Dust is the by-product of many manufacturing processes. It may be tracked into the factory or warehouse by traffic or be the residue from fumes emanating from production areas. All of this remains airborne, creating all kinds of problems. It can pose a health hazard to employees, whether it triggers allergic reactions or lung disease. It could make new products look dirty or contaminate production areas. Here are a few tips on how to control dust and debris in your factory.
The simplest way to control dust is to have janitors and other employees clean up. It could involve sweeping floors, vacuuming up debris from work surfaces, and dusting. Unfortunately, too many businesses don’t realise how important such cleaning is, so it is neglected.
You can also engage in more proactive maintenance. Change out the air filters throughout the building, especially those in your HVAC system. Make certain that the filters installed on tools to control debris are replaced as needed, too. If this isn’t enough, then you’ll need a more complicated dust control plan.
Ventilation control is far more than a series of ducts that bring in fresh air. Local exhaust ventilation systems use extractor fans to lift up dust particles where they’re generated and pull them into ducting. The ducts typically take this airborne debris to collection bags that are periodically emptied.
The next level up is an integrated dust control system. One of the many benefits of integrated dust control systems is that they can minimise dust created at specific operations and control dust everywhere else. They’ll use application specific dust collectors that are tailored to that particular location. They work by pulling dust into the ductwork and sending the debris to collection points. Integrated dust control systems come with several solutions to the clogging that kills the efficiency of conventional ventilation systems. They may use shaker dust filters to clean air filters while sending debris to a hopper, or they may hit the air filters with jets of air to do the same. Side benefits of this technology include less frequent filter changes and the potential option of recycling the collected particles.
Fogging systems are one way to cope with dust that can enter or leave through a doorway. The tiny air droplets can capture dust and send it to the ground. Ideally, this will be combined with drains or another method of removing the dirt-laden moisture. This method can prevent outside dust from being tracked into a clean facility, and it prevents dust and fumes generated in work area from spreading to the rest of the facility. Note that this won’t make up for damaged window seals that let outside dust and pollen into the facility.
A dust-seal partition is a flexible barrier set up to segregate people and processes. They’re quick and easy to install. You can put them around a piece of equipment that generates far more dust and debris than anything else and contain it to that area. The barriers are cheap, too. You can pull them out as required, set them up at the necessary height, and remove them when no longer needed.
Preventing dust in a factory or warehouse is the ideal solution. Fortunately, there are many options for minimising its impact, preventing its spread, and removing it as quickly as possible when it arises.
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