Dust collection systems play a critical role in ensuring efficient production and workplace safety. Without the dust collector operating properly, production may slow or halt altogether, costing a company thousands per day. However, maintaining the system can be costly and time consuming if not done properly and regularly. Fortunately, there are multiple strategies to reduce the time and cost of operating your dust collection system. In this blog post, we will review five effective ways to minimize your operating costs and maximize efficiency.
The points outlined below offer benefits to companies large and small, with dedicated maintenance crews or a single superman holding everything together.
#1 Preventative maintenance plan
The most important thing anyone can do to ensure their dust collector runs efficiently and cost-effectively is to implement a preventative maintenance plan. Performing regular preventive checks and maintenance helps you avoid significant issues that can be costly and time-consuming to resolve. A preventive maintenance plan, at the very least, guarantees that you examine common wear points to address any potential problems before they escalate into major issues. Benefits of a preventive maintenance plan
Daily monitoring of differential pressure gives you a sense of when to change the filters. This enables you to find replacement filters without incurring rush or expedite fees, and schedule the work for a convenient time that minimizes production disruptions.
Fix the small things before they cause larger/expensive issues
#2 Understand how your dust collection system operates and what happens when things get out of alignment.
We understand that the dust collector is typically the final piece of equipment in a lengthy production line.Which means that changes or problems with upstream processes may, or may not, have a big impact on the dust collector. Understanding your dust collection system and its weak points will help you prevent, quickly identify, and address problems caused by upstream issues.
For example, a Nomex (Aramid) felt filter bag has an operating temperature of 400°F, with surges to 445°F. If you have a temperature spike in the production process causing temperatures in the baghouse to exceed 400°F, it will reduce the life of the filters. They may not fail immediately, but the media will be weakened and more susceptible to tearing. Understanding this, you may keep a closer eye on the baghouse to catch bag failures or move up a scheduled changeout to prevent unplanned downtime if bags start to fail.
Changes in temperature, dust loading, moisture levels, and other factors can significantly impact the performance and wear and tear of your dust collection system.
Understanding how these variables affect your dust collector can also help prevent issues, additional maintenance costs, and costly shut-downs. Making changes to upstream processes to increase filter life or reduce dust collector issues is one cost-effective way to extend filter life and reduce overall operating costs.
#3Maintain the pulse cleaning system
It’s important to ensure that the pulse jet cleaning system on your dust collector is operating properly to keep the filters clean and the system running efficiently. Doing so helps extend the lifespan of your filters, reduces maintenance costs, and minimizes downtime. Failing to do so may result in blinding of filters, excessive compressed air consumption, and reduced suction at pickup points. Maintenance can include:
Ensuring that valves open and close properly and without any problems.
Confirming that valves and fittings do not have any leaks.
Checking the pressure regulator and control panel to make sure the settings are accurate.
Ensuring that the on/off times are set correctly. If pulsing On-Demand, verify that the high and low limit settings are still appropriate.
#4 On-Demand Cleaning
On-Demand cleaning is a great, and fairly easy way, to reduce operating costs and wear on your dust collection system. An on-demand cleaning system monitors the pressure drop (or differential pressure) in the dust collector and turns on the pulse cleaning system, only when needed. This reduces the amount of compressed air used and reduces wear on the filters and pulse valves. Reducing compressed air consumption can have significant cost savings when combined with longer filter and diaphragm life.
The on-demand cleaning system uses a pressure module or photohelic to read the pressure drop across the filters. The “high-limit” and “low-limit” are set on the timer board and tell the timer board when to start and stop the pulse cleaning. As pressure builds and hits the “high-limit” the cleaning system kicks on and pulses the filters. As the filters are cleaned the pressure will gradually drop until it hits the “low-limit”. Once the “low-limit” is reached, the cleaning system turns off, conserving compressed air until the pressure builds up to the “high-limit” again and the cycle starts over. To learn more about on-demand cleaning, you can watch ourHow Does On-Demand Cleaning Work with a Timer video.
#5 Perform fan maintenance
It is recommended to include a weekly and monthly check of your fan as part of your preventative maintenance plan. While fans may be easy to overlook, improper maintenance can lead to significant problems. The fan is the heart of the dust collector and, therefore, needs to be kept in good working order to ensure optimal performance. Fan maintenance can include the following:
Weekly: Belts, unusual noises
Monthly: Grease bearings and check all lubrication points and for improper sheave alignment, proper tensioning of v-belt drives.
The past few years have been a roller coaster for the global supply chain, with natural disasters and pandemics causing major disruptions for manufacturers. These challenges directly impact manufacturers’ ability to effectively run production and positively impact the supply chain downstream.
In this article and latest “Filtered: On the Air” podcast episode, our experts Tim Keeter and Brent Bassett discuss supply chain issues and its impact on the dust collection industry, while also providing tips on how to alleviate some of the issues that manufacturers face in today’s supply chain.
The Future of the Supply Chain Delays
No industry was immune to global supply chain delays that have been impacting manufacturers the last few years. While some sectors did bounce back quickly, others are still in the process of recovering. Looking ahead, most of us learned that predicting anything has gone completely out the window. It appears things have improved, there are shorter delays, and more products on the shelves. As a result, we’re seeing less supply chain issues impacting consumers. But it’s still hard to tell as there are places around the world that are still recovering. At U.S. Air Filtration, we like to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. One takeaway from the last few years is that we can all be better prepared.
Industry Purchasing Trends
There are customers who have storage space, which has allowed them to update their purchasing process to include a back-up set of filters. More commonly, we see customers who try to order a month or two sooner than they normally would. But that may not always work out because some parts can have multiple delays. While an order may originally have a lead time of two months, there could be an additional delay for another month. One example would be for cartridge filters which consist of multiple parts. All it takes is one of those crucial parts of a cartridge filter to have a delay, and as a result the entire filter is delayed. In this scenario, planning ahead doesn’t always guarantee you’re going to receive your items on time.
How To Reduce Supply Chain Delays
Having a solid preventative maintenance plan is key. If you’re organized with your change outs, and know when they’re going to happen then you can order your things well in advance. One thing that U.S. Air Filtration can do for our longtime customers is help them realize their normal buying patterns. Oftentimes people just don’t know what those patterns may be. But if a customer has been ordering from U.S. Air Filtration for a number of years, we can look at those frequencies whether it’s every 12 months, or every 9 months which allows us to suggest a time to order with a little bit of a cushion.
In summary, a maintenance plan reduces the supply chain challenge because it allows a manufacturer to develop a predictable pattern, and understand the intricacies of their production. Some plants absolutely cannot run when filters clog, which means all production may stop if there is no cushion when ordering dust collector wearables. If you’re one of those clients that is going to shut down without your filters running at peak performance then you need to be able to plan ahead.
Some of the warning signs to look out for include a rising or high differential pressure. If your differential pressure is rising, your filters are getting clogged. If you know how often this happens, then maybe your filters typically last a year. This shows that your normal production schedule is pretty consistent and you could just order a few filters at a time. Knowing when that happens is key. But a lot of facilities will have a tough time because their production may change. They may run 24/7 for a couple of months on a big project and then slow down for a couple of months. So it’s a little less predictable for some people.
Due to the lack of predictability within manufacturing in general, some facilities opt to purchase a back-up set of dust collection parts. While some manufacturers are safe from unscheduled downtime with the availability of back-up dust collection parts, there are still a lot of companies out there that just aren’t equipped to store them. Another factor could be budget and timing.
Having a spare set of filters is always something the U.S. Air Filtration recommends, but we understand that there are challenges that come with this besides the storage issue. Here’s a few considerations with having to store dust collector filters
Contaminants or pests
There are a lot of considerations to make when you’re thinking about storing,100 filters versus 1000 filters. But, at US air filtration we have come up with a solution on how to solve these issues.
STOCK ‘N GO Program Solution
At U.S. Air Filtration we have developed the STOCK ‘N GO program to address most issues that companies are challenged with when stocking extra parts. How it works is, U.S. Air Filtration will fabricate filters ahead of time for customers and store them in our warehouse. This way when a customer is ready for them, we can ship them out just within a day or two of being notified. This takes away the stress and the headache from the ordering process and lead times, resulting in a streamlined purchasing process.
In summary, supply chain issues can have a significant impact within the industrial air filtration industry resulting in delayed lead times passed down to manufacturers. Implementing a maintenance program and having a set-up back of dust collection parts are our top tips to alleviate the challenges that manufacturers face in today’s supply chain environment.
At US Air Filtration, we understand the importance of reducing supply chain delays. We are here to help ensure that your dust collection systems are working at optimal levels, so you can focus on growing your business and meeting the needs of your customers. If you would like more information about the STOCK ‘N GO program, visit us here. You can also reach out at 888-221-0312 or email [email protected]
Dust collectors may not be the most glamorous equipment in a manufacturing plant, but they are the workhorse of industrial manufacturing and play a crucial role in keeping the facility clean and safe. Without industrial dust collectors, the production of products like iPhones, watches, and cars would not be possible. However, not all dust collection solutions are equal, and choosing the wrong one can do more harm than good. At US Air Filtration, we are dedicated to helping you find the right dust collection system for your operation. One that will save you time, reduce expenses, and avoid unnecessary shutdowns.
In our first episode of “Filtered on the Air”, our experts discuss the importance of industrial dust collection systems and the different types available. Tara Brown, US Air Filtration’s Equipment Project Engineer, explains that dust collectors are critical for most industrial manufacturing facilities. Industrial dust collection systems ensure high-quality air for both workers and equipment, and may also be required to comply with air emission guidelines or workplace safety standards. Typically, the rule of thumb is if you need less than 500 cubic feet per minute of air volume then we would suggest a shop vac. If your machinery has a port of 3 inches or smaller, a shop vac would be just as effective.
Baghouses offer larger scale filtration and capture large to moderate sized particles with the use of a fabric bag and cage system. They are suitable for high-volume, high-temperature applications. Although, since they require a larger space they are not as compact as other industrial dust collection options. Industries that benefit from a baghouse system include, foundries, casting, mining and minerals and more.
Common Baghouse Advantages:
Walk-in plenums, and easy maintenance access for small or large projects.
Cartridge collectors use cartridge filters made of pleated filter media instead of the bag and cage system. The design of a cartridge collector allows the capture of fine particulates. and are more compact and suitable for smaller facilities. You can find cartridge collectors in industries such as steel, synthetics, or paint/powder booths.
Common Cartridge Collector Advantages:
Modular for easy expansion
Ease of maintenance design features allow for change outs in under 30 minutes
Designed with non-proprietary replacement parts that provides significant cost savings now and in the future
If a cartridge collector is the right solution for your unique application, get to the next step by taking our Cartridge Collector Sizing Quiz. Get a free engineering drawing of your recommendation and pricing immediately. Our cartridge collector sizing quiz is meant for commercial and industrial applications. Not for a residential or home shop.
Installation of bin vents are common on top of silos or large containers that displace air. Common industries that use bin vents can include asphalt, cement, agriculture, tank loading and more. The advantages of installing a bin vent are:
Common Bin Vent Advantages:
High Efficiency – Filter media removes 99.99+ percent of entrained particles.
Low Energy Requirements – Compressed air usage is minimized through precise matching of cleaning requirements and cleaning frequency.
Low Maintenance Requirements – No moving parts inside the collector. Pulsing system can be inspected without shutting down the collector.
Quick Installation – Welded housing is shipped ready to install for minimum erection costs. may be mounted directly to the bin or silo, or supplied with a hopper and support legs as a freestanding unit.
Choosing the Right Industrial Dust Collection System
At US Air Filtration our experts emphasize the importance of choosing the right dust collection system for your specific needs. Factors to consider include the volume requirements, dust characteristics, and the size and layout of the facility. In our podcast episode, U.S. Air Filtration’s Operations Manager, Tim, shares how you can avoid overpaying or underpaying for an industrial dust collection system.
In conclusion, dust collectors may not be the most exciting equipment in a manufacturing plant, but they are essential for keeping the facility clean and safe. At US Air Filtration, we have the expertise to help you find the right dust collection system for your operation. If you would like to contact an equipment specialist for more information, you can reach out at 888-221-0132, email [email protected], or schedule a one-on-one consultation.
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
Industrial fans are used in dust collection systems to push dust-laden air through the filters. Fans can either force a draft (push air) or induce a draft (suck air) through the dust collector. Industrial fans are an essential component to a dust collection system so it’s important to choose the right size fan to make sure you have adequate suction to remove dust from the work environment.
Today we will be helping you size your dust collector fan with this 5-step process. Dust collector fan sizing includes consideration of the following variables.
• Airflow or Cubic Feet Per Minute, commonly known as CFM
• Static Pressure
• Environment & Location
• Power Requirements
• Size & Type of Dust Collector
Airflow or CFM
The first variable you want to consider with dust collector fan sizing is your airflow volume or CFM. CFM stands for cubic feet per minute and measures the amount of air per minute that can be moved from a space. If your CFM is unknown, you can use your pickup points and duct sizing to get started instead.
The second variable you want to consider is your static pressure. This is defined as the pressure created by a fan or some other source to move air through a ventilation system.
Environment & Location
Next, take a look at your environment and location. Location, temperature, altitude, humidity, and area classification can all affect the size and type of fan that is right for your dust collection system.
Location – If you are in a humid location this will affect the paint finish of your fan and the fan design.
Temperature, Altitude, Humidity – When designing a fan these are all variables used to size the right fan wheel. This will ensure you are moving the right amount of air with the right amount of static pressure.
Environment & Area Classification – Make sure to find out if your environment includes any hazardous area classifications. Area classification is also important to ensure your fan meets the classification requirements.
A 3-phase fan is commonly used in dust collection applications. You will also need to consider the power requirements of the country in which the fan will be operating. Different countries have different standards.
Size and Type of your Dust Collection System
Lastly, the fan you choose is determined by the size and type of your dust collection system. There are multiple models which handle different volumes.
A top mount or collector mounted fan is typically used on cartridge collectors that handle a range of 1,500-10,000 CFM. Whereas ground mounted models are used on Baghouses and multi-module cartridge collectors where high volumes are required. Typically, up to 290,000 CFM.
If you need help sizing your fan, you can contact one of our equipment specialists at 888-221-0312, email [email protected] or request a consultation here.
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.
To start add 0.5” Second
Add the filter resistance of the collector. This will be the maximum recommended differential pressure from a dirty set of filters.
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.
• 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.