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C&W DustTech / Resources  / Content  / Clearing The Air  / Don’t Let Your Dust Collector Just Gather Dust

Don’t Let Your Dust Collector Just Gather Dust

Don’t Let Your Dust Collector Just Gather Dust

System Maintenance Makes All the Difference in Uptime, Productivity and Safety

A properly sized and installed dust collection system has the opportunity to make a major positive impact on your company’s bottom line. This system can increase employee morale, prevent equipment damage and eliminate risk of repeated regulatory fines.

However, simply installing a dust collector cannot be the end of the story.

When owning and operating a dust collection system, it is critical to establish an ongoing maintenance program that keeps your system running at peak performance. Without a comprehensive maintenance plan, you may face serious fines, operational shut down and inefficiencies – that easily could have been prevented.

Explore the critical importance of dust collection system maintenance and learn the steps you should take to give yourself peace of mind.

Why It Pays to Maintain Your System from the Start

Fugitive dust can be dirty, heavy and abrasive. It takes a continuous toll on your equipment and the emotional and physical wellbeing of your employees. It also jeopardizes your investment in your plant – and your community.

The best way to safeguard what matters most is by ensuring you’ve installed an efficient, reliable dust collection system. Which can only happen with continuous monitoring of your unit’s health.

Don’t Put Your Operation at Risk

Forgoing regular system maintenance can put you people, processes and assets at risk of:

  • Fines or disciplinary action – A poorly functioning system can cause high amounts of fugitive dust in the air, leading to trouble with the EPA, OSHA or MSHA.
  • Energy waste – Clogged filters and other issues lead to inefficient system operation.
  • Combustion – Dust buildup can pose a major combustion risk if left unchecked in your system.
  • Increased repair costs – Both for your dust collector and other equipment damaged by an accumulation of dust on surfaces and inside machinery.
  • Health problems – Fugitive dust, at any level, can pose a respiratory or health risk to your employees and your community. Especially known hazards like silica dust [LINK TO DUSTTECH TALK #3 – SAFETY 101].

To avoid these issues – while maximizing the advantages of your system and ensure long life and strong ROI – it’s essential to commit to regular, proactive maintenance from Day 1.

Components of an Effective Maintenance Plan

A properly maintained dust collector or full dust collection system can offer more reliability while mitigating serious safety and reputational risks for your business. From the beginning, it is critical to identify the steps your team should take to ensure your plant stays up and running – and your people stay safe.

  1. Establish a Baseline
    Any maintenance program should begin with a thorough understanding of a system’s “normal” operation. Note readings where possible – i.e., your baseline magnehelic gauge reading – to set your benchmarks and help you more readily identify when your system is performing sub-optimally.
  2. Determine a Schedule
    Regular visual inspections, level checks, filter cleaning and timely replacement and other tasks help identify and fix emerging issues and avoid unplanned downtime.
  3. Gain Your Team’s Buy-in
    Make sure your whole team understands the importance of the program – including the risks of not understanding its importance – and commits to owning the tasks involved.
  4. Ensure Employee Safety
    For employees responsible for executing your maintenance plan, ensure that they always follow OSHA and your company’s Safety Procedures and Lock Out / Tag Out procedures when maintaining your dust collector. With the presence of high air pressure, moving parts and high electrical voltage, it is critical to be aware of how to keep you and your team safe.

What to Include in Your Maintenance Plan

When outlining your maintenance strategy, you don’t have to go at it alone. The best place to start is with your dust collector manufacturer or dealer to understand the specifications of your system. Whether you’ve just installed a Reverse Air unit, or an LPR Silo Dust Collector,  every system has nuanced maintenance needs to keep it running efficiently.

Based upon your unit, you must gain an understanding of air pressure requirements, filter media cleaning and maintenance procedures, standard pulse or cycle times, and other nuances, like the need to check the water drain on your silo dust collector. Knowing these details will ensure your maintenance plan is all-encompassing.

Beyond your dust collector, if you’ve installed a full system, your dealer or sales representative can help you understand the nuances of the auxiliary equipment, such as:

Proper setup of your shroud and lift frame.

Visual inspection of dusting to avoid plugging and leaks

Proper Recycle System maintenance.

Ongoing evaluation of your Slump Master’s performance.

Each component of your unit or system may require varying degrees of attention, and it’s important to know how to create a calendar for key tasks. This schedule should look at tasks daily, weekly, monthly, every six months and annually.

C&W-sample-maintenance-schedule
Here is a sample maintenance schedule framework from C&W DustTech.

No matter the makeup of your system, making regular system maintenance a priority is the only way to safeguard your system’s efficiency, effectiveness and reliability. Even dust collectors engineered to the highest performance standards are subject to dust buildup and excessive wear. Investing in ongoing maintenance will ensure that you’re maximizing your long-term return on your essential system investment.

How We Can Help

At C&W DustTech, we’re committed to creating healthier work environments that minimize risk and ensure the safety of your employees, processes and assets. Our systems capture up to 99.99% of fugitive dust. Helping you maintain this high level of dust collection performance is a key part of our commitment to your success.

You can count on us for easy access to all the highest-demand replacement parts – including cartridges and bags, ducting, fan and blower parts, shroud and lift frame parts, and more.

And anytime you have a question about your maintenance plan, we’re always ready to share our expert knowledge. Get started today!

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