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Web Cleaning & Static Control

Static control:Getting rid of an unwanted guest


tatic electricity is a lot like a drunk party guest, writes Fraser Anti-Static Techniques. They can be funny, loud,

annoying and sometimes dangerous, and while no one is sure who invited them, everyone agrees that the party would be much better if they left. After a few instances like this, the host gets

familiar with how to handle these situations… Up until something changes. One day the drunken guest shows up with two friends and instead of drinking beer they have pulled out a bottle of tequila; before you know it there is a conga line in the kitchen and broken glass everywhere. Using this elaborate metaphor as an example,

this is very similar to what happens with static electricity in the converting industry. A typical static control plan works very well, right up until something changes. It could be the speed, the material or the introduction of a random element, but all of a sudden static becomes a problem again and production suffers as a result. It is a well-known fact that static electricity and

converting go hand-in-hand. Almost every aspect of the converting process creates the ideal environment for large scale charge build-up. Non- conductive materials such as film, paper and fabric passing over rollers at high speeds, being stretched, heated, cooled, slit and separated, all result in the generation of static. The resulting charge will inevitably affect the process in a variety of ways, from a misbehaving material to dust attraction, operator shock and even complete shutdowns. The only way to guarantee a smooth production run is to neutralise these charges where they occur.

PLACEMENT OF STATIC CONTROL Often there is a balance to be struck with any retrofitted equipment on production machinery. While experts will generally know exactly where to place an ioniser in order to gain maximum benefit, there are a number of factors which may

Below: Edge pinning on a chill roller. Far right: Interleaving - laminating or adhering a protective sheet to a material

prevent this. The available space or the presence of metal directly in the path of the proposed ion field are two big reasons why secondary locations need to be considered. It is also really important to understand exactly what a customer is trying to achieve and what the problems are. It may be that static needs to be neutralised so that the material can go through a particular process, or it may be that the winders are where static causes issues; but having a static eliminator too far upstream will probably not deliver the desired results. Supplying power to the ioniser can also have an effect on placement, although with DC technology this is usually not a problem as it can be taken directly from the machine. Fraser Anti- Static Techniques works with a wide range of OEMs to ensure that its products work and fit with machinery design and build so as to avoid the most common retrofitting issues.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE CORRECT STATIC CONTROL PRODUCT Fraser Anti-Static has spent the last 25 years developing one of the most comprehensive ranges of static eliminators for the converting industry. From the more traditional AC powered products all the way through to intelligent 30 kV DC bars and everything in between. Fraser understands the converting market and the need to deliver the most efficient, cost effective neutralisation in order to maximise profitability and safety. Typical considerations when choosing a static

eliminator include: Level of charge present, type of material, speed of the process, distance to material from mounting, ATEX or EX Hazardous Area concerns, customer’s goals, and budget.

IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT ELIMINATING STATIC Static generation as part of converting processes may sound counter intuitive but there are some excellent applications for generators and charging electrodes ranging from reel to reel changeovers, edge pinning on winders, as part of the bag making process, interleaving, laminating and more. Fraser Anti-Static has developed the IONFIX range of static generators that launched in October at the K Show in Dusseldorf. The IONFIX compact in particular

Above: IONFIX static generator on a bagging machine. Below: A NEOS ionising bar installation

is an ideal static generator for converters delivering unrivalled performance at 30 kV and power distribution within an affordable package.

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE There is a common trend in converting towards faster and more cost-effective processes. As speeds increase so does productivity and profit, but with increased speed there is also an inherent risk. If an issue occurs on a fast moving web the amount of material that this effects increases exponentially depending on the speed of the process. This is why Fraser Anti-Static Techniques invests a significant amount of its turnover into R&D. The company is committed to innovate and match the speeds demanded by the industry with the highest quality equipment. An investment in static control should deliver a measurable return for converters in terms of improvements in production and safety. The question converters should be asking themselves, therefore, is not “can I afford a quality static control solution?” Rather, it should be “how can I afford not to have a quality static control solution?”


November 2016

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