Product selection

Go to details
Part number

My account


The real implications of static electricity on your OEE

Have you ever tried to remove the dust from your TV screen? It’s not easy. TV screens accumulate static charge during use, so trying to remove dust with a cloth becomes seemingly impossible because of the high static force involved. At home this effect is annoying, but in factories static electricity has a number of more serious implications, notably the effect on your bottom-line, your OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness). Static electricity is the invisible OEE killer that creates downtime, bottlenecks and waste. Fortunately, there is a reliable and effective solution for removing it from all surface types: ionizers.

  By Maria Eugenia Gonzalez, Product Specialist, SMC Spain

Static electricity is ever-present in production processes. Factors governing its generation include material type, humidity and temperature; aspects typically beyond our control. And there is another problem: common insulating materials can multiply their electrical resistance by up to 100 times at low relative humidity. The same material can therefore prove far more insulating on a dry day than on a humid day in the same location. Thanks to the ionizers, however, we get to control these factors and avoid them compromising your OEE.

Lead the charge to boost performance
The implications of static are very real in manufacturing and process plants everywhere. Static affects film machines, labelling machines and packaging machines to list but a few. The forces generated can reduce machine speeds and even lead to significant stoppages of more than 10 minutes. But help is at hand.

By way of example, an SMC customer is now using ionizing bars to improve the performance of their winding and unwinding machines. In this type of machine, the generation of static causes resistance in the passage of material, slowing production. By adopting the ionizing bars and eliminating static, our customer could double the working speed of its machines.

SMC´s Bar Type Ionizer with Separate Controller – IZT40/41/43 Series


Put a stop to downtime
In an ideal world, factories would endure no unplanned machine stoppages. Since there are so many factors already affecting or causing unscheduled stops, we definitely don’t want static to be another.

To illustrate the point, an SMC customer using a labelling machine was experiencing an average of 10 machine stoppages per month due to static electricity clogging the label output. In order to minimise static charge generation, the company initially bought a more expensive raw material because it caused fewer problems, adding further to the costs incurred. We resolved the issue by locating an ionizing nozzle to discharge the exit point of the labels. The result? No more machine stoppages and reduced costs as the problems with the cheaper raw material also disappeared.

SMC´s Nozzle Type Ionizer – IZN10 Series
SMC´s Nozzle Type Ionizer Separate Controller IZT43 Series


Maintain quality and brand reputation
Beyond performance and productivity issues, static also has the potential to damage product quality and brand reputation. When particles adhere to surfaces due to static electricity, manufacturers can suffer from defective component finishes. In addition to the cost of scrapping the part and manufacturing a replacement, there are extra transportation costs. There’s also the ‘hidden’ costs of customer complaints and the damaging effect they have on brand reputation, a critical element of success for most businesses.

Ionizers provide a quick and easy solution to poor product quality. For instance, a leading automotive customer today uses our ionizers to combat surface static during cleaning processes. After just two weeks in operation the plant achieved results that exceeded its targets: the 6 % process improvement is a significant gain in this high-volume industry.

Static also has a major impact on the manufacture of electronic products, driving the need to protect any components sensitive to electrostatic discharge (ESD) during handling operations. One PCB manufacturer opted to counter this issue by installing two SMC IZS ionizer bars at the entrance and exit of its insulator machine. After only two months, the company calculated a 30 % reduction in the number of defective PCBs.

You can’t manage what you can’t measure
To overcome any problem you first must know its scale. In industry we tend to identify possible machine failures or evaluate consumption by using pressure switches or flow meters, for example. So why not measure static? Whether it’s a single machine or an entire production line there are typically many points prone to the generation of static electricity. Without any measurement to identify problem zones it becomes impossible to attack the issue in a targeted way. The use of a handheld electrostatic meter, however, provides a very easy way to perform this task. In my opinion this is an essential solution for any factory that works with insulating materials.

SMC´s Handheld Electrostatic Meter – IZH10 Series

Our ionizers and our knowledge of how to apply them for optimal results helps SMC customers to improve their OEE, the gold standard for measuring manufacturing productivity. Moreover, the easy implementation and maintenance of these products provides you with a fast return-on-investment (ROI) and very low total cost of ownership (TCO).

SMC’s solutions for static control

By Maria Eugenia Gonzalez | Product Specialist, SMC Spain

Maria Eugenia joined the electric project team in SMC Spain back in 2019. Soon she discovered her passion for Ionizers and began to give support to Iberian customers with their static issues.

When not figuring out a customer challenge or preparing a webinar, “Mariau” can be found, immersed in nature or in any plan involving live music, her friends and surely some jokes.

Want to be up-to-date?

Sign up to our monthly newsletter and get this type of content, and more, straight to your mailbox


Follow us


See it graphically


You may find as well of interest


The  SMC’s four-pillar approach to anti-static surface cleaning
By Magnus Karlström, Product Manager of Nordic & Baltic countries, SMC Sweden
Read more 

SMC Expert Article – 2-Port Valves 2-port valve selection: an open and shut case
By Eduardo Santamaria, Group Leader Valve Section at SMC´s European Technical Centre
Read more 

The technical challenge of sustainable packaging
By Jorge Salgado, Food & Packaging Industry Manager, SMC Spain
Read more 

SMC Expertise in: Understanding your daily challeges

Read on about when our customers bring our products to life