A Static Application In Ecuador

Earlier this week an Ecuadorian engineering firm contacted me about a process disruption one of their clients was experiencing.  On one of their production lines, shown below, the end user conveys plastic packaging material on a conveyor.  When the plastic reaches the final location, there is a static charge on the surface of the packaging.  The next step in the process is to individually pick up each plastic bag, but the static causes the plastic to stick together.  This, in turn, causes a disruption for the next process in line, and the engineering firm sought EXAIR for a solution to the static problem.

Originally, the person with whom I was in contact showed great interest in an Ion Bar.  The size and cost of such a solution were both appealing.  But, using an Ion Bar we had no way to effectively treat both sides of the plastic.  So, we opted instead for a pair of Super Ion Air Knives, sized appropriately to cover the full width of the conveyor (18”; model 111018).

We always recommend to treat static problems at the last possible point before the static causes a disturbance in the process.  In this application, that point is as the plastic bags are stacking up.  So, the recommended solution is to install one Super Ion Air Knife on the top side of the conveyor, and another on the bottom with the airflow coming up between the conveyor and the stacking location (you can see the optimal opening around the 12-13 second mark).  And, we normally recommend a 45° angle of attack, as was the case in this application.

Armed with this solution, drawings, and delivery information, we were able to help this engineering house make a thorough and informed recommendation for their end user.

If you have a static problem in your application, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Expert Assistance Results in the Best Product for the Job

I’ve written before on the Principles of Operation of EXAIR products, and about how there may be more than one option to consider when choosing an engineered Compressed Air Product…here, here, and here.  This may, in fact, be the most valuable service that an Application Engineer can offer a caller: providing the BEST solution, regardless of what the initial idea was. Case in point:

A caller who was familiar with our Reversible Drum Vacs’ (RDV) two-way pumping action wanted to see if he could use one for a similar purpose: they were putting a thin plastic bag liner in an open top drum, and used an electric shop vacuum to suck the air out from between the drum and liner, essentially “form fitting” the liner to the drum. Then, when they fill that liner with their product, they reverse the shop vacuum, blowing air INTO the space between the drum & liner, to assist in removing the bag. This works, but the electric vacuum is loud, and they have to move the hose from one connection to the other every time they want to put a bag in or take it out of the drum.

Like I said, the caller was familiar with our Reversible Drum Vac, so he was picturing it pulling a vacuum on the drum to pull the bag in place (when the RDV is in the “fill” position) and porting air into the drum to expel the bag (when it’s in the “empty” position.)

With a simple turn of the knob, the Reversible Drum Vac can fill or empty a 55 gallon drum in 90 seconds!
With a simple turn of the knob, the Reversible Drum Vac can fill or empty a 55 gallon drum in 90 seconds!

Thing is, the RDV needs to be installed on a drum lid, and there wouldn’t be a very effective way to port it to the space between the drum & the bag. Here’s where our attention turned to another product: the E-Vac Vacuum Generator. Same principle of operation, but easily adaptable to their specific need, because it’s, quite simply, built for adaptability.

EXAIR E-Vacs provide instantaneous vacuum response, and are engineered for high efficiency to minimize air consumption.
EXAIR E-Vacs provide instantaneous vacuum response, and are engineered for high efficiency to minimize air consumption.

By plumbing the vacuum port (#4 above) to a tube inserted into the drum (same as their shop vac’s hose) they can quickly pull a vacuum, which pulls the bag into place. With a valve installed on the exhaust port (#5 above,) they can close the valve to port the compressed air supply back through the vacuum line, expelling the bag. No noisy electric motor, no constantly changing the hose, just a small (Model 800005M In-Line E-Vac Low Vacuum Generator w/Muffler, in this case) compressed air operated device, with no moving parts.

With (14) Models to choose from (seven sizes, all available in "High Vacuum" for non-porous products and "Low Vacuum" for lifting objects with a porous surface,) we've got the solution to your pick-and-place application.
With (14) Models to choose from (seven sizes, all available in “High Vacuum” for non-porous products and “Low Vacuum” for lifting objects with a porous surface,) we’ve got the solution to your pick-and-place application.

If you have a need for air flow, vacuum generation, cooling, static elimination, industrial housekeeping, atomized fluid spraying, bulk material conveyance, or just questions about improving your use of your compressed air, give us a call. We’re eager to help.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
Find us on the Web
Follow me on Twitter
Like us on Facebook