The implementation of a dust collection system offers many benefits to a production facility, including increased manufacturing effectiveness and a generally cleaner and safer work environment for employees, says dedusting systems manufacturer and supplier Donaldson Torit regional sales engineer John Staskiewicz.
In many cases, the budget that was originally submitted for a project may no longer reflect the current project requirements. Scope changes along the way – including even small changes – can affect system performance in significant ways.
For example, a minor change in the location of the dust collector may require changes in duct layout. This means duct system calculations need to be checked to ensure the fan selection will still be suitable. Other changes could include increases or decreases in system air volume requirements, owing to added or shifted production layouts on the floor, explains Staskiewicz.
In today’s markets, plants often adjust processes or they change the materials they work with, or their production rates shift. Each of these events changes the amount of dust the collection systems have to handle.
Further, he explains that reviews of the potential hazards for materials being collected are critical. Many materials may require consideration of collector location or possible hazard mitigation strategies, and these are often easier to undertake before equipment is ordered.
Materials collected may also require process monitoring devices or materials handling system features, which must be added to the collector. These changes may also require adjustments in the utilities provided for the collection system.
Standard components include anything from motors and gearboxes, rotary airlock valves or electrical items such as motor starters and programmable logic controllers.
He says that incorporating established components into a new dust collection system makes it easier for personnel to perform maintenance on items and increase their confidence in the total system.
Design/build contractors or engineering firms sometimes provide layouts for space without taking key industrial ventilation engineering principles and practices into consideration, says Staskiewicz.
As an example, the influence of inlet and outlet duct requirements on the performance of dust collection equipment is well understood by dust collector suppliers, but may not be evident to the engineering firm.
To ensure overall system performance, he advises the inclusion of a knowledgeable dust collector supplier along with the contractor or engineering firm in a thorough review of the project drawings.
The dust collector supplier should be able to make recommendations on good industrial ventilation practices based on his or her experience with dust collection systems. “Beyond just how the ducts are connected to their collector, a good collector supplier may be able to offer recommendations on subtle adjustments in ducts or hood design, which could improve overall system performance,” he says.
Dust collection systems require close integration into production processes and often require modifications to production equipment, rerouting of plant services, such as power and compressed air, and the installation of new capital equipment.
The potential for delays and challenges from even moderate-sized projects can be enormous, but proactive planning and the recommendations given can help reduce, or eliminate, many of the delays and challenges associated with installing a dust collection system in a facility, concludes Staskiewicz.