EXAIR & Tough Mudder Ohio 2015

Several months ago, maybe even last year, a group of EXAIR employees started joking and talking about trying to get a team together to do the Tough Mudder in 2015.  After several months of joking, things got serious and 4 of us signed up to do the event at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course.   You may have seen a few of my blogs that involve Mid Ohio but they normally also involve a motorcycle.    The event was held on Saturday, May 9th, and was my first official “race” at Mid Ohio.   Prior to a few months ago, if you asked if I would ever “run” (I use the term run very loosely here.) a 10 mile race, I would have laughed in your face and said no way.   Let alone a 10 mile race with a whole slew of obstacles. Never underestimate the power of co-worker’s friendly chastising aimed at one’s toughness…

This was after the first wall during the pre race pump up speech / comedy show.
This was after the first wall during the pre race pump up speech / comedy show.

For the team, an Application Engineer (me), our CFO, and two from Shipping & Receiving.  As soon as we hit the first obstacle, which was a 6′ wall you had to clear in order to get to the starting line, our EXAIR mind-set kicked in.   There was no discussions on who would go first, who is going to take what position, or who is going to be the weak link.   It was simply teamwork.   We each helped where we knew our strengths were, anytime we needed a solid ballast, or good step off point, I was the man.   If we needed upper body strength, it was obvious that the handling of heavy freight found in shipping and receiving provided the necessary muscle – most definitely not me.

Needless to say, we made it through the entire course in less than three and a half hours which was absolutely shocking.   Not as shocking as the last obstacle, where we got shocked with 10kV before the finish line (see below).

Electroshock Therapy 2.0 - 10kV wires that will make any man scream.
Electroshock Therapy 2.0 – 10kV wires that will make anyone scream.

The fact of the matter is, we went there as a team, we conquered each obstacle and didn’t only worry about ourselves, but helped many others clear the same obstacles, and each one of us faced and conquered a personal fear.   For me, it was being able to complete a 10 mile run, and a slight fear of heights.  (You can see here that we had to jump out and grab onto a pendulum then swing and hit a bell, after which you would fall 12-15 feet into a pool of 15′ deep water. )

Didn't even come close to that bell, but I did remember to let go of the swing at least.
Didn’t even come close to that bell, but I did remember to let go of the swing at least.

The fact that people from three different departments in EXAIR worked so well together on something only one person on the team had ever done before speaks volumes to the environment and the way we conduct our day-to-day business here.

From the front offices, to the shipping dock, EXAIR is here to help you tackle any obstacle and face any fear you might have (involving your compressed air system that is).

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
TOUGH MUDDER FINISHER
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

EXAIR Static Eliminators Surpass Passive Static Eliminators

The question comes up quite a bit around this time of year as to why an EXAIR Static Eliminator is better than using a passive static eliminator to eliminate the static.   To further the explanation of a passive static eliminator, it is typically called static tinsel and is found in a variety of forms. Passive eliminators are grounded wire or strap and must come in contact with the surface of a part in order to dissipate the static charge on only that surface.  This is generally found in the form of a bare wire or some type of conductive material (copper) that is strung across the path of your parts and must come into contact with the surface of your part.   A conductive material bar is shown below.

Passive Static Eliminating Bar
Passive Static Eliminating Bar

In order for this to eliminate the static on the part you must have the fabric actually contact the surface of your part.   There are several points that this can cause an issue, the first being this item drags across the surface of your product which can wear the conductive fibers down leading to the eliminators needing to be replaced.   Second, if you have a delicate, printed, or high gloss surface, you may not want anything to touch the surface and risk a blemish.   Third, these can collect dirt and debris which may become transferred to the product.   Last, complicated shapes cannot easily be met with the passive static eliminators, these are only going to work well with flat surfaces.

Active static eliminators, such as the Static Eliminators Product Line from EXAIR offers a variety of ways to actively eliminate the static on a surface without ever touching the product.   These are ideal for delicate surfaces, painted surfaces, complicated shapes, or even flat sheets.  The EXAIR line is available with or without compressed air assist which will not only utilize your compressed air efficiently while eliminating a static charge but also blow the debris or particulate off the part.   Units without compressed air operation can eliminate static charges up to 2″ away from a surface while a unit with compressed air will eliminate static up to 20′ away.

A Sample of EXAIR Static Eliminators
A Sample of EXAIR Static Eliminators

 

Because the units do not contact the parts there is no need for being concerned about contamination being transferred to the part, the eliminators will not wear down from dragging across a part or surface. EXAIR static eliminators are also low maintenance products.

To top it all off EXAIR will honor a 30 day guarantee to test the products in your facility.  As well as honor a 5 year built to last warranty on compressed air products and a 1 year warranty on any electrical component.

If you would like to eliminate your static problems, contact us. 

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

Shocking Credit Cards Costs … In Manufacturing

Winter’s weather comes with a variety of problems. I hope that folks in the Northeast get a break from all this snow soon. In Cincinnati we have not had to deal with much precipitation this year, but it has been cold and gloomy for too long. Personally, I am ready for spring to come and to the see the flowers pop up. I’m also tired of the getting shocked every time I pet my dog. Also, his hair that generally falls everywhere is now stuck to the side of couch.

On a more serious note, the dry air of winter can have a significant impact on manufacturing processes. The same static that attracts dog hair to a couch will also attract dust on to a non-conductive substrate like plastic or glass. I was working with a customer this week who manufactures credit cards and gift cards with custom logos. They fell prey to the dry, statically charged air of winter which caused a quality issue during these winter months. To create the promotional cards, the company would first digitally print the logo on a PVC substrate. This substrate is then stacked to await lamination. As they pulled each sheet from the stack, a charge would build up on the surface which would attract any dust in the area. The dust needed to be removed before the last clear layer was applied or it showed up as ugly bumps on the card surface. This dust was nearly impossible to clean off and still maintain a good finish on the PVC substrate. They tried to wipe the material off with soft fabric, but the rubbing only increased the static while moving the dust around, not off the laminate.

1559 before
Laminating station two stacks of PVC substrate in the plastic bins
1559-photo
Laminating Station with the 110036″ Super Ion Air Knife installed

Using an EXAIR Static Meter, part number 7905, the customer measured 19.5 kV/inch on the PVC sheets before lamination. Because of this charge the customer installed a 36″ Super Ion Air Knife, part number 111036, above the lamination station. The operator would pull a sheet from the stack and pass it under the Super Ion Air Knife. After passing under the Super Ion Air Knife the charge on the sheet read 1.3 kV/Inch, and the dust was removed by the air blowing from the Super Air Knife. This dust removal drastically reduced their scrap levels. In the 3 months of winter, it was accepted that they would loss approximately 15% of all the cards they created do to blemishes on the cards. After installing the Air Knives, they only scrapped 3% of the cards they created. This scrap rate was even better than there summer production. The air knives will now be used year round.  The Super Ion Air Knife reduced scrap by 80%! Also, operators no longer tried to clean the dust with cloth, which allowed them to increase their production.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
@EXAIR_DW
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com