- SMC Pneumatics (0.08 MB)
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Company Announcement - Static is problematic in the manufacturing environment. Static causes dust and this in return comes with its own set of problems. From dealing with the nuisance of products clinging to each other, plastic sheets not separating property to managing possible damage to electrical products. There is also the real hazard of a possible fire which can be caused by a spark in a chemically sensitive environment.
SMC Pneumatics is able to offer a solution to these ‘every day’ manufacturing problems by means of the three different types of ionizers available from their product range. “When working with plastics you often have an unwanted but unavoidable charge of electricity” explains Brian Abbott, Product Manager Pneumatics at SMC. According to Abbott, there are various options of ionizers available depending on the application and the environment. “The bar type is equipped with nozzles which generates charge and air then blows the charge onto the application. This could work in a PET environment for example. It would also be suitable for lamination and web printing. The bar type varies in length and performance options. The nozzles can be equipped with condition monitoring and therefore easy maintenance and replacement of the nozzles are not a problem.
The unique thing about the SMC ionizer is that it can be ordered in a variant which is equipped with a sensor. The sensor has a feedback device which is able to determine if a positive or negative charge is required, and then it will generate accordingly. The charge relates back to a voltage so that the unit can measure the charge. This is communicated back to ionizer and ionizer will generate ions to balance out the charge. An option without a sensor is also available. In this case the unit will generate alternate charge which ‘bombards’ the application with positive and negative ions until it neutralizers the application. This would however be a less energy efficient option. According to Abbott a local Gauteng dairy PET manufacturer is currently experimenting with this type of solution to assist them in managing the static generated when the bottles come off the plastic injection moulding station and onto the shrink wrapper. The static makes the products difficult to handle by clinging to the feeding mechanism of the shrink wrapper. The bar type ionizer will be deployed to combat this problem.
The ionizer is also available in two other variants. The fan type would generate a charge and blow it over the affected area. This would work very well especially in an area where polystyrene is involved. The nozzle type consists of a single nozzle and is for concentrated applications where a single area needs to be neutralized. The air supply is blown onto area that is required.
Although SMC is new to the South African pneumatics scene, it has been operating internationally since the 1950’s. The company opened up their first wholly owned subsidiary on the continent in April this year. A Japanese owned company with offices in 83 countries, the company boasts more than 12 000 components in their product range and an international market share of 32%.
It is investments in R&D and new products such as the ionizer which has seen this Japanese multinational win the Forbes Innovation Prize for a third time. For more information, please visit www.smcworld.com