The winter months bring a buildup of Holiday Cheer - along with a buildup of dry air and the ensuing static electricity. More than a simple shock, static electricity challenges manufacturing companies and plants during the winter months, particularly in their packaging and labeling processes where plastic surfaces hold a high resistance to electricity and work as insulators, causing static buildups. Static may prevent label liners from neatly respooling or cause them to stick to each other and other equipment, damaging labels or disrupting the application process. In some cases, accumulation of static electricity can cause anywhere from a light shock to electrical sparks and even risk of a fire. For this reason, tools that can kill or neutralize static, like Vortec’s ionizing Air Knives, are increasingly important in the winter months.
Static electricity is generated whenever surfaces come into contact and then separate. In most cases, the charging currents generated overtime in industrial processes are small and cause small amounts of static electricity. In spring, summer, and fall, when the air has more humidity, that small buildup of static electricity is more dispersed through the air. In these warm, humid conditions where moisture has made the air more conductive, excess static electric charges can be absorbed and evenly distributed, to the point where it may not be noticed. But in the winter months, when the air is drier and allows more static charges to build up, the static electricity build up becomes much more noticeable and can cause serious issues.
To mitigate the risk caused by static electricity, especially in the dry winter months, companies must be cautious to select tools that will not add to the static electricity already in the air. Since dry air acts as an insulator, static electricity can be easily brought in and transferred to metal equipment from employees who may have walked across carpeting prior to starting their shift. Just the simple friction between two metal objects can send static electricity into the air. Vortec Ionizing Air Knives have no moving parts and no electrical connections at the target site. While reducing compressed air usage, this design utilizes a static neutralizing bar to generate positive and negatively charged ions that are carried to the target in a uniform sheet of amplified air. With interchangeable shims that enable air flow to be adjusted for the specific application, this process stops static discharges which can damage electronic equipment and shock personnel. The Ionizing Air Knives also feature 25 times air amplification over compressed air input and can be easily mounted and moved to tackle static electricity buildup wherever it may occur. With Air Knives available in length of 6, 12, 18 and 24 inches, companies can choose the size that will best fit their product and space needs.
While large fans or humidifiers can help disburse a buildup of static electricity in the air, these solutions are often unable to target and mitigate static electric buildup at its source. The Ionizing Air Knife offers a more uniform blow-off of large surfaces than a traditional nozzle or jet at a significantly lower cost than fans or blowers. The Ionizing Air Knife meets the OSHA requirements for noise and is quieter than loud fans or blowers. Its easily controlled output and instant on/off switch make it easy to use to target and kill static electricity in the air.
The Ionizing Air Knives, like all Vortec products, are all designed to improve facility maintenance and productivity, increase equipment efficiency and improve manufacturing methods and costs for cooling, cleaning, and conveying by eliminating the danger of static electricity. The only shock Vortec products offer are their no-maintenance, durable products – which is in sharp contrast to other methods of dealing with static buildup.
Watch this video to see how Ionizing Air Knives work.