Ralph Simon (Area Manager, Meech MESA)
1) Why is static an important consideration for the converting industry?
Converters need to take notice of static for a number of reasons. Aside from potentially generating harmful operator shocks, static attracts dirt and dust when it is present within the production line. This can result in poor print quality and necessitates frequent cleaning of the labelling press. Static is also an issue in a wide variety of flexible packaging processes and it is only when the generated charge becomes large enough that it will result in production problems. A company manufacturing blown film, cast film, plastic bags, print packaging, or is involved in the production of packing or labels will have the need to call on static control experts.
2) What other kind of problems does static create for the converter?
There will be occasions where it is necessary to slow down production speeds to reduce friction. This reduces the levels of electrostatic charge, which in turn results in lower productivity and less profit. High electrostatic charges are also known to cause damage to electrical circuits or even fires due to ignition of flammable vapours or material.
3) What types of solutions does Meech provide in order to address these problems?
Because the world is increasingly becoming a unified market, Meech is striving to provide an appropriate global service. All our customers appreciate the ability to have the technical support they require, no matter what part of the world they are located in. A Meech engineer is highly trained to fully understand the nature of static and how charges are generated. It is only with this knowledge that the correct product can be recommended to be installed in the right place.
4) What solutions does Meech provide to the converting industry?
Meech International has a long-standing presence in a variety of sectors, including the converting industry, and over the past 50 years our company has become one of the leading specialist developers and manufacturers of electrostatic controls and related solutions. In addition to anti-static bars, the Meech product range also covers contact and non-contact web cleaning systems. Chief among these is the CyCleanTM, designed in response to strong demand for a compact, high performance, non-contact web cleaning system. Through the application of advanced computational fluid dynamics, Meech has optimised the cleaning efficiency of CyCleanTM to remove contamination to below 1 micron.
5) What will likely be the next development in static solutions for the flexible packing converter?
The competitive nature of the flexible packaging industry is driving manufacturers to introduce faster machines that are also capable of producing higher quality products. This means ionising systems must be able to meet, or possibly exceed, these demands. Both machine manufacturers and operators need ionising systems to be easier to install, as well as higher powered devices to cope with the faster machine speeds. With all this in mind, Meech has delivered the Hyperion 929IPS and 971IPS range of ionising bars. Both systems include two new enhancements, a distance sensor and a feedback system, designed to help monitor and control static with greater precision in a variety of applications, including labelling and packaging.