It is no surprise that quite a lot of industrial plant operations would have to put heavy reliance on their industrial dust collectors in order for them to allow employees to work on an environment that can be considered as safe as what the state policy enactors would want. This article presents everything you need to know about industrial dust collectors safety.
Safety in Dust Collector Operations
Industrial dust collectors, while absolutely helpful, requires quite a lot of effort to maintain. However, doing so is vital especially since the main function that industrial dust collectors do is to ensure the safety of the personnel working in the plants. Here are some of the safety tips that you can adopt to make sure that the plant’s industrial dust collectors will perform at a high rate for a long time.
Industrial Dust Collector Safety Tip #1: Ensure Protection from Deflagration
Should your operations demand that you work with combustible dust then you have to make sure that you have deflagration protection measures installed. In order to do this, industries usually employ a venting. Venting is passive meaning it does not need constant oversight from a plant staff. The way venting works is that when an explosion occurs, one of the vents will open. Afterwhich a premeasured pressure level will accumulate on the collector, which will then allow the overflow of pressure and fires towards front from the area in question out to an area away from where it can cause undue damage.
A vent that has no flames will be constituted with a casing that will have a set of panels that contains mesh that can work at high temperature levels. This allows the dust collector to work while fending off heat and fire balls. The way the vents are implemented in are by way of overlapping in with an existing vent that already follows industry standard. When an incident happens, the flame vents will open to release the extra pressures and the ensuing fireball towards the casing that is mentioned. The installed mesh layers should be able to absorb the excess heat and fires and then allow parts of the excess pressure waves to be able to pass through the environment where the plant workers are working safely. This would then allow a conventional venting to be done while indoors. Otherwise, a different setup could endanger the workers or create secondary explosions. It is worth to note that there are other forms of protection devices that can be employed to do the same function. It is a good idea to work with an expert in dust collector devices and its accessories so you could the setup that suits best the existing system that you already have in place.
Industrial Dust Collector Safety Tip #2: Study the Pressure Capabilities
When you are able to understand the way the pressure capabilities work on the industrial dust collector in your employ, you will be able to bring out the full potential of it. This knowledge is extremely crucial especially when trying to decide the vent sizes when selecting one. When you are going to compare deflagration strength to the strength of the venting vessel and then the burst pressure of the vent the important factor to consider is how to effectively perform deflagration protection given those parameters.
Industrial Dust Collector Safety Tip #3: Mind the Ductwork
The agencies charged with ensuring that policies are met will require a specific level of protection in the ductwork system and with all the safety processes upwards of the industrial dust collector. Attach the ducting apparatus with a functioning valve designed as to perform flow-activated isolation. Valve protection downward towards the working areas and the processes from which the flame can propagate along with the pressures should be part of the protection of the ducting apparatus.
In a deflagration incident that could happen within an industrial dust collector, the ensuing pressurized air wave should allow the closing of the valves that will then be able to prevent the passing of fireballs, including smoke, upwards towards other areas from the valve. This valve latch will then close and have to be opened manually by an overseeing personnel. Should it be activated, some of the other components that constitutes the valve will have a big chance of being damaged. When this happens, only through a thorough inspection can the industrial dust collector be deemed safe and allowed to be operational once again.
Industrial Dust Collector Safety Tip #4: Keep Dust from the Hoppers
An industrial dust collector’s component called the hopper must never be used in storing the dust collected during operation. It should be noted that the hopper will be, and should only be used for the intended purpose of funneling the bulk of the dust from processing into a designated storage bin. Industrial dust that may have accumulated in a dust collector’s hopper can create a huge risk for fires or so-called deflagration risk. Industrial dust that could pile up in the hopper can also limit the level of the industrial dust collector’s performance. The reason for this is because the clogging of the system can prevent the pulse-cleaning function from doing its intended purpose. When hoppers that has the ability to self-dump are being employed, this can provide a quick and relatively easier way of disposing dust, all the while still being able to protect the industrial protector from untowards incidents like leaking of the valves between the hopper and the industrial dust collector’s main valves.
Industrial Dust Collector Safety Tip #5: Pulse Controls can Help You
An industrial dust collector’s system for cleaning is designed in a way that it should be able to work hand in hand with the design of the filters. Having a way to selective the type of cleaning can give you a boost by easing the way you control and maintain the filters.
The option to use continuous cleaning will be a good idea when dealing with porous dust, that includes substances like silica as well as other minerals. It can also be a good choice when dealing with certain high dust applications on loading like during thermal spraying or when plasma cutting. Finally, it can also be used on lightweight dusts like fumed silica, for instance, and, of course, paper fines.
The option of cleaning on demand is best used for the majority of the types of dust that industries encounter. When using this setting, the operations will be able to monitor the difference in compression from the different portions of the valves. This includes the area before the filter that has clean air and the one after it which has dirty air. Doing this will allow the worker to be able to set a certain range of pressures that he will have a firm control over. He can then choose to activate and halt the operation for cleaning the cartridges. The said setting is employing a limited amount of pressurized air and gives maximum filter cleaning capability, efficiency and could extend the life of the cleaner for a longer period.
Downtime cleaning happens when the operation is halted to enable workers to clear out the filters. This allows for a time-based form of pulsing that can be done after the end of shifts on plant work. It can also be done when batch process is completed, and also after a certain condition has caused an upset on the filter. It is especially important because mishandling can affect the performance of the filters. When the period meant for cleaning is done, the industrial dust collector can shut off completely without manual supervision. This feature is extremely important due to the possibility of extra cleaning of the cartridges that may be considered detrimental to further operation. When a cartridge is over-cleaned, it may cause emissions that are more difficult to handle, cartridges that may break down earlier than its usual life. And finally, when you over clean the cartridges you could waste energy because it can cost more because of the abuse of use of pressurized air.
Industrial Dust Collector Safety Tip #6: Work with the Policy Regulators
The state institutions that are concerned with environmental preservation and the health and safety of the workers would especially like to gain information regarding the types and levels of emissions that the industrial plants will be exhausting. The levels that are acceptable will be established by them and will be interested to know if you are complying to these policies. These levels can be used by your plant to ensure that you are still performing at acceptable levels. The said agencies have already done their work in ensuring that they have the values that are safe for performance. But, it should be noted that there are certain specific metrics that may be out of their concern that can include values such as the level of pressure drop, certain emissions when doing pulsing, the energy performance and some other parameters that could be better reflected on an industrial dust collector level of efficiency.
A good way to have a general measure on an industrial dust collector’s emission level and the effectiveness of its operation is to perform tests that would comply with the standards set by the industrial regulatory organizations. These tests would include several factors that would be of interest to the operators and the ones doing the maintenance of the industrial dust collectors.
Industrial Dust Collector Safety Tip #7: Safely do Change Outs
What is Ideally the better way that the workers will act regarding collector maintenance is to never enter industrial dust collectors when they do changing of filters. This is not only a safety hazard as the dust may have a terrible effect on the respiration of the workers, it can also cause damage to the industrial dust collector itself. The dust collectors which could require workers to enter when servicing the device will put the workers in danger and could require the company to ask for permits for confined space entry. Another issue that may be brought up is the continuous monitoring of gases that are inside the valves which could add additional expenses for monitoring and maintaining. For utmost safety, the filters have to be put in a position where the access will not be an issue and can be slid in and out of the valves as easily as possible.
A simple, quick and easy to open, weighty gauge doors will be able to provide the level of access needed to change cartridges as fast as possible. This will not put workers in a position where they will be required to enter the industrial dust collector. You may choose to pick out the types of gauge doors which will have a feature where one can exclusively lock out to be able to work with it in a safe manner.
Industrial Dust Collector Safety Tip #8: Schedule Change Outs
It is often overlooked but a quick but crucial requirement for safety to be able to change the filters even when the air flowing through the valves have reached a certain difference in pressure. This is the prescribed operation by most manufacturers. When the drop in pressure across the industrial dust collector has a negative effect on the capability of the industrial dust collector operation, this is when it becomes more difficult to maintain. It has to be remembered that the industrial dust collector system is used to capture the industrial dust, which will then allow it to go out of the facility ensuring that it does its function well. It is worth noting that some changers can help industrial dust collectors to work for longer if maintained properly. But, when performing applications that require heavy loading of dust, the filter replacement may have to be done in a more frequent manner than usual. Proper scheduling of change outs is the key to ensure that industrial dust collector performance is not compromised. Ask the experts who have more experience in working with the collectors.