I recently worked with a vinyl window and door manufacturer on a static issue they were experiencing during the manufacturing process. After the aluminum frames are cut to length they are placed into a holding fixture where the vinyl seals are placed in a channel inside the frame and clamped together. A machining tool then travels around the parts to trim and machine the excess material, creating dust and some small chips. They tried to vacuum the debris away but were still seeing some residual material cling to the surface due to static, which resulted in manual rework of the parts, slowing down the production cycle.
The customer was able to send a drawing of the holding fixture for reference and after reviewing the information, I recommended they use our 18″ Super Ion Air Knife Kit in this application. The Super Ion Air Knife provides a high velocity, laminar sheet of ionized air across the length of the knife. As the positive and negative ions neutralize the surface charge, the airflow is able to clean the part of the unwanted material so it can be more easily vacuumed away. Using the regulator included in the kit, they can reduce the supply pressure to control the outlet flow and velocity to an acceptable level that doesn’t disrupt the current process.
If you have an application you would like to discuss or are considering an EXAIR product for your process, please contact an application engineer for assistance.
Static is all around us. It is caused by non-conductive materials having their electrons “rubbed” from one atom onto another. With the proliferation of engineered plastics throughout industry static is generated more readily and issues will start to appear when the static voltage gets large enough. EXAIR has a Static Eliminator product line with many solutions to help solve process issues.
Companies build systems using blowers and fans to generate air flows for various processes. Because of the high noise level normally associated with blowers and fans, they are generally mounted outside or away from the production floor. To bring the air to the work area, they use ductwork. Systems that involve plastic, wood, glass, or other types of non-conductive material, have a potential for developing static problems. The Ionizing Points are designed to remove static in small tight areas as well as in air duct systems that already have air moving through them.
I spoke to a customer recently who had a dust collection system in a room where an adhesive is applied to a fabric. The “openness” of the fabric allowed some adhesive to penetrate and land on a 36 inch (0.9 meter) wide conveyor belt. After the fabric was sprayed, it was conveyed into another room for further processing. The conveyor belt had to be cleaned continuously to support new fabric as it was being brought in. The conveying system was long enough to allow the adhesive to dry before it was to receive the next round of material. The conveyor belt material was such that the adhesive did not stick to it. (Or so they thought!). As the adhesive dried, it would “ball up” and harden on the belt and would need to be removed. To remove the particles, they used a push-pull cleaning method, blowing air through the duct and onto the belt surface to push the dried adhesive into a vacuum hood which pulled the particles into the dust collection system.
The customer started having issues with the contamination level within their fabric. From the nature of how the contamination was acting within the application, the customer had a strong suspicion that static was causing the contamination issue. The air through the duct could not generate enough lift on the particles for the vacuum system to remove them. The result was that dried adhesive was transferring onto the fabric. The customer was concerned that he would have to upgrade his complete push-pull system to continue his production. He contacted EXAIR for a solution.
In reviewing his room parameters, the customer did not have any compressed air lines going into this room. This narrowed my search in our Static Eliminator product line to our Ionizing Points, which do not require compressed air. He could place them along the end of the duct to generate ions which will eliminate any static charge present and release the adhesive particles. He purchased eight Ionizing Points and mounted them 4 inches (10 cm) apart. As the air was exiting the 36 inch (0.9 meter) wide ductwork, it would pick up the ions, remove the static from the conveyor belt and adhesive, and allow the vacuum flow to lift the particles. The adhesive remnants could then be picked up by the vacuum system as designed.
If your application already has blower or fan systems and you need to remove static, inserting one or more of the Ionizing Points through the duct wall could be a low cost solution to enable reasonable static elimination. If you have an application that you would like to discuss, contact an Application Engineer for help.