EXAIR Static Field Meter, Locating Your Static Problem

Static Meter
Model 7905 Digital Static Meter comes with certification of the accuracy and calibration traceable to NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology). A hard-shell case and 9 volt battery are also included.

As we finish up 2013 and head into the winter season in the Northern hemisphere, static problems begin to become more prevalent again due to the general lower humidity present in most manufacturing areas.

Some of the resulting symptoms of the static condition are: discharges to personnel, jamming, tearing, discharges to machines and sensors. Finally, discharges within a charged material can also cause blemishes to materials that must have absolute clarity within them. We’ve all been the victim of a nasty static discharge at some point or another. You can have the right tool in using an active static eliminator. But how do you know if you have your static eliminator located in the right position for maximum effectiveness?

That is where the EXAIR Static Meter model 7905 comes into play. This easy to use meter will indicate where the static field(s) are located in their process, how large they are in terms of kV / 1 inch distance from the charged target, and their polarity (+ or -). The meter can make direct readings up to +/- 20 kV at 1 inch distance.

The above pieces of information are handy for knowing where to place static eliminators for any given process. Static cannot be seen directly, and so your best bet for implementing an effective strategy is to utilize the Static Meter so that you can maximize static field reduction and minimize the effects of static re-generation by locating your equipment at the best possible points in the process.

Neal Raker, Application Engineer
nealraker@exair.com

Is My Static Eliminator Working?

Winter is settling in on us, slowly but surely, here in Cincinnati. As I write, it’s 39F and overcast outside…not nearly as harsh as it’s going to get, come mid-January. With the dropping temperatures comes a decrease in humidity levels, especially inside, where our heaters inconveniently rob our air of its moisture content. This leads to chapped lips and dry skin for us, and a higher propensity for static charge to build up on non-conductive surfaces. It’s then that we find ourselves at the onset of “Static Season,” when the volume of calls regarding our Static Eliminator product line (and, hopefully, sales of said products) increases.

A good number of those calls come from existing users, too, which is great, because we’re genuinely interested in problem-solving, and making sure that folks get the most out of our products. A popular question is, “How do I know if my Static Eliminator is working properly?” There are a few ways to determine this:

The easiest, quickest, and most sure-fire way is to measure the actual level of static charge, “before and after,” with EXAIR’s Digital Static Meter. It’s a convenient, hand-held, battery-operated instrument that indicates the surface voltage and polarity when held 1” away from the object.

Another easy and quick method to check for proper operation of a Static Eliminator is to sniff for the presence of ozone near the device’s emitter point(s). With the compressed air source turned off (for safety, of course, but for no small measure of comfort as well), you’ll be able to smell the distinct odor of ozone – it’s been described as pungent, sweet, or metallic. It’s the same smell around your copy machine after a load of copies.

If you’re handy with a multi-meter, you can also check for proper voltage at the emitter point(s). We have a step-by-step guide to show how it’s done; contact an Application Engineer to get a copy.

If any of the above trials point to a problem with your Static Eliminator, the step-by-step guide also walks you through the procedure for a thorough cleaning of your device. Additionally, we’ve made some handy videos that we hope will help too:

Ionizing Bar Cleaning & Maintenance

Ion Air Gun Cleaning & Maintenance

Even with a properly functioning Static Eliminator, there may be installation or operational issues that are limiting its effectiveness. If this is the case, give us a call…like I said before, we’ve got a genuine interest in problem-solving, and we’re eager to help.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: http://www.exair.com
Blog: https://blog.exair.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair

Video Blog: Taking Care of Your Ion Air Gun

Welcome to the latest in our Application Engineering Video Series. In this installment, we’ll cover how to test and maintain an EXAIR Ion Air Gun.

To view Brian and Joe’s videos that I talked about, follow these links:

Ionizing Bar Maintenance

Static Meter Operation

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: http://www.exair.com
Blog: https://blog.exair.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair

Smells

I can’t wait to get home tonight. Before I left the house to seek my fortune this morning, I put the basic ingredients for dinner in the crock pot: a couple of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, a can of chicken broth, and a packet of taco seasoning. When I walk in the door this evening, my house is gonna smell like my favorite Mexican restaurant.

Smells can be powerful, especially as memory-joggers. The smell of bacon frying always makes me think of Scout campouts. Lilac reminds me of spring, at my childhood home – the first thing my Dad had done when he bought the place was to plant a lilac bush outside the corner of the family room, where the odor couldn’t help but waft through the open windows. It’s like the house was designed for it.

You can get used to smells, too. Just for fun (well, also for patriotism, adventure, and fulfillment of my enlistment obligation), I used to go to sea on a Trident submarine, where we would spend 2-3 months completely submerged. The Boat had a scent all its own: a unique mixture of lube oil, amine, steam plant treatment chemicals, the body odor of 150+ sailors, etc. When you first climb down the ladder, it’s just…different. Not necessarily unpleasant; just different. The first time I returned from a patrol, though, I left my sea bag in the living room. The next morning, when I awoke and emerged from my bedroom, I encountered the foulest stench I think I’ve ever smelled…from then on, the sea bag stayed in the garage, and everything inside went to the laundromat or the trashcan the next morning.

Ozone has a particular, unmistakable odor, one that you won’t forget, but also one that most find hard to describe. I’ve heard it called sweet, pungent, metallic…I think it smells “clean,” perhaps because I associate it with electrostatic air cleaners.

As it turns out, knowing what ozone smells like is a valuable asset if you want to know if your EXAIR Static Eliminator is working properly. Assuming it’s readily accessible, the easiest and quickest test you can perform is to turn off the compressed air supply, leave the power supply energized, and sniff for the presence of ozone at the emitter point(s). Basically, if it’s making ozone, it’s working.

If you’re still not 100% sure, we have a Static Eliminator Cleaning and Maintenance Guide that will walk you through an electrical check of the equipment. It’s available upon request – just ask an Application Engineer.

Even if your Static Eliminator is up and running just like it did when it was new, right out of the box, though, there are other variables that might limit its effectiveness: air supply, mounting location, angle/direction of air flow, surface contact time (just to name the usual suspects) all come in to play. If you know your Static Eliminator is working properly, and you’re still not getting the results you’re looking for, perhaps it’s time to quantify the problem…that’s where our Static Meter can help. It allows you to easily and accurately measure the static charge on your material, both before and after Static Elimination. This data will be key to finding the problem, and determining the solution.

Of course, our Application Engineering team is eager to help, if you have any questions about installation, operation, “tips and tricks,” etc. Just know that you might get several different answers about what ozone smells like.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: http://www.exair.com
Blog: https://blog.exair.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair