Overcoming Static Control Challenges
What new features or technologies are being introduced to this sector of the industry?In our experience, areas of development in the static control industry benefiting the flexible packaging industry are related to what I describe as a new generation shockless pulsed DC static elimination systems. This newer range of technologies can be generally characterized as static elimination systems that provide enhanced static neutralization performance and operational features that enhance value for flexible packaging machinery and operations.
Specifically some characteristics found in shockless pulsed DC static elimination solutions include ultra high-ionization output, which provides effective static neutralization of today’s complex materials and accelerated speed processes; long-range static neutralization effectiveness at a distances of up to 36 inches from a static laden surface (without the use of compressed air boost.) This capability is particularly beneficial to flexible packaging applications involving web conveying or winding processes. This newer style of static control devices also incorporates non-shocking operation, which has long been cited by industry as an important safety feature. And lastly this range of static control system often enables remote interface or control.
What kinds of problems has this segment solved in recent years?One challenge that has been met and the solutions have evolved over time has been trying to control static electricity at long distances from the target area. A standard the static eliminator bar, or ionizing bar, was and is normally limited to a distance of up to seven inches (or less) from the target area.
One way the challenge was met was with the introduction of the static eliminator air bar. By coupling compressed air tubes to the static eliminator bar, the range of the bar was extended from inches to feet. The user could position the device well out of the way of moving product, raw materials, machine operators, etc., but still hit the target area. It also allowed the user to reach static laden areas in the process or on the product that a standard eliminator can not.
But another part of the challenge arose: The cost of compressed air and the struggle, often times, to maintain a clean air source. To overcome these concerns, electrical fans and blowers took the place of the air tubes to provide a relatively low cost, clean air source, which is a leap forward in “air assisted” static control devices.
And yet another challenge: Many applications could not and can not tolerate air movement of any kind. Light weight products, thin gauge sheets/films, powders, etc. had to be treated in a different manner. Taking a technology, the pulse DC system that had been used solely in the electronic industry, design changes were made and the pulse DC system was introduced to general industrial applications.
What's missing from this sector? What would you like to see improve?What is increasing absent from the static control industry overall is the range of selection from which Flexible packaging consumers can select from. Mergers and acquisitions over the past decade have lead to steady erosion of choice for flexible packaging processors, Machinery manufacturers and allied industry. The potential impact of dwindling supply options may lead to less competition and ultimately higher costing structures for consumers.
TAKK Industries Incorporated