Disclaimer: The contents of this industrial dust blog are intended to be general safety guidelines. All businesses will still need to refer to OSHA, NFPA, and local ordinances required for their business.
Industrial Dust Guide
Dust builds up in your home may simply be a nuisance you take care of while spring cleaning. But in the workplace, dust can become a serious hazard if not properly handled. To get a better understanding of the negative effects of dust in the workplace we will provide a brief overview what industrial dust is, how industrial dust is created , potential dangers you should plan for, and the benefits of a properly engineered dust collection system.
What is Industrial Dust & How is it Created?
Dust consists of small particles of dry matter that build-up on hard surfaces such as floors, tools, industrial equipment, ducts, etc. Industrial dust can generate more frequently than household dust. This is because it generates from the daily from the manufacturing or production process. For example, a small woodworking shop could generate dust from activities like sawing, grinding, or cutting. Industrial dust can even break out during processing. Another example, in an agricultural facility process dust can come from sugar, flour, grains, etc.
Common Types of Industrial Dust
Wood – Activities like sanding, high speed cutting, low speed cutting, paning etc. can create dust which is both explosive and fire prone.
Food Particulate– Certain food particulate can be explosive, abrasive and fire prone. This can encompass a wide variety of particulate such as flour, grains (corn, rice), soybeans, and more.
Cement & Concrete – This dust is abrasive but considered to be less explosive and prone to fire.
Paper Products – Dust created from paper products can be both explosive and fire prone.
Paint Powder – Paint pigments can be highly explosive
Pharmaceuticals – Pharmaceutical dust like dry powder and coating are both explosive and fire prone.
Plastic, Chemicals, Stone, Minerals , Metal etc.
Is Industrial Dust Dangerous?
The build-up of combustible dust is serious hazard in the workplace. Airborne dust presents a safety hazard to employees. Many types of industrial dust may contain carcinogenic properties that would require removal to keep employees safe, healthy, and to comply with government regulations.
Airborne dust may also be highly flammable, and safeguards must be implemented to prevent the risk of a dust explosion.
Conditions for a Dust Explosion
Combustible dust at the right concentration level
When you are working in an industry that operates with combustible dust, explosions and fires are a constant threat. If you are taking the right steps to ensure a safe working environment you are more likely to avoid a fire or explosion that would cost you the safety of your employees, thousands of dollars in lost production, and regulatory fines. Combustible dust can present itself in a variety of applications. Below are just some of the types of industries that work with combustible dust.
There are no short cuts to minimizing dust hazards and ensuring the safety of your employees. But understanding if you are working with combustible dust is the first step in prevention.
Regulation of Air Pollution Control
Many industrial industries in the U.S. must comply with strict air pollution control standards. These standards are set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), OSHA, or local governing entities like the AQMD in California.
OSHA regulates industries that are susceptible to combustible dust. When implementing OSHA’s set of standards, you are creating a safe working environment, avoiding property and economic loss from an explosion, avoiding regulatory fines. To learn more about OSHA’s safety standards for combustible dust, visit their guide here.
The NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) is another agency that publishes a list of guidelines to help minimize injury or death from combustible dust. The following codes are related to the most combustible types of dust (e.g., sugar, wood, fine aluminum):
664, Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Explosions in Wood Processing and Woodworking Facilities
484, Standard for Combustible Metals
61, Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Dust Explosions in Agricultural and Food Processing Facilities
How a Properly Engineered Dust Collection System Supports Air Pollution Control
Meet Compliance Regulations and Standards – All agencies require industrial facilities to maintain and meet air quality standards to ensure a safe and clean environment for their plant, employees, and the surrounding community.
Boost Productivity – An accumulation of dust particles and debris on industrial equipment can interfere with overall plant performance. A dust collection system can collect these dust particles before they can interfere and compromise the health and performance of your manufacturing equipment.
Improve Product Quality – Dust can settle and accumulate on products during the manufacturing process. This has a negative impact on the quality and consistency of finished goods. A dust collector will reduce and effectively capture these dust particles, allowing for product quality to improve and maintain consistency.
Enhance Health and Safety Standards – Inhalation of hazardous dust affects human health and a dust collection system is vital to removing these hazards and to keep employees safe.
Preserve the Quality of Equipment – As dust particles and debris are created inside a manufacturing facility, the contaminated dust will settle onto other surfaces such as computer systems and manufacturing equipment. This dust buildup can be harmful and result in malfunctioning equipment. It can also create unnecessary, frequent, and costly maintenance to keep dust and debris from accumulating. With a dust collector system purifying and collecting dust particles, the chances of excessive dust build-up is minimal.
Enclosed Box – A simple pipe system funneling dust into an enclosed box, placed underneath your hopper, is one dust removal option.
Drum or Bag – A removable drum or bag can be a simple and easy solution to collecting and disposing dust.
Rotary Valve – Rotary valves (also known as airlocks, rotary feeders, or airlock feeders) help transition material from a dust collector to a drum or bin.
Screw Conveyor for Baghouse Dust Collectors – Large baghouses with heavy dust loads typically use screw conveyors. The screw conveyer would transport dust away from the collector, then send it to a designated disposal area.
The best method of dust removal from your hopper is dependent on some of the following components:
•Preventative Maintenance Plan: In conjunction with a protection strategy, every facility should implement a well-designed and operated preventative maintenance plan. Perform regular checks on the health of your dust collection system to prevent more serious issues.
•Explosion Vent or Panels: Explosion vents or panels are designed to rupture at a set pressure (PStat). When a source of ignition meets a fuel source with sufficient oxygen present, an ignition will occur. As the ignition begins, the pressure inside of the vessel will increase rapidly. Depending on the material’s Kst value, the pressure rise may be slow or extremely rapid. As the ignition progresses, the internal pressure will meet the PStat rating of the explosion panel. The explosion panel will rupture, venting the ignition gasses. The explosion vent provides a relief avenue for the expanding gasses, but the pressure in the vessel will continue to rise until it reaches the Pred pressure. This is the maximum pressure of the ignition event when explosion vents are functioning, so this is usually the pressure rating the vessel is designed to withstand.
You can use explosion panels with a short length of ducting to allow for interior use without flameless venting. They do require replacement once a rupture occurs, but they are simple, cost-efficient, and easy to install. Explosion vents are typically useful on baghouses and cartridge dust collectors.
• Explosion Latch: Explosion latches work under the same principle as the explosion panels, but they are not single use. This is a more cost-effective option (versus explosion panels) when you have a large baghouse or large quantity of vent area.
Additional Venting Strategies
• Flameless Venting: Flameless venting can consist of a flame arrestor element, vent panel, and flanged housing. This combines the techniques of explosion venting and flame arresting. You can also install a flame arrestor element over a standard explosion vent. When the vent ruptures, the burnt dust and flames enter the flame arrestor element. The element helps to contain the hazardous dust and flames and prevents it from exiting, where it could potentially ignite a secondary explosion or endanger employees. While flameless venting does stop flames from exiting the vessel, there will be extremely hot gasses exiting the flameless vent. When using flameless venting, make sure to pay close attention to the vents proximity to personnel areas. If possible, always aim flameless vents away from regularly occupied areas.
• No Return Valve: Protecting the dust collector from over-pressure is essential, but it is equally important to stop a deflagration propagation back to the operator space. To prevent this, a No Return Valve is needed in the inlet duct. This valve is a weighted damper that is held open by the air flow during normal operation, allowing air and dust to pass through to the dust collector. In the event that deflagration occurs in the dust collector, the pressure propagation through the duct work will close the No Return Valve. This prevents the deflagration from reaching any process equipment and also limits the risk of secondary explosions.
• Abort Gate: Abort gates are high speed dampers that contain a spring assisted blade and is typically held in place by an electromagnet. Their purpose is to minimize the risk of an explosion by diverting flame, spark, or debris from entering a facility through a return air system.
• Spark Detection & Extinguishing System: This method uses infrared sensors, typically located on the ductwork, to detect sparks or burning material in the ductwork upstream.
Secondary Event Protection
All the methods described previously are excellent options for managing primary explosions, but one of the most catastrophic outcomes of a combustible dust explosion is an un-controlled secondary explosion.
When a primary explosion happens, there may be a pressure wave that propagates through the plant. This will “kick up” the layer of ambient dust. If the explosion is not contained in the dust collection system using the methods previously outlined, this ambient dust in the air could come in contact with the primary explosion flame front. This results in an uncontrolled explosion in an occupied space.
To minimize the risk of secondary explosions, the first step should always be to expect perfect performance from your dust collection system. It is not acceptable to have a dust collection system that does not function properly. Another suggestion is to limit the amount of horizontal surfaces in your plant that cannot be regularly cleaned. Drop ceilings and in-accessible equipment are great examples of this.
There are many strategies that may fit your unique application or facility. We recommend to consult your local or state building codes and regulations before choosing your explosion venting strategy. Some areas will have specific regulations for fire safety and environmental safety, and you want to ensure you are meeting those guidelines. Here are some questions to consider before implementing an explosion venting strategy.
What is the distance of the dust collector from the roof or walls?
Is the dust collector or vent close to any other structures?
What’s the cost?
At U.S. Air Filtration, we have been eliminating the hazards of industrial dust for 35 years.
To learn more about how you can manage industrial dust at your facility contact us at 888-221-0312 or [email protected] to speak with an engineer
Summary: Small dust collectors for applications up to 1,000 CFM airflow cost between $100 up to $5,000 USD. Pre-fab dust collection systems such as a bin vent or cartridge type collector cost between $10,000 and $80,000 USD. Pre-fab units acommodate airflow volumes between 2,000 and 10,000 CFM. Custom baghouse dust collectors or multiple module bin vents and cartridge collectors range between $50,000 to $1 million USD and more.
Dry dust collection systems remove airborne dust that generate during manufacturing or industrial processing. Examples include woodworking, bulk powder processing, or food production. Dust collectors range from small portable units to extensive custom turnkey systems.
Dust Collector Cost
Small Dust Collector Cost
A small dust collector that is able to handle up to 750 or 1,000 cubic feet per minute (CFM) of airflow can cost between $100 up to $5,000. These small retail units are ideal for ventilating two to three pieces of equipment (i.e. saw, sander, planer) for a small woodworking or metalworking shop. Small units must be set up extremely close to the collection point. This reduces static pressure and fan size. You can find these units at an online retailer or home improvement store.
Large Dust Collector Cost
Larger dust collection systems are needed to ventilate large scale processing equipment. These industrial dust collectors are found in some of the following commercial applications:
Large dust collectors are designed to handle a much larger dust loads, meet higher airflow, or specific temperature requirements. Pre-fabricated dust collection systems like a bin vent or cartridge dust collector can handle airflow volumes between 2,000 and 10,000 cubic feet per minute (CFM). Depending on the size of the unit, filter media, and the fan size, units can range between $10,000 – $80,000 USD.
Custom Dust Collector Cost
Custom turnkey, dust collection systems that require complete engineering can range between $50,000 – $1 million USD or more. These systems can include one more pulse jet baghouses, multiple modular bin vents, or several cartridge collectors.
What Goes into the Price of your Dust Collector
The price of your dust collection system is also determined by several variables outlined below.
Applications with higher dust loads require more filter media to remove airborne dust particulate. This means you’ll need a dust collector with a larger footprint. This can drive up the overall cost of your dust collection system. Applications that generate less than one or two 55 gallon drums of dust per day are usually good candidates for a small cartridge collector or bin vent.
To understand the characteristics of your dust particulate, you can ask yourself the following questions.
What is being filtered? Does your product contain moisture or oil? Products with moisture content greater than 25% are not suited for a dry dust collection system. Products containing hydrocarbons, including oils, may require the application of a special treatment to get optimal filtration.
Does your airstream or dust contain chemicals that could damage filter media? Are there also acids or alkaline in the airstream? When certain compounds are combined during processing, a chemical reaction can occur. This may require additional media treatment or coating to protect the filter bags from accelerated wear.
How abrasive is the dust that’s being filtered? Consider the hardness of the material along with the shape of the dust. The velocity of your airflow can also make your dust more abrasive. Highly abrasive dust may require your housing be fabricated in stainless steel, titanium or other costly materials that are able to withstand long term wear.
What is the size of the dust particulate are you collecting? Depending on your emissions requirements, your application may require a special membrane. This would apply if your particulate is very fine.
Is your dust combustible?
Combustible dust can be defined as any fine material that has the ability to catch fire and explode when mixed with the proper concentration of air. Examples of combustible dust include:
Food products such as grain, sugar, flour, starch, metals
Plastics, and more.
OSHA and NFPA have created guidelines to protect your plant and employees from the risks of a serious explosion. Also, be sure to review your state and local regulations for proper identification and management of combustible dust.
Applications filtering combustible dust will also need an explosion venting strategy. Explosion vents or Brixton latches are two common strategies that help reduce this risk. You may also need explosion isolation valves in the dust collection line. This helps prevent a deflagration from travelling back to the equipment should an event occurs inside the dust collector.
Dust Collector Filter Media
The type of filter media you choose impacts your system startup and long term maintenance costs. Polyester filter media is an ideal for applications with temperatures below 250°. Polyester is affordable, highly efficient and readily available.
Air to cloth ratio, also known as air to media ratio, is a measurement of the amount of cubic feet per minute of air passing through one square foot of filter media.
You can calculate air to cloth ratio based on the size and type of dust particulate you are filtering. It’s an important element in the design and size of your dust collection system.
Generally, the lower your air to cloth ratio, the better your system is at removing dust from the work environment. However, if your air to cloth ratio is too low it can place unnecessary strain on your dust collector. Systems that operate at a higher air to cloth ratio have a smaller footprint, size, and price than dust collectors operating at a lower air to cloth ratio.
Your dust load, CFM requirements, and static pressure measurements will determine the size of the fan that will pull dust through the system and turn the air. Your dust collector’s location is relative to the work environment being ventilated and also impacts the size of your fan. Systems installed close to the work environment can reduce the length of ducting and static pressure. As a result, a smaller fan may be required. The cost of a fan can vary depending on each of these factors.
Applications operating above 250 degrees Fahrenheit may require more expensive filter media. These applications would need their filter to withstand long term exposure to high temperatures.
Material Handling & Conveying
Once your dust particulate has moved through your dust collection system and lands in the hopper, you’ll need to determine how to properly remove the dust. This ensures it doesn’t return into the airstream and plug up your system. Drums are the most economical option. They perform well when handling waste material with light inlet dust loading. Light inlet dust loading applies if you generate, at most, a one or two 55 gallon drum of dust per day.
Applications with higher dust loading requirements or those filtering non waste product, need an advanced system to convey material. This helps prevent the drum from overfilling, which can cause dust to back up or return into the hopper. This can also result in a processing issue that will impact your dust collector’s performance. In these situations you may need to upgrade from a drum to a larger dumpster, rotary or dump valve.
Rotary valves seal the bottom of your collector. They help prevent outside air from entering the system while allowing material to be continuously emptied from the hopper. The cost to add a rotary valve to your dust collection system can vary between $3,000 and $5,000 USD.
Larger applications may also require a vacuum pneumatic conveying system. Their purpose is to vacuum material from the dust collector discharge to a common point. For example, an application with five baghouses may include a common vacuum conveying system. It would help pull discharge material from all five baghouses to one common dust collector discharge area.
Applications with high moisture levels or chemical resistance may require an upgrade to epoxy paint. It can be applied to the interior and exterior of the dust collector. This helps to reduce long term wear of the system. Facilities located near an ocean, lake, or those that process caustic chemicals would use epoxy paint.
Insulation may also be required if you’re airstream temperature is high and must remain above the dew point in gas form. This eliminates the risk of moisture and condensation. Airflows with high moisture content can cause performance issues with your filter bags. This can include plugging of the system and inefficient filtration. Applications requiring insulation include ventilation of exhaust air coming off boilers, burners during metal forming, and similar processes.
Electric Controls or Accessories
Most baghouses, cartridge collectors, and bin vents come standard with an electrical control panel. This powers your pulse cleaning system and your fan separately. Most experts recommend to integrate your control panel into a starter panel. This powers your pulse cleaning and fan at the same time.
Installation of starter panels can be done at any desired location in your plant regardless of the distance to the dust collection system. Starter panels protect your system from surges or motor damage. While the addition of a starter panel can add to the initial cost of your system, the ease and added safety it offers make up for startup costs.
Is an OEM Dust Collector like Torit Right For Me?
We recently took a survey asking customers their attitude and preference towards OEM vs. aftermarket dust collection products. Here’s what we learned:
15% of buyers prefer OEM dust collector parts and equipment exclusively
85% of buyers like the option to purchase OEM or aftermarket dust collector parts and equipment
65% of buyers who purchase aftermarket said they get the same performance as an OEM at a more affordable price and/or don’t care about having brand name components.
Another 50% prefer aftermarket products because they are more affordable
Of the 15% of buyers who only purchase OEM, the most popular reason for choosing OEM is because they believe they can be trusted to perform long term (33%).
If budget is not a factor for you and you are willing to pay more for OEM then this may be the right solution for you. However if you are looking to get the same long term performance from a dust collection system as an OEM and don’t want to pay a higher price for a brand name, then a U.S. Air Filtration system may be a fit.
Summary of Dust Collector Cost
Selecting and pricing out a dust collection system involves consideration of each variable above. Understanding each of these variables is critical to ensuring your dust collector performs efficiently for many years to come while also creating a clean and safe work environment. Each dust collection application is unique so it is possible that applications with very similar product characteristics or volume may require a system that is different in price and size.
To ensure a successful solution, consult with a dust collection engineering and manufacturing company with extensive design and manufacturing experience. An experienced dust collection engineering firm can help you engineer a system customized to your unique application requirements.
If you have any questions unique to your application, give us a call at 888-221-0312. You can also email [email protected]. In addition, below are some related videos and resources that may help.
When it comes down to finding the right dust collection system, there are a few different baghouse styles to choose from. So how do you know which one is best for you?
Before we dig into the differences between some of the baghouse styles, you need to consider your dust properties and air-to-cloth ratio. Baghouses are ideally suited for large volume applications with airflow exceeding 1,000 CFM or when high temperature applications are above 375 degrees. In these environments, a baghouse will handle and most efficiently filter your dust laden air.
There are three main baghouses styles (e.g. shaker, reverse, and pulse-jet) that are commonly used in most industrial processing and manufacturing applications. Here’s a brief overview on the pros and cons of each to help guide you in identifying the right option for your work environment.
Pulse Jet Baghouse
Constantly cleaned so there is minimal dust build up in the dust collector
Requires dry compressed air
Cannot be used when there is humidity of high moisture content present
Requires fewer bags
Cannot handle high temperatures (unless you use special filter media
A well maintained dust collector ensures your system is performing at peak efficiency. It’s also critical to minimizing unscheduled plant downtime and the wear and tear of your dust collector parts. As part of a regular preventative maintenance program, customers can also request a visit from bonded and insured technicians to perform either a dust collector inspection. An inspection typically includes an analysis of your dust collector and its most vital parts, a written report, and recommended corrective actions to solve any issues. An inspection may also include an exam of the following:
Overall status of dust collector(s)
Compressed air system for leaks
Air Shut off valve is sealed and is properly working
Repair or replace damaged solenoids, valves, or diaphragm kits
Any other repairs or troubleshooting needed on a baghouse – for example, vibration issues with a system after a filter change
Dust Collector Inspection and Service Questions
If you are looking for an inspection or service from a supplier, here are some of the most common questions asked before receiving a formal proposal and costs.
What type of service or troubleshooting are you requesting?
Where will the service take place?
What type of dust are you filtering? Is it hazardous? Is special safety equipment required?
Are there any current issues with your filters?
Is there any special training or background checks needed before entering a facility?
When would you like to have the service performed? What are the permitted service hours (evening or day work, weekends only, etc.)?
For more information on inspections or services for your dust collector, you can contact a USAF account manager at 888-221-0312 or also email [email protected] Also included below is a link to our comprehensive dust collector maintenance eBook that can be downloaded.
Having trouble removing dust from your dust collector? Has your dust load increased? Check out some of the most common dust removal options available including rotary valves and pneumatic conveying.
Need help installing pleated filters? Here’s a brief tutorial on how to install yours correctly.
Do you have clogged bags? Does your system utilize on-demand cleaning? Find out how this can help you save time and energy.
Are you looking to expand plant operations in the new year? Get information on how much a new baghouse, cartridge collector or bin vent costs and all the factors that go into the cost of a new dust collection system.
Check out our USAF Cartridge Dust Collector 3D Demo and learn how a USAF system can help improve plant operations.
• Industrial Dust Collection buyers place high importance on customer experience when making purchasing decisions
• Customer experience is defined by the interactions a buyer has with a company before, during and after a sale.
• There are five things industrial buyers value most in their purchasing experience: Product knowledge, Responsiveness, Service, Relationship, and Educational Resources
If you were to ask most people what’s most important to them when making a purchase historically it’s come down to three things – price, quality, and service. But as buyers have become more savvy and have less time to spend on purchasing, customers now place equal if not more importance on customer experience when making dust collection purchasing decisions. In fact, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for agreat customer experience. And a recent Walker study found that by the end of 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
Customer experience is defined by the interactions a buyer has with a company before, during and after making a purchase.
What makes a good customer experience when purchasing dust collector parts
We recently sent a survey to our customers to understand what they currently value when making purchasing decisions and to learn where there may be gaps and opportunities for improvement.
By understanding our buyer’s perspective it helps us build an experience tailored to the different needs and wants of our customer.
We’ve organized our findings into five core components that customers valued most:
Top 5 Key Components to a Customer Service Experience
Expertise and Product Knowledge
Educational Resources and Tools
Dust Collection Expertise and Product Knowledge
Expertise and product knowledge were voted as the most valued component in a dust collection customer service experience. Dust collection needs vary significantly even within the same industrial application. Today buyers value sales reps who function first as product experts who understand their specific dust collection challenges. Finding the right dust collection products that will optimize performance requires vast technical knowledge on a filters, valves, troubleshooting, dust collection engineering and more. When a sales rep delivers and establishes their expertise, this evokes trust and assurance to the customer that their buying journey and partnership will be successful.
“I had a very good conversation with internal sales, Mark. Sharing technical knowledge and information is always helpful!” – Customer Testimonial
Leveraging Technology to Improve Responsiveness
Responsiveness is critical to industrial dust collection customers in order to keep their system running at peak performance. A customer may need dust collector parts for an upcoming inspection, an unexpected explosion, or replacements for broken or underperforming parts. To help solve issues before they turn into more disruptive maintenance problems, it’s vital to get a response back to the customer promptly.
To improve response time, companies can leverage technology in innovative ways that cater to the customer.
For example, at USAF our sales reps can be reached through multiple channels including direct phone line, email, online quote request, online chat, email nurturing and marketing automation, or via the main line where a live person will answer and direct your call immediately. Investing in several channel options allows USAF to communicate with customers quickly, using their preferred communication method.
Further, as more of the buyers journey moves online, and as more buyers now prefer online communication over phone and face to face contact, particularly in response to COVID-19, companies need to adapt by investing in technology that will streamline the buyers journey by moving more customer interactions online. This could include any or all of the following solutions:
Chatbot Artificial Intelligence
Marketing Automation & Email/SMS nurturing
Content marketing – Includes videos, blogs, eBooks, case studies
“The products I purchase are specialized and by me contacting Patty and her quick response back to me works for our relationship and I wouldn’t change it. She does a fabulous job!” – Customer Testimonial
Customers face so many choices when it comes to where they purchase dust collector parts. One key component to the dust collection customer experience is service. Great service isn’t about being short-sighted and merely searching for the next opportunity, instead it’s about prioritizing solving customer problems and focusing on long term wins.
Today’s industrial buyers expect a service experience that combines one on one human connection with the efficiency that technology brings. An example of this could include the following touchpoints that combine technology with personal outreach:
Regular phone call check ins by sales rep before, during and after a sale to help the customer identify the right product and confirm successful delivery.
Email nurturing that includes how to advice and relevant educational information on dust collection.
E-Commerce product catalog for direct online sales
Post-sale shipping and tracking notifications by email or text
Post-sale customer satisfaction survey by email
While technology has changed the way we do business in critical ways, particularly through e-commerce, the need for human connection will never go away. Companies who can master this hybrid model by finding the right balance of human vs. technology touchpoints will be the most successful in the future.
“I think you’re already doing a great job. Bonnie is always fast to respond to my emails (always within an hour, often within minutes). On top of that she calls me periodically just to check up. She is a true professional and you should consider her a major asset to your company. Without her being my sales person I cannot guarantee that I would be even purchasing from you, there are local guys that I could buy from but I keep coming back to USAF because the service is so good.” – Jake Z.
The main goal of establishing a relationship between the customer and their sales rep is to create a consistent experience across all touchpoints in the dust collection journey. The sales rep is the direct connection from the company to the customer, and to ensure the process is as smooth and positive as possible the sales rep should be a customer’s first go-to contact for orders, questions, or issues.
Have you ever called a customer service line for a large retail or phone company? You often find yourself frustrated at being bounced around through several different departments before you even speak to the right person. A direct sales rep for a company keeps an eye on the customer’s entire journey to ensure their experience is positive and to also help mitigate any issues that may cause a bigger problem down the road.
“Bonnie was incredibly kind, helpful, and persistent (in a good way) with our last order” – Thomas J.
Educational Dust Collection Resources and Tools
Expertise, product knowledge, responsiveness, service, and a relationship are all important to the dust collection customer service experience. Providing additional educational resources and tools throughout the purchasing journey is crucial to building trust and long term partnerships. Examples of successful educational resources can include:
eBooks that provide in depth analysis on a key topic such as dust collection design
Regular blog posts that answer common questions customers ask
3D animated product demo videos
Instructional maintenance videos – includes installation, assembly, how-to and troubleshooting advice
Engineering drawings of products
Detailed spec sheets
Project case studies
Here are the most popular dust collection resources USAF has complied over the years that are most valued by our customers.
Why you may need a new dust collection system for your application and how a new system can improve operations.
What is a Dust Collection System?
Dust collection systems are engineered and designed to filter airborne dust particles and debris that can cause damage to plant equipment, create a hazardous work environment, and negatively impact plant production.
Installation of a new dust collection system for your facility either by replacing an old unit or expanding your existing operation, can mean an improvement in plant maintenance, waste collection, an increase in product quality, and plant efficiency and production. A new dust collection project can be a long process. Let’s start by exploring the top 5 benefits of a dust collection system.
The Top 5 Benefits of a Dust Collection System
Meet Compliance Regulations and Standards
Improve Product Quality
Enhance Health and Safety Standards
Preserve Quality of Equipment
Meeting Compliance Regulations and Standards
Many industrial industries in the U.S. must comply with strict air pollution control standards . These standards can be set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), OSHA, or local governing entities such as the AQMD in California.
All agencies require industrial facilities to maintain and meet air quality standards to ensure a safe and clean environment for their plant, employees, and the surrounding community. To get started on what air permits may be needed for your specific application and location, check out our guide on dust collector air permits.
An accumulation of dust particles and debris on industrial equipment can interfere with overall plant performance. A dust collection system can collect these dust particles before they can interfere and compromise the health and performance of your manufacturing equipment. When your dust collection system is not performing well either due to extended wear and tear, or because your dust collector is undersized and overextended, your entire operation is at risk. Maintenance issues that go unchecked can result in an unexpected plant shut down that can close down operations for days, weeks or more. It may be difficult to know if your unit is undersized, overextended, or too old. In these cases, consult with a dust collection engineering firm and request an engineering study. By doing so you’ll get recommendations that can minimize the risk of inefficient and poorly working equipment as well as frequent and costly maintenance.
Improve Product Quality
For many manufacturing facilities, dust in the air can mean dust on their products. Dust can settle and accumulate on products during the manufacturing process. This has a negative impact on the quality and consistency of finished goods. A dust collector will reduce and effectively capture these dust particles, allowing for product quality to improve and maintain consistency.
Enhance Health and Safety Standards
Inhalation of hazardous dust affects human health and a dust collection system is vital to removing these hazards and to keep employees safe. Industries like woodworking, chemicals, iron casting, asphalt, etc. operate facilities that continuously emit hazardous contaminants, debris, gasses, and chemicals. If the hazardous dust particles and debris aren’t removed, employees inhale this polluted air and are at risk for both short-term and long-term health issues. A dust collection system can minimize this hazard. To get a better understanding of the long and short term health risks check out this guide on the health impact of dust collection systems.
Another serious risk for the company is the possibility of a fire or explosion due to an accumulation of combustible dust. There are only four conditions needed for an explosion to occur:
4 Conditions That Create an Explosion
Combustible Dust at the Right Concentration Level
Do you work in an industry with combustible dust? Some of the industries that are susceptible are:
Preserve the Quality and Prolong the Life of Equipment
When dust particles and debris are created inside a manufacturing facility the contaminated dust settles onto other surfaces such as computer systems and manufacturing equipment. A buildup of dust can be harmful and result in malfunctioning equipment. This can also create unnecessary, frequent, and costly maintenance in order to keep harmful dust and debris from accumulating. With a dust collector system purifying and collecting dust particles, the chances of excessive dust build-up is minimized.
To find out if you may benefit from an engineering study at your facility, contact a US Air Filtration engineer today. If you’re looking for additional resources on dust collection systems and the buying journey, download our free Dust Collector Purchasing Guide that touches on key topics like dust properties, volume, air-to-cloth-ratio, dust collector styles, low maintenance design features, and more.
There are many variables that impact dust collection lead times, particularly during a pandemic. Whether you are returning to work, ramping up production, or are planning a change-out during this holiday season, consider the following factors that can have an impact on your lead times.
Media Availability: Specialty or rare media is usually not in-stock and may need to be sourced or fabricated. Examples include media such as PPS, P84, PTFE on PTFE, Fiberglass, Basalt, and Aramid (depending on seasonal availability and media weight requested), etc.
Custom Features: Dust collector parts with features, dimensions, or accessories that are not common. This can include oval shaped cages, uncommon weights for filter media (e.g. Aramid 16 oz.), and more.
Production Schedule: Dust collector change-outs and maintenance are often seasonal depending on factors such as location and industry. Production schedules can get backed up when an influx of orders are received around the same time. For example, change-outs in the Northeast region of the U.S. are commonly scheduled in the spring or fall season. This is because a large percentage of customers want to avoid conducting change-outs in the extreme temperatures of summer and winter months.
Holidays: Holidays can impact everything from production to shipping. If you have a scheduled change-out during a long holiday weekend, it is best to cushion in additional time to receive and inspect your order.
If you are returning to work after a long hiatus, we have created a return to work dust collection start-up guide and a dust collector maintenance eBook that you can download below to help get your dust collection system started safely.
Dust Collection Shipping
Shipping will continue to change and evolve, especially during the holiday season. We want to help you get what you need, when you need it. We also want to be as transparent as possible and provide the most up to date changes regarding dust collection lead times and shipping. The standard procedures and guarantees that you may have been used to with shipping, may have been modified. Below are some of the top changes that directly affect a large portion of businesses.
Changes to the UPS Service Guarantee: Effective March 26, 2020 and until further notice, the UPS Service Guarantee is suspended for all shipments from any origin to any destination. Commitment times for some services have also changed.
Is UPS slowing down delivery service? The majority of UPS services continue with the same expected delivery timeframes customers have come to expect. While UPS has suspended their Service Guarantee, they are committed to providing timely and reliable service.
For more details and answers to some of your other questions, we highly recommend checking the UPS website for the latest changes and service alerts: UPS Notices and Service Alerts
Changes to Fedex Money Back Guarantee: Earlier this year and until further notice, FedEx suspended money-back guarantee for all FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight and FedEx Office services.
Do I need to sign for my package? Until further notice, Fedex has suspended Signature Required for most shipments.
For more details and answers to some of your other questions, we highly recommend checking the Fedex website for the latest changes and news: Fedex Notices and Alerts
This year multiple freight carriers have minimized their workforce or altered their protocols as businesses slowly ramp up production or remain closed in response to COVID-19. Many carriers adapted quickly and implemented safety measures for their remaining staff to maintain continuity of shipping services. As freight carriers navigate through ever-evolving changes and face the upcoming holiday season, you may experience a delay in general delivery times.
To get more detailed information about a specific carrier, please check their website directly for the latest updates or changes.
Should businesses’ and warehouses ramp up holiday hours, we want to help you avoid costly delays or complications. Implementing a comprehensive receiving process is one way to eliminate added time or delays to your dust collector start-up or change-out.
To get a comprehensive receiving check list, access and download our guide below.
Once the receiving process is complete, and as soon as you are able to, you can access our filter bag check list below. The check list will help guide you through the process of verifying product count, fit, and what to do should you encounter any issues.
Baghouse dust collectors are highly efficient systems used in industrial applications that remove dirt, dust, and debris from the air. Baghouses improve worker health and safety, protect the mechanics of industrial equipment, and maintain compliance with environmental and workplace safety regulations.
Proper baghouse system design, installation, and maintenance are critical for minimizing plant downtime and maximizing system efficiency and longevity. Important design considerations, such as the airflow and square footage required for your system, will depend on your facility’s workspace and dust collection needs. Once a system is designed and installed, performing regular maintenance is vital for keeping it operating as efficiently as possible. Here, we address some of the most commonly asked questions about these critical systems.
Why do you need to install a baghouse dust collector system?
The primary reason for installing a baghouse dust collector system is to improve air quality by removing potentially harmful airborne particles, gas fumes, and other contaminants generated during manufacturing processes. Depending on the industry and the types of debris being produced, installing a dust collection system may be required in order to comply with air emission guidelines or workplace safety standards. OSHA, for example, requires industrial plants to meet certain indoor air quality standards to prevent dust-related health issues. Before designing a baghouse dust collector system, it is important to research what types of safety and air quality regulations might be applicable to your facility.
Baghouse dust collection systems may also be installed to upgrade, improve, or enhance a facility’s existing dust control strategies. Regardless of your specific reasons for installation, it is important to implement a preventative maintenance program in order to prevent future problems and keep the system operating at optimal efficiency. General steps may include:
Making sure the system operates within acceptable levels by monitoring differential pressure, timing controls for pulse valves, compressed air pressure, etc.
Regularly emptying drums and hoppers to prevent dust build-up
Frequently inspecting valves, hoses, gaskets, filters, and other components and replacing them when necessary
What type of particulate are you looking to filter?
The type of dust being generated in your facility will influence the type of dust collector that should be used. Common types of industrial dust include:
Wood dust. Fine wood particles generated during woodworking processes can linger in the air, causing health issues for workers.
Pharmaceutical dust. The manufacturing of drugs, vitamins, and minerals generates fine powders that can be highly toxic if inhaled.
Food particulates. High levels of dust can be created during the processing of spices, flour, sugar, cornstarch, grains, and other dry food products.
Metalworking dust. Metalworking processes can create a harmful mixture of fumes and fine dust ranging from 0.01 micrometer to 1 millimeter in diameter.
Particle size will help you determine the number of filters required and the best type of filter media for your system. While standard filters are usually sufficient for collecting moderate-to-large particles, pleated filters may be necessary to effectively capture very fine particles and fumes. It is also important to select a filter with the appropriate air-to-cloth ratio as this will influence the system’s ability to adequately protect workers from dust and contaminants.
Low filtration efficiency will expose workers to more particles and can increase the risk of explosions. In some cases, coating the filters with a porous particulate layer, known as a precoating, can enhance filtration and improve baghouse system performance.
What size of baghouse dust collector system do you need?
Baghouses tend to be larger than other dust collector systems and are typically used for high-volume and high-temperature applications. These systems employ cylindrical fabric filter bags to capture and separate dust particles from the air. The three most common baghouse designs are:
Pulse jet. Pulse jet baghouses are self-cleaning filtration systems that use pulses of compressed air to clean the bags. Cleaning occurs while the system is online.
Reverse air. Reverse air baghouses feature a compartmentalized design that allows for the cleaning of individual sections without shutting the entire system down.
Shaker baghouses clean bags by mechanically shaking the dust out of them. These are simple to operate and have a low initial investment cost. However, cleaning is performed while the system is offline.
With their versatile and universal design, baghouses can meet a wide variety of industrial dust collection requirements. Common applications range from food production, pharmaceutical manufacturing, woodworking, and metalworking to energy utilities, chemicals, mining, and more. For optimal performance, your baghouse dust collector should be sized and designed to accommodate your facility’s air purification requirements as well as any spatial restrictions. Design considerations should include:
One of the most important decisions when designing a baghouse system includes selecting the right filter media. There are a wide range of filter medias available to accommodate a variety of dust characteristics. Temperature, dust properties such as moisture and abrasion will determine which filter media will provide the best performance and efficiency at your operation. Here is an overview of the most common filter medias available.
Polyester – Polyester’s maximum continuous operating temperature is 275 degrees Fahrenheit and has good overall qualities to resist abrasion and performs well with dry temperatures.
P84 – The stability of P84 filter media is a benefit to a wide variety of applications lime kilns, smelting, incinerators, coal fired boilers, and glass and ceramic industries. It can be utilized in operating conditions of a maximum 500 degrees Fahrenheit and offers a good resistance to mineral acids.
PTFE/Teflon – Generally used for severe environments operating at high temperatures. Industries that use PTFE filter media range from cement, steel foundries, and energy.
Fiberglass – Fiberglass filter media has been a leading industry standard for air filtration and applications where high temperatures are prevalent.
Baghouses are custom designed for each unique application and often require advanced engineering to integrate the baghouse system into the overall plant operation. As such, baghouse units typically start at $50,000 to $1 million or more.
To get the best value from your dust collector, it is important to size the system appropriately during the design phase. This will ensure the system captures dust efficiently while reducing energy consumption.
How do you remove dust collected by the baghouse system?
Knowing how to properly dispose of dust once it enters the baghouse system’s hopper is essential for preventing airflow blockages, fire hazards, and other issues. The most common dust removal strategies are:
Enclosed box. Dust is funneled into an enclosed box under the hopper that is emptied once capacity is reached.
Drum/bag. Dust is collected into a detachable drum or bag, allowing for convenient disposal.
Rotary valve. Rotary valves allow materials to be manually or automatically moved from the collector to a disposal drum or bin.
Screw conveyor. In large baghouse systems, screw conveyors remove dust by transporting it from the collector to a disposal area.
Most baghouse systems employ rotary valves or screw conveyers for automatic removal of dust.
Baghouses have automated cleaning options with control panels that can be programmed to clean the bags anytime the differential pressure reaches an upper threshold. This enables an ongoing cycle of cleaning that occurs automatically during dust collector operation.
Filters, filter media, and other baghouse components should also be inspected at regular intervals and replaced when necessary. Routine inspections are an essential part of preventing future problems and maintaining optimal efficiency.
How do you enter a baghouse dust collection system for further cleaning?
When entering the baghouse system for cleaning or maintenance, the following measures should be implemented to ensure employee safety:
Secure the system by powering down and shutting off valves, blowers, compressed air, etc.
Communicate the details of the operation to all employees
Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
Have additional crew available to assist if needed
Thoroughly purge the system of combustible dust before performing any hot work (welding, grinding, etc.)
Establish an emergency plan for escape/retrieval
Baghouse Dust Collector Systems from U.S. Air Filtration
Baghouse dust collection systems provide a versatile and efficient solution for capturing particles that are released into the air during industrial activities. At U.S. Air Filtration, we design and manufacture baghouse dust collection systems to accommodate a range of operating conditions and filtration needs. Our solutions are expertly designed and constructed to optimize your facility’s productivity while minimizing maintenance and energy costs.
Rotary valves (also known as airlocks, rotary feeders, or airlock feeders) are used to transition material from one pressurized point, such as a dust collector, to another unpressurized point, such as a drum or bin. Rotary valves help seal a pressurized system against loss of air and pressure. Rotary valves also help ensure loss of product during processing is minimized.
Rotary Valve Applications
Typical dust collection applications for rotary airlocks are dust collection, pneumatic conveying, pollution control, mixing, feeding, weighing, drying, and blending. Some of the relevant industries for rotary airlocks include metalworking , cement, minerals, agriculture, wood, paper, rubber, textiles, grains, paint, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and many more.
Typical Products for a Dust Collector Rotary Valve
Corn or Corn Meal
Oats (Rolled or Whole)
Soybean Flakes (Raw or Spent)
Starch (Granulated or Powdered)
Woodworking or paper pulp
Rotary Valve Construction
The main parts of a rotary valve comprise of the following:
Motor (Can come in various combinations for a multitude of applications and environments. For example; speeds, explosion/spark proof, chain driven vs. direct driven, and more.
Drive, reducer or gear box which takes speed and converts it into power
Rotary Valve Options
Depending on your industry, application, and environment there are a few rotary valve options that could work for your facility. Here are some of those options in further detail:
High Temperature: Can expand when exposure to high heat. The rotary valves vanes are also shortened to leave a gap between the vanes and housing.
Low Temperature: Should be used or low or regular temp
Vanes: Standard is 6 vanes but 8 vanes can be made available, but would be more time and cost consuming.
Size: Sizes can vary from 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 and larger depending on application