Choosing the right Dust Collector for your factory
As published in the Australian Timber Magazine.
By Grant Stevens BE (Mech) M/D of Polex Environmental Engineering and Wayne Dockrill M/D of Ezi-Duct who between them have nearly 50 years of industry experience.
Choosing the right Dust Collection Equipment is a major decision and investment for any business. The health and safety of your employees are at stake, and the profitability of your company depends on it. In many cases, the efficient operation of your valuable machinery depends on good Dust Collection and clean factory air. That is why you need a Dust Collector manufacturer that does more than just take your order. You need a company that has the expertise and experience required and also takes the time to understand your dust collection and clean air requirements.
There are many different types of Dust Collectors with various types of filters and methods for cleaning the filters. The most efficient and proven Dust Collector Unit for woodworking sawdust applications is a unit with high quality cylindrical needle felt filter bags. The filter bags are cleaned with either an automatic reverse pulse cleaning using clean dry compressed air or with a shaker or vibration motor.
The reverse pulse Dust Collector cleans the filter bags continually while the unit is in operation and ensures that the filter bags are clean and free from dust all the time, while the shaker type of Dust Collector cleans the bags whenever the unit is switched off. Shaker units lose airflow / efficiency as the unit operates due to the bags becoming blocked or "caked" with dust. Shaker Dust Collectors are fine in most cases except in applications where there is a high load of sawdust . A "high load" application could be where there is a large wide belt sander that produces a lot of very fine dust or if there are several CNC machines that require continual high air volumes. Other consideration is if there is a long duct run that causes a pressure drop in the system.
Other important features on a new Dust Collection System are
- Dust Collector units should be fitted with a high efficiency "clean air" fan. This means that the Dust Collector works under negative pressure and that no "dirty air" passes through the fan. Other benefits are that the fan lasts longer, uses less energy and the chance of a blockage is eliminated.
- Dust Collectors should be fabricated from 1.6 mm Galvanised steel material to ensure strength and corrosion resistance .
- The Dust Collection Unit should also be fitted with a VSD to save on energy costs. The VSD lowers power to the motor when machines are not being used and Blast Gates / shut off dampers are closed.
- A Rotary Valve "or airlock" should also be fitted so the Dust Collector does not need to be turned off when the waste bin is emptied ( causing the factory to stop work ).
- Modular or clamp together smooth bore ducting should be used with 30 deg take-offs in branches and pressed smooth bore bends from 300 mm dia and below
You are welcome to call either Grant Stevens at Polex, Wayne Dockrill at Ezi-Duct or any of their teams for advice, or look for them at the AWISA Exhibition in Brisbane stand 2101-2104 at the front of hall 2.