The video below provides details on the simple conversion to the new Gen4 style Super Ion Air Knife from the previous style or the addition of a Gen4 Ionizing Bar to an existing Super Air Knife to add static elimination to an existing blow off.
If you have questions about the Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife 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.
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.
A manufacturer of plastic bottles had a problem with static charge. Right after the bottles are extruded and cooled, they have an apparatus that “unscrambles” them and places them, single file, onto a conveyor. It does so with some fabric belts and plastic rollers. If you know anything of static electricity, dear reader, you probably recognize that there aren’t too many better ways to generate a static charge than to rub plastic against plastic, or (even worse) plastic & fabric together. Here’s a prime example of the kind of static charge you can get, just from unrolling plastic film.
Now, the bottle makers didn’t have a static meter, but they didn’t need one to know they had issues: the bottles that the “unscrambler” was putting on the belt were still very much “scrambled.” They installed a Model 112209 9″ GEN4 Super Ion Air Knife Kit, to blow ionized air up from under the bottles as they entered the belt conveyor, and they did see what they’d call an improvement, but not quite what they’d call a solution.
Unfortunately, dissipating the static from just about half of the surface area of the bottle was still leaving them with half a problem. However, by adding a Model 112009 9″ GEN4 Super Ion Air Knife (the 112209 Kit’s Power Supply has two outlets, and its Filter Separator & Pressure Regulator are capable of handling the flow to two 9″ Air Knives,) they were able to blow ionized air down from the other side, and up from where the first one was installed. A soft “breeze” was all it took…a stronger air flow would have worked against the “unscrambler” anyway…because even at very low supply pressures, the Super Ion Air Knives produce an extremely fast static dissipation rate.
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we are in the middle of winter and that means extremely dry air, and frequent shocks when reaching for a door knob after walking across a carpeted surface. While a shock is mildly uncomfortable and can be annoying to us, the presence of static electricity in an industrial manufacturing process can be much more problematic.
Problems that static cause range from operator discomfort to increased downtime to quality issues. Dust can cling to product, product can cling to itself, rollers, frames, or conveyors. Materials may tear, jam, curl and sheet fed items can stick and mis-feed. Hazardous sparks and shocks can occur, possibly damaging sensitive electronics.
EXAIR has put together a useful tool, the Basics of Static Electricity white paper with Interactive Regions to help a person learn more about static.
Topics covered include Electron Theory, Causes of Static Electricity, Triboelectric Series chart, and Types of Static Generation. Also, the white paper covers the areas of How to Control Static Charge Buildup, Determining the Source of the Static Buildup, Eliminating or Minimizing the Source Causing the Buildup, and Treating Static Buildup.
The Treating Static Buildup is a comprehensive review of the EXAIR Static Elimination products and how each technology is best applied to different processes and applications.
To receive your copy of the Basics of Static Electricity white paper, click the photo above or the link here.
If you would like to talk about static electricity or 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.
One of the best ways, in industry, to generate a static charge is to roll or unroll non-conductive materials such as polymer films, plastic sheet, etc. It’s common to see static charges well in excess of 10,000 volts in such operations, like the one I discussed with a customer recently.
One of the best ways, in industry, to dissipate a static charge is to use ionized air. There are different methods of doing this; one of the most popular is to effect a Corona discharge, via a high voltage, low amperage electric current. This is precisely what EXAIR’s Static Eliminators provide: a Corona discharge produces a bulk of both (+) and (-) ions in the enormous volume of high velocity air flow generated. When these (+) and (-) ions flow onto a surface charged with (-) and (+) ions, they cancel each other out, leaving a net neutral charge. Static, eliminated!
By combining an Ionizing Bar with a Super Air Knife, as Super Ion Air Knife provides rapid static elimination AND blow off of any dust, chips, or debris that was being statically held. The laminar curtain of ionized air not only maximizes the rate of static dissipation, but is also ideal for stripping/sweeping away any debris, leaving a clean, static-free surface. No more jamming, tearing, nuisance shocks to operators, dust attraction, or any of the other host of problems associated with static electricity.
The ionized air flow can be precisely regulated to whatever level it takes to get the job done. At 100psig, the powerful, high velocity blast will dissipate 5,000 volts of static charge in 0.18 seconds. If the material is fragile, or if that kind of air flow might disrupt the process, it’s not a big deal…even at 5psig supply pressure, that same 5,000 volts is dissipated in 0.40 seconds. That’s how it works on the plastic roll above – with just a whisper of ionized air flow from a Super Ion Air Knife, they consistently reduce the resultant static charge to less than 400 volts…far below the threshold for the nuisance shocks they wanted to avoid.
They’re on the shelf in lengths from 3 inches to 9 feet long, and we can make custom lengths in three days after receipt of an order. The 115/230VAC GEN4 Power Supplies are available with 2 or 4 outlets, to energize any 2 or 4 EXAIR GEN4 Static Eliminators.
Versatile. Efficient. Effective. Quiet. Safe. And, readily available. If you’d like to discuss a static problem, give me a call.
I recently received an inquiry from a food manufacturer about a packaging line they were having issues with. The plant fills continuous rows of thermo-formed cups which is then sealed with a single foil lid. Once sealed, a machine cuts the row to separate the cups, which creates small scrap pieces of foil. After the cutting operation, they try to collect as much of the waste trim as possible but some small pieces of foil, they call “dots”, cling to the surface of the cup and cutter due to static charge. The company installed a vacuum collection hood in this area, to try and help keep the foil pieces or any dust from falling onto the cup during the process. While this did help somewhat, some dots would remain and eventually fall off further down the line, making small piles that needed to be manually cleaned to avoid potential jams, which slowed down their production cycle.
The cups are filled and separated on a 44″ wide, mesh-screen conveyor with individual lanes to process multiple rows of cups. After being cut, the cups are moved to the inspection area and then packaged for shipment. I recommended they mount a 48″ Super Ion Air Knife above and below the cups and direct the airflow to the end where the vacuum collection hood is located. The idea is, as the ions eliminate the charge, the small foil dots will release and the laminar airflow would keep the parts moving toward the vacuum hood, thus removing all foil trim and preventing any piling of trim further down the production line.
EXAIR offers a wide selection of Static Eliminators for use in a variety of industrial processes. If you are experiencing static concerns in a particular area or to discuss a specific process, please contact an application engineer for assistance.
Now that the air is cooling and the humidity is dropping, you may often experience the phenomena of static electricity, and the resultant shock when touching something metal. As a child, you may have learned about static electricity by rubbing a balloon on your head and then seeing it stick to the wall. What is the science behind static electricity?
All materials are made up of atoms, which have a positively charged core called the nucleus surrounded by a cloud of negatively charged electrons. Each material is different, and in some types of materials the positive nucleus has a very strong pull on the electrons while in other materials the pull is very weak. If we were to put a strong pull material in contact with a weaker pull material, atoms from the weak pull material will migrate, and when the materials are separated, additional electrons will remain with the strong pull material. Due to the overall increase in electron quantity, the material becomes negatively charged and the other material becomes positively charged. If the materials are rubbed together, the opportunities for the electron migration increases, and thus more electrons are exchanged.
Electrons build up more easily in dry conditions. When the air has humidity, static build up is less common because a very thin layer of water molecules coat most surfaces, which allows the electrons to move more freely and make most materials conductive and static free.
In some cases, static electricity can be a good thing – laser printers and photocopiers use static electricity to transfer ink from the drum to the paper. Also, some power plants and chemical factories use static electricity to remove pollutants in a process that takes place within the smokestack.
But generally when EXAIR gets involved, it is because the static electricity is causing an unwanted build up of static charge that affects a manufacturing process. The results of a static charge imbalance can result in a shock to an operator, materials sticking together, poor print quality, sensor or counter malfunctions, bad surface finish, or any number of other problems.
EXAIR offers systems for total static control, such as the Super Ion Air Knife and Ionizing Bars for wide applications such as paper, film and plastic webs, the Super Ion Air Wipe for narrow, continuously moving materials such as wire, tube, or extrusions. Also offered are the handheld Ion Air Gun for use on three dimensional parts prior to assembly, packaging painting or finishing. Other options include the Ion Air Cannon for limited space or remote mounting applications, Ion Air Jet for tight spaces and concentrated airflow, and the Ionizing Point to provide close distance and accurate static removal.
To discuss your static elimination concerns , feel free to contact EXAIR and one our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.