Safe Operating Tips from Industrial Dust Collector Manufacturers

Industrial dust collector manufacturers design dust collection systems for a wide variety of companies. Once a dust collection system has been installed, knowing how to safely operate the equipment is imperative. This is not only to ensure that safety and compliance standards are being met but to ensure the optimal performance of the equipment as intended. To make sure your workplace is safe, in regulatory compliance, and that the system runs efficiently, here are 8 tips to help you get the most out of your industrial dust collector.

1. Make Sure the Dust Collection System Meets Your Needs

As industrial output varies with every industrial sector, so does the volume and type of dust generated by those facilities vary. In other words, the properties of the dust and particulate matter generated in a particular workplace are unique to that workplace. Therefore, the “right” dust collector is the system that makes sense for a particular plant—a system designed to meet the needs of the facility. Whether selecting pulse-jet and shake-cleaning baghouses, cyclone collectors and wet scrubbers, or electrostatic precipitators and inertial separators, installing the right system will ensure that the workspace is clear of airborne contaminants and will mitigate risks.

2. Fire Preventive Strategies and Practices

Combustible dust has long posed a serious hazard in many industrial production environments. Mitigating the risks and hazards from combustible particulate matter is related to tip Number 1—selecting the dust collector system that meets your production requirements. However, incorporating preventive strategies is essential to hinder the build-up of combustible dust in manufacturing plants and facilities before such combustion can occur. To ensure the safe operation of your dust collection equipment look to OSHA guidelines and follow NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) codes and standards (or ATEX and FM international standards where applicable). Following NFPA standards is voluntary. However, the breadth and depth of their research is exhaustive and beneficial, and their standards are often incorporated into the codes and regulations of federal or state OSHA agencies, which are mandatory.

3. Read and Monitor Differential Pressure Gauges

Reading and monitoring the differential pressure gauges are important for the proper functioning of dust collector systems. The gauge sensors ensure the accuracy of system operations and their monitoring is an essential first step to guide operation and maintenance decisions. The differential pressure sensors need to be cleaned regularly to avoid dust building up in the lines that could lead to irreparable damage. The sensors should also be replaced at manufacturer-suggested intervals. To avoid costly repairs, do not wait until the sensors fail.

4. Do Not Store Dust in the Hoppers

System hoppers should be emptied regularly. A system’s hopper is only intended to temporarily collect material funneled into it. Too much material can plug the system inlets, disrupt the airflow and dust re-entrainment, impede performance, wear out filters, and in some cases create a combustible dust hazard (see tip number 2).

5. Inspecting Filter Media

The routine inspection of filter media helps maintain optimal performance of the system or, conversely, can reveal any issues with the system that need attention. The formation of dust cakes is a good sign of high filtering efficiency during operation and they should dislodge easily. If not, inspect the clean air side for leaks or bag tears. If dust cakes are hardened or do not dislodge easily it could be a result of moisture in the filter media relating to problems upstream. There may be high moisture content in the process gas or the compressed air supply that needs to be addressed.

6. Maintaining Filters

The filters your dust collection system uses should be checked regularly and changed as needed or at manufacturer-suggested intervals. If a filter becomes overburdened, it will not work efficiently or as intended. It can also present a risk for combustion. Periodic changing of filters will provide maximum performance and minimum downtime of the system. For example, shaker filter bags need to be correctly installed with the proper tension, and checking tension or changing bags regularly can be included in a preventive maintenance program.

7. Regular Leak Testing

As part of a preventive maintenance program, leak testing of filters and diaphragm valves should be conducted as an ongoing diagnostic measure by system operators. Regular leak tests of filters ensure that they have not failed prematurely and if they have failed can help identify performance and excessive emissions issues. System diaphragm valves should be inspected for leaks to prevent wasting large amounts of compressed air and costly energy bills. Worn, leaking diaphragms reduce the suction required for the system, which can result in poor bag cleaning and in an increase of 10% to 20% in operational costs.

8. Ductwork Inspection

The ducts for your dust collector are an important component not just for proper ventilation of the system, but for the system to function efficiently. Ducting should be checked regularly for the accumulation of dust and particulates that could choke the system. Ducting should be equipped with dampers and valves to minimize hazards or risk of combustion, too. Conducting regular inspection ensures that necessary pressure and adequate velocities are maintained.

Having the correct industrial dust collection system and operating it safely will ensure a safe, healthy work environment that can improve employee production, efficiency, and retention. But the right system has other tangible, cost-effective benefits as well, helping to preserve machinery and prevent equipment from dust buildup, reducing system downtime for maintenance, and lowering the cost of replacement parts.

To maximize system performance and increase the lifespan of the dust collection system, look to your industrial dust collector manufacturer to provide the necessary services to ensure that your system is running at peak efficiency. The professionals at CPE Filters can provide you with consultation and onsite services to make sure that the work environment is safe, that your facility is in compliance with local, state, and federal standards, and that the optimal functionality of your system is maintained. Contact us today to speak with our experts.