Feb 08

5 Filter Maintenance Tips to Improve Efficiency of Your Industrial Vacuum

DEMARCO Vacuum FiltersOne of the most important components in an industrial vacuum is the filter. A properly maintained filter ensures consistent airflow of the vacuum system. Maintained filters also lead to maximum vacuum suction, which means it will pick up material efficiently and increase the life of the vacuum system. Here are a few important tips for vacuum filter maintenance:

  1. Add vacuum filter cleaning/replacement to your Periodic Maintenance (PM) schedule
    • Try to piggyback the filter change with other PM activity to reduce down time.
    • Making filter changes part of a regular PM protocol will not only make your industrial vacuum system more reliable and efficient, it can also uncover other issues before they become downtime.
  2. Monitor the vacuum pressure gauge
    • In most cases 15 inches of water is a good indication that it’s time to clean or replace the filer(s).
    • If the filter pressure gets too high, the vacuum will automatically shut off, resulting in downtime.
  3. Replace filters as needed
    • Replacing filters at the correct intervals will not only extend the life of your system, it will also reduce energy costs.
    • A properly maintained filter will reduce the number of times you need to replace it throughout the life of the vacuum.
  4. Order extra filters
    • If you need to pick up a larger amount of material than normal, having an extra set of filters in stock will enable you to change the expired filters quickly, without losing any time.
  5. Inform your maintenance team
    • Train your maintenance team how to replace and clean the filters. Some vacuum systems will have a different cleaning requirements and filter access may vary depending on model; top, bottom or side entry access.
    • Always refer to the vacuum operation and maintenance manual for specific instructions.

For more information on industrial vacuum filters, including how to select the right media for the material you are picking up, please contact us or visit the DEMARCO Vacuum Accessories page.

Sep 10

Grain Dust Removal: What Features Should You Look at in an Industrial Vacuum?

industrial vaccum systemGrain dust is highly combustible and can burn or flare up if enough becomes airborne or accumulates on a surface and finds an ignition source. To help reduce or eliminate accumulations of ignitable dusts inside a plant or facility, industrial vacuums are the ideal solution for efficient and effective cleaning.

The amount of grain dust accumulation necessary to cause a risk for explosion can vary greatly. This is because there are so many variables – the grain dust particle size, the method of dispersion, ventilation system modes, air currents, physical barriers, and the volume of the area in which the grain dust cloud exists or may exist.

The OSHA ventilation standard, 29 CFR 1910.94, contains ventilation requirements for certain types of operations (such as abrasives, blasting, grinding, or buffing) which involve dusts, including dusts that can become combustible. Additionally, 29 CFR 1910.22(a)(1) requires employers to keep work places and other areas clean, which includes the removal of dust accumulations.

In nearly all industries, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends vacuum cleaning as the preferred first defense method of controlling dust. The 2013 revision of the NFPA 654 standard, issued by the Standards Council last year, states that vacuuming is the preferred method of cleaning.

When choosing an industrial vacuum to safely remove grain dust, what features should you look at in an industrial vacuum?

HEPA Filtration – If the collection of ultra-fine particles is a concern, the vacuum should utilize a multi-stage HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration system. HEPA filters remove 99.97 percent of particles at 0.3 microns, and they keep pollutants from re-entering the air supply. A heavy-duty, multistage filtration system will provide minimal material carryover to filters, catching and retaining particles as they move through the filter layers.

Continuous-Duty Operation – Cleaning times for manufacturing equipment can vary, so select a vacuum that provides continuous-duty vacuum operation. The vacuum should include a high-performance, automatic pulse-jet cartridge filter cleaning feature to save on manual labor and vacuum downtime. Look for a vacuum that doesn’t require shutdowns for filter cleaning.

test14aLimited Lifetime Warranty – Any industrial vacuum should come with a limited lifetime warranty. Purchasing a vacuum system is a long-term investment decision, which is why it is important to get a manufacturer’s warranty giving you the assurance and long-lasting protection in the product you are buying. It marks the manufacturer’s unwavering commitment to quality that lasts.

These are just a few of the many factors to consider when purchasing an industrial vacuum system. Ultimately, the overall solution must address the process requirements, materials and the volumes processed.

Jul 29

Preventing Exposure to Silica Dust

Silica DustCrystalline silica, often referred to simply as “silica,” is an important industrial mineral that is found in stone, soil and sand, as well as in concrete, brick, mortar and a number of other materials. Prolonged exposure to silica dust, produced while drilling these materials, can lead to illnesses, particularly silicosis and even lung issues.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions, at least 1.7 million U.S. workers are exposed to crystalline silica in a variety of industries and occupations, including construction, sandblasting and mining. Processes traditionally associated with high rates of silicosis include sandblasting, sand-casting foundry operations, mining, cement cutting, masonry work and granite cutting, as these processes frequently generate silica dust.

Although silicosis caused by exposure to silica dust can’t be cured, it can be prevented.

While there are multiple methods to minimize silica dust in the workplace, HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter industrial vacuum cleaners are often preferred because they can completely collect and retain silica dust without dispersing it back into the environment.

In addition to general cleaning to remove dust accumulations on exposed surfaces, HEPA industrial vacuums can be used in a couple other ways to keep silica exposure limits to a minimum.

For example, consider using vacuum-assisted power tools in conjunction with HEPA-filter industrial vacuums, integrating the vacuum hose into the power tool to quickly and easily suck up dust and debris while the operator simultaneously drills or sands. Another example is to use industrial vacuums to sanitize worker clothes, removing excess silica debris from clothes and uniforms, perhaps and positioning portable industrial vacuum units at the exits of silica work areas.

A HEPA filter industrial vacuum cleaner can be customized to meet these demands, and manufacturers should view the addition of a quality HEPA vacuum as an investment to ensure a safe and healthy workplace.