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  1. Air Pollution Control & Managing Industrial Dust

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    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.

    Industrial Dust Guide

    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

    • Oxygen
    • Enclosed space
    • Ignition source
    • 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.

    Common Examples of Combustible Industrial Dust

    • Agriculture (grain, flour, sugar, etc.)
    • Wood
    • Metals (aluminum, zinc bronze, etc.)
    • Rubber
    • Chemicals (coal, Sulphur, etc.)
    • Pharmaceuticals
    • Pesticides
    • Plastics

    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

    5 Benefits of a Dust Collection System

    Dust collection systems are engineered and designed to filter airborne industrial dust particles and debris that can cause damage to plant equipment, create a hazardous work environment, and negatively impact plant production. The top 5 benefits of a dust collection system are:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.

    In addition to adding a dust collection system to your plant, you can also consider some of these dust removal options and explosion venting strategies.

    Baghouse Dust Removal Options

    • 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:

    Explosion Venting Strategies

    Common Venting Strategies

    •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.

    Questions to Consider

    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

  2. What Volume Dust Collector do I need?

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    Do you have a new dust collector project in the works and need help determining the volume? Our introduction to dust collector volume can help with that.

    Baghouse Dust Collector

    The Right Volume

    The most important consideration to factor into a new dust collector is making sure the airflow or volume of the dust collector is efficient at capturing dust and is right for your application.

    For instance, if the volume of your system is too low then your system will not filter dust as efficiently. As a result, your production, air quality and life of your collector can be shortened.  Similarly, if it is too high then your energy consumption costs can be higher and you could disrupt the process of your application. 

    Measurement of Volume

    You measure volume in cubic feet per minute or otherwise known as CFM.  CFM is a measurement of airflow related to air conditioning, heating and ventilation environments. In dust collector applications CFM measures the amount of air per minute that can be moved from a space.  

    Work environments vary dramatically from one another based on several variables. Even very similar environments can require vastly different volumes. To determine the right capabilities for a new dust collector, here are some variables to consider carefully.

    1. How are you collecting your dust?
    2. What is the size of your duct being used to collect the dust?
    3. What is the cubic feet of your work environment?
    4. Calculating volume for new installations.

    Do you need more detailed information? Download our full guide to dust collector volume below. In addition, it comes with a chart that can be helpful for your new dust collector project.

     A Guide to Dust Collector Volume

    Do you have more questions or need some help? Our equipment specialists are also available at 888-221-0312.

    Related Resources:

    Video: Air to Cloth Ratio

    Video: How Much Does a Dust Collector Cost?

    How to Get the Right Dust Collector for your Application

  3. Dust Collector Inspection and Service

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    Dust Collection Systems

    22 Point Inspection

    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:

    1.  Overall status of dust collector(s)
    2. Compressed air system for leaks
    3. Regulator pressure
    4. Air Shut off valve is sealed and is properly working
    5. Solenoids firing properly
    6. Diaphragm Valves firing properly
    7.  Couplings are sealed
    8. Magnehelic is working properly
    9. Fan Vibration readings
    10. Bearing Temperatures
    11. And more

    Dust Collector Service

    Different from an inspection, a service on a dust collector system includes bonded and insured technicians performing a change out or corrective actions. This can include the following:

    1. Changing filters
    2.  Seal minor air leaks
    3. Repair or replace damaged solenoids, valves, or diaphragm kits
    4. Any other repairs or troubleshooting needed on a baghouse – for example, vibration issues with a system after a filter change

    USAF Dust Collector Warehouse

    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.

    1. What type of service or troubleshooting are you requesting?
    2. Where will the service take place?
    3. What type of dust are you filtering? Is it hazardous? Is special safety equipment required?
    4. Are there any current issues with your filters?
    5. Is there any special training or background checks needed before entering a facility?
    6. 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.

  4. How To Get the Right Air to Cloth Ratio for Your Dust Collector

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    Video Option: Air-to-Cloth Ratio

    Dust collector air to cloth ratio is a critical measure to ensure your system is performing efficiently. 

    How to get the right air to cloth ratio

     

    What is Air-to-Cloth Ratio?

    Air-to-Cloth ratio (a.k.a. Air-to-Media) is defined as a measurement of the amount of air passing through one square foot of filter media.

    Watch Video: Air-to-Cloth Ratio

    Air to Cloth Ratio

    Which is better, Lower or Higher Air-to-Cloth Ratio?

    Generally the lower your air-to-cloth ratio, the more effective your system is at removing dust from your work environment.

    If you operate on a higher air-to-cloth ratio, one of the common issues you will encounter is a decrease in suction. This happens because there is too much dust to capture with an insufficient amount of filter media. The filter cake on your bag eventually builds up too quickly. As a result, your air velocity and suction decreases. From there it’s a domino effect and your plant air quality decreases, filters clog quicker, and valve life expectancy is impacted. So, you’ll be performing change-outs more frequently which will cost both time and money.

    How to Calculate Air-to-Cloth Ratio

    To calculate air-to-cloth ratio, take the amount of airflow (CFM) and divide that by the amount of filter area within your dust collector. 

    For example, if you’re calculating for a cartridge collector, a typical range would be a 4:1 air to cloth ratio.  Keep in mind that environments with a large ventilation area and more pick up points require a system with a higher CFM to provide adequate suction.  Would you like to know which air to cloth ratio may be right for your project? If so, download our air to cloth guide which provides the recommended ratio for a wide variety of applications.

    Why is right Air-to-Cloth ratio important?

    What are the negative effects of improper Air-to-Cloth ratio?

    • Poor venting, therefore causing damage to equipment
    • Incur high pressure drops 
    • Impacts your air velocity
    • Excessive use of compressed air

    Related Resources:

    Filter Bag Media Quiz

    Video: Guide to Fan Sizing

    How to Get the Right Dust Collector for your Application

    What Volume Dust Collector do I need?

  5. The Importance of Static Pressure for Your Dust Collector

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    Static Pressure and Your Dust Collection System

    Static pressure is the pressure created by a fan or other source to move air through a ventilation system and plays a critical role in the design and performance of pulse jet baghouse dust collection systems. Today we are discussing the importance of static pressure, what it is, how it’s measured, and how to calculate it.

    What is Static Pressure?

    Static pressure is used to determine the fan size you’ll need for your dust collection system. If the fan you choose for your system cannot handle the static pressure, air will not be able to move properly through the system and your dust collector will not be able to remove dust effectively.

    How Static Pressure is Measured

    Like differential pressure, static pressure is measured in inches of water and sometimes will be called water column. The abbreviation for this unit is usually seen as “w.c.” and can also be seen as “w.g.”

    How to Calculate Static Pressure

    To calculate required static pressure, sum the following components of a dust collector system.

    1. To start add 0.5” Second
    2. Add the filter resistance of the collector. This will be the maximum recommended differential pressure from a dirty set of filters.
    3. In most cases you can use 6” for a baghouse and 5” for a cartridge collector. Then add 1” If an outlet duct exists in the system.
    4. Fourth, add the friction loss in the duct system coming to the dust collector. For simple runs of 100’ or less, you can use 6” as a rule of thumb.

    Please keep in mind these are general guidelines and there are many other variables to consider to make sure your system is engineered safely for your unique work environment to achieve peak performance.

    To get specific help for your application, contact one of our equipment specialists at 888-221-0312, email [email protected] or request a consultation below.

    Dust Collector Project Consultation

    Dust Collection Resources

    In search of additional dust collection resources to help you? Get a free download of our Dust Collector Purchasing eBook below. It’s a full guide organized into key topics such as dust properties, volume, air to cloth ratio, dust collector styles, and more.

    Dust Collector Purchasing eBook

    Video: Guide to Fan Sizing

    Video: Air to Cloth Ratio

    Video: How Much Does a Dust Collector Cost?

     

     

  6. Dust Collection: How to Create a World Class Customer Experience

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    Dust Collection Customer Experience Summary:

    • 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 a great 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

    1. Expertise and Product Knowledge
    2. Responsiveness
    3. Service
    4. Relationship
    5. Educational Resources and Tools

     

    Dust Collection Purchasing Survey Graphic 1

    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
    • Call Center
    • 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

     

    Dust Collection Purchasing Survey Graphic 2

    Service

    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.

    Relationship

    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.

    Dust Collection Resources:

  7. 5 Ways a Dust Collection System Improves Plant Efficiency and Saves Money

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    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.

    Baghouse

    The Top 5 Benefits of a Dust Collection System

    1. Meet Compliance Regulations and Standards
    2. Boost Productivity
    3. Improve Product Quality
    4. Enhance Health and Safety Standards
    5. 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.

    The risks of non-compliance are health and safety risks to employees, explosions, failed inspections, and fines from agencies such as the EPA. All companies, large or small, are susceptible to these risks. Cemex, one of the largest producers of cement in the U.S. was fined by the EPA for $1.4 million in 2011 for exposing people to sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions. Cemex was also ordered to install pollution controls at its Ohio cement plant as part of the settlement.

    Enhance Production

    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.

    Dust Collection Safety

    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

    • Oxygen
    • Enclosed Space
    • Ignition Source
    • Combustible Dust at the Right Concentration Level

    Do you work in an industry with combustible dust? Some of the industries that are susceptible are:

    Agriculture (grain, flour, sugar, etc.)
    • Wood
    Metals (aluminum, zinc bronze, etc.)
    • Rubber
    Chemicals (coal, sulphur, etc.)
    • Pharmaceuticals
    • Pesticides
    • Plastics
    • And More

    Learn how you can prevent a dust collector explosion with these resources we’ve gathered together here.

    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.

    Video: How Much Does a Dust Collector Cost?

  8. Industrial Dust Collection System Design Considerations

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    Table of Contents

    Dust collection systems are key to maintaining appropriate conditions for employees and equipment in industrial workspaces. Dust collectors are designed and constructed to filter airborne dust and debris that can cause injury or illness to employees, damage or degrade equipment, and negatively impact plant production. In light of this important function, it is essential to choose the right dust collection system to maintain a clean, productive, and compliant work environment. Below is an overview of some of the considerations to keep in mind when designing and selecting a dust collector system.

    Dust Collection Design Considerations 1

    What Regulations Are Applicable to Dust Collectors?

    bag house and enclosure

    Certain industrial operations—e.g., chemical manufacturing, food processing, and metalworking/woodworking—generate significant amounts of airborne dust and debris. As these compounds can negatively affect human health, numerous federal, state, and local regulatory organizations—e.g., the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)—impose strict guidelines aimed toward preventing employees and passersby from exposure. One key method industry professionals employ to comply with regulations is integrating dust collector equipment in their facility to minimize dust accumulation.

    In addition to choosing the right dust collector for a facility, plants are required to attain the right permits. Air permits are legal documents provided by a local or state agency to businesses that generate above a certain level of air pollution. Air quality permits indicate the air emission guidelines—e.g., air pollution limitations, control equipment requirements, and filtration efficiencies—to which the business must comply. These guidelines may vary by municipality, country, or state.  Factors that impact air permitting requirements include plant size, application, industry, and equipment employed. As such, it is essential to communicate with the governing body closest to the facility’s location to acquire the most relevant information.

    Dust Collection Design Considerations 2

    How Does the Project Scope Affect the Ideal Type of Dust Collector?

    chemical dust collector

    The dust collection expectations of a facility significantly influence the type of dust collector that should be employed. Some of the factors to keep in mind when choosing a dust collector design include:

    Type of material. The following dust properties influence which dust collection method is most effective:

    • Size (small or large)
    • Bulk density (loose or compact)
    • Composition (acidic or basic)
    • Temperature (room temperature or elevated)
    • Moisture level (low or high)

    For example, baghouse dust collectors are suitable for sticky and hightemperature dust, while cartridge dust collectors are more appropriate for finer dust particles. If the dust is highly explosive or flammable, a spark detection system, explosion vent, or sprinkler vent may be necessary.

    • Daily dust disposal quantities. Estimated dust disposal volume and frequency helps determine which discharge method is most convenient. For example, bin vent and cartridge collectors are suitable for lower volumes of dust, while baghouse dust collectors are better suited for large volumes of dust greater than 55 gallons per day.
    • Air velocity (in FPM). The velocity requirements in a dust collector depend on the weight of dust particulate; the heavier the dust, the greater the speed required to convey dust particulate through the dust collection system.
    • Air-to-cloth ratio. also referred to as the air-to-media ratio—is the amount of air that passes through one square foot of filter media. While a lower air-to-cloth ratio is generally indicative of better filtration efficiency, optimal ratio depends on the particular dust collection system and the facility.

    Dust Collection Design Considerations 3

    What Are the Key Components of an Industrial Pulse Jet Dust Collector?

    5 most commonly replaced dust collector parts

    Dust collector systems are generally tailored to accommodate specific workspace and air purification needs. Although the exact components vary from system to system, all dust collectors consist of the following elements:

    • A blower to facilitate the movement of air through the system
    • A ductwork system to contain the dust-laden air as it moves through the system
    • A filter to capture dust
    • A filter cleaning system and discharge mechanism for dust removal
    • A dust receptacle to temporarily store the dust
    • A dust removal system to dispose of the collected dust
    • A control panel to automate each cleaning cycle

    Dust Collection Design Considerations 4

    Baghouse vs. Bin Vent vs. Cartridge Dust Collectors

    Baghouse FAQ

    As indicated above, dust collectors share many of the same basic components. However, the design and construction of these elements may vary depending on the type of dust collector. The most commonly used dust collection system for dry dust collection utilizes pulse jet technology.  Three of the most common pulse jet dust collector designs are:

    • Baghouse dust collectors: These dust collectors are large, making them ideal for use in high-volume and high-temperature dust collection applications. Baghouses rely on fabric bags to capture dust and other particles as they move through the system. Once the dust-laden air is filtered, clean air is expelled from the system.  Baghouses can accommodate airflow volumes up to one million CFM or more.
    • Bin vent dust collectors: These dust collectors are generally used to vent air during loading operations for silos and other similarly sized containers. Bin vents rely on the natural upward movement of dust and debris during loading to filter dust particulate and prevent dust from escaping the container.
    • Cartridge dust collectors: Cartridge dust collectors operate similarly to baghouse dust collectors, except they utilize cartridge filters made from pleated filter media instead of fabric bags. Their pleated filter design and finer filter media allow for better filtration of smaller dust particulates. Additionally, as they are generally more compact than baghouses, they are better suited for use in confined spaces and smaller dust loads.

    Dust Collection Design Considerations 5

    The Industrial Dust Collector Design Process

    Dust Collection Design

    When planning the design and construction of a dust collection system, it is important to have a clear understanding of how the system should perform within the facility. As indicated above, some of the factors to keep in mind include dust type, dust collection volume, air velocity, and air-to-cloth ratio. These considerations, among others, influence how the system should be designed and constructed.

    Three of the design elements affected by these factors are:

    • Dust collector ductwork serves as a transportation network for the dust-laden air within the dust collector. Ductwork size and complexity depend on the size and complexity of the system, while diameter depends on the type of dust generated and its expected volume and velocity. During the design and construction of this system element, limiting the complexity (i.e., using straight lines and minimal curved or transitional elements) and size helps ensure better system efficiency.
    • Dust removal mechanism. The ideal dust removal mechanism depends on the type of dust collector employed, the type of dust being collected, and the dust loading rate. The main mechanisms utilized include:
      • Enclosed box (i.e., a pipe system funnels dust into an enclosed box),
      • Drum or bag (i.e., the drum or bag is removed, emptied, and replaced once it is full),
      • Rotary valve (i.e., the valve allows dust to flow from the dust collector into a drum or bin)
      • Screw conveyor (i.e., a screw conveyor carries collected dust from the system to a designated storage/disposal area).
    • Explosion venting. If the dust collected by a dust collection system is combustible, appropriate measures—such as integrating explosion vents or panels, flameless venting, or spark detection and extinguishing systems—should be implemented to minimize the risk of explosion and fire outbreaks.

    Dust Collection Design Considerations 6

    How Much Does a Dust Collection System Cost?

    Dust collectors vary in size, ranging from the compact units used in small, residential or hobby workshops to the large-scale systems designed for industrial facilities. Smaller units—accommodating airflows up to 1,000 cubic feet per minute (CFM)—generally cost between $100 to $5,000, and are suited for small, residential shops, while larger units—handling airflows between 2,000 to 10,000 CFM—cost between $10,000 to $80,000, depending on the unit size, filter media, and fan size. Custom dust collection systems for highly specific or unique applications range between $50,000 to $1 million, depending on the system requirements.

    Some of the main factors that influence the cost of a dust collection system are:

    • Dust type: what is/are the dust’s composition, properties, particle size, combustibility, temperature, moisture level, etc.?
    • Dust load: how much dust must be removed from the air?
    • Filter media: what filter media is used in the system?
    • Air-to-cloth ratio: how much air should pass through the filter media?
    • Fan size: what fan size is integrated into the system?
    • Material handling and conveying: what material handling/conveying elements are integrated into the system to ensure efficient and effective dust removal?
    • Paints, coatings, or unit insulation: does the system require specialized paints, coatings, or insulation to ensure its durability?
    • Electric controls or accessories: what electrical controls and accessories are necessary for proper system function?

    Dust Collector Maintenance Considerations

    dust collector design features for easy maintenance

    Once a dust collector system is designed, constructed, and installed in a facility, it is essential to implement an adequate maintenance program to ensure it continues to provide effective and efficient performance throughout its service life. Below we outline some of the typical steps in a maintenance program.

    • Verify the system operates within acceptable ranges (e.g., air pressure to solenoid valves, timing controls for pulse valves, compartment differential pressure, etc.)
    • Check the condition of the filter media, fan bearings, damper valves, door seals and gaskets, and other system components and repair/replace them if necessary
    • Empty the dust in the hopper if necessary

    It is important to employ the proper safety measures to protect against injury during any maintenance operation. For example, when performing maintenance inside of a baghouse dust collector:

    • Ensure the unit is powered and locked down
    • Employ the proper personal protective equipment (PPE)
    • Designate a lookout
    • Communicate the specifications of the operation (what, where, when, etc.) to all other employees
    • Verify combustible dust inside of the system is within safe levels
    • Formulate an emergency escape/retrieval plan

    For additional maintenance tips, check out U.S. Air Filtration’s Dust Collector Maintenance Checklist.

    Dust Collection Design Considerations 7

    Industrial Dust Collector Systems From U.S. Air Filtration

    Dust Collection Systems

    For over 40 years, U.S. Air Filtration, Inc. has designed and manufactured standard and custom dust collection systems for customers around the world. We provide baghouse dust collectors, bin vent dust collectors, and cartridge dust collectors. To learn more about our design and manufacturing capabilities, check out our design services page or dust collector purchasing guide. For further assistance designing or selecting a dust collector for your facility, contact us or request a quote today to schedule an engineering consultation.

    For maintenance, troubleshooting and other resources, watch our video “How Much Does a Dust Collector Cost?”, subscribe to our YouTube channel, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook & LinkedIn.

  9. What Dust Collector is Right For My Application?

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    Do you have a new dust collection project? One of the first, and most important questions to ask is, what’s the right dust collector for my application? Reliable dust collectors are critical for the optimal operation of most industrial and manufacturing facilities. Choosing the right dust collector can ensure high air quality. Without an appropriate dust collector, particles can clog up your equipment, contaminate products, reduce overall operational efficiency, and put worker health at risk.

    There are three standard dust collector designs: baghouse, cartridge, and bin vents. The best design for your needs is dependent on specific aspects of your dust collection process. This can include the following:

    • What is the type of dust you are filtering?
    • Do you know your expected dust volume?
    • Do you have size restrictions for the dust collector?
    • Are there emissions requirements you need to follow?
    • What’s the temperature of the surrounding environment?

    3 Main Types of Dust Collectors

    The three most common dust collectors are baghouses, cartridges, and bin vents. Each type exhibits different characteristics.

    Baghouse Dust Collectors

    The most widely used style of dust collector is a baghouse. They are usually larger than other types of dust collectors and well suited for high volume and high temperature applications.

    Baghouses use fabric bags to capture dust particles in the gas or the air moving through the system. When contaminated air pulls through the filters, it catches the dust and clean air is expelled.

    Cartridge Dust Collectors

    Instead of fabric bags, cartridge dust collectors use a filter made of pleated media. Spun-bond polyester, nanofiber, and an 80/20 substrate are the most common filter medias on cartridge filters. Treatments like PTFE, fire retardant, and water or oil resistant coatings can also be available.

    Cartridge dust collectors house it’s filters in a sealed chamber, and this is where dirty air pulls through the cartridges. It then traps the dust, thereby allowing clean air to be expelled. The pleated surface of a cartridge filter provides efficient filtration because there is more surface area available. This makes it optimal for filtering fine particles and fumes. Cartridge dust collectors are also compact and can be installed in confined spaces.

    Bin Vent Dust Collectors

    Silos and other large containers typically have bin vents installed on top. Their purpose is to vent displaced air during loading. A pneumatic or compressed air system propels material into the silo or container. Afterwards, the bin vent filters the displaced air as it flows out of the container while it keeps an airtight seal. A bin vent ultimately prevents dusting and loss of product during the loading process.

    Advantages of Dust Collectors

    Depending on the needs of your application, each type of dust collector offers unique benefits.

    • Baghouse dust collectors: Baghouses offer filtration of large to moderate sized particles. This is ideal for use in manufacturing and industrial settings that filter a large amount of material on a regular basis.
    • Cartridge dust collectors: Cartridge collectors are ideal for applications that require the filtration of smaller particles on a reduced scale. The pleated construction and versatile media of cartridge filters allows them to easily adapt to specific applications. In addition, they are smaller than their baghouse counterparts and can be easily installed in confined spaces.
    • Bin vent dust collectors: Bin vents are great for bins or containers that need to filter the air being expelled from the top. They are compact and their filters can be also be easily changed.

    Dust Collector Applications

    An extensive range of industries use dust collectors. Their use is dependent on the particular needs of an application.

    • Baghouse filters: For use in high volume and high temperature applications such as lumber milling, automotive manufacturing, mining applications, and foundries.
    • Cartridge filters: Useful for applications with fine particles and fumes such as welding, laser cutting, wood processing, agriculture, and fiberglass processing.
    • Bin vent filters: Specialized and highly valuable for silos, storage containers, and other high dust and material holding applications.

    Dust Collectors from U.S. Air Filtration

    When you choose the right dust collector for your application it plays a part in the efficiency of your facility. If you would like to learn more about dust collector designs, you can download our “Dust Collector Purchasing Guide” eBook or watch this video “How Much Does a Dust Collector Cost?”. If you would like to speak to an equipment specialist, click here to contact our experts or request a quote.

  10. What Type Of Dust Collector Is Right For My Application?

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    Baghouse Dust Collector ProjectLearn the differences between the three most common dust collection systems – baghouses, cartridge collectors and bin vents.

    Your dust collector is a critical component in your facility, so here are a few questions you should consider when investing in a new dust collector.

    -What type of dust are you filtering?

    -What CFM or volume are you looking for?
    -Are there any size or restrictions for the space the dust collector needs to be in?
    -Do you have AQMD or any local emissions requirements you need to meet?
    -What is the temperature of my environment like? Cold? Hot?

    After you consider these questions, the next step is looking into what type of dust collector will provide you with the most optimal performance.

    Baghouse

    Baghouses are typically the largest of the three types of dust collectors. They are best suited for high volume and high temperature applications. You would consider this if you were dust loading more than one 55 gallon a drum per day. The most common applications we see are:

    -Wood

    -Automotive

    -Mining

    -Foundries

    Cartridge Collector

    Cartridge Collectors are compact and very modular in its design. These are best suited for applications where your dust loading volume is low (collecting less than one 55 gallon drum per day), if you have a small footprint to work with, or if you want to easily expand in the future. The most common applications we see are:

    -Steel Fabrication

    -Bulk Powder Processing

    -Welding

    -Paint Booth

    Bin Vent

    Bin vents are usually used in applications where you are moving product from one location to another. Like a cartridge collector, bin vents are also compact, modular, and designed for easy change-outs. They are designed to efficiently vent silos and tanks while keeping the product inside the silo. So most often you will see them being utilized in these applications:

    -Cement

    -Agriculture

    -Tank loading

    -Conveyor Belt

    Related Resources:

    How to Get the Right Dust Collector for your Application

    Dust Properties and Choosing a Collector

    Dust Collector Design Features for Easy Maintenance