Gen4 Super Ion Air Knives Remove Pesky Dust from Crepe Paper Manufacturing Process

Paper Measuring Equipment

A paper manufacturer was having issues with their measuring equipment (reference photo above).  They were producing 6” (152mm) wide crepe paper which is very thin and dusty.  As it would pass through the machine, a real-time measurement of basis weight and moisture content was being performed.  The basis weight of the sheet was around 14g/m2 which is like facial tissue.  The machine was giving false errors in the basis weight measurement.  As they opened the device, they noticed dust particles on the optical lens.  Because the basis weight was so small, any dust would cause a false reading.  They contacted EXAIR to see if we could help with their problem.

With a dry fibrous material like crepe paper, static can be a big issue.  Static has a strong force that can cause small fragments to “stick” to surfaces.  As you can see in the photo, the paper material is sticking to the sides and lens of the measuring device.  For this application,  I recommended two pieces of the model 112206 Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife Kits.  The Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife is uniquely designed to have two functions; remove static and blow off dust.  The Gen4 Ionizing Bar creates both positive and negative ions to remove any type of static charge.  The Super Air Knife creates a laminar air stream to carry the ions and also generate an even blowing force to remove the dust particles from the surface.  With this combination, it becomes a very effective non-contact way to remove the contamination.  This was an important requirement as the crepe paper is very thin and could break very easily.  They were able to mount one Super Ion Air Knife above and below the paper in order to blow the dust particles in a counter-flow direction.  This would keep the particles from entering the measurement device.

Super Ion Air Knife Kit

The Super Ion Air Knife Kit includes the Super Air Knife with a Gen4 Ionizing Bar attached.  The kit also includes a power supply, filter, regulator, and a shim set.  The power supply is specifically designed for the Gen4 Static Eliminators.  The Gen4 Super Ion Air Knives use the high voltage from the power supply to generate enough ions to remove static from the paper at a running speed of 49.5 ft/sec (15m/sec).  The filter will remove any contamination and liquid water from the compressed air system before it enters the Super Ion Air Knife.  This is important to keep the product clean.  The shim set is a set of three different shims with a thickness of 0.001” (0.025mm), 0.003” (0.076mm), and 0.004” (0.1mm).  They are used to dramatically change the blowing force from the stock shim at 0.002” (0.05mm) thick.  Being that the paper was extremely thin, they opted to put the 0.001 (0.025m) thick shim inside the Super Ion Air Knife.  With the regulator in the kit, the customer could “dial” in the correct amount of force to keep the machine running optimally without breaking the delicate paper.

When the customer installed the Gen4 Super Ion Air Knives just before the entrance into the measuring device, the air stream was able to carry the ions to neutralize the static and to remove the dust from the paper surface.  The system was now able to make accurate measurements without disruptions.

For this customer above, the Gen4 Super Ion Air Knives made their system run accurately and consistently by removing any pesky dust particles.  If you have an optical device that needs to stay clean, you can contact an Application Engineer to review your application.

John Ball

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

Static, Dirt, and Plastic Tubes

Plastic Tube Blow-off, old method. 

A facility was manufacturing plastic laminated tubes used for packaging that was roughly 1” (25mm) in diameter by 6” (152mm) long.   At the end of the process before bulk packaging their tubes for customers, they would have to blow out the tubes to remove any dirt and debris.  (Reference photo above).  They were having issues with cleaning the tubes completely.

In their process, an operator would stack the plastic tubes into a form that held roughly 750 tubes.  Once filled, the operator would use a 6mm plastic tube on the end of an air hose to blow compressed air into each tube.   They noticed that some remnants still remained inside the tubes.  They tried increasing the air pressure, but they still had rejects for debris.  They contacted EXAIR to see if we could help.

When you speak about plastic components, static can be a real nuisance.  Static can be generated by sliding, stacking, rubbing parts together.  Once static starts to build, dust and debris like to stick to the surface; and depending on the strength of the static voltage, the force can be very strong.  Even by blowing compressed air to clean, the debris can still cling to edges or even “jump” to another location.  If the static can be removed, the particles will no longer be able to “stick” to the surface from static charges.

EXAIR offers a variety of Gen4 Static Eliminators that are compressed air assisted.  For this application, I recommended the model 8493 Gen4 Ion Air Gun Kit.   It combines a static-removal ionizer with an ergonomically-designed compressed air gun.  The kit also includes a power supply, filter and regulator.  The power supply is able to create both positive and negative ions inside the Ion Air Gun.  This can eliminate any type of static.  The efficient design of the Ion Air Gun allows for a 5:1 amplification ratio; minimizing compressed air usage while maximizing ionized airflow.  Together, the ionized airflow eliminates the static from the plastic surfaces, and the air stream will remove the dirt and debris.  With a regulator, you can control the force from a “breeze” to a “blast”, and with the filter, you can keep the supply of compressed air clean.  They replaced their 6mm blow-off device with the EXAIR Gen4 Ion Air Gun, and their process improved immensely.  While being able to remove the dirt and debris from the tubes more efficiently, the Gen4 Ion Air Gun was able to use less compressed air by 50% (saving money), lower the noise level by 10 dBA (no PPE required), and reduce the cycle time from 20 minutes to 7 minutes.

EXAIR has a variety of Gen4 Static Eliminators that can save you from getting headaches, losing money, and saving time.  If you use plastic component in your application, static will be a potential issue.  If you would like to eliminate it, please contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.

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

Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife Removes Fibrous Material from Conveyor Belt

Conveying System

A factory was having some issues in losing plastic material underneath and around their conveyor system.   The conveyor moved plastic fibers from an extrusion process into a hopper.   The conveyor belt was made of a rubber material that was 17” wide, and the plastic fiber was made from HDPE.  As the conveyor went around the end to dump the fibers into the hopper, some of it would stick to belt and sides of the conveying system.  Some fiber material would fall onto the ground which would require cleaning and loss of material.  They attempted to place a brush flap against the conveyor belt to knock the material off, but it was not very effective.  The brush flap actually generated more static as well as created wear marks on the belt from contact.  The customer sent a picture of the problem and wondered if EXAIR could help them with this application.

Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife Kit

With plastic fibrous material and rubber belts, the two non-conductive surfaces will generate static.  Static can have a strong force that will cause the material to “stick” to surfaces.  The higher the static voltage, the stronger the force.  As you can see in the photo, the material is sticking to the belt as well as to the sides.  For this application,  I recommended the model 112224 Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife Kit.  The Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife is uniquely designed to have two functions in this application.  The Super Ion Air Knife uses 40 parts of ambient air with every one part of compressed air, making it very efficient.  With the laminar air stream that comes from the Super Air Knife, it can carry both positive and negative ions from the attached Gen4 Ionizing Bar to remove any type of static charge.  With this combination, it becomes a very effective non-contact scraper to remove the fibers and not wear on the conveyor belt.  The model 112224 kit includes the 24” (610 mm) long Super Air Knife with a Gen4 Ionizing Bar attached; power supply, filter, regulator, and a shim set.

The reason for the 24” (610 mm) extended length was to keep the fibers from collecting to the outside area of the conveyor (as shown in the photo above).  With the compact and lightweight design, it could easily be positioned below the conveyor.  As the fiber material would come around the conveyor, the ions carried by the air stream would neutralize the static as well as remove the material from the belt and the sides.  When the customer mounted the Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife in place, the plastic fibers dropped into the hopper and not onto the floor underneath.

Spillage is wasteful, costly, and time consuming to cleanup.  If you have excess waste from your conveying system, EXAIR will have the product to help you.  For the customer above, the Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife made it possible to claim more material, removed the hazard from buildup on the floor, and reduced cleaning time.  You can contact an Application Engineer to review your application.

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

 

Levitating Spoons – is it Magic or Static Electricity?

I remember as a young lad watching a magician making a dollar bill disappear or a paper clip levitate.  The power of illusions.

An injection molding company was having issues in removing their parts from a tool.  This company made plastic spoons in a multi-cavity tool.  During the start of the operation, they noticed that some of the spoons (reference photo below)  were “sticking” to the mold surface.  Some spoons looked like they spoon were “defying gravity” .  It was not an illusion of levitation, but static.

Static charges can dramatically slow down production rates with plastic materials.  In this instance, the operator had to remove the spoons manually prior to restarting another cycle on the machine.  They measured roughly 30% of the time that they would have to stop their operation.  To counteract the parts sticking, they attempted to mount a pipe with drill holes above the tool.  They tried to use the force from the compressed air to remove any stragglers that remained in the tool.  This is a simple and easy-to-do method; but with this type of blow-off, it is very loud, inefficient and not real effective.

They only saw a slight improvement in part removal as they still had to stop roughly 28% of the time.  The bottom portion of the cavities still had spoons remaining in the tool.  With the amount of money being lost from slow production rates and the possibility of tool damage, they decided to contact EXAIR.

Spoon not falling from tool

In today’s injection molding market, tool coatings are commonly used to extend tool life and increase lubricity.  When a buffer is placed between plastic parts and the tool surface, static can be generated and become a real issue.  With the company above, the spoons were sticking in different areas of the tool depending on the static buildup.  If they can neutralize the static charges, then the spoons cannot defy gravity.

I recommended our model 112212 Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife Kit.  The Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife is designed to efficiently blow air and to carry both positive and negative ions to remove any kind of static charge.  For this model, it comes with a 12” (30.5 cm) long Super Air Knife with a Gen4 Ionizing Bar attached.  With the compact and lightweight design, it could easily be positioned above the tool to operate.  The kit also includes a power supply to power the ionizer, a filter to clean the compressed air, a regulator to control the force, and a shim set to modify force changes.  This complete kit had everything required to begin operations to remove static.

The customer only had to attach the unit to a compressed air source.  Once they started using the Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife, the removal rate of parts went to 100%.  As an added benefit, when the drilled pipe was replaced, the noise level dropped as well as the compressed air usage reduced.  By adding an EXAIR Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife to their process, the production rate was now maximized.

Model 112212 Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife

Static within injection molding processes can cause crushed parts, slower production rates, and even more costly; tool damage.  If you believe that static is causing things to “defy gravity”, EXAIR has a great range of Gen4 Static Eliminator products to remove that “magic” force.  And, for the company above, they didn’t have to continually watch their money “disappear”.

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

 

Photo by: Magic Hat by KCADRCCreative Commons CC0.

Eliminating False Image Readings Using The Gen4 Stay Set Ion Air Jet

I was recently contacted by a medical device manufacturer who was interested in implementing a Static Eliminator in their production process. They have a manually operated vision station where a plastic substrate, about the same size as a credit card, is placed into a nest then a small amount of liquid is deposited onto the surface. An operator takes a picture of the liquid and substrate and the image is analyzed. The part is stationary in the nest until the image is taken.  When the station is done, the plastic part is manually removed from the nest.

After some internal testing, they determined that static build up on the plastic part was causing the liquid to move, or “bounce” as they placed it, which was leading to a significant drop in their manufacturing yield due to faulty readings. The cycle time from taking the initial  image and the analysis results is roughly 2 seconds so they were needing something that would quickly remove the charge on the plastic part.

The customer was able to email some photos and after further review, EXAIR recommended they use our Gen4 Stay Set Ion Air Jet in the process. The Gen4 Ion Air Jet is a compact ionizer delivering a quiet, focused ionized air stream to quickly eliminate the static charge on the surface of a material or object. Operating at 20 PSIG, the Gen4 Ion Air Jet is capable of dissipating a 5kV charge in 0.45 seconds while maintaining a low sound level of only 67 dBA. The Ion Air Jet entrains ambient air at a rate of 5:1 and the airflow can be adjusted from a “blast” to a “breeze” simply by increasing or decreasing the inlet pressure. The Gen4 Stay Set Ion Air Jet includes our 12” Stay Set Hose which holds position until it is physically repositioned and a magnetic base for easy installation.

If you have an application that requires a concentrated, ionized airflow or for help with selecting the best product to fit your need, give me call at 800-903-9247 for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

A Tale of Two Super Ion Air Knives

A manufacturer of plastic bottles had a problem with static charge. Right after the bottles are extruded and cooled, they have an apparatus that “unscrambles” them and places them, single file, onto a conveyor. It does so with some fabric belts and plastic rollers. If you know anything of static electricity, dear reader, you probably recognize that there aren’t too many better ways to generate a static charge than to rub plastic against plastic, or (even worse) plastic & fabric together.  Here’s a prime example of the kind of static charge you can get, just from unrolling plastic film.

The separation of the non-conductive surfaces (like when this plastic film is unrolled) is capable of generating an incredible amount of static charge.

Now, the bottle makers didn’t have a static meter, but they didn’t need one to know they had issues:  the bottles that the “unscrambler” was putting on the belt were still very much “scrambled.”  They installed a Model 112209 9″ GEN4 Super Ion Air Knife Kit, to blow ionized air up from under the bottles as they entered the belt conveyor, and they did see what they’d call an improvement, but not quite what they’d call a solution.

Unfortunately, dissipating the static from just about half of the surface area of the bottle was still leaving them with half a problem.  However, by adding a Model 112009 9″ GEN4 Super Ion Air Knife (the 112209 Kit’s Power Supply has two outlets, and its Filter Separator & Pressure Regulator are capable of handling the flow to two 9″ Air Knives,) they were able to blow ionized air down from the other side, and up from where the first one was installed.  A soft “breeze” was all it took…a stronger air flow would have worked against the “unscrambler” anyway…because even at very low supply pressures, the Super Ion Air Knives produce an extremely fast static dissipation rate.

Even with a 5psig supply…which makes for just a “whisper” of air flow, the EXAIR GEN4 Super Ion Air Knife eliminates a 5kV charge in under half a second.

If you’ve got problems with static charge, we’ve not only got improvements; we’ve got solutions. Give me a call to find out how we can help.

What is a GEN4 Ion Air Cannon?

Quite simply the GEN4 Ion Air Cannon is based on the mechanics of the 2″ diameter Super Air Amplifier that has static reduction capabilities and as its name implies it amplifies the supply air up to 25 times!

This highly engineered product is very effective at cleaning product and reducing static at distances of up to 15′ away.

GEN4 IAC

The GEN4 Ion Air Cannon comes in a handy stand/mounting unit for easy installation in a wide variety of applications. It can be mounted to machine frames, mounted out of the way from a process, or placed on a bench top.

GEN4 IAC Dimensions

The GEN4 Super Ion Air Cannon can work with as little as 10 PSI supply pressure.

GEN4 IAC Performance

The GEN4 Ion Air Cannon is used in many applications such as bottling, manufacturing of solar panels and preparing new automobile car bodies to be painted – to name a few. Wherever static reduction and/or cleaning is required the Ion Air Cannon can contribute.

It is offered in a kit that can include the 7960 power supply, pressure regulator for fine adjustments, filter/separator to keep the air clean and dry and a shim set for gross adjustments or just the GEN4 Ion Air Cannon and the 7960 power supply.  Of course all components are also available individually.

If you would like to discuss reducing static and/or cleaning materials, I would enjoy hearing from you…give me a call.

Steve Harrison
Application Engineer

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