It would be great if you could simply pull a dust collector out of the box, plug it in and never think about it again. Unfortunately, as every plant manager and plant engineer knows all too well, this just isn’t the case. Here are a few more critical areas that must be addressed in order for the installation and operation of an industrial dust collection system to operate at its peak performance.
Fans and Controls
- Verify static pressure of your entire air handling system before specifying a fan. Subtle changes in the dust collection system such as the size and type of ductwork used can have a great impact on the static pressure the fan will need to work against.
- Adjust drive belts, dampers, or variable frequency drives (VFD) to achieve the best possible performance.
- Examine fan blades for dust buildup which can cause excess load on the drive motor or cause the fan to become imbalanced.
- Inspect drive belts for wear or slippage – a slipping belt can create inefficiencies and inconsistent performance of a dust collector.
- Make sure gauges are installed in a convenient location where they can be frequently monitored.
- Periodically check pitot tubes and manometers for clogging which will cause them to give inaccurate readings.
- Monitor inlet velocity pressure to be sure inlet velocities are operating within the specification of the dust collector.
- Monitor static pressures at the dust collector’s inlet, outlet, and hopper. Gauges can be used to pinpoint problems in the dust collection system such as blinded filter bags, clogged inlet or outlet, and clogged hoppers.
- Gauges can be used to activate a safety shutoff if static pressures rise to an unsafe level.
Maintenance and Performance
- Inspect inside of the dust collector for dust buildup on interior walls. Remove buildup which can cause collection inefficiencies or even clog some types of material handling valves.
- Inspect and replace worn cartridge filters and filter bags when needed. Filter bag cages and retainers may need to be replaced as well.
- While mechanical dust collectors such as cyclones require far less regular maintenance than filter-type collectors, they should be inspected periodically for material build up and abrasive wear.