Static Eliminators – What are they & How do they work

Static Eliminators – What are they & How do they work

Contact and separation between two surfaces creates static electricity, which can often cause materials like paper, plastic, textiles, and other non-conductive materials to randomly attract to or repel from themselves or their surroundings. In a manufacturing environment this causes process problems which include

  • jams,
  • clogs,
  • mis-feeds,
  • poor stacking,
  • reduced transport speeds,
  • shocks to operators,
  • fires,
  • explosions,
  • and a variety of contamination related problems.

The BR1200, BR2200 & BRE2200 series are “shockless” static eliminators designed to help you control these troublesome and costly problems by neutralizing the static electricity that causes them.

Proper location and positioning of the static eliminators and power supply is essential to satisfactory performance and life of the equipment. Because each application is unique, careful thought is required to establish the best location and installation of the static eliminators.

Most of the time, the best place to install a static eliminator is immediately ahead of the problem. For example, if an operator is getting “shocked” from a rewind roll, then the static eliminator should be located so that it would be the last thing the material passes before it winds onto the roll. Another example is stacking paper at the end of a sheeter. Allowing the sheet to pass by the static eliminator last would assure a static “neutral” sheet enabling it to slide properly into place.

Metal parts in proximity to static eliminators tend to reduce their effectiveness. Whenever possible, allow two inches of free space all around the static eliminator and behind the material to be neutralized.

Unless the static eliminator is air assisted, the most effective distance between the static eliminator and the material to be static neutralized is ½ inch to 1 ½ inches. Do not place the static eliminator so that its ionizing points are facing the material when the material is against a background surface.

Static eliminators will operate efficiently above, below, or on either side of the material. Keeping the ionizing points facing downward tends to minimize contamination from falling on them.

Universal hardware is provided with the static eliminators. Use them or other metal clamping (if preferred) to secure the static eliminators to the machine frame or other suitable stationary angle or rod.

To prevent electrical shock and to assure proper operation and performance of the equipment, the static eliminators and power supply must be grounded. Metal clamps or mounting bolts tightened securely against the static eliminator’s metal housing and attached to a “grounded” metal machine frame will provide an adequate “ground”. If the static eliminators or power supply must be mounted to any non-metal surface, you must attach an external ground wire from the equipment to a suitable electrical ground.

Remember: The metal case of the static eliminators and the power supply must be electrically ground!!!

DO NOT ATTACH GROUND WIRE TO HOT WATER, STEAM, OR GAS PIPES. DO NOT REMOVE GROUND STUD FROM POWER SUPPLY OR GROUND POST FROM POWER SUPPLY LINE CORD. ALWAYS PLUG THE LINE CORD INTO A PROPERLY GROUNDED RECEPTICLE OR IF WIRING DIRECT WITHOUT THE PLUG, BE CERTAIN TO PROPERLY AND SECURELY CONNECT THE GROUND WIRE.

Mounting the Static Eliminators

Unlike the BR1200, which uses loop clamps for mounting, the BR2200/BRE2200 is conveniently slotted on the back to house weld bolts for mounting. Slide the weld bolts into and along the slot to the desired position and lock into place. Use universal extension brackets to bridge to the machine’s side frame or attach the mounting bolts to a pre-selected and prepared angle iron, rod, or brace.

Locating the Power Supply

Locate the Power Supply as close as possible to the static eliminator using its mounting plate to securely fasten the unit in place. Choose a location free of oil, water, and gross contamination. Avoid areas where ambient temperature is continuously in excess of 120 0 F.

Mount the Power Supply so that the High Voltage Output Ports are facing down or to either side to prevent entry of foreign material (FM).

Unless specified differently on the order, each static eliminator is equipped with a standard 72 inches length of high voltage cable inside a metal braid shield. This length of cable allows the installation of two static eliminators approximately 10 feet apart connected to one, centrally located power supply. If the high voltage cable is too long, you may coil it and secure it neatly out of harm’s way. Because the cable is shielded, there will be no adverse effects such as excessive flux fields or noise that can result from unshielded cable.

Installing the High Voltage Cable Connector

  1. Slide the retaining nut over the end of the cable with threads facing the cable end.
  2. Slide the spacer onto the cable.
  3. Carefully strip approximately 3/8 inch of insulation from the end of the high voltage cable exposing the conductors.
  4. Twist the conductor strands and insert all of them into the hole in the end of spring retainer.
  5. Tighten the set- screw in the retainer until the conductors are held firmly in place.
  6. Remove the dust cover from the high voltage output port and insert the cable connector.
  7. While pushing to compress the spring, thread the retaining nut into the threaded output port and finger tighten firmly.
  8. After the static eliminator and power supply have been properly installed, positioned, and grounded, plug the power supply line cord into a properly grounded 3-wire AC electrical outlet. Be sure the line voltage and frequency supplied matches that specified on the TSN70/TSN75A nameplate. Do not remove the ground prong from the line plug or use a three to two prong adapter.

Note: For convenience, you may elect to hard wire the power supply directly to the machines on and off controls.

Operation

After the static eliminators (BR1200 or BR2200/BRE2200) have been installed, they need little attention during operation. Because the ionizing points are capacitively coupled to the high voltage cable, these static eliminators are categorized as “shockless”. This means there is so little energy at the points an operator would scarcely feel a tingle if he or she accidentally touched them when powered. However, use caution whenever handling static eliminators since the ionizing points are sharp and can cause pin pricks or scratches if mishandled.

Routine Service

The BR1200 and BR2200/BRE2200 static eliminators and the TSN70/TSN75A power supply are designed to be durable, dependable, and trouble free. They require a minimal amount of maintenance. Each application and each environment, in which static control equipment is installed, is different making it difficult to state accurately how often cleaning is required.

After a period of use, a small sphere of dust will accumulate on the ionizer points. Do not allow this accumulation to continue indefinitely. Although they may continue to perform satisfactorily when they are dirty, contamination will degrade their efficiency.

Clean the ionizer points periodically with a stiff bristle brush (such as a toothbrush). A few quick swipes across the points along the length of the eliminator are usually sufficient. Do not use a brush with metal bristles since they may damage the points; scratch the plastic holding the points, and / or shed bristles, which may ultimately lead to a short circuit condition.

You may also use a compressed air blow off gun or nozzle to blow out loose dust and dirt from the static eliminators. Use caution and proper eye protection when doing so.

Be sure power to the static control equipment is off before cleaning any part of it.

Trouble shooting

The static control system is designed to neutralize static electricity, on non-conductive materials, by creating a field of positive and negative ions. When the electrostatically charged material passes through the ionized field it will attract ions of the polarity required to become “neutralized”. If static electricity is the cause of a process problem, most of the time, the problem can be controlled, if not alleviated, with the proper application and use of this type equipment. If you find that the system you have chosen does not significantly reduce or eliminate the problem after it has been properly installed proceed with the following checklist:

  • With power off, check to see that the high voltage cable connector is properly assembled and connected.
  • Does the power supplied match that specified on the nameplate?
  • Are the static eliminators and power supply adequately grounded?
  • Are the static eliminators too close or far from the material to be neutralized?
  • Are the static eliminators surrounded by metal or “shorting out”?
  • Is there “free air” surrounding the static eliminators and below the material as indicated in illustration above?
  • Has the high voltage cable been cut or otherwise damaged?

Call Static Clean® International, Inc. 877.782.8423 and speak to technical sales support for further assistance.

International Nonwoven Disposables Association Goals & Plans

International Nonwoven Disposables Association Goals and Plans – 2021

Written by Dave Rousse, INDA President

Published in the January, 2021 PFFC (Paper, Film & Foil Converter) Magazine

Learn more about the role of INDA and what its goals and plans are for the future with this Q&A from Dave Rousse, INDA president:

Rousse: INDA is the trade association of the nonwoven fabrics industry formed in 1968 to advance the growth and interests of the young industry at the time after the International Nonwoven Disposables Association. In the early 1970s we supported the establishment of EDANA in Europe and welcomed durable nonwovens into the fold, but the name “INDA” had taken hold so we continue to use it without attaching meaning to the letters.  Our role now is to help our industry and our member companies be successful.  INDA helps its 370 members succeed by providing the information they need to better plan and execute their business strategies.

We provide technical training at various levels, publish market statistics and data to enhance decision-making, manage critical issues impacting market sectors, organize events that add program value and connect similar interests, and involvement and provide relevant government regulatory and legislative advocacy.

What specific services does the association provide to its members and how does the offering expand?

Rousse: INDA’s market research and trend reports are trusted around the world for their accuracy and reliability. One of the most valuable reports INDA provides is the member-only report on the North American Supply/Demand balance.  This is a full survey of industry producers, market suppliers, and producers for internal consumption. Additionally, we publish Outlook reports providing decisive five-year forecasts by industry sector. Along with a North American forecast edition and, with EDANA, INDA publishes a separate Worldwide Outlook for the Nonwovens Industry, both segmented by sectors and geography. We also produce the Global Nonwoven Wipes Industry Outlook and, with EDANA, the Global harmonized test methods and flushability guidelines to address the nonwoven R&D community and other stakeholders.

Beyond those publicly available Outlook reports and the member-only Supply report, we offer members the quarterly INDA Market Pulse, a report that provides members with an exclusive overview of the current state and direction of the North American Nonwovens industry, including economic viewpoints. The publication provides a consensus outlook of economic, energy, and end-use market forecasts.  The INDA Price Trends Summary is another INDA member benefit that provides a monthly summary of price analyses for Roll Goods, Staple Fibers, and Polymers.

What new services did INDA plan for 2020?

Rousse: INDA is always open to new partnerships to advance the industry. We recently acquired two publications to extend our reach and voice in two important areas.  We have International Filtration News to expand our reach into this important sector, and International Fiber Journal to elevate the role material science will play in developing more sustainable approaches to the single use disposables so prevalent in our industry.  With our new INDA Media, we intend to provide some thought leadership, expose new developments, relate them to the challenges going forward, and to expand INDA’s presence and service in important areas.

How do your activities reflect the dynamics of the nonwovens industry?

Rousse: As an association, we have the standing to provide industry recognition to innovations and individual service so important to our industry’s growth.  We do this through our Innovation Awards programs attached to our conferences, and our IDEA® event.  Our events foster Thought- Leadership in the sectors that we address. Our conferences are peppered with industry experts looking forward to future growth, articulating unmet needs, interpreting market signals, and presenting innovative thoughts, developmental concepts, and trends. This progressive methodology has been very important in the success of our conferences. The content is serious and the networking continues the discussions.  And we try to inject a little fun as well.

What are the sustainability programmes is INDA working on in the moment?

Rousse: Our industry recognizes the need to move from a “Linear Economy” toward a more “Circular Economy” through recycling, reclaiming and reuse.  We believe advancements in material science will be a great help in this area, and are seeing interesting new developments in bio-based polymers and polymer combinations to advance in this area.  Our drivers are an increasing concern about single use plastics and their persistence in the environment.  INDA’s conferences will continue to provide cutting edge content on this growing topic.

What are new important developments in terms of R&D and innovations in the nonwoven sector?

Rousse: The market we are in is very dynamic, so we need to be continuously alert to new demands, new unmet needs, and new ways to meet those needs.  Nonwovens are engineered materials that provide solutions to material science challenges.  There will always be new challenges to be met, and nonwovens are successful because they are a very versatile, nimble platform that is receptive to new materials, new processes, and new technologies.  Our job is to make it easy for resources to connect to facilitate the new developments and to execute well the management of the services and activities that deliver these connections.  Last year, we celebrated our 50th Anniversary as the trade association leading the world of nonwovens.  We need to stay sharp for the next 50 years.

Would you like to mention any of your specific training program that would demonstrate the benefit INDA brings to its members?

Rousse: INDA and North Carolina State University’s Nonwovens Institute offers members and professionals a jointly organized series of nonwoven short courses with The Professional Development Series of Nonwovens Courses.  Starting with the nonwovens basics, the educational content and rigor level increases to intermediate and caps off with advanced series of product development, advances in filtration and fabric property development, spunbond and meltblowing technology. INDA also offers specific product courses in Absorbent Hygiene, Filter Media Training and a WIPES Academy 2-day course. This joint venture harmonizes and unifies each organization’s separate nonwoven training courses into a single series. The series gives industry professionals targeted and flexible short course opportunities to gain knowledge in the field of nonwovens and advance their career development goals. INDA also provides on-site training for Member companies. We are able to customize a curriculum with our Members Human Resources, Engineering and Plant Management that train their employees, and suppliers about specific nonwoven applications, product components, and sectors needed for new employees or seasoned professionals across multiple departments..

What would INDA like to achieve in the near future as an organisation to promote sustainability?

Rousse: The general issue of “Plastics in the Environment” is growing in public awareness with increasing calls by non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) on producers and users to do something about it.  At the same time, there are a growing number of legislative initiatives at the state and municipal level to ban or regulate certain single use plastic items and additional activity at the Federal level, in Europe, and in other parts of the world.

As policy makers strive to responsibly advance circular economy principles that improve the disposability of single use plastic products, it is important to distinguish between the indulgence of convenience (such as sipping straws and grocery bags) and the necessity of convenience, such as in providing efficacy in personal, household and institutional hygiene.  Baby care and elderly care rely on the convenience of disposable wipes. Home hygiene as well.  Consequently, as policies are being developed on plastic materials, we encourage the determination of the appropriate balance between the benefits provided by such materials, what alternatives exist that can still deliver on consumer expectations, and the environmental costs of their use and disposal.  Nonwovens manufacturers and brand owners will be partners in this endeavour.

 

Static Control for Corona Treaters

Static Control for Corona Treaters

Static Control for Corona Treaters

Written by Kelly Robinson, Contributing Writer for PFFC Magazine

Published in the October, 2020 PFFC (Paper, Film & Foil Converter) Magazine

Treaters are often used before lamination to improve adhesion and before coating to improve wettability and adhesion.  (See the PDF of the Article below to see Figure 1.)

The functions of the four key components of a corona treater (See the PDF of the Article below to see Table 1 for more details.)

  1. High Voltage Electrodes
  2. Power Supply
  3. Treater Roller
  4. Ozone Exhaust

The best practice is to install powered static bar SBCT in Figure 1 on the web exiting the corona treater facing the treated surface. Corona treaters can deposit large amounts of static on treated surfaces.  This static is an unwanted by-product of treatment.  Dissipate static on the web from corona treaters using a powered static bar installed on a web exiting the corona treater facing the treated surface.

 

Article by Kelly Robinson

PFFC Contributing Writer

 

 

Improve Efficiency on Winders, Unwinders & Slitters

Improve Efficiency on Winders, Unwinders & Slitters

How to Guide: Improve Efficiency on Winders, Unwinders & Slitters

Published in the November, 2020 PFFC (Paper, Film & Foil Converter) Magazine

Contact and separation between two surfaces creates static electricity, which results in process problems and safety concerns when static reaches shock levels.  The challenge is that static electricity causes severe problems throughout winding and unwinding applications, whether running plastic, film, paper or textiles.  Both AC or DC type of anti-static ionization systems generate an electrical field, which causes the air molecules in the vicinity of the ionizer to break down into positive and negative ions. Because opposite polarities attract, any static charge material or product passing near the ionizer will attract ions of the opposite polarity until the charged material is neutralized.

But, the greatest influence over static bars performing well is “distance to target”.  Due to AC ionization requiring a static bar to be mounted within inches of a web to effectively neutralize the static charge, this can be a problem if you can’t mount the bar close enough to the moving web.

Static Clean offers cost-effective solutions to all these problems.  The all new 24vDC long range bar with its revolutionary built-in intelligence are ideal for dealing with static electricity on winders.  The 24vDC style long-range technology has been the most significant development in the static industry.  On most new converting equipment, the 24vDC static bars can operate at higher speeds and distances from 200mm to 1500mm from the web.  Bars are also available for shorter ranges.

The 24vDC static eliminators are designed to compensate for the changing geometry of the roll and provide a consistent level of static elimination by reacting to the static charge and emitting the quantity and polarity of ions to neutralize it.  The combination of long-range intelligence with intense ion generation creates static eliminators for the most demanding applications.

 

 

 

Fluid Dynamics – Laminar Flow – Turbulent Flow – Transitional Flow & Particle Reduction

Fluid Dynamics – Laminar Flow – Turbulent Flow – Transitional Flow & Particle Reduction

In physics and engineering, fluid dynamics is used to describe the flow of fluids – liquids and gases. For the sake of this discussion, it includes the subset of aerodynamics, which is the study of air and other gases in motion. Many clean room consultants chagrin at the idea of using compressed air movement inside of a clean room that was developed using Laminar Flow techniques. Laminar air flow by design is intended to be slow, smooth regular paths of an air pattern traveling from entrance to exit. The air then travels back through the pre-filters, to the laminar flow filters and back into the room as part of the air change rate per hour. Laminar air low patterns are important to keeping particulate moving out of the clean room, but what if products being process inside of the clean room are already contaminated with particles that could come from people, other items that were brought into the space or that were created by the process itself.

In order to clean particulate from a device, component or packaging material, compressed air devices are necessary. The air devices are typically in the form of ionizing air guns, blowers, nozzles or air knives. These air tools cause turbulent flow, which is fluid motion that agitates the parts and creates eddies, which are violent swirling motions caused by the position and direction of turbulent flow. Eddies can transport mass, momentum and energy across different regions of the flow, with a result being clean, static-free parts. Heat transfer also happens in turbulent flow. So why is heat important? With heat, the flow resistance decreases, making it easier to clean parts. The process of laminar flow becoming turbulent is known as laminar-turbulent transition. It is also known as transitional flow.

Is there a happy medium between using compressed air and maintain an acceptable level of laminar flow? Can we agree that compressed air is a requirement and that compressed air is turbulent? Static Clean believes in the idea of “Controlled Turbulence”. The placement of Static Clean Particle Trap® Systems, in conjunction with compressed ionizing air devices means that the turbulence is localized, particles are captured and removed from the process and the products and parts are clean. By using an ionizing air gun or similar device in front of a Particle Trap®, the debris is directed into the flow of these source capture systems and delivered into the filter media and not back into the clean room to re-contaminate cleaned parts.

Particle Size, Particle Retention & Process Practicality

Particle Size, Particle Retention & Process Practicality

Particle collection efficiency by a filtration device usually brings a common question. What is the ISO number that is associated with HEPA filters used in the Static Clean Particle Trap® series products? A recent request from a customer asked this exact question. Our answer in response was that the ISO rating on our HEPA Filter is ISO 40E-99.99% at MPPS. Obviously, the customer with the questions knew what to ask and was technically astute, but to a novice it may seem confusing, so first let’s establish what MPPS mean. It is the Most Penetrating Particle Size. Larger particles are unable to avoid the special filter media in a HEPA filter and they become embedded in the filter material. The smaller particles become the MPPS, which gives the HEPA their rating. For more critical filtration needs, ULPA filters are available and could have an efficiency of 99.99995% at MPPS.

For the world of static control, and filter efficiency of the Static Clean Particle Trap® Systems, we are mostly talking about HEPA filtration. But filtration only tells a part of the story. Although you can perform tests to validate HEPA filters and modern particle counters can provide information on airborne particulate, it doesn’t tell the story on how clean a medical injection molded plastic part may be or how many particles are on a catheter or the tray or package that is going to house the medical device. Yes, there are liquid particle counters that can verify all particle sizes, but real time production of high-volume parts means that, at best a visual inspection on the fly is the standard.

Most of the Medical Device Manufacturing is done in an ISO Class 7 or ISO Class 8 cleanroom, with an emphasis on ISO Class 8. Federal Standards FS 209E and ISO 14644-1 require specific particle measurements to verify the cleanliness of the clean room or clean area. When talking about an ISO Class 8 environment, it does mean that the maximum/particles/m3 allows for almost 30,000 particles in the 5 micron or smaller range. It also means two other things as well. There will be particles greater than 5 microns in an ISO 8 space and that total reliance on a cleanroom is not the complete answer. The use of additional filtration methods at key points in the manufacturing process will improve yields by reducing particles on products and in single use packaging that may finds its way to the hospital or clinic. The fact that ionization is used to control static on medical devices, optics and industrial environments is common knowledge, but, source capturing debris at critical stages in the process is less understood but becoming more accepted as the right tool at the right time.

Particle Trap® products are small, benchtop or floor level source-capture systems, that incorporate both pre-filters and HEPA-filters in series, whereby the pre-filter catch the larger particle and the HEPA, (the same used in the clean room construction), captures the smallest debris. What this means for the customer is that particles are taken out of the room at the source and by source, either where they are created or where they can do the most harm and end up inside of a finished package. Regardless of what ionizing blow off device is used in your process, you can rely on Static Clean to make things cleaner and your customer smile.