Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Choosing the Right Filter for the Job

There are many types of cartridge filters for dust and fume collection systems, each targeting specific qualities of dust or fume. Choosing the proper type of filtration media will help you efficiently filter dust and fume, saving energy costs as well as protecting workers and equipment from injury.

Two Basic Types of Filter Media

Filter media can be reduced to two basic categories: Non-woven cellulosic blend, and synthetic polyester media (or polyester-silicon blend).

Non-woven cellulosic blend media is the most economical choice for dry dust collection applications at operating temperatures up to 160°F. Media coatings can be employed to enhance moisture resistance, but cellulose media in general is not as resistant to moisture as synthetic polyester.

Synthetic polyester media is a lightweight and washable media that can handle dry applications with operating temperatures from 180°F to 265°F. These filters are washable and can recover from moisture exposure, but are not intended for wet applications.

Common Media Coatings

Flame retardant media is treated with a chemical which adds fire retardant properties for use when there is risk of a fire or explosion.

Conductive or anti-static filters typically employ a carbon or aluminized coating and are used where dusts generate static charges that require dissipation.

Nano fiber coatings can enhance the filter media, boosting efficiency and promoting surface loading of fine dust particles to keep the particles from penetrating deeply into the base media. This translates into better dust release during cleaning cycles and lower pressure drop throughout the life of the filter, which saves energy and promotes a longer filter life.

Camfil APC retrofit filter assortment
Correct filter choice for your application is important to ensure
low total cost of ownership, operating efficiency, and filter life.

Compared to standard media, nano fibers offer higher filtration efficiencies as well as better energy performance, superior cleanability, and greater resistance to wear from pulse-cleaning. Because of these benefits, experts believe nano fiber media will become the standard in the future.

Open Pleated Media

Tightly pleated filter media tends to trap dust within the pleats. This causes wear on the filter media and increases the pressure drop across the filter over time. Open-pleated media uses pleat separators to allow the collected dust to release from the filter during cleaning cycles. This keeps the air resistance low through the filter which improves operating efficiency, filtration efficiency, and extends filter life. Nano fiber coatings can enhance the filter media, boosting efficiency and promoting surface loading of fine dust particles to keep the particles from penetrating deeply into the base media. This translates into better dust release during cleaning cycles and lower pressure drop throughout the life of the filter - saving energy and promoting a longer filter life.

comparison of open pleat media and packed pleat media
Open pleats breathe easy (green) while tightly packed pleats (blue)
trap dust and increase pressure drop across the filter.

A wide pleated filter will often contain less total media area than a tightly pleated model, but the total square footage of the media is not what you want to focus on. It's the total usable media area in a filter that counts.

Proper Testing of Dust

In order to select the most efficient filter for your application, you must first determine the properties of your dust. Dust can be tested to determine particle size distribution (down to the sub-micron range), moisture content, explosivity, adhesion, and cohesion. The long established process of dust testing has been used by professionals to make informed decisions on the design of dust collection systems.

Evaluating the Total Cost of Ownership

When selecting a cartridge filter media, you should also be aware of the cost of owning and operating the filters on your application. A Total Cost of Ownership evaluation can help you determine which filters are more economical in the long run, and may show that a more advanced filter media will provide longer life and lower overall operating cost.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Install a Dust Collector - Save Money!

Purchasing a high-quality dust collection system for your factory can seem expensive.  With the cost of equipment, planning and installation labor, industrial dust and fume collection systems easily run into the thousands of dollars.

Of course, like anything else in life, you get what you pay for: a high-quality, long-lasting system is going to cost more than a bargain-basement purchase.  But when considering such an investment, it's good to take the long-range view of the true cost (and savings!) of an industrial dust collector that is properly sized for your application and process.  While there are many factors to consider in regards to total cost of ownership, utility savings are one of the easiest to benefit from.  Consider an example.

Recirculation of Clean Air

In some applications, it is possible to recirculate air that has been through a dust collector back into a facility.  This means that in colder climates, heating costs can be reduced by using recirculated air that has already been heated through various industrial processes.  Welding areas, especially those in an environment with a heigh ceiling, can use this arrangement to good effect.  For example, one factory installed a modern dust collector in their welding shop, and as a result, no longer had to turn the heaters on in winter.  That saved $80,000 to $100,000 (USD) per year!  Of course, you should study the applicable laws, safety considerations and installation requirements as you consider such a possibility for your own facility.  Even when hazardous dusts or fumes are being collected, it may be possible to recirculate clean air into your facility when a polishing HEPA filter is in place.

An industrial dust collector collecting fumes from high-ceiling welding environment.
So do your homework.  When you factor in the utility savings, true costs of long-lasting filter cartridges along with labor expenses, you might find that the more "expensive" system, when properly designed, is actually more economical in the long run!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Keeping Dust Out of Non-Manufacturing Spaces in Industrial Facilities

High efficiency dust collectors are best known for maintaining cleanliness in industrial manufacturing spaces. But offices, conference areas, control rooms, server rooms and similar spaces in these facilities must also be protected against dust infiltration from nearby manufacturing processes or from particulate contaminants in the outdoor air.

Pressurization in combination with proper air filtration is the most effective approach to this challenge. High-efficiency HVAC filters are the most common solution, but cartridge-type industrial dust collectors can offer an effective and often overlooked alternative.

How pressurization works

Pressurization is a well-known ventilation technique in which a positive or negative atmospheric pressure is maintained in an isolated or semi-isolated environment. It has been used by the health care industry for many years for infectious disease control.

A patient with an immunodeficiency disorder will typically be housed in a positive pressure isolation room, which maintains a flow of air out of the room, protecting the individual from contaminants and pathogens which might otherwise enter. Conversely, a patient with a contagious disease will be housed in a negative pressure isolation room, which maintains a flow of air into the room to keep the infection from spreading to other patients and health care workers.

In industrial settings, positive pressure (known as “inflating the building”) is similarly used to keep particulate or gaseous contaminants out of a room, creating an air barrier between the outside and the inside. This makes it possible to protect the space from dirty outdoor air conditions, from dust or fumes generated by an adjacent production process, or even from excess humidity that might seep in through walls or other openings. Offices, labs, electrical rooms and server rooms in industrial facilities are especially prone to dust infiltration that can create unpleasant or even hazardous working conditions while causing problems with critical equipment, especially electronics.

Conversely, in a pharmaceutical facility where potent compounds are used, or a mining facility where toxic minerals are being processed, negative pressure may be applied – sometimes in conjunction with containment systems – to prevent the dust generated in a manufacturing space from cross-contaminating other areas of the plant.

Click here to read this article

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

10 Tips for Making Your Dust Collector as Safe as Possible

Installing a dust collector into your factory revolves around the want to keep employees, equipment and work areas safe from dust. Unfortunately, this installation often occurs under a grudge purchase situation. Although the first thought may be to select the most affordable dust collector, the purpose of the dust collector is to maintain a safe working environment and corners should never be cut. The price of the unit and accessories should never interfere with the safety that dust collectors are designed to produce. The following are ten tips for making your dust collector as safe as possible to ensure the job is being done as well as possible.

1. Look for a dust collector with a higher pressure rating
Ensuring that your dust collector is heavy-duty and paired with the correct explosion protection equipment will enable you to use a simpler and less costly explosion protection system to comply with NFPA standards.

2. Don't overlook the ductwork
Your collector could be built perfectly but the wrong duct work could cause major problems. Ducting should be equipped with dampers and valves designed to minimize the risk of explosion.

3. Never store dust in the hopper
Also, make sure the storage container under the hopper is dumped and cleaned frequently. This will minimize clogging of the system and ensure that the pulse-cleaning system is doing its job.

4. Don't use a programmable logic controller (PLC) to control pulse-cleaning of filters
Pulse-cleaning relies on very brief, high-energy bursts of compressed air to blow dirt off the filter surfaces. PLCs often open too slowly for correct pulsing to occur.

5. Don't rely on filter percentage efficiencies or MERV ratings to predict compliance
Plant operations and safety personnel must confront regulations as the EPA and OSHA continue to tighten air quality requirements. EPA and OSHA want to know that emissions will be at or below required thresholds.

6. Consider ease and safety of filter change-out
Are filters positioned for ease of access? Do they slide in and out of the housing readily? Pulling out a cartridge that is dirty overhead and weighs a ton can result in neck, back and food injuries as well as a large mess. Some filter designs are subject to uneven dust loading, leading to shorter filter life and potential fire or explosion hazards.

7. Reduce change-out frequency with long-life filters
This will minimize worker exposure to dust, save on maintenance and disposal costs, and reduce landfill impact.

8. Optimize fire prevention
Flame-retardant filter media, spark arrestors, perforated screens, fire sprinklers, etc. help maintain fire prevention. Also, vertically-mounted cartridges also reduce fire and explosion risks because dust doesn't build up and sit on top of filters.

9. Evaluate needs for additional safety accessories
OSHA-compliant railed safety platforms and caged ladders can prevent slips and falls when workers access the collector for service. Lock-out/tag-out doors prevent injury caused by inadvertent opening of doors during a pulsing cycle and/or exposure to hazardous dust. Where highly toxic dust is being handled, a bag-in/bag-out (BIBO) containment system may be required to isolate workers fro mused filters during change-out.

10. Consider a safety monitoring filter
This is a secondary bank of high efficiency air filters that prevent collected dust from re-entering the workspace if there should be a leak in the dust collector's primary filtering system. This is also a required component in a recirculating dust collection system that recycles air downstream of the collector.

Understanding key features of your dust collector and your factory's needs will ultimately save money in the long run because of the lack of repairs or additional accessories in the future.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Railcar Repairer Stays On Track with Farr Gold Series®

Midwest Railcar Repair, Inc. has been servicing the railroad industry for nearly half a century. Pride and workmanship are the foundation of the company. By performing all railcar repairs and maintenance in-house they are able to get high quality jobs done quickly. Being a one-stop shop for railcars requires a large facility with a variety of equipment and machinery being used at the same time. Welding, grinding, and plasma cutting were constant processes being used.
Maintaining a clean working environment for the employees and the work being produced has always been top priority. To prevent dust or fumes from being an issue, company president David Smook started researching online for a solution. The large size of the railcars and facility made the search challenging. A variety of dust collection offerings were available from horizontal style dust collectors to numerous small collectors being placed from the ceilings throughout the facility. These options added their own maintenance and upkeep issues.
Farr Gold Series GS72 dust collector installed at Midwest Railcar Repair on plasma cutting, grinding, welding and carbon arc gouging application.
To solve the problem, the company decided on having one GS 72 collector to handle not just one, but all of their dust collection needs.  One of the benefits of the GS 72 is that it could be located outside and away from the processes. This has saved valuable interior room and made preventive maintenance simple and efficient. An added bonus of the GS 72 is having the clean air being distributed back into the plant during the winter months to help reduce heating and energy costs. Click here to read even more about the Midwest Railcar Repair, Inc. case study.