, and can get a few hundred volts just by putting one on top of the other, and picking it up. To generate several thousand volts (or more), we’ll rub a plate on the carpet for a few seconds.

This makes for a great all-purpose set up – from here, we can easily and effective demonstrate any of our Static Eliminators (or do an Efficiency Lab test on anyone else’s…just so you know). Not every situation or application involving static dissipation presents itself that simply, though. That’s where the diversity of our Ionizer Products line comes in:

Are you getting zapped by packages coming fresh off your shrink wrapper? Do you need to remove dust from – and keep it off of – parts prior to painting? Are your rolls of fiber, web, paper, film, etc., jamming or mis-feeding? EXAIR Super Ion Air Knives could be the efficient, quiet solution you’re looking for. They produce a high volume, extremely adjustable, laminar curtain of ionized air flow, perfect for large surface area and/or high speed applications. They’re available in lengths from 3” to 96”. If space is tight, our Standard Ion Air Knives, while not quite as efficient or quiet, do provide a smaller profile “footprint,” and are just as effective and fast in eliminating static.

Perhaps your application is smaller, and you need a tighter, focused stream of ionized air. The Ion Air Jet is compact, easy to install (even easier with a Stay Set Hose and Mag Base), and just the right size for table or counter top situations. If this is your size & scale, but you want the convenience and flexibility of a hand-held device, our Ion Air Gun is just the thing.

For jobs that are a bit larger, but still with a need for a compact installation, the Ion Air Cannon provides a high volume, but still concentrated, flow of ionized air. It’s effective over long distances, and very efficient, using a small amount of compressed air to entrain “free” air from the surrounding environment at a rate of 25:1. In dusty or dirty areas, you can even duct clean air in from elsewhere, so you’re not impinging that dust or dirt on your parts’ surfaces.

To remove static from a continuous run of cable, hose, extruded shapes, etc., the Super Ion Air Wipe comes with a 2” or 4” ID. Its split design makes for quick and easy installation, and means you’ll never have to “thread” it if product feed is changed or interrupted.

No compressed air? No problem. If you can mount it within 2” of the part, the Ionizing Point can dissipate up to 5 kilovolts of static charge in under a third of a second. For wider surfaces, our Ionizing Bars offer the same rapid performance, and can be provided in lengths of up to 120”.

All of our Static Eliminators are shockless, UL Listed, low maintenance, and available for same day shipment…except for a couple of our longer Super Ion Air Knives, which we need a day or so to put together.

If you have questions about which Static Eliminator is right for you, give us a call. We’re eager to help!

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: http://www.exair.com
Blog: https://blog.exair.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair