Static Solution in the Printing Industry

When the weather gets dry and cool, static can be generated very easily, and it can become a real nuisance.  For the printing industry, static forces can pull or push the ink droplets which can create poor print quality like “ghost” images.  Static can also cause contamination to “stick” to the surface of the sheets affecting the printing process.  This can slow production, generate high scrap rates, and allow for poor quality.  In this blog, I will share the details about a printing company having static problems and a simple solution with a Gen4 Static Eliminator.

For this printing company, static was causing issues in print quality on their polypropylene sheets. Polypropylene is a non-conductive material which can generate high amounts of static that can cause many issues.  Their manual operation of moving, sliding, and picking up of the polypropylene sheets was generating the static.  Now that we found the cause, I had to determine a solution.

They sent pictures to describe the process in more detail.  An operator would pick up a sheet with the dimensions of 3 feet wide by 5 feet long (0.9 meters by 1.5 meters) from a bin.  He or she would load three polypropylene sheets onto a wide vacuum table next to the printing machine.  The table had an indicating bar which used yellow/green lights to align each sheet.  Once the indicator lights turned green, this meant that the sheet was aligned properly, and the operator would then hit a switch.

A dual rail with vacuum cups would come over and “grab” the three sheets.  The vacuum rail would pull the new sheets onto a sliding platform at the same time removing the printed sheets into a stacking area.  With the new sheets, this sliding platform would travel into the print machine where the print head would create the images.

Once the printing was completed, the sliding platform would come back to the original position where the process would repeat itself.  With all the handling and moving of the polypropylene sheets, static was being generated.  To improve their printing process by removing the static, we had to target an area where we would not have to worry about static regenerating.

EXAIR is a leading manufacturer of Static Eliminators, and we had a good discussion in solving his issue.  Ideally, we want to place the Static Eliminator just before the printing process.  In this application.  I recommended to them to locate a Gen4 Ionizing Bar just behind the indicating bar.  This would remove any static as the sheets were going onto the sliding platform.  Since the sheets were 3 feet (0.9 meters) wide, we needed to cover a span of 9 feet (2.7 meters) total.  Believe it or not, EXAIR manufactures and stocks an Ionizing Bar this long!!!

For this customer, they would not have to worry about any stop gaps in coverage with a single length product.  Also, the profile for the Gen4 Ionizing Bar is very thin and would not interfere with the vacuum rail system.  So, when the vacuum rail picks up the polypropylene sheets, the Gen4 Ionizing Bar will be able to remove the static from the printable surface.

Gen4 Ionizing Bar with 7960 Power Supply

I recommended the model 80108 Gen4 Ionizing Bar with the model 7960 Gen4 Power Supply.  This model can emit ions that can cover a span of 108 inches (2.73 meters).  The Gen4 Power Supply, which generates a 5,000 Volt signal, connects to the Gen4 Ionizing Bar with an electromagnetically shielded durable cable.  The alternating current generated by the Power Supply allows for the creation of both positive and negative ions from each point.  This will ensure neutralization of any type of static.

The Ionizing Bar can be positioned between 0.5” (13mm) to 2” (51mm) from the sheet surface to optimize decay rates.  After they mounted and started using the Ionization Bar, the static was removed quickly, and the printing issues were eliminated.  With a quick and simple set up of the Gen4 Ionizing Bar, they were able to get back on track with great quality and fast productivity.

If you have static issues with your printing process, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  We will be happy to make your static issues disappear and your vibrant images reappear.

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

 

Video Blog: Cleaning Gen4 Ionizing Bars

EXAIR’s Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife and Ionizing Bars are a great way to relieve static charges in your products and/or processes.  They are a very powerful, efficient design that will eliminate static charges and require only minimal maintenance to keep them performing at peak efficiency.

Check out the video below to see just how easy it is!

When you are looking for expert advice on your static relief application or any of our safe, quiet and efficient point of use compressed air products give us a call.   We would enjoy hearing from you!

Steve Harrison
Application Engineer
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The Case for The Ion Air Gun to Eliminate Static

EXAIR manufactures a range of Static Eliminator products that are all efficient, effective, and easy to use…none more so than the Gen4 Ion Air Gun. Consider:

  • It’s “plug and play,” all the way.  Connect the cable to the Power Supply, and hook it up to your compressed air system, and you’re ready to go.
  • It’s efficient and quiet.  The high velocity jet entrains an enormous amount of air from the surrounding environment, where it’s ionized and ready to eliminate static charge quickly and effectively.
  • Instant static dissipation, at your fingertips (literally) – squeeze the trigger to blow ionized air, anywhere you want (well, within the reach of the 10 foot cable, anyway.)
Model 8493 Gen4 Ion Air Gun Kit comes with everything you need, right out of the box. Just add compressed air.

Again, the Gen4 Ion Air Gun is just one of our Static Eliminator products.  How do you know if it’s the right one?  The selection of many EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products comes down to the size & shape of the air flow that will solve the application.  Static Eliminators are no different.

  • If you need to treat a large surface, you might be looking for a Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife.  They come in lengths from 3 inches to 9 feet long, and blow a laminar, even curtain of ionized air that’s extremely effective and fast at static elimination, even at very low supply pressures.
  • Gen4 Super Ion Air Wipes blow a 360° ionized airstream for pipes, cables, extruded shapes, etc.
  • Gen4 Ion Air Cannons and Gen4 Ion Air Jets are made to mount in place, and blow a focused, conical flow of ionized air.

If you’ve got large areas, multiple surfaces, or complex geometries to contend with, one (or an array) of these products might be the solution.  For a simple, straightforward, hand held static elimination solution, though, it just doesn’t get any easier than the EXAIR Gen4 Ion Air Gun.  Call me to find out how you can get one today.

***Order any qualifying EXAIR Static Eliminator by February 28, 2019, and we will include a FREE AC Sensor.  Click here for details.***

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Eliminate Static in Tight Spaces with EXAIR’s Gen4 Ion Air Cannon

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Gen4 IAC removing static from the inside of plastic bottles

The lower relative humidity associated with the cold, dry air of winter results in a significant increase in calls related to static problems. Luckily, EXAIR has a wide-range of Static Eliminators that are designed specifically to address static issues in a variety of industries. Materials such as paper, plastic, or textiles will normally contain an equal number of both positive and negative ions. When subjected to friction, this balance can be disturbed if the atoms gain or lose an electron. This gaining/losing of an electron causes the atom to be electrically imbalanced.

The static charge will then exert a force on nearby charged objects or grounded conductors (including personnel). These issues can also manifest in the form of dust clinging to product, product clinging to itself, rollers, machine beds or frames, materials jamming, and sheet feeding problems. Our Gen4 Static Eliminators have undergone independent laboratory tests to certify that they meet the rigorous safety, health, and environmental standards of the USA, European Union and Canada that are required to attain the CE and UL marks.

One of these such products is the Gen4 Ion Air Cannon. EXAIR’s Gen4 Ion Air Cannon neutralizes static charges at distances up to 15 feet without any moving parts. Utilizing EXAIR’s 2” Super Air Amplifier, the Ion Air Cannon will maximize ionized airflow while minimizing compressed air consumption. The strong, concentrated, quiet, and efficient ionized air is capable of eliminating a 5kV charge in as little as .37 seconds.

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Ion Air Cannon removing static from in between plastic sheets

The compact design saves space and allows it to be mounted in confined areas on walls, machine frames, bench tops, etc. The stand is pre-drilled for easy mounting, and incorporates a swivel adjustment to precisely position the airflow. Some examples of applications that have required the assistance of an Ion Air Cannon include: removing static from motorcycle bodies prior to painting, static removal on PCB boards, and disposable diaper manufacturing.

With a wide variety of Static Eliminating products available from stock, don’t wait for your static problems to subside when humidity levels come back up in the spring. Get yourself a Gen4 Static Eliminator from EXAIR and make sure you’re able to operate, static-free, for the rest of this winter and in the subsequent seasons to come!

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

The Simplicity Of EXAIR Static Eliminator Systems

If you’re a regular reader of EXAIR Application Engineering blogs, you’ll likely recognize the words “easy to do business with.” And if you’re an EXAIR customer, you’ve likely found that to be true – from customer service, to technical support, to shipping your order – and, of course, the product itself.  We get calls, from time to time, asking about what kind of “engineering system design” services we offer…and the simple answer is, it’s already been included in the product itself.  Most of the time, installation of an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product requires basic hand tools, and a compressed air supply.

One exception to this is our Static Eliminators product line: they also require electricity.  Good news is, the “engineering system design” is included for these products as well, in the Power Supply.  Gen4 Static Eliminator Power Supplies are energized by either 115VAC or 230VAC.  Cables for both are provided; the 115VAC three-prong grounded plug being the most common…just plug it in to any grounded wall outlet, and you’re in business.

Connecting EXAIR Gen4 Static Eliminators to the Power Supply is just as easy.  All of our Gen4 Static Eliminator Products have a 5ft (1.52m) cable (except the Ion Air Gun…it’s got a 10ft, or 3.04m cable) with a bayonet end for easy, safe, and reliable connection to the Power Supply.  The Model 7960 Gen4 Power Supply has two ports, which can accommodate any two Gen4 Static Eliminators.  This is often quite convenient…for example, Super Ion Air Knives are commonly used in pairs, to eliminate static on both sides of a sheet or film.

Some applications, though, call for more than two Static Eliminators.  For instance, Ionizing Points, Ion Air Cannons, and Ion Air Jets installed in an array to provide static elimination in a duct, or to multiple surfaces on an extrusion or part.  The Model 7961 Gen4 Power Supply has four ports, to fit these situations.

All EXAIR Gen4 Static Eliminators use one of two Power Supplies – your choice of the 2-port Model 7960, or the 4-port Model 7961.

Occasionally, a Static Eliminator needs to be installed in such a way that its 5ft (1.52m) cable cannot reach the desired location of the Power Supply, or an Ion Air Gun needs a longer cable to get everywhere in the space it’s being used in.  Or sometimes, a 5ft cable is simply too long.  To meet those needs, our shop can make custom length cables, precisely to any length you require, up to 50ft (15.2m) in length, for any Static Eliminator.  The only limitation, “engineering system design”-wise is 100ft (30.4m) of total cable length from any one Power Supply.

When Static Eliminators (like these two Ion Air Cannons) are used on a mobile platform (like this one, where they facilitate separation of plastic plates in a solar panel plant,) custom length cables can be necessary to reach a common Power Supply.

Static electricity is responsible for a multitude of problems from dust clinging to material, to material clinging to itself, to jamming, misfeeding, tearing & curling of product, and last but certainly not least, painful shocks.  If you’ve got a static problem you want to get rid of in a hurry, give me a call.  We’ve got a solution for you, ready to go, right out of the box.

***Order any qualifying EXAIR Static Eliminator by February 28, 2019, and we  will include a FREE AC Sensor.  Click here for details.***

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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The Wonders of The Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife

The Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife is a powerful static eliminator that prevents jamming, tearing, shocks and dust build up by neutralizing static and blowing away the debris.

The Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife combines the quiet and efficient Super Air Knife with the compact design of the rugged Gen4 Ionizing Bar resulting in a total solution to remove static electricity from plastics, webs, sheet stock and other product surfaces. Removing the static helps reduce or eliminate the process issues that the static electric causes, allowing for greater production speeds, improved product quality and a cleaner product.

The Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife floods an area or surface with static eliminating ions. With a uniform airflow across its length, misalignment to critical surfaces like webs is avoided.  The force can be adjusted from a light breeze, to a full out blast of air. The Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife is electrically powered, is shockless and has no moving parts.

How It Works

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How The Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife Works

In the diagram above, compressed air flows through an inlet (1) into the plenum chamber of the Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife. The flow is directed to a precise, slotted orifice. As the primary airflow exits, it creates a uniform sheet of air across the entire length, pulling in in surrounding air (2). An electrically powered Gen4 Ionizing Bar (3) fills the curtain of air with positive and negative charges. The air stream delivers the static eliminating ions to the product surface (4) where it instantly neutralizes static and cleans off dust and other particulates.

The Gen4 Super Ion Air Knives are powerful tools, and very quickly dissipates 5kV of static even at low compressed air supply pressures. At 5 PSIG, only 3.7 SCFM (0.3 BAR, only 105 SLPM) of compressed air per foot of length is required!!  Sound levels are also very low, resulting in quiet operation.

super ion air knife performance

Added Features –

  • Compressed Air Inlets are provided on each end and the bottom of the Super Air Knife
  • Thicker shims can be installed easily if a harder air flow is needed
  • Emitter points are sharp, durable stainless steel
  • The high voltage cable is armored to resist cuts and abrasion, and has integral grounding.  Threaded bayonet connector is fully assembled and ready to use
  • Electromagnetically shield cable protects sensitive electronics
  • Gen4 Ionizing Bars and Power Supplies are UL Component Recognized to U.S and Canadian safety standards and are CE and RoHS compliant
  • Power Supplies are 115/230 VAC selectable and come with 2 or 4 outlets
  • Standard lengths from 3″ to 108″ (76mm to 2743mm) are offered, and custom lengths are available to meet your process needs

Successful applications include web cleaning, pre-paint dust removal, shrink wrapper machinery, printing equipment, package cleaning,and bag opening/filling operations.

If you have questions about Gen4 Super Ion Air Knives, other types of Static Elimination products,  or any of the 16 different EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or any of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer
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Promotional Item: Gen4 Static Eliminators and a free AC Sensor

As the weather gets colder and the air gets dryer, static electricity can become a real nuisance in a production plant.  Machines will start jamming, alignments will be difficult, debris will collect on surfaces, and hazardous sparks can shock personnel.  EXAIR manufactures a large line of Gen4 Static Eliminators to remove this static nuisance.  And beginning January 1st, 2019; EXAIR will be giving away a free AC Sensor, a $57.00 value, with a purchase of any of the Gen4 Static Eliminators.

EXAIR stocks eight different product lines in two different styles, Gen4 Static Eliminators with Air and Gen4 Static Eliminators without Air.  In conjunction with a power supply, these ionizers can create both negative ions and positive ions to remove any type of static charge that is on the surface.  The Gen4 Power Supplies come in either a 2 port or 4 port configuration; so that, you can power multiple Gen4 Static Eliminators at once.  From the power supply to the ionizer, an armored and electromagnetic shielded cable is used in a single wire design. This helps to protect the cable from abrasions, cuts and splits in industrial areas.   The Gen4 Static Eliminators have a shockless design, and are UL Component Recognized and CE compliant.  I will give a brief description of each product that utilizes this rugged industrial design for optimal static neutralization.

Gen4 Static Eliminators with Air:

Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife
  1. Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife: This product has the best compressed air efficiency in removing static by combining the Super Air Knife with an Ionizing Bar.  The Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife has a 40:1 amplification ratio and uses the laminar air flow to carry the positive and negative ions to the surface up to 20 feet (6.1 meters) away.  The laminar air flow also allows for a quick static discharge in applications with fast conveyance speeds.  EXAIR manufactures stock lengths from 3” (76mm) to 108” (2.74 meters).  Some typical applications for the Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife are found in web cleaning, sheeters, pre-paint dust removal, and shrink wrappers.

    Gen4 Standard Ion Air Knife
  2. Gen4 Standard Ion Air Knife: Similar to the Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife, the Gen4 Standard Air Knife has a good efficiency at 30:1 amplification ratio.  It utilizes the Coanda effect to draw in ambient air, and they come in stocked lengths from 3” (76mm) to 48” (1.22 meters).  The Gen4 Standard Ion Air Knife are used in similar applications as well as mold releasing, package cleaning, label applications and plastic bag opening.

    Gen4 Super Ion Air Wipe
  3. Gen4 Super Ion Air Wipe: This product blows ionized air in a 360-degree pattern.  They are engineered to remove static and debris from the outside of hoses, plastic pipes, extrusions, and coated wires.  With the split design, the Gen4 Super Ion Air Wipe can easily mount around the product without having to rethread.  They come in two different sizes with a 2” (51mm) and 4” (102mm) inner diameter. The ionized air has a fast decay in removing static for speedy transfers.

    Gen4 Ion Air Cannon
  4. Gen4 Ion Air Cannon: Just like the name, this product will shower an area with ions to remove static. It can reach distances up to 15 feet (4.6 meters).  They are used in multiple areas including pre-paint car bodies, containers, shrink packaging, lenses, etc.  As an Air Amplifier, a small amount of compressed air will draw in a large amount of ambient air.  The ions are carried to the surface by the Gen4 Ion Air Cannon in a laminar air steam.   Once the ions coat the surface area, the air flow can gently remove any debris held by static forces.

    Gen4 Ion Air Gun
  5. Gen4 Ion Air Gun: For manual static removal to target specific areas, the Gen4 Ion Air Gun will work great.  This product comes standard with 10 feet (3 meters) of shielded cable for maximum reach.  An ergonomic air gun is attached to a Gen4 Ion Air Jet to manually remove static in difficult areas and to pre-treat within “shock” zones.  The Ion Air Guns work great for small batch processes used for quality checks or label applications.

    Gen4 Ion Air Jet
  6. Gen4 Ion Air Jet: Similar to the Ion Air Gun, this product is used for “hands-free” operations. They use a small amount of compressed air to “shoot” the ions onto a target area.  They can be operated with a solenoid valve or foot pedal to blow ions during specific times and situations.  They can easily be attached to a Stay Set Hose and Magnetic Base for best “hands-free” positioning for optimal cleaning.  They work well on small targets for automated systems or inspections areas prior to packaging.

Gen4 Static Eliminators without Air:

Gen4 Ionizing Bar
  1. Gen4 Ionizing Bar: This rugged design is for industrial use to remove static cling from flat surfaces. They range in length from 3” (76mm) to 108” (2.74 meters).  Without the assistance of air, the product has to be within 2 inches (51 mm) from the surface to remove static charges.  The Gen4 Ionizing Bar is compact, shockless and works well in applications where blowing air could be a detriment.  The applications would include screen printing, labeling, and large printing processes.

    Gen4 Ionizing Point
  2. Gen4 Ionizing Point: This single point design is manufactured to remove static on small targets in tight spots.  Utilizing the same rugged design, this product can remove static in spot areas and help to stop jams from slitting operations. They can also be panel mounted to neutralize areas using ducted air.
Model 7929 EXAIR AC Sensor – FREE to end user customers when purchasing ANY EXAIR Gen4 Static Eliminator through March 31st, 2019

Now how about that free promotional item, the AC Sensor, with a purchase of any of the Gen4 Static Eliminators above?  This device, as mentioned above, has a $57.00 value which you can get for free.  This sensor provides a non-contact way to verify if voltage is present.  A red light at the tip will glow, and an audible tone is sounded when voltage is detected.  The model 7929 AC Sensor is an ideal tool to quickly verify that power is going to your ionizer.  This instrument will also work for finding power in receptacles, junction boxes, switches and breaks in power cords.  Batteries will be included, so you can start using it right after receiving the robust Gen4 Static Eliminators.

If you are an end-user and located within the United States or Canada, you can take advantage of this offer until March 31st, 2019.  An Application Engineer at EXAIR will be happy to assist you with your application and a solution with the Static Eliminators.  And if you qualify, a free AC Sensor.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb