I was recently contacted by a medical device manufacturer who was interested in implementing a Static Eliminator in their production process. They have a manually operated vision station where a plastic substrate, about the same size as a credit card, is placed into a nest then a small amount of liquid is deposited onto the surface. An operator takes a picture of the liquid and substrate and the image is analyzed. The part is stationary in the nest until the image is taken. When the station is done, the plastic part is manually removed from the nest.
After some internal testing, they determined that static build up on the plastic part was causing the liquid to move, or “bounce” as they placed it, which was leading to a significant drop in their manufacturing yield due to faulty readings. The cycle time from taking the initial image and the analysis results is roughly 2 seconds so they were needing something that would quickly remove the charge on the plastic part.
The customer was able to email some photos and after further review, EXAIR recommended they use our Gen4 Stay Set Ion Air Jet in the process. The Gen4 Ion Air Jet is a compact ionizer delivering a quiet, focused ionized air stream to quickly eliminate the static charge on the surface of a material or object. Operating at 20 PSIG, the Gen4 Ion Air Jet is capable of dissipating a 5kV charge in 0.45 seconds while maintaining a low sound level of only 67 dBA. The Ion Air Jet entrains ambient air at a rate of 5:1 and the airflow can be adjusted from a “blast” to a “breeze” simply by increasing or decreasing the inlet pressure. The Gen4 Stay Set Ion Air Jet includes our 12” Stay Set Hose which holds position until it is physically repositioned and a magnetic base for easy installation.
If you have an application that requires a concentrated, ionized airflow or for help with selecting the best product to fit your need, give me call at 800-903-9247 for assistance.
A Quality Control department had static issues when analyzing color swatches. Their production process was screen printing on polycarbonate sheets. They had our Super Ion Air Knives and Ion Bars in their production process to remove static and debris. During the die cutting operation, a color swatch was removed for QC to inspect. They would use an instrument to verify the color and clarity. During the inspection, they would periodically have a rejection. In inspecting the swatches, they noticed a lot of debris that was collected on the surface. This would affect the reading of the instrument. They tried to wipe off the debris, but because of the static build-up on the surface, it was hard to remove all of it. Being that they were familiar with EXAIR products, they contacted us and I suggested our Ion Air Gun. The ions would remove the static while the air flow would remove the dust. Once in use, the reliability of the inspection instrument was much improved.
One of our more versatile Static Eliminator products is the Ion Air Gun. You can turn the unit on and start blowing ionized air to remove static and contaminants from lenses, sheets, plastic wrap, plastic products and other materials holding a static charge. It comes with a 3 meter cable to give you a long reach and a High Velocity Air Jet that produces a large amplification ratio to reduce the amount of compressed air use. The ergonomic, light-weight, and rugged design makes it an effective air gun to remove both static and debris.
In this instance, the Ion Air Gun was a nice accessory for the QC department to clean surfaces before inspection. It made their job more effective and less time consuming. If static is a big issue, you can always contact an Application Engineer for help.
Many times we will be contacted by clients who provide vision inspection systems for a variety of industries. These companies are involved in applications to inspect everything from part conformance to product counting to processes to filling applications.
In the first photo above a customer had their vision inspection system set to inspect the filling of a powder material into its container. The problem is that the fine, dusty nature of the product would cause a small cloud to form near the filling point which would end up settling onto the lens area. Over time, so much build up would occur that the vision inspection system was rendered useless.
The customer had a small air jet set up as shown in the photo on the left, above. The problem with their air jet was that it did not provide full coverage across the width of the lens and allowed dust to still settle there. You can see it in the photo. After the customer contacted us and described the situation and the size of their lens, we recommended model 1122 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle with the thinnest shim available which is .005” thick. The 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle was able to provide an airflow that covered the full diameter of the lens and blast any debris away. In the end, they removed the homemade small air jet assembly and simply blew air across the lens with EXAIR’s nozzle. See photo on the right above.
Vision inspection cameras, lasers, and sensors are found in a variety of dusty and messy environments. Inspection systems on filling lines, sawing applications, weighing machines and grinding applications are just some of the notoriously problematic processes. If you are involved in a process that has trouble keeping the vision inspection lenses clean, the 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle is a great way to mount an engineered solution that won’t run you out of house and home on your compressed air usage. And best of all, it actually does a good job. If your application is slightly bigger, smaller, dirtier etc., EXAIR’s unmatched selection of nozzle and blowoff products can likely provide a solution.