Protect Your Personnel from Static and Nuisance Shocks

With nonconductive types of materials, static electricity can become a big nuisance.  A blow-molding plant was making 2-liter milk containers.  The containers would move from the blow-molding machine to packaging within a confined conveyor.  At the end, it would align the milk containers in a three by eight matrix.  The stacking station would then push the lot into a large rack.   The cycle would then repeat itself.  The problem that they had was when a milk container would fall out of the rack.  When an operator would retrieve the container, a spark would jump out and shock the operator.  Ouch, that hurts!  Also, if any operator would stand too close to the rack of milk containers, they would also feel the strong zap of static.  Static can jump 1” (25mm) for every 10,000 volts.  Since it was a safety issue, they contacted EXAIR to find a solution. 

Stacking Station

Knowing that non-conductive materials can generate static from rubbing, sliding, and trimming; we wanted to focus on the best area for eliminating the static as it can regenerate.  With this application, we wanted to remove the static just before the milk containers reached the stacking station.  The milk containers were 9” (23cm) tall, and I recommend two pieces of the model 112009 Gen4 Super Ion Air knives and one piece of the model 7960 Gen4 Power Supply.  I recommended for them to place one Super Ion Air Knife on each side of the container to remove the static from the entire surface.  One of the great features about our Gen4 Static Eliminators is the power supplies.  EXAIR offers a 2 port and a 4 port Gen4 Power Supply.  So, you can operate more than one Gen4 Static Eliminator with one power supply.  With the model 7960, a 2-port Gen4 Power Supply, the customer could operate both Super Ion Air Knives with one power supply saving them money. 

112009

When it comes to eliminating static, EXAIR Gen4 Static Eliminators create both positive and negative ions to remove any type of static.  This will eliminate misalignments, jamming, surface debris, and shock to personnel.  As for the containers above, they passed between the Super Ion Air Knives, and the surface was now neutralized.  The stacking station aligned the milk containers and pushed the group into the racks.  Now, if a container did fall out, the operator was able to handle the container without getting shocked.  And for the racks that were sitting in storage, the static “monster” was eliminated to protect the passersby. 

Static

Being that the winter months are approaching, you may want to evaluate some of your processes.  If you are working with non-conductive materials like plastic, paper, rubber, textile; EXAIR has a variety of Gen4 Static Eliminators that can remove the static nuisance.  This will help your company with increased production rates, clean surfaces, and protection from personnel shock.  With our customer above, static was a safety concern, and EXAIR was able to provide a solution.  If you would to discuss your plastic applications and potential static issues, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  We will be happy to help. 

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

The NFL (USA Football) and Static Electricity: What Do They Have in Common?

Just this week we embarked on the dreaded end of summer task of closing our pool. While it isn’t as nice to look at once the winter cover comes on, it sure beats skimming leaves out for an hour every day when the water temperature drops below a comfortable swimming temperature. However, as an avid Cincinnati Bengals fan and love for all things football-related, this time of year also brings with it excitement and optimism as we gear up for another NFL season. Times have been rough for Bengals fans (and all Cincinnati sports for that matter), but things are looking up for us in the football world with the arrival of the newfound hope that comes with a 3-1 record.

So, what do Cincinnati Bengals football and static have in common? Both share the same seasons, fall and winter. This time of the year it is not uncommon to feel a slight shock after walking across a carpeted surface and touching a door knob. This little “jolt” is a result of fast-moving electrons leaping from your body to the door knob, or vice versa. As your feet shuffle across the surface of a rug or carpet, your body will either gain or lose electrons. Touching a conductive surface then causes these electrons to leap from one place to another.

If you notice, this happens to occur much more often during colder winter months. The reason that you experience static shocks more frequently during winter is due to the relative humidity. At colder temperatures, air does not hold as much moisture as it does when it’s warm. Even though you’re heating your house to a similar temperature, the air that is being drawn into your home and heated is still the dry cold air containing less moisture.

The amount of moisture in the air is expressed as relative humidity. This value is given as a percentage of water vapor in the air, compared to how much it could hold at that temperature. In conditions of lower relative humidity, static charges build up much easier. When the relative humidity is high, there’s a higher concentration of water molecules present in the air. These water molecules “coat” the surface of the material, allowing electrons to move more freely and form a layer over the material. This layer of water molecules acts like a lubricant, reducing the forces that cause static to generate. There are many applications that static may only pose an issue once the climate changes. 

Regardless of the nature of the application, if you’ve got a static problem, EXAIR has a solution!

To combat static electricity in your processes, EXAIR manufactures a complete line of Static Eliminators. Any of them are available to ship same day from stock to customers in the U.S. with an order placed by 2:00 ET (1:00 ET for same day shipments to Canada). We’re all tired by now of receiving the extremely long lead times for seemingly everything we try to order. That’s not the case here at EXAIR, if you need a solution and FAST give us a call!

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@EXAIR.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

EXAIR Ion Air Jets: Focused, Hands Free Static Removal

Hand held convenience of the Ion Air Gun (easy) or no-hands convenience of the Ion Air Jet Station (easier.) Your call.

Static electricity can cause jamming of machines, misalignments, collection of dirt and debris, and shock hazards to personnel.  EXAIR manufactures a variety of Static Eliminators to remove this common nuisance.  In this blog, I will examine our most versatile product within the Static Eliminators; the Gen4 Ion Air Jets.

The Gen4 Ion Air Jets are a modification to the EXAIR Air Jets.  The Air Jets create a high velocity air stream along an engineered Coanda profile.  The profile creates a low pressure at the entrance of the Air Jet to draw in ambient air.  This makes the Air Jet very efficient as the output flow is more ambient air than compressed air. Also, with the engineered design, we are able to create a laminar air stream to carry the ions to the target up to 15 feet (4.5 meters) away.

The ions are generated at the exit of the Air Jet by an ionizing point.  This ionizer can create a large amount of positive and negative ions.  This allows for two things to occur.  We are able to eliminate any type of static charge, and we can establish a fast decay rate.  The emitter point inside the Gen4 Ion Air Jet is replaceable in order to keep the point clean and sharp.  What operates the Gen4 Ion Air Jet is the Gen4 Power Supply.  It is the “engine” behind the ion generation.  EXAIR offers two types.  The model 7960 has two output ports and the model 7961 has four output ports to operate multiple units.  They have a selectable input voltage to use 115Vac or 230Vac.  The high voltage cable between the power supply and the Gen4 Ion Air Jet is an armored cable to resist cuts and wear.  It has an integrated ground and is electromagnetically shielded.  Together, you get a compact powerful unit that can remove static quickly for spot blowing and cleaning.

Overall, the operation of the Gen4 Ion Air Jet is similar to the Gen4 Ion Air Gun, but with the Ion Air Jet, it is mainly used for “hands-free” operations.  With a small amount of compressed air, the unit can “shoot” the ions onto small surfaces and areas.  They are very quiet, and they meet the OSHA requirements for dead-end pressure and noise allowance.  They are very easy to control with a regulator to adjust the flow from a breeze to a blast.  The design of the ionizing point is shockless and does not use any radioactive materials.  This compact, low-cost unit can be utilized for neutralizing static and cleaning three-dimensional parts, screen printing, glass lenses, shrink bands and much more.

As I mentioned above, the Gen4 Ion Air Jet is the most versatile product for “hands-free” operations.  They can be permanently mounted or attached to a Stay Set Hose for flexible adjustments and maneuverability.  EXAIR packages the Gen4 Ion Air Jets with other products to make it easier to set-up, control, and operate.  Here are the packages that EXAIR stocks for quick delivery.

Model: 8194 – The Gen4 Ion Air Jet only.  It comes with a 5 foot (1.5 meter) armored and electromagnetically shielded cable.  They are typically used for permanent mounts with a 1/8” NPT male connection, and are generally purchased with the other packages below.

Model: 8294 – The Gen4 Ion Air Jet with a model 7960 Gen4 Power Supply.  This unit is the basic requirement for a permanent mount application.  The Gen4 Power Supply has two outputs, so it can support another Gen4 Ion Air Jet.

Model: 8494 – Gen4 Ion Air Jet Kit.  This kit includes the Gen4 Ion Air Jet, Gen4 Power Supply, a filter separator and a pressure regulator with coupling kit.  This kit allows for cleaning the compressed air before entering the Gen4 Ion Air Jet as well as controlling the air requirements.  So, you will be able to maximize the efficiency of these units.

Model: 8194-9362 – Gen4 Stay Set Ion Air Jet.  We attach the Ion Air Jet to a 12” Stay Set Hose and a magnetic base with shut-off valve.  The magnetic base will hold the Gen4 Ion Air Jet to a steel surface while the 12” Stay Set Hose gives flexibility to direct the ionized air at a specific point.  This product works great if the Ion Air Jet need to be moved into different locations.  (This does not include the Gen4 Power Supply)

Model: 8294-9362 – This is the Gen4 Stay Set Ion Air Jet (as described in the package above) with a model 7960 Gen4 Power Supply.

Model: 8494-9362 – This is the Gen4 Stay Set Ion Air Jet Kit.  Like with the standard units, this package will add a filter separator and a pressure regulator to the model 8294-9362.

Model: 8495-9362 – Gen4 Deluxe Stay Set Ion Air Jet Kit.  The Deluxe Kit includes additional items to the model 8494-9362 package.  It will include a foot pedal and 10 feet (3 meters) of a compressed air hose.  The foot pedal gives this system that “hands-free” operation to turn on/off the air flow to the Gen4 Ion Air Jet to blow air only when you need it.

Model: 8910 – Gen4 Instant Static Elimination Station.  This has everything you need to connect to your compressed air system to blow ionized air to neutralize and clean your products.  It includes all the items in the Deluxe Kit plus an additional 10 foot (3 meter) compressed air line.  Now you can connect from the compressed air source to the foot pedal to the magnetic base.  Once you attach the Gen4 Ion Air Jet to the supplied Gen4 Power Supply, you are in operation.

Static creates process problems, reduces productivity, and costs you money.  EXAIR manufactures a large line of Static Eliminators that can help you.  If you need a compact, low-cost ionizer to blow off and clean small parts, then the Gen4 Ion Air Jet would be a great option.  You can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR to see which package would work best for you to remove that static nuisance.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

Static Eliminators Essential To Packaging Operations

I had a headache the other day. Of all the things that can make me grumpy, nothing makes me grumpier than a headache. Luckily, there are over the counter medications that work quite well, and quickly, to boot.  And I had a brand new bottle of them in the cabinet.

When I opened the package and removed the tamper-resistant plastic band on the cap, it stuck to my hand when I went to drop it in the trash can.  This raised my grumpiness just a touch.  I shook my hand to try and get it off, and it fell behind the trash can.  My grumpiness elevated a bit further.  I hit my head (you know, the one I was trying to cure the pain in?) on the counter while bending over to retrieve it.  That activated my grumpiness alarm, which sounds just like mild profanity.  My wife silenced that alarm pretty quickly.

The plastic band stuck to my hand, of course, because it’s made of a non-conductive material, and peeling it from the bottle cap, which is also a non-conductive material, generated a static charge.  As a subject matter expert on the topic of static elimination, I am quite familiar with the phenomenon, the problems it causes, and, more importantly, the numerous ways to apply solutions to those problems:

  • One such solution was related to my problem with the tamper-resistant seal.  A mouthwash manufacturer was actually having trouble getting those seals ONTO the bottles on their packaging line.  The bottle caps themselves had so much static charge on them that they repelled the seal as the machine tried to drop it in place before heat shrinking it.  An Ion Air Jet solved the problem:
Gen4 Ion Air Jet ensures bottle caps & necks are static free for application of tamper resistant seals.
  • Speaking of plastic bottles, the finishing process after extrusion can leave small bits of plastic particulate behind, and static charge can keep them on the bottle.  This was a great fit for an Ion Air Cannon:
Gen4 Ion Air Cannon eliminates static & dust prior to filling bottles.
  • Sometimes, air flow isn’t necessary, like in the case of a film that is eventually made into single-use condiment packages, with a static charge that was high enough to fry the print heads that apply the label text.  An Ionizing Bar protects those print heads:
Initial static charge of almost 17kV (left) is almost completely dissipated by the Ionizing Bar (center) to just 0.04kV (right)

EXAIR Corporation’s Gen4 Static Eliminator product line offers a wide variety of options for total static control.  If you need to get rid of nuisance shocks, clinging dust, tearing, jamming or curling of material, misfeeding sheets or rolls, or any of the numerous other problems that static charge can cause, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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