A Cyclone Dust Collector Case Study: Spaulding
Spaulding Composites Corporation was founded in 1973 in Townsend, MA. The company began producing vulcanized rubber and fiberboard, with it’s chief clientele being the shoe industry. Today, the company produces a wide variety of high pressure laminates and composites for a myriad of markets including cryogenics, aerospace, health imaging, electricity generation and distribution, and water purification. It has expanded to include plants in Illinois, New Hampshire, and New Jersey as well.
Spaulding has been dealing with the problem of airborne dust in and from it’s plants for decades. One of the first major modern measures the company took to address the problem was the addition of three ‘bag house’ dust collectors at one of its New Hampshire plants, which was made in the 1970s.
While that addition originally sufficed to solve the dust problems, the addition of newer machining tools amplified the amount of dust in the air, and the processing of more modern materials made much of that dust even more dangerous. As the problems accelerated toward an unacceptable danger level, Spaulding examined its options and chose a high-efficiency cyclone dust collector.
The specific model they chose had two capture drums, a silencer, and an afterfilter which rendered the air clean enough to recycle back into the facility. It was installed inside the plant itself, close to the machining tools that produced the largest output of fiberglass dust. It collects upwards of 5 pounds of such dust every 8 hours.
Spaulding’s dust problems at that facility have been solved for now — though plans are to add another identical fiberglass machining setup adjacent to the first. At that point, the company will have to decide between increased maintenance for their existing collector (which theoretically has the capacity to handle the second machine’s dust output), or the addition of a second system — either another cyclone dust collector or something more akin to a wet dust collector that can handle finer particulate.
In facilities that machine metals rather than plastics and fiberglass, the volatility of the dust would demand a wet dust collector, but for Spaulding, such a collector is entirely optional — merely a good idea.