Solving a Static Electricity Problem when Applying Labels

Gen4 Static Eliminators

A company was applying labels to their plastic containers.  The labels were 4” (10cm) wide by 9” (23cm) long in size with a protective backing.  The backing material had to be removed prior to applying the label to a 9” (23cm) tall container.  With their label applicator, the label would wrap around the container.  They started to see misalignment and wrinkles in the labels when they were applied.  For the nonconforming parts, they had to remove the label and clean the surface to reapply another label.  This was time-consuming and a pain in the neck.  Since winter is here in the Northern Hemisphere, the drier air makes static very easy to create and will cause issues.  They contacted EXAIR to ask about our Gen4 Static Eliminators.

 With non-conductive materials like plastic and paper, static is easily generated; especially during cooler weather.  Static can be in a negative state or a positive state depending on the type of material.  With 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.  Static is generated from rubbing, hitting, and peeling which can cause electrons to be stripped from a surface.  For the customer above, the peeling away of the backing from the label caused the negative electrons to build on one surface.  And with the containers shifting, bumping and moving along the conveyor; static was also being generated.  Since like charges repel each other, the labels were not able to stay aligned and were creating bubbles on the surface.

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 up to 20 feet (6m) away.  In this application, I wanted to target two areas where static is present; the labels and the containers.  Since we could get close proximity to the label and the containers, I recommended using the Gen4 Ionizing Bars.  With a quick static decay rate, we can remove the static right before applying the label.  For this application, I recommended the model 8006 6” Gen4 Ionizing Bar and two model 8009 9” Gen4 Ionizing Bars.

EXAIR’s power supplies are what gives the Gen4 Ionizing Bars energy to create ions.  EXAIR offers two models of Gen4 Power Supplies; model 7960 which can power up to two Static Eliminator products and model 7961,  which can power up to four Static Eliminator products.  Since the Gen4 Ionizing Bars were mounted in the same area, the model 7961 Gen4 Power Supply was used to run three Ion Bars at once.  This helps to save money as they did not need to buy multiple power supplies.

Together, it was very easy to mount and start using.  The model 8006 was mounted right after the backing was removed from the label.  One model 8009 was positioned in the front of the container; and the second model 8009 was positioned in the back of the container.  Now they were able to remove all the static before the label was placed on the container.

EXAIR stocks lengths from 3” (76mm) up to 108” (2743mm), and we can ship a solution the same day.  When you are losing time and working hours due to static buildup like the company above, the Gen4 Static Eliminators can resolve it quickly and easily.

If you are having problems with static in alignment, jamming, contamination, or shocking staff; you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  The Gen4 Static Eliminators can remove the static and keep your process running smoothly.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

The Soft Grip Super Air Scraper Easily Cleans Floors

Scrape off, and blow away, stubborn debris with the Soft Grip Super Air Scraper.

Have you ever tried to remove a sticky substance with a putty knife? You scrape and scrape, then stop to remove the loose material. Then start scraping again that same area which has material remaining. It can be very time-consuming. And, if the material is on the floor, it can ergonomically hurt your back and knees.

A subcontractor that worked for an automotive company contacted EXAIR for a solution. They needed a faster, better, and easier way to remove tape from the floor. Personally, I have been through many automotive plants, and they have everything marked with tape. They use different sorts of tape to mark pedestrian walkways, machine locations, and fork truck lanes. So, when a work area gets new equipment or altered for better workflow, the tape has to be removed. And since downtime affects productivity, the work has to be done quickly. Their current mode of operation was for the staff members to work on the floor with hand scrapers to remove the tape.

The answer to the subcontractor’s problem was the EXAIR Soft Grip Super Air Scraper. This product uses a nozzle that combines a scraping blade with our 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle. It uses the mechanical force of a blade with the force of compressed air to remove stubborn sticky materials. The corrosion-resistant steel scraper is robust and durable, and they can be easily sharpened or replaced when worn. To add flexibility to the Super Air Scraper, a shim set can be used to increase the blowing force. This combination of the nozzle and the scraper is an effective and powerful way to remove material with compressed air.

Soft Grip Super Air Scraper

To get pressurized air to this patent-pending nozzle, EXAIR attached the Super Air Scraper to our Soft Grip Air Gun. The Soft Grip Air Gun has an ergonomic soft handle and a full-grip trigger for hours of use without fatigue.   We include different extensions for hard-to-reach applications ranging from 6” (152mm) to 72” (1,829mm) in length. With extensions that are 36” (914mm) and longer, EXAIR installs an additional foam grip sleeve. This gives more leverage for scraping material at a distance like at the floor level. Chip Shields can also be added to prevent blow-back onto the users.

For the subcontractor above, this was the perfect tool for their next assignment. I recommended the model 1244-36 Soft Grip Super Air Scraper which had a great length to reach the floor and a foam grip to force the blade under the tape. With the compressed air, it helped to keep the area clean during scraping and aided with the tape that was really stuck. They ordered six pieces, one for each staff member, to work the entire area to remove tape. The subcontractor was able to cut his scraping time by 75% as compared to the putty knife method above. And the staff members appreciated the need to not get on the floor.

To give some other areas for the Soft Grip Super Air Scraper, they can be used for removing gasket material, caulk, adhesives, paint, labels, and much more. If you have a “sticky” situation at your facility, an Application Engineer at EXAIR will be happy to discuss it with you.

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

EXAIR Gen4 Ionizing Bar Removes Static From Corona Treated Plastic

If you want to print on plastic, it’s challenging – most plastics are chemically inert and non-porous.  That means you can apply all the ink you want; it’s not going to stick.  In the 1950’s, a Danish engineer named Verner Eisby experimented with various techniques to overcome these challenges.  He found that exposing the surface to be printed on to gas flame or sparks modified the surface to improve adhesion with the ink.  It did so, though, in a crude & uneven manner, leaving imperfections & inconsistencies in the printed product.  He then tried applying a high frequency corona discharge in a linear array.  The plasma (gas in an ionized state) generated left a homogeneously treated surface on which to print, smoothly & evenly.

This has become the “industry standard” for many of the labels we see on commercial products, from shampoo & wine bottles on the grocery store shelf, to pennants & banners at public events.  It also leaves the surface even more prone to picking up a static charge from rolling or unrolling, stacking, sliding, etc.

One of our customers makes a great many labels for all kinds of these commercial products, and uses an EXAIR Gen4 Ionizing Bar immediately prior to the printing operation:

Model 8024 24″ Gen4 Ionizing Bar removes static from Corona treated plastic label film.

EXAIR Corporation has a variety of Static Eliminator Products to fit most any industrial or commercial application.  If you’d like to find out more, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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QR Codes and EXAIR

I’m sure most of you have been seeing these square symbols on products, labels, in magazines, maybe even on billboards.  No it’s not where a dot matrix printer hurled its guts, it’s a QR Code. (Quick Response Code).   These are bar codes that can be scanned with smart phones or tablet devices.   Here at EXAIR you are going to start seeing these QR codes on our products.  The pictures below show some examples of the labels you are going to find on our products.

If you scan the code it will then connect you to our mobile site which has a good amount of information that is quickly available.   I did a brief overview of the mobile site in a video blog a few weeks ago, it can be viewed here.

So don’t keep wondering what those little blocks are, get your mobile device out and scan it, check out the mobile site.  It’s going to help you find information on the product, videos, installation and maintenance guides, and even information on other products that you might be able to use.

If you have any questions on any of our products don’t hesitate to contact an Application Engineer.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF