Power in a Name
What’s in a name? Customer have always considered the name, “Static Clean” to be synonymous with producing products that clean sheets and webs in the Converting Industries. For many years, our company has been manufacturing WebVAC Systems that achieve the cleaning criteria that many customers expect. How clean is clean? The cleaning level or efficiencies that are reached with the Static Clean- WebVAC and similar systems is a 95% success rate in the 25-30 micron range.
Raising the Bar
With multi-laminations, higher cleanliness standards of materials used in notebook, laptop, television screens, finer lines of resolution in printed circuit boards, and the growing medical device packaging market, the bar has been raised. Demands have been placed on suppliers to deliver sheeted or web based paper and plastic materials that contain less debris, or what is now called Foreign Matter (FM).
A Higher Standard of Clean
In an effort toward continuous improvement, Static Clean has partnered with Polymag Tek. What’s in a name? Polymag Tek’s original business model was to provide materials and equipment to clean magnetic tape. Does everyone remember magnetic tape? Back around 1928, magnetic tape was invented in Germany to record sound. In the 1950s and 1960s, magnetic tape was widely used by IBM in the storage of computer data, particularly for backups. In the 1990s, the pressure was on to store even more data on mag tape and it meant making sure that the surface of the tape was totally clean. How clean is clean now?
Polymag Tek’s Contact Cleaning rolls and equipment achieved cleaning levels down into 10 microns and below beginning in 1994. For a greater understanding of the technology, please visit their website by the following link to their “Dirt Report”
For information on their full line of hand rollers, web and sheet cleaners, as well as process roll cleaners including the water wash systems, please visit their website at www.polymagtek.com.
FM Not Just For Radio
Who doesn’t like FM when it comes to listening to the radio? In the world of music, FM stands for Frequency Modulation, a method of broadcasting electrical signals. In a short blog, it is difficult to fully explain FM, but there are online tutorials and videos that explain how Frequency Modulation works in relationship to the amplitude and phase remaining constant, while the frequency is changed because of the signal input.
In the world of Medical and Pharma Packaging and Processing, FM has a totally different meaning. Foreign Matter (FM) is the cause of contamination, poor yields, rejects, rework and the total recall of products once in the field. The FM can be particles in the form of lint, clothing, skin flakes, hair, and dust. Another form of foreign matter particles are bits of plastic chips and slivers of angel hair which come from the plastic forming process, especially thermoforming.
The Life Sciences Industry as a whole spends huge sums of money to construct clean rooms that, by design, are supposed to keep foreign matter out of these processes. This assumes that the room is always operating at full efficiency, that humidity and temperature are being controlled, and that everything and everyone that enter the clean rooms are particle-free. That, of course, is not reality, especially if the clean room is not up to semiconductor level protocols, with strict adherence.
The Missing Equation
The missing part of this equation is ionization, whether passive or active, room type of systems or local ionization with source capturing abilities. Static electricity by nature not only attracts particles, but holds them securely to any plastic substrate. Plastics have been the widely used in the manufacturing of medical devices and their packaging is almost always some form of plastic that includes bags, pouches and molded trays. When you rub a balloon, you can pin it to the ceiling with static electricity. When a plastic part of a package generates static by handling, it has the ability to violate the process of keeping the environment Foreign Matter (FM) free.
That reminds me of the bridge in a Steely Dan hit and the line in the song goes like this, “FM –no static at all”.
If you want to reduce foreign matter (FM) and the root cause, “static”, Static Clean can get you to no static at all. View www.staticclean.com to see our complete line of FM reduction products.