Being a big music enthusiast, running jam sessions in the barn behind our house and working in the static business always has me thinking of cool names to call our jam band. The band is made up of four people from our company, Static Clean International and other invited guests. Then it hit me, we will call our band “Guns and Nozzles”.
In our lineup of static control products, some of the key tools to deal with static electricity and particle contamination problems are ionizing air guns and ionizing air nozzles.
Simply stated, they use compressed air or nitrogen to blow off debris and the ionizing components inside of the units make sure that the particles are not reattached back onto the newly cleaned substrate. The latest edition to the ionizing air tools is the Zapp Plus, which features a controller, a sensor eye, a goose-neck for flexibility, a built-in piezoelectric transformer and a fault detector to warn of power supply problems.
Without deviation progress is not possible-Frank Zappa
The Zapp Plus has gained wide acceptance for use with our Particle Trap® 6000, a source capture systems that collects the particles once removed from optics, medical devices, thermoformed trays and any product that requires cleanliness. The Particle Trap® 6000 was developed with a guy named Frank and as corny as it sounds, we’ve thought about calling the product the Frank Zappa. Of course that was never really going to happen, but who can argue with genius of the real Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention.
You may wonder, how did the Automated Medical Cleaning come about? A major medical device manufacturer was having a huge fall out and poor yields in it’s manufacturing that result in what are called tear downs in the industry. Basically, their process was to perform 100% visual inspection for Particulate Matter (PM) inside of a sealed tray that housed the medical devices they manufactured. The device has a lid stock that is heat sealed into place. When they see a particle inside of the finished tray, they put that tray aside as a reject. At some point after the manufacturing, they tear open the rejected trays, which means lots of additional labor, discarding the package, re-cleaning the product and the new packaging materials and re-packaging the product.
The aforementioned medical device customer of Static Clean, purchased one of our manual medical cleaning systems and ran 50,000 parts with zero tear downs. An operator now simply passes the trays under a pair of cleaning hoods that are integrated into one of our work stations. It proved so successful that they ended up ordering a dozen of our manual medical cleaning systems. To further enhance the efficiency, the throughput, and to take any human error out of the equation a customer asked if we could provide an automated system that transported their trays and products through the cleaning zone. After some work with our Engineering teams, we created the automated medical cleaning system. Now the Automated Medical Cleaning System is gaining wide acceptance in the Medical Device manufacturing community.
Static Clean International’s (SCI) Medical Cleaning System with Automated Shuttle (MCS-AS) provides all the benefits of the MCS system – an effective, efficient, time-proven system for cleaning products / packaging, source capturing particulates in critical medical device manufacturing and packaging processes – and elevates it to a whole new level.
SCI’s Medical Device Manufacturer and Packaging customers, many you rely on for health care products, have enjoyed over a decade of reduced tear-down, better quality, higher yields and profits using our MCS system. Previously only available in a manual-feed system, SCI proudly introduces our new MCS-AS with automated shuttle for complete control over the cleaning process for optimal, repeatable results. By incorporating a speed-adjustable pneumatic or servo-electric slide with stainless steel nest, custom fit to your packaging-trays, your operator simply places a tray, loaded with your product, into the nest, touching the Opto-Touch button to begin the cleaning cycle. The MCS-AS shuttles the nest at a controlled speed through the cleaning zone where static bars and stainless steel air tubes provide compressed, ionized air to neutralize static charges on the trays/parts, stripping particulates off surfaces, nooks & crannies.
Once airborne, particles in the cleaning zone are captured via the Medical Cleaning System – Automated Shuttle (MCS-AS) dust collector which draws a powerful vacuum, high velocity air from the cleaning zone, conveying the contaminants into the vacuum slot of the stainless steel hoods. The particles are captured in the dust collector’s internal filtration, gently delivering clean air back into the clean room through a HEPA filtered exhaust.
Integral safety features E-stop the system if an obstruction is encountered, exerting more than 3~5 lbs. of force along the shuttles path, easily reset with the push of a button once the obstruction is cleared. Power to the static bars and compressed air to the air tubes at the cleaning hoods are controlled by the systems PLC, turning on only during a cleaning cycle, significantly reducing energy costs.
An anodized aluminum profile frame provides a sturdy foundation for the system, supporting the dust collector and all components in a sleek, clean package. Locking swivel casters, a quick-connect compressed air fitting and a standard 120V plug make moving the MCS-AS easy within your facility.
“Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours”? Gordon Lightfoot
The real meaning behind the lyrics
There are many kinds of waves, but obviously the waves mentioned above by Gordon Lightfoot are from the song titled, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”, about the iron ore ship tragedy on Lake Superior almost 39 years ago. A carrier ship called the SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank during a bad storm on the lake in 1975. The severe winter storm was said to have hurricane force winds and waves that were 35 feet high. The sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald is one of the best-known disasters in the history of Great Lakes shipping. It got me thinking about all the different waves that we encounter in our everyday lives and the ones that we deal with at our company, Static Clean and how it all might be related. We normally think of the motion of a disturbance of water in a lake or the ocean as a wave. But, what about other mechanical waves, such as the stadium wave at a sporting event. One can image the fans following the shape of the water and it’s up and down movement. There are also light waves, sound waves and electromechanical waves, but the premise is the same. The displaced energy in all forms returns to its original position.
What does it have to do with Static Electricity?
In the efforts to control static electricity, the most common power supply to create ions on various neutralizing apparatus is done using a 60 Hz. AC sine wave. In this case the AC stands for Alternating Current and it is mostly related to a specific voltage that is required for ions to occur. The energy (sine wave cycle) goes between positive and negative and the swing time to complete the cycle is 1/60th of a second. That means that every 1/120th of second, it is either in positive or negative mode. Static electricity problems are when a material is charged either positively or negatively. The Static Clean Power supplies were designed to fight unwanted static electricity. Because of the design, they will put out energy, create bipolar ions and let nature take its course where opposites attract, thus cancelling out the static problem regardless of polarity.