To prevent operational downtime that, on average, can result in a loss of between $1 000/h and $3 000/h, companies must invest in dust prevention solutions that effectively reduce or eliminate air pollution, says dust suppression engineering solutions company Dust-Act special projects director Carlo Fortugno.
“Eliminating air pollution improves production, as it reduces machine downtime, safeguards employees’ health and complies with emissions legislation,” he explains, adding that uncontrolled fugitive dust can cause employees to contract diseases like silicosis, asbestosis and black lung.
Dust can also cause accidents and injuries as a result of poor visibility.
Fortugno adds that implementing dust suppression at materials handling plants requires careful consideration of the correct engineering and design of the system. “It is not an exact science, as there are plenty of variables involved,” he says.
Dust at materials handling plants is removed either through dust extraction using bag houses or through dust suppression using high-pressure systems and specific agents, in which Dust-Act specialises.
Fortugno further highlights that Dust-Act’s systems are cheaper and greener than competing products because they consume less power and less water.
“The only way to implement effective dust suppression at material handling companies is by using high-pressure systems of 70 bar and up. To eliminate your promethium carbon (Pm) from Pm2 to Pm10, you need droplet sizes of between one and ten microns, and only a high-pressure system can produce these types of droplets.”
He adds that, after choosing the correct technology, the next step is to choose the most appropriate design, which “is where engineering skills and experience come into play”.
Dust-Act supplies a design and a project timeline according to a project methodology to which the company adheres.
“The third step is to combine technology and design with the client’s interface. We produce our own misting cannons, which means we are able to offer reduced prices. “The key to using a cannon is to get the right size for the specific application. “ A cannon that is too strong has the opposite effect and a cannon that is too weak does not solve the problem. “There is no cannon that is a one size fits all,” Fortugno concludes.