Scientific Dust Collectors

Baghouse dust collector helps improve casting process one step at a time case study


Courtesy of Scientific Dust Collectors

Cascade Dafo, Fernadale, Wash., designs and manufac- tures dynamic ankle and foot orthoses (orthotic braces) to help im- prove the mobility of children and adults with neuromuscular chal- lenges. In the past, the company used a cartridge dust collector to collect dust generated during the finishing step of a manual plaster-casting process. When the company auto- mated the casting process, it switched from using plaster to polyurethane foam to make the casts. However, shortly afterward, the company began experiencing problems with the dust collector's cartridge filters: They plugged prematurely with the foam dust generated during the casting process. To improve operational effi- ciency and reduce production down- time, the company needed to install a more effective dust collector.

Making a custom orthotic brace The company has been making custom and standard dynamic orthotic braces for children and adults for more than 25 years. An orthotic brace is made of a thin, flexible plastic that wraps around and supports a patient's lower leg, ankle, and foot to help im- prove foot alignment, mobility, and stability during physical therapy. The custom braces are made by forming the flexible plastic part of the brace around a cast of the patient's lower legs and feet.

When the company first began making the braces, it used plaster to make a cast of each patient's leg and foot. The company sent a kit to the patient, and the patient used it to create a mold that was sent back to the company. An op- erator poured plaster into the mold and sanded and polished the finished cast to ensure an accurate representation of the patient's foot. Another operator custom-fit the braces to the casts be- fore shipping the braces to the patient.

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