Out with the Old, in with the NEW!

Like many of us, my household is in the full swing of outdoor projects and tasks. Entering into our second summer at our new house, we still have quite the laundry list of things we’d like to accomplish this year. Currently, I’m working on replacing an old privacy fence in my backyard and also having a new driveway poured. The old fence has been up since the house was built in 1973 and the driveway has without a doubt seen better days.

Last year we introduced the last few products within our NEW Gen4 Static Eliminator product line.

EXAIR PR Hero Images

Some features of the new Gen4 Static Eliminator include:

  • UR recognized power supply and products. The unit is constructed of UL Recognized components that have been independently tested to meet safety standards set forth by UL
  • CE Compliance available for both the power supplies and all ionizers. The previous rendition of Static Eliminators included CE Compliance for the Power Supply only.
  • Single-wire, integrated ground design on the high voltage cable. The grounding is integrated into the steel conduit, protecting the inner cable.
  • Stainless steel connectors on the Power Supply. This replaces the previous plastic connections and dramatically enhances durability.
  • Replaceable parts on the Power Supply: An integrated fuse (0.1 amp 240V, fast blow), power switch, and modular power cable.
  • Power Supply voltage selection: With the turn of a switch, the Power Supply is now suitable for use with either 115 or 230 VAC.
  • Armored high voltage cable, built to withstand tough industrial environments and resist cuts and abrasions.
  • Enhanced performance, Ion Bars are now capable of eliminating a static charge at a distance 2x that of the older versions without a compressed air supply.

No matter the application, EXAIR has a Static Eliminator ready to tackle the job! If you have an older model Static Eliminator, be prepared to make the upgrade to the new Gen4 Static Eliminators. With the increased durability and enhanced performance that the Gen4 models offer, it’s time to bid adieu to the old-style Ionizers. Give us a call and upgrade your Static Eliminators today!

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

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

 

What is a Super Ion Air Wipe?

1st Pic.jpg
Rendering Of The GEN4 Super Ion Air Wipe In Action

 

EXAIR’s GEN4 Super Ion Air Wipe provides a uniform 360° ionized airstream that is simple to clamp around a part for reducing static electricity and cleaning contaminants. It is great for use on pipe, cable, extruded shapes, hose, wire and much more. We offer the GEN4 Super Ion Air Wipe in either 2” or 4” inner diameter, it is powered by compressed air and an external power supply. The GEN4 Super Ion Air Wipe generates both positive and negative ions that are transmitted the emitter points located on the i.d. of the wipe. Since static charges can be either negative or positive it is easy to eliminate both states of charge due to the mixed polarity of ions being generated. The power supplies are available with either 2 or 4 outlets (can power up to 2 or 4 GEN4 Static Eliminators simultaneously) and are UL recognized, CE and RoHS compliant. The power supplies also have a selectable input voltage for either 115 or 230VAC.

Another great feature of the GEN4 Super Ion Air Wipe is the split collar design that utilizes a clamp and hinge making it easy to clamp around the surface of the material moving through it eliminating the need for time consuming “threading”.

2nd Pic.jpg

How does the Super Ion Air Wipe work? The Super Ion Air Wipe envelopes the part passing through it with a stream of compressed air to strip contaminants and bathes it with ions to diminish any static charge. The airflow follows the surface of the material passing through it and can be effective up to 15′ (4.6m) away from where the Super Ion Air Wipe is located. The optional pressure regulator allows for fine adjustments of the air volume and velocity and the optional shim set allows for large air volume and velocity adjustments.

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How The GEN4 Super Ion Wipe Works

 

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

Steve Harrison
Application Engineer
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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.

Cleaning the Gen4 Static Eliminators

It has been over two years since EXAIR first brought our Gen4 Static Eliminators to market with improved performance, materials and durability.  The new design features continue to provide our customers with reliable, rugged and problem solving static eliminators.

More recently our Gen4 product line was completed by integrating these same beneficial features in the Gen4 Ionizing Bars, Gen4 Super Ion Air Knives, and Gen4 Standard Ion Air Knives.

There are two common ways that a Static Eliminator will start to underperform; contamination buildup and point degradation.  To create ions from a metal point, a high voltage is needed.  With 5,000 volts forcing its way into a confined area, the energy behind making an ion creates a corona field.  Any contamination near or around that point will produce a small amount of charred material.  The more contamination in the surrounding area, the faster the buildup will occur. Once a sharp point is coated, the ion production begins to decrease.

The other issue is with metal point degradation.  With the cycle of heating and cooling, the material will start to lose the sharpness of the point over time.  Like a wick used in a candle, you lose a little bit each time.  For both methods above, once the point sharpness is reduced, the dissipation time to remove static starts to increase.

For any “forensics” analysis with the Static Eliminators, you should have a model 7905 Static Meter.  Besides viewing the ion points, the Static Meter can help determine the severity of the function of the ion points.  If cleaning is required, you can use a soft-bristled brush to remove any charred contamination from the point and the base area.  Make sure that the power is turned off before cleaning.  For resistor-based Static Eliminators, the metal ion pins are replaceable.  This is model 901188.  This added feature makes a cost-effective way to keeping the points sharp, and the Static Eliminators like new.  The video below shows how to clean and replace the ion points.

Contact any of our Application Engineers if you have any additional questions about cleaning, about a new application or about potential solutions to static related problems.

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

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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3 Ways Static Electricity is Generated

EXAIR published a whitepaper, Basics of Static Electricity, explaining what causes static electricity, how it is generated, and steps to eliminate it. Download it now by clicking the link, and begin to eliminate the static problems on your plant or process.

In this blog, I would like to expand on the subject about how static can be generated.  On a molecular scale, the outer electrons that are orbiting the nucleus can be “stripped” and redistributed from one atom to another.  This will cause an electrical charge imbalance called static.  An additional electron will create negatively charged static while atoms losing an electron will create a positively charged static.  With non-conductive materials like plastic, paper, rubber, glass, etc, the electrons cannot move back to the original atom. There are three common methods of static generation that will cause this phenomenon to occur.  I will explain each one in brief detail below:

  1. Contact – Whenever objects hit each other, electrons can be passed to or received from the surface of another object. The number of electrons being transferred is based on the type of triboelectric material.  But, with plastic bottles or trays bumping into each other on conveyor belts, static is being generated.

    Contact
  2. Detachment – when one material is being separated from another material by peeling, electrons may not able to return back to the original molecule. Adhesive tape and protective films are prevalent in generating static charges by detachment because of the larger surface areas.  As an example; when the backing material is being removed from labels, the static will cause the labels to be misaligned.

    Detachment
  3. Frictional – This is one of the most common reasons for generating large static forces. It is caused by two non-conductive surfaces being rubbed together.  The amount of force being applied to the material as it slides back and forth will create higher static charges.   It is definitely noticed when you rub a balloon on your hair.  The more times that you rub the balloon against your hair, the stronger the static forces, allowing the balloon to “stick” to the wall.  It is also noticed as sheets of material are stacked or running over rollers.

    Friction

Static tends to propagate.  The more contact, detachment, and friction that occurs; the higher the static charges.  Even when the static is removed from the surface, static charges can still regenerate by the mechanisms above.  So, controlling the static can be determined by the treatment process as well as the location.

Another variable that affects the static generation is humidity.  Most process problems are noticed during the winter seasons as the ambient air is drier.  With a lower relative humidity, the development of static is enhanced; making it easier to produce static as well as creating a higher static force.  We always refer to winter as static season.

Production problems with static can occur like dirty surfaces, tearing, alignment, jamming and shock to personnel.  EXAIR has a number of Static Eliminators to remove these process snags and down time that will cost your company money.  You can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR to discuss any static issues that are being generated.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb