Static neutralising App and low cost cleaning

Xstream on a PET coating line
Xstream on a PET coating line

Static neutralising equipment from Hildebrand Technology now includes an App while further developments have been made to its non-contact web cleaning range

Since its launch in January 2012 Hildebrand Technology’s advanced IONstream FUSION static neutralising equipment has proven to be extremely popular with a broad spectrum of customers. A recent innovation in control and monitoring has been the IONpilot-S App for use with any Android smart phone and tablet computer with an operating system release 4.0 Jelly Bean or newer.

The App can be supplied pre-installed on the Hildebrand IONtouch 10” touch screen computer which is supplied with a steel anti-theft housing or downloaded directly onto the customers own smart device.

A single Hildebrand IONlink Bluetooth unit is then connected into the system and communicates neutralising data and device status back to the smart device at a range of up to 100 metres. Any neutralising bar on the selected Bluetooth module can be remotely switched on and off, the operating mode can be selected and individual bar neutralising data and pollution visualised.

If IONsense electrostatic sensors are incorporated within the selected system residual charge data can be displayed in real time during the production run.

Onboard intelligence

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe IONpilot-S app complements the already available IONgate gateway for multi language industrial network communication and the IONmaster 10” industrial touch screen PC. IONstream FUSION is a microcontroller driven static neutralising system with onboard intelligence and high voltage generation encapsulated within the neutralising bar profile. It can be easily integrated into new or existing process machines and requires a 24 Volt DC power supply therefore eliminating any external high voltage power cables, high voltage plugs and sockets.

The bar comes as standard with an integrated multi-function LED which shows the bars status at a glance. The LED indicates a multitude of statuses including ‘clean bar warning’ which signifies an ionising output reduction and ‘clean bar now’ which signifies a critical reduction in ionising output. These alarm thresholds can be easily adjusted to suit the application or individual customer requirements. Furthermore, it indicates bar on, bar off, standby and malfunction. An external hard wired general alarm can be activated when wired into the bars open collector or when the bars are controlled by a single IONnet network board. The general alarm is activated by a status change on any of the systems neutralising bars.

Microsoft PowerPoint - IONstream_FUSION_presentation_E_04-2013At the heart of IONstream FUSION is AUTO DC technology. The system initialises in up to 100Hz Pulsed DC mode and for a matter of micro seconds outputs positive then negative ions to establish if there is a dominant charge polarity on the target material. If a dominant polarity is sensed AUTO DC automatically corrects the pulse pause relationship to achieve an output bias of up to 95% of the correct polarity ions to neutralise the charge presented to the bar.

This is achieved without operator intervention. A short 5% check pulse of the same polarity is fired at the end of the 95% output to verify if the surface charge polarity has changed. If the target material polarity is the same the bar continues to operate in AUTO DC mode; if the polarity has changed IONstream FUSION switches back into Pulsed DC mode until a dominant polarity is sensed again.

When compared to the 50% positive 50% negative output of conventional static neutralisation systems, IONstream FUSION‘s capacity to neutralise charge is infinitely greater. For the vast majority of applications where a matter of volts residual charge is acceptable AUTO DC is the normal operating mode of choice.

For applications where zero residual charge is required IONstream FUSION can be run in TRUE DC mode. In operation the IONsense FUSION bar is linked in with an external IONsense electrostatic sensor which is placed downstream of the neutralising bar. The sensor then reacts to the true residual charge value it sees and decides if the bar should operate in Pulsed DC, AUTO DC or TRUE DC mode to keep the material within the customer specified residual charge range. When operating in TRUE DC mode only the correct polarity generator is active and the redundant polarity generator is inactive. The IONstream FUSION bar then generates a constant stream of the correct neutralising ions.

Simple physics tells us that if you try to give a material the same polarity as it already has it will be repelled. This is why a residual charge can be measured when a static neutralising system which outputs positive then negative ions is used. In the case of a conventional Pulsed DC system 50% of the time the bar is trying to give the material the incorrect polarity ions resulting in a residual charge through inefficient neutralisation. IONstream FUSION when operating in TRUE DC mode follows the simple rules of physics and has the ability to achieve a zero volt residual charge because it is only outputting the exact polarity ions the material requires.

Low cost web cleaning

A further recent development from Hildebrand has been the launch of Xstream ECONOMY – a lower cost version of the Xstream non contact web cleaning range. It is designed for narrower web widths up to 1800mm where superior web cleaning efficiency is required but with a lower level of machine integration and intelligence resulting in a lower system cost.

Xstream ECONOMY utilises Hildebrand’s aerodynamic profile cleaning head which is located in close proximity above a back up path roller with sufficient material wrap angle. Wrapping the material around a path roller ensures web stability and eliminates web flutter, commonly a problem found with alternative design systems which operate on a flat web span. By wrapping the material around a path roller the substrate surface is opened and exposes the loosely attached particles for easier removal. The system utilises a vacuum blower which helps generate an air flow velocity of up to 60 metres per second at the cleaning nozzle. The 60 m/s air velocity Xstream ECONOMY generates is far higher than a flat web span system which commonly only generates 15m/s. In a direct comparison test of Xstream and a conventional flat web span system, three times the quantity of particles were removed by Xstream over the same time span.

The removed particles are then transported to a filtration system. System operating pressure is monitored by manometers which indicate when a pressure drop has occurred and the filter requires cleaning. Xstream ECONOMY works in conjunction with either a Hildebrand IONstream 5.0 static neutralising system or for filmic applications IONstream FUSION static neutralising system to ensure there is no electrostatic bond of the particles to the material. In applications where light contact is allowed with the material such as cleaning paper prior to printing, an optional agitation brush can be fitted.

Webtek UK

T: +44) (0)1278 765877