Customer Success Stories
A manufacturer of disposable contact lenses operates several Laminar Airflow Workstations where operators inspect and package the contact lenses. While the Laminar Airflow units with Hepa filtered air helped reduce the attraction of airborne contaminants to the products, an unacceptable amount of dust and other airborne contaminants still found a way onto the lenses and packaging. Through an application analysis we determined that low levels of electrostatic charges on various surfaces were present and causing contaminantion.
We integrated our high performance Ion-Edge Model 400T Static Eliminator bars to the Laminar Airflow stations which enabled the workstations to be filled with ionized air. This effectively eliminated the electrostatic charges and prevented the company from packaging contaminated contact lenses. Waste has been eliminated, productivity has increased and the company has been able to maintain its reputation for quality products.
During the operation of a digital flatbed press, static was building on the corrugated plastic substrates causing the printer numerous problems such as ink over-spray and clogged inkjets. This static caused delays in effectively completing print jobs, increased ink and substrate costs, and damage to expensive ink-jet cartridges.
Our time proven Model 400T Ion-Edge Static Eliminator Bar resolved the problem. The high performance AC bar was mounted to the printer and the customer reported the results were immediate and on target. The static was eliminated and the customer is back to producing high quality print work.
A bottler was having a problem. Even after rinsing, their bottles were contaminated. Because water rinsers require so much water, the bottler chose to use a recycled water rinser. The water was treated and filtered, but contamination issues remained. Rather than cleaning out the bottles, the recycled water caused dust and cardboard fibers to stick to the insides of the bottles. These dust and cardboard fibers carried the bacteria causing contamination.
The bottler converted to an ionized air rinser. Using TAKK’s Model 5860 Inline Ionizers, filtered compressed air is ionized and blown through nozzles into inverted bottles. The ionized air eliminates the static charge holding the dirt and cardboard fibers in bottles and the dirt and fibers fall out with the gentle movement of the air. A vacuum sucks the falling dirt out of the rinser and discharges it in a location away from the open bottles. The Ionized Air Rinser system eliminates the need for water/recycling water and it also cleans better than water.
The air rinser is an effective means of cleaning when using the ionization of the TAKK Inline Ionizers. In the three months since the conversion of their filler to ionized air, the bottler has had no contamination of their product.
Injection Molding – Small Plastic Parts
A manufacturer of small plastic injection molded parts (caps, closures, fitments and pipettes) was experiencing static electricity problems during various steps in their molding and handling operations.
The static caused the plastic parts to cling to the mold surfaces and causing the part, in some cases, to not completely eject from the mold cavity. Machine operators would receive a painful or potentially harmful shock from the molding process, and the attraction of airborne contaminates was causing unwanted dirt on the finished plastic parts.
These issues negatively impacted operations by reducing productivity, increasing machinery malfunctions, increasing maintenance costs and posing discomfort or harm to operators.
Because there were two different areas needing static control, we recommended a multifaceted approach using two different types of static control – the Super Air-Knife at the mold cycle and the Vortex Blower on the conveyors.
The Ion-Jet Super Air-Knife engulfs the parts and mold surfaces with a curtain of ionized air, neutralizing the static electricity and preventing the parts from clinging to the molds so they would be ejected properly. The Super Air-Knife is also effective at blowing the parts towards the catch bins.
The Vortex Blower is strategically positioned on the conveyors to project a wide and long range of ionized air. This will ensure the parts will remain free of static, dirt and contaminants as they move toward and into Gaylord-style storage bins.
These controls eliminated the static issues enabling the manufacturer to increase their productivity and profits. The solution also reduced the discomfort of static electricity shock to the machine operators.
Plastic Film Converting
A plastic film converter was experiencing electrostatic problems in the winding process, which was negatively impacting effective operation of the converting machinery. Typical static eliminators were not effective or lacked the suitable ionization range to solve this converter’s static problem.
Many materials such as plastic films, paper and foil generate a significant electrostatic charge as they are handled, especially during unwind or rewind. Excessive static electricity charges in winding operations can cause a number of undesirable outcomes. For example, static-charged materials can cling to or repel surfaces such as rollers, causing improperly or unevenly wound rolls. It can also slow machinery speeds in order to wind properly. Both problems result in reduced throughput and failure to meet time and labor targets. In addition, static also increases dust and dirt contamination, which results in rejected materials and quality impediments in secondary operations like slitting or printing. There is also the risk of shock hazards to personnel and machine components, and sensors, readers or diagnostic units can fail to operate properly.
The IonStorm XR2 Static Elimination System provides high-performance ionization output and extended ionization range. As the web winds or unwinds and increases or decreases in diameter, the IonStorm XR2 continuously and effectively neutralizes the static charge of the web. Additionally the IonStorm XR2 provides extended range ionization where many process or machinery designs prohibit the installation of close mounting ionizers.
The ultra-high ionization output, user adjustable performance controls and extended ionization range of the IonStorm XR2 quickly and efficiently solved this converter’s static problems and the resulting production deficiencies that accompanied them.
A glass door and window manufacturer produces various size glass “lights” or panels for installation into their door and window products. The glass lights are profiled and/or contoured with a router to achieve special designs and edges. The lights are sent into a water bath for cleaning and then are force air-dried. Once completely dry, cosmetic appliques or decorative paints can be applied to the glass surface. In order to produce a defect-free finished product, it is critically important that the glass light be free of any airborne contaminants or glass shards which could result in a defective or low-quality finished product.
The company used a static consultation to determine that the dust and other contaminants being attracted to the glass lights were caused by electrostatic charges. Immediately after the glass was profiled or cut into shapes, the manufacturer used a water bath and air blowoff to clean the windows, which is one of the most critical steps in the cleaning and neutralization process. The static consultation determined that the hot, dry air blowoff often added additional static electricity to the glass, increasing the potential for attracting contamination. These problems were increasing the defective product counts, as well as creating reworking delays.
The company wanted to know what solutions could be employed to prevent defects in their products, as well as reduce the production-robbing problems associated with reworking their parts.
Our recommendation included implementing several Ion-Jet Super Air Knife Ionizers at strategic locations throughout the manufacturing process. The Super Ion-Jet Ionizers deliver robust ionization to eliminate any static charges, while simultaneously delivering a forceful blast of air to remove any contaminants from the glass lights. This results in reduced defective parts and streamlined production of the products. The company is also able to minimize their compressed air usage with the Super Air Knives, compared to their old drilled pipe blowoffs.
A plastic parts manufacturer began experiencing unacceptable levels of defective parts in their Injection Molded & Metallizing operations. The company had evidence that the increase in defective parts was due in part to extremely high levels of static electricity generated from the injection molding process and subsequent parts handling.
The electrostatic charges caused significant amounts of process-related contaminants and airborne dust to be electrostatically attracted to the parts. This caused several problems after the parts were metallized, such as efficient manufacturing and quality issues.
These contaminates caused dramatic and unacceptable cosmetic blemishes, resulting in the need for the parts to be re-worked at tremendous direct and indirect cost to the manufacturer.
The manufacturer requested our diagnostic services to measure, document and confirm the occurrences of static electricity in their operations. In addition, the manufacturer requested that we provide a recommendation for eliminating the static electricity and contaminant problems, thereby reducing the number of defective parts.
We were able to identify the causes and locations of their static related defects and because of the diverse molding machinery and operational work areas, we recommended three different tools—the Vortex, Curtain Air and the Ion-Jet Air-Knife—to meet their challenging static control and part blowoff requirements.
Upon install of our Static Control systems this customer reported a significant reduction in defective parts due to static electricity and contamination. The Static Control systems helped to reduce/eliminate part remanufacturing, as well as reduced personnel resources to manually clean parts, increased acceptable quality parts and throughput, and improved general operational efficiencies.