FAQ

Eltex Solution Center

Discharging

  • Do I need a bar or a blowing head?

    Discharging bars are used whenever wide objects or webs – no matter if they are static or moving – need to be discharged.
    Ion blower heads are used to discharge smaller surfaces with ionized air and clean off particles sticking to the surface by static. Another application of the Ion blower heads is to blow ionized air into stacks of film or paper to ensure that the sheets are fanned and lifted separately (i.e. sheetfed offset).

  • When do I need an air-supported discharging bar?

    Air-supported discharging bars should always be used when the surface is to be cleaned with ionized air.
    Air-supported discharging bars can also be used if technical conditions are such that the discharging bar cannot be installed in the best possible way in relation to the object to be discharged.

  • What does Eltex mean by active length, total length and installation length?

    The active length of a bar is always measured between the first and the last emission tip of the bar.
    The total length is the active length plus the insulation distances beginning from the first/the last emission tip to the beginning of the bar/the end of the bar. For the charging bar R130 (30 kV), this is 70 mm, for instance.
    The installation length is the total length of the bar, the length of the cable connection and the bending radius of the cable.

  • When do I need discharging?

    Discharging is used whenever materials are charged with static during a process which results in disruptions during production or in contamination of personnel by uncontrolled discharges.

Charging

  • Can I touch a charging bar?

    Charging bars must not be touched when in operation because they may at times generate very high voltages.

  • When do I need charging?

    Electrostatic charging is used if products must be electrostatically “glued” together for a certain period of time to improve the production process (i.e. exact fixing of melamine film on chipboard before pressing).

Grounding

  • Do I have to use a cable rewinder?

    No, the use of a cable rewinder is not absolutely necessary. But it is often found that the cable and the ground contactor are not rolled back up after use and are run over by trucks, resulting in damage to the cable and the ground contactors.

  • What happens if the ground link is disrupted during the process?

    If the ground link is disrupted, the process is instantly discontinued via the floating contact of the grounding system. The process can be restarted only after the ground link has been reestablished.

  • What advantages and benefits does a ground monitoring system offer the user?

    Ground monitoring systems make sure that existing ground contactors (e. g. ground clamps) are actually used when filling or discharging potentially explosive materials from tanker wagons and silos. Since filling or discharging can only be started after the proper ground link has been identified, this system provides maximum safety.

Measurement

Printing assist ESA

  • Is the required impression roller coating produced by Eltex?

    No! We leave that task to the impression roller coating specialists. Eltex is the world-wide leader in the field of electrostatic print optimization, which includes a large number of different systems. This is made possible because Eltex is engaged in basic research and therefore has remarkable potential to innovate. Also, Eltex often cooperates closely with universities and users in launching new developments. That is why Eltex was the first ESA manufacturer to collaborate with manufacturers of impression roller coatings to jointly develop the coating values required for the ESA. The coatings used for the ESA systems are all manufactured by renowned impression roller manufacturers using our specifications.

  • How do missing dots actually occur?

    Viewed superficially, paper is smooth. But a closer look using a microscope reveals that it is anything but a completely smooth surface. This irregular network of fibers in a printing nip in a 70 l/cm arrangement is subjected to 4900 pressure cells per square centimeter that are designed to transfer their content to this paper in a fraction of a second. This task, which is already difficult, is made even more challenging by the fact that paper is not particularly elastic and smooth. This is because it has poor surface compressibility. From a technical standpoint, it is not possible to transfer ink without any missing dots through mechanical contact alone. This is made even more difficult if the printing speeds are higher. This is similar in the case of printability criteria for film, varnished substrates or pre-impregnated papers.

  • What is the principle applied in the electrostatic printing assist?

    The Eltex electrostatic printing assist, ESA for short, is based on the principle of the plate-type capacitor. This means that a homogeneous electric field is generated between two plates, in which a dielectric is pulled to one side.
    The electrostatic printing assist applies this principle in the nip – at precisely the point where the ink is to be transferred onto the substrate surface.
    This principle of ink transfer with electrostatic support works evenly over the entire width of the web and operates reliably from the slowest to the highest production speed.

  • Is the remote control actually required or can I operate the ESA without it?

    Each ESA can be operated fully without remote control. Though it has no impact on the performance and capability of the system, the user without remote control foregoes valuable monitoring and operability functions. However, the safety of the ESA system is guaranteed, even without a remote control.

  • I work with ink systems containing both solvents and water-based inks. Can I use ESA for both?

    Yes! Each of Eltex’s Electrostatic Printing Assists, top-loading and side-loading, can be used for both applications. Explosion-proof bars are used for inks containing solvents; non-Ex bars are used for water-based inks.

  • As a packaging printer I have to alternate between paper and film, such as PVC and polyethylene. Can I use ESA for both?

    Yes! The Electrostatic Printing Assist works equally well for paper as well as film. Simply use the appropriate key on the remote control panel to switch over manually to film operation.

  • Do I have to train my operating personnel or is ESA more or less self-explanatory?

    Without Eltex Static Control (ESC), the ESA unit must be switched on and off and offers no monitoring and no parameter control. The touch screen menu guidance of the Eltex Static Control (ESC) with its integrated help functions allows the operating personnel to quickly familiarize themselves with the system.

  • Can the Electrostatic Printing Assist be installed in any gravure printing unit? How long does installation take?

    The ESA is designed for installation in any commercial gravure printing press. The work involved includes assembling the charging or discharging bars, installing and networking the generators, installing the remote control and wiring the system. Typically, a packaging gravure printing press with six to eight printing units can be fully ESA-equipped and ready for operation within one weekend. A decorative printing press with three or four printing units can be completely print-optimized in a day and a half. Retrofitting an illustration printing press that has 8 printing units typically takes two or three days.

  • What is the power requirement of an ESA system?

    With the new GNH61 Electrostatic Printing Assist by Eltex, the input power requirement is reduced even further. The new bar configuration and the emission tip distance allows the impression roller bar to be mounted even closer to the impression roller. This generates a homogeneous charge field over the entire width of the web. Air resistance and rated output drop accordingly. This means that the likelihood of paper dust and ink vapor settling on the impression roller bar is very low. The result: less downtime and longer cleaning intervals.

  • How easy and safe is it to handle the ESA?

    When operating the unit via the Eltex Static Control (ESC), all functions and parameters are continuously under control. If you observe the recommendations given for the remote control, your printing assist system will always be in top condition. Information on the causes of malfunctions and how to rectify these can be retrieved via the service key. Users should be aware of two safety circuits. The first protects the system for use in the Ex area. This process is verified by issuing a corresponding certificate. The ESA is wired according to the stipulated second safety circuit. Taking these safety circuits into account ensures optimum safety.

Remoistening

  • Does electrostatic remoistening require a lot of energy?

    To generate the electrical field for electrostatic remoistening, high voltage is used but only a low current intensity in the milliampere range. Therefore, the power consumption of an electrostatic unit is very low!

  • How much moisture does paper need?

    Strictly speaking, paper needs the amount of moisture that is required to maintain an equilibrium with its ambient atmosphere. Common unprinted heat-set web offset paper has a water content of between 4 and 5 % (after drying between 0.5 and 2.5 %) depending on the dryer temperature.
    As a rule of thumb: after remoistening, the paper should regain approx. 80% of its initial value.

  • How can we measure moisture?

    The neatest method of measuring moisture in the paper is by defining the water content, known as the absolute moisture. Even though we have absolute values, a percentage is used as measuring unit, i.e. weight percentage related to the paper weight. An absolute moisture or water content level of 4% means that 100 g of paper contains
    4 g of water.
    Another option is defining the relative humidity: the relative air humidity between the paper sheets is measured using a sword-type hygrometer. The measured air layer is in equilibrium with the surrounding paper sheets. This value depends on the temperature and refers to the maximum volume of water the ambient atmosphere can absorb at a certain temperature.

  • Why does heat-set dried paper tear faster than non-dried paper?

    During the drying process, most of the moisture content of the paper evaporates. But the moisture in the paper is of decisive importance for the elasticity and suppleness of the paper. The lower the moisture content of the paper, the more brittle the paper fibers become. The consequence: fiber breakage and dropping-out of wire-stitched signatures!

  • Why does paper expand?

    Paper tends to keep the moisture in equilibrium with the ambient surroundings. If the ambient surroundings are drier than the paper, the paper releases moisture. If the ambient surroundings are more humid than the paper, the paper will absorb moisture. While absorbing moisture, the paper fibers swell in a lateral direction. The paper always expands cross-grain!

Ribbon Tacking