Dust Collection System: 5 Ways it Improves Plant Efficiency and Saves Money
Why you may need a new dust collection system for your application and how a new system 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
- Boost Productivity
- 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.
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.
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
- 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.)
- Metals (aluminum, zinc bronze, etc.)
- Chemicals (coal, sulphur, etc.)
- And More
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.