Zapping Static

Battling static buildup in its slitting process, one nonwovens converter gets results with Simco's static elimination systems.

Converters know the host of problems static electricity can cause in their processes. Specifically during slitting, static charges can cause trim fragments and fibers to stick to films. This dirty, charged roll then can cause production slowdowns and — even worse — poor product quality.

For Pennsylvania-based Tolas Health Care Packaging, slitting was becoming a sticky situation. “We were having a lot of issues with high static charge zapping the operators,” explains manufacturing engineer Ralph Eskilson.

Tolas converts medical-grade Tyvek from DuPont and other coated and laminated substrates at its 50,000-sq-ft plant in Feasterville, PA, which has 150 employees. As the company began shopping for a solution, Eskilson says Simco Industrial Static Control was the only vendor able to provide a viable answer to its static control problem.

What Simco offered Tolas was one of its latest static control solutions, the PerforMAX static neutralizing system. PerforMAX is said to sense automatically the ion output needed to neutralize a charged surface and adjust this output to achieve effective static neutralizing performance. The system is designed to eliminate static charges even when installed 2-10 in. from webs (depending on conditions) and up to 20 in. away on winders.

Going the Distance
“We're actually taking the charge off of the roll as the diameter builds,” explains Eskilson. “Other static systems didn't have the ability to project the anti-static properties or the deionization as far away as the Simco unit did. [Simco] was the only one that stepped up to the challenge to address our situation. There were other people out there that had anti-static systems, but none were willing to stand by this particular application.

“The PerforMAX will work over a distance of 15 inches,” adds Eskilson. “We were having difficulties; we were building up a static charge when we were winding our product onto our rewind shafts, and as the rolls would get bigger, [we got a] higher charge. The other static bars out on the market had to be within six inches of the roll or the material you're trying to charge off. It wasn't feasible if you have a roll that's growing. So with the PerforMAX bars, we are able to remove the static charge from the core to where the roll had reached its maximum diameter. Distance to the product wasn't extremely critical, at least not as much as it was with the other products on the market.”

For a number of years, Eskilson says, they had Simco's vacuum system on the same piece of equipment. “That's been on there for quite some time. We've also been utilizing the Simco blue bars on other converting equipment in the shop. They seem to be outperforming some of the other static bars that are out in the market.”

The PerforMAX system was installed to prevent operator shock and to eliminate possible re-attraction of particulate at the rewind. Eskilson maintains the system is performing as promised. “It reduced some of the problems that we've had with static charge buildup, at least with not zapping the operators and with reducing the possibility of static-induced electronic equipment glitches.”

Converter Info
Tolas Health Care Packaging

905 Pennsylvania Blvd.
Feasterville, PA, USA 19053

Supplier Info
Simco Industrial Static Control

DuPont Nonwovens

Phoenix Machine

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