Why Electrostatics

“Does electrostatics work? Yes, you can’t argue with science,” Robin Brownsill, M.Sc. CChem MRSC

Some of the world’s most sophisticated laboratories use electrostatics for drug test on sports stars at events such as the Olympics, and in the ultra-competitive world of horseracing. It is used by the energy industry to remove smoke particles from industrial chimneys to reduce pollution, and car manufacturers use electrostatics to apply paint to their latest models.

There is undoubted proof that electrostatic technology does work and Spice Application Systems has now harnessed its power for the food and pharmaceutical industries.

The technique works by applying a static charge to the powder, oil or slurry as it is being sprayed onto the base product, such as snacks and chewing gum. As the flavourings and coatings become ‘negatively’ charged, they adhere automatically to the ‘positive’ base product, creating a true wraparound effect.

This is much more efficient than the traditional scarf feeder method used by many manufacturers to apply flavourings and coatings to products, often resulting in poor coverage and high powder wastage.

Powder contamination and misting on and around the production line is kept to an absolute minimum, resulting in a cleaner working environment for employees and less downtime for cleaning and flavour changes.

SAS’s electrostatic system provides pinpoint accuracy for applications, ensuring that in today’s health conscious environment, where levels of oils and fats need to be tightly controlled, manufacturers know exactly how much they are using.

Depending on the quantities of products manufactured, SAS estimates companies will see a return on investment within four months in terms of savings alone – mainly through less wastage, less cleaning down-time and greater energy efficiency.

SAS’s equipment can either be retrofitted onto existing production lines or purchased as part of a complete new production line.

Table: SAS’s Electrostatic process out performs other powder technologies

Scarf Feeder Paddle Augur  SAS Electrostatics
Powder Saving 10% 0% 0%  10–45%
% Coverage 65% 25% 20%  98%
Drop Off 60% 80% 80%  5%
Line Contamination 80% 80% 80%  10%
Packer Contamination 80% 90% 90%  10%
Drum Contamination 70% 80% 80%  15%
Payback ≤ 5 Years ≤ 10 Years ≤ 10 Years  4 Months or less

For full details see the SAS equipment page.

Download our What is Electrostatics factsheet