Protect Your Personnel from Static and Nuisance Shocks

With nonconductive types of materials, static electricity can become a big nuisance.  A blow-molding plant was making 2-liter milk containers.  The containers would move from the blow-molding machine to packaging within a confined conveyor.  At the end, it would align the milk containers in a three by eight matrix.  The stacking station would then push the lot into a large rack.   The cycle would then repeat itself.  The problem that they had was when a milk container would fall out of the rack.  When an operator would retrieve the container, a spark would jump out and shock the operator.  Ouch, that hurts!  Also, if any operator would stand too close to the rack of milk containers, they would also feel the strong zap of static.  Static can jump 1” (25mm) for every 10,000 volts.  Since it was a safety issue, they contacted EXAIR to find a solution. 

Stacking Station

Knowing that non-conductive materials can generate static from rubbing, sliding, and trimming; we wanted to focus on the best area for eliminating the static as it can regenerate.  With this application, we wanted to remove the static just before the milk containers reached the stacking station.  The milk containers were 9” (23cm) tall, and I recommend two pieces of the model 112009 Gen4 Super Ion Air knives and one piece of the model 7960 Gen4 Power Supply.  I recommended for them to place one Super Ion Air Knife on each side of the container to remove the static from the entire surface.  One of the great features about our Gen4 Static Eliminators is the power supplies.  EXAIR offers a 2 port and a 4 port Gen4 Power Supply.  So, you can operate more than one Gen4 Static Eliminator with one power supply.  With the model 7960, a 2-port Gen4 Power Supply, the customer could operate both Super Ion Air Knives with one power supply saving them money. 

112009

When it comes to eliminating static, EXAIR Gen4 Static Eliminators create both positive and negative ions to remove any type of static.  This will eliminate misalignments, jamming, surface debris, and shock to personnel.  As for the containers above, they passed between the Super Ion Air Knives, and the surface was now neutralized.  The stacking station aligned the milk containers and pushed the group into the racks.  Now, if a container did fall out, the operator was able to handle the container without getting shocked.  And for the racks that were sitting in storage, the static “monster” was eliminated to protect the passersby. 

Static

Being that the winter months are approaching, you may want to evaluate some of your processes.  If you are working with non-conductive materials like plastic, paper, rubber, textile; EXAIR has a variety of Gen4 Static Eliminators that can remove the static nuisance.  This will help your company with increased production rates, clean surfaces, and protection from personnel shock.  With our customer above, static was a safety concern, and EXAIR was able to provide a solution.  If you would to discuss your plastic applications and potential static issues, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  We will be happy to help. 

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

When Static Elimination is Needed, Choose an In-Stock Solution from EXAIR

Gen4 Static Eliminators

As the weather starts to change and the colder dryer months turn from autumn to winter, static electricity can become a real nuisance.  Machines will start jamming, alignments will be difficult, dirt will collect to surfaces, and hazardous sparks can shock personnel.  EXAIR manufactures a line of Gen4 Static Eliminators, also called ionizers, to remove these nuisances.

Static is generated from non-conductive surfaces being “rubbed”.  This could be caused from going over rollers on a conveyor, stacking product onto each other, sheet feeding, and even peeling away a backing material.  When a non-conductive surface, or insulator, is moved or separated, electrons are “stripped” and redistribute into different areas on the surface.  Static charges are typically measured in kilovolts (kV), 1 kV = 1,000 volts, and they can be either positive or negative in nature.  The higher the charge, the stronger the static force.  At a 10 kV static charge, a spark can jump one inch (25 mm) from the surface.   You probably felt that shock when working with plastic or non-conductive materials.  EXAIR has a Digital Static Meter to measure the amount of static voltage on a surface.  It is a great tool for finding problem areas in your process as well as determining the effectiveness of the treatment.

Model 7905 Digital Static Meter

Static electricity is dynamic.  The more you rub or move the material, the higher the static charges can form.  Static can also regenerate itself after the charges have been removed.  With higher static charges, the attraction force to other materials is much stronger.  This attraction could be to other products, dust, lint, and even you.  A negative effect of static can be seen with dirty surfaces, tearing, misalignment, jamming and shock to personnel.  The EXAIR Gen4 Static Eliminators are engineered to remove both negative and positive static charges in an assortment of designs to best fit the application.

EXAIR manufactures eight different product lines in two different styles, Gen4 Static Eliminators with Air and Gen4 Static Eliminators without Air.  These ionizers are powered by a 5,000V AC power supply.  The alternating current, AC, will create both negative ions and positive ions.  The result is no matter if the static charge you want to eliminate is positive or negative on a surface, the Gen4 Static Eliminators will be able to remove it.  The power supplies come in either a 2 port or 4 port design; so, you can power multiple Gen4 Static Eliminators with one power supply.  The input power is selectable from either 115Vac or 230Vac in both 50/60 hz.   An armored and electromagnetic shielded cable connects the power supply to the ionizer in a single wire design. This will help 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 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.  The laminar flow allows for a quick static discharge in fast conveyance speeds.  They can also remove static from surfaces up to 20 feet (6.1 meters) away.  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, this product has a good compressed air efficiency.  It utilizes the Coanda effect to draw in ambient air at a 30:1 amplification ratio.  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 pipe, 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 static decay 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 from 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 from “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 surface.  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.

The Gen4 Static Eliminators with air can be purchased with kits which will include the power supply (required for ionization), a filter (to clean contamination from the compressed air), and a regulator (to control the blowing force).  In the spirit of compressed air efficiency, EXAIR also offers the Electronic Flow Control, EFC, that uses a photoelectric sensor to turn on the air flow only when the product is under the Static Eliminator.

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 from a length of 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 shockless and works well in applications where blowing air could be a detriment for the process.  This would include screen printing, labeling, and large printing process.

    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 of the Gen4 Static Eliminators, this product can remove static in spot areas and help to stop jams in slitting operations. They can also be panel mounted to neutralize duct air.

If you find that static is creating process problems, wasting time, and costing you money, EXAIR has a large line of Gen4 Static Eliminators that can help you.  You can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR to select the correct model and remove that static nuisance.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

 

The NFL (USA Football) and Static Electricity: What Do They Have in Common?

Just this week we embarked on the dreaded end of summer task of closing our pool. While it isn’t as nice to look at once the winter cover comes on, it sure beats skimming leaves out for an hour every day when the water temperature drops below a comfortable swimming temperature. However, as an avid Cincinnati Bengals fan and love for all things football-related, this time of year also brings with it excitement and optimism as we gear up for another NFL season. Times have been rough for Bengals fans (and all Cincinnati sports for that matter), but things are looking up for us in the football world with the arrival of the newfound hope that comes with a 3-1 record.

So, what do Cincinnati Bengals football and static have in common? Both share the same seasons, fall and winter. This time of the year it is not uncommon to feel a slight shock after walking across a carpeted surface and touching a door knob. This little “jolt” is a result of fast-moving electrons leaping from your body to the door knob, or vice versa. As your feet shuffle across the surface of a rug or carpet, your body will either gain or lose electrons. Touching a conductive surface then causes these electrons to leap from one place to another.

If you notice, this happens to occur much more often during colder winter months. The reason that you experience static shocks more frequently during winter is due to the relative humidity. At colder temperatures, air does not hold as much moisture as it does when it’s warm. Even though you’re heating your house to a similar temperature, the air that is being drawn into your home and heated is still the dry cold air containing less moisture.

The amount of moisture in the air is expressed as relative humidity. This value is given as a percentage of water vapor in the air, compared to how much it could hold at that temperature. In conditions of lower relative humidity, static charges build up much easier. When the relative humidity is high, there’s a higher concentration of water molecules present in the air. These water molecules “coat” the surface of the material, allowing electrons to move more freely and form a layer over the material. This layer of water molecules acts like a lubricant, reducing the forces that cause static to generate. There are many applications that static may only pose an issue once the climate changes. 

Regardless of the nature of the application, if you’ve got a static problem, EXAIR has a solution!

To combat static electricity in your processes, EXAIR manufactures a complete line of Static Eliminators. Any of them are available to ship same day from stock to customers in the U.S. with an order placed by 2:00 ET (1:00 ET for same day shipments to Canada). We’re all tired by now of receiving the extremely long lead times for seemingly everything we try to order. That’s not the case here at EXAIR, if you need a solution and FAST give us a call!

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

Video Blog: Eliminating Static in the Printing Industry

While we’re still dealing with the high humidity and heat of summer in much of the US, cooler temperatures and lower humidity is right around the corner. Your home energy bill will certainly thank you as the less humid conditions allow you to turn off your A/C. While that’s great for lowering your bills, it creates a favorable environment for the generation of static electricity.

When the relative humidity is high, there’s a higher concentration of water molecules present in the air. These water molecules “coat” the surface of the material, allowing electrons to move more freely and form a layer over the material. This layer of water molecules acts like a lubricant, reducing the forces that cause static to generate. There are many applications that static may only pose an issue once the climate changes.

Anyone who works in the printing industry is sure to be aware of the types of problems associated with static electricity. One common application for EXAIR’s Static Eliminators is the neutralization of static in sheet-feeding processes.

Check out this demonstration depicting how the Super Ion Air Knife can be used to “float” a stack of material and saturate it with static eliminating ions. The SIAK can be operated at very low pressures to prevent disturbing the process, while still maintaining the effectiveness required to neutralize any static present on the surface of your parts or material.

As we begin to approach fall and winter, make sure you’re prepared to handle any static by speaking with one of our Application Engineers. With a whole line of products designed for neutralizing static, we have a solution available to ship from stock to ensure you’re prepared this year!

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