A manufacturer of high speed industrial machinery makes a sorting machine for seeds. There’s a clear plastic cover for operators to see the seeds as they pass through the machine. Many seeds are dense enough to move right on through, but some lower density seeds (canola, lettuce, and flax seed, specifically) bounce around a bit, and even the slight static charge that builds up as they move through causes them to cling to the inside of that viewing window.
This was a great fit for our Model 8406 6″ Gen4 Standard Ion Air Knife Kit…”fit” being the operative word. While the Super Ion Air Knives are more efficient and quieter, there simply wasn’t very much room at all for mounting inside, so the smaller profile of the Standard Ion Air Knife made all the difference in the world. Also, since they just need static dissipation of such a small area, and not much flow at all is required to blow off these lightweight seeds, the differences in compressed air consumption and sound level were not very much at all.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
Recently, I worked with a production engineer at a Tier 1 supplier for the auto industry. An upcoming project was in the works to install a new line to produce headlight lenses. As a part of the process, there was to be a “De-static / Blow-off” station, where a shuttle system would bring a pair of the parts to a station where they would be blown off and any static removed prior to being transferred to a painting fixture and sent off for painting. For best results, the lenses were to be dust and lint free and have no static charge, ensuring a perfect paint result.
The customer was limited in compressed air supply volume in the area of the plant where this process was to occur. 50 SCFM of 80 PSIG was the expected air availability at peak use times, which posed a problem – the Super Ion Air Knives would need up to 105 SCFM if operated at 80 PSIG. A further review of the design parameters for the process revealed that the system needed to blow air for only 4 seconds and would be off for 25 seconds to meet the target throughput.
This scenario lends itself perfectly to the use of a Receiver Tank. Running all of the design numbers into the calculations, showed that the 60 Gallon Receiver Tank we offer, would allow for a 20 second run-time, and require 13.1 seconds to refill. These figures were well within the requires times, and would allow for the system to work as needed, without having to do anything to the compressed air supply system.
The moral of the story is – if you have a process that is intermittent, and the times for and between blow-off, drying, or cooling allows, a Receiver Tank can be used to allow you to get the most of your available compressed air system.
Note – Lee Evans wrote an easy to follow blog that details the principle and calculations of Receiver Tanks, and it is worth your time to read here.
If you would like to talk about any of the EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.