Justin Dechene

Justin Dechene
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Recent Posts

Planning for Dust Collector Maintenance During Holiday Shutdowns

Planning Ahead to Minimize Downtime

Many industrial facilities work hard to plan scheduled downtime to conduct maintenance as needed throughout the year. In some, however, production and operational requirements preclude periodic shutdowns. And for others, shutting down the process, even partially is not practical due to the amount of time required to restart production. For these reasons many facilities plan yearly maintenance outages where major repairs, installations and other tasks can be done all at once.

Following a comprehensive PM plan throughout the year is an effective way to minimize downtime. Planning is the key to efficient shutdown maintenance that accomplishes all required goals and helps reduce unplanned downtime during the rest of the year. Plants with dust collection systems preparing for their yearly shutdowns can begin planning for the following tasks now to achieve the best results come shutdown time. 

Annual Preventative Dust Collector Maintenance Inspections

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How Can Particle Velocity Measurement Help to Reduce Compressor Energy Consumption in Pneumatic Conveying

Taking the Good with the Bad

Pneumatic conveying systems are the best solution for many bulk product handling requirements. They have a number of advantages, but also some associated drawbacks. Product damage, blockages and maintenance are widely recognized challenges. Less frequently discussed, but perhaps just as costly is the energy requirement to push or draw the volume of air/gas through the system to move product.

Direct costs from fans, blowers and compressors for pneumatic conveying systems can be substantial. However, new technologies allow companies to precisely measure particle velocity, and to dynamically adjust fan/air speed accordingly. This reduces energy wasted on excessive conveying speed (which is dissipated as heat and results in damage) and eliminates the need for manual adjustments.

Pneumatic Conveying - Flying Blind in Strong Headwinds

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9 Baghouse Details to Check When Differential Pressure Falls or Rises

Differential Pressure is a Critical Baghouse Performance Metric

Successfully operating your dust collector means carefully monitoring the differential pressure on each unit. Differential pressure is the principal operating metric used to monitor performance of a dust collector. 

Most modern collectors operate at peak collection efficiency between 2” - 6” of differential pressure. For this reason, many air permits (as well as operating documentation) specify a DP range for the collector "not to exceed" in order to achieve emissions compliance. This is combined with other performance considerations, such as rising or falling airflow throughout the system, to provide an operating view that is monitored in parallel with the emissions output readings. 

What to Do When DP is too High or too Low?

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3 Tips to Reduce Product Loss Due to Breakage in Pneumatic Conveying of Food

Pneumatic Conveying Convenience and Flaws

Many industries use pneumatic conveying as part of their manufacturing process. This includes many food processing and manufacturing plants as well. It's often used for the conveying of certain "dusty" food ingredients such as grains and sugar which pose certain well documented challenges including combustible dust hazards, sanitary or flow rate control. 

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Reducing Plastic Resin Damage in Pneumatic Conveying Systems

Does Damage You Don't See Matter?

Plastic resin often passes through extensive pneumatic conveying systems during it's manufacturing and use. While those pneumatic systems are efficient and appropriate, they're not without complications to quality and throughput.

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5 Key Baghouse Maintenance Steps to Optimize Dust Collector Operations

Baghouse PMs - skipping them seems OK....until it's not

Maintenance of dust collectors often gets overlooked. When it is tracked, often the goal is to rush through it as quickly as possible. This leads to many plants making key mistakes in their preventative maintenance programs for their dust collectors. Here are what we've observed to be the top 5 most overlooked baghouse maintenance steps. 

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Checklist: 5 Preparations for an Air Quality Inspection

As air quality inspections by federal and local agencies, such as those by the U.S. EPA, are typically done without prior notice, preparing for one can be a challenge. These agencies may just show up at your facility’s door, with intent to inspect your emissions control on an individual facility, company or industry basis; there’s often no telling when, or even why, an inspection may take place.

It’s because of this that the best way to prepare for an air quality inspection is by optimizing monitoring processes universally, throughout your facility, and training your maintenance team in the best monitoring, baghouse upkeep and reporting techniques.

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How can Triboelectric Monitoring Improve Dust Collection and Pneumatic Conveying Systems Operation

Is the "Status Quo" Good Enough?

For many plants that make use of pneumatic conveying systems, maintaining the status quo seems sufficient. Many manufacturing plants have many years of service in them and many believe fully in the adage “if it aint broke, don’t fix it”. While it makes for a catchy slogan, when misapplied it can lead to stagnation and a gradual decline in quality and competitiveness over time. Because in many cases it actually is broken...but nobody has bothered to fret too much because there's been no good solution.

It's common to hear stories about blockages that cause unplanned downtime, quality problems with blending applications and wasted product during line restarts. Maintenance issues and product damage/loss are also common pain points.

The problem is that there's really never been an accurate way to measure actual particle speed. Calculations were made based on system parameters, and in some cases air/gas speed was measured. Those are substantially different than actual particle speed itself which will often determine which baked goods will crumble, which resin will smear and which products will create blockages.

To this end, many have seen the benefits of incorporating triboelectric monitoring systems into their dust collection and associated pneumatic conveying systems to improve operational efficiency, reduce costs and increase reliability. Let’s consider 2 areas that are commonly overlooked where a triboelectric system can provide real benefits. 

1. Flow/No Flow and More Flow/Less Flow Monitoring Prevents Blockages in Pneumatic Conveying Lines

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3 Reasons Why Particle Velocity is the Most Accurate Measure of Powder Feed Rate and Dilute Phase Conveying Velocity

Stop guessing & start controlling

Controlling bulk material feed rates is essential for a wide range of industrial processes. Traditionally though process engineers have had to calculate, or frankly, guess. Industry has lacked an effective instrumentation for monitoring actual particle velocity often using gas/air velocity as a very approximate proxy.. Auburn Systems has solved this with an adaption of their patented triboelectric technology for use in bulk flow monitoring.

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3 Pneumatic Conveying Hassles that can push Engineers to use Screw Conveyors

Positive Physical Control vs. Indirect Control

The two primary means of conveying bulk products are by pneumatic and mechanical conveying with the most common type of mechanical conveyor being the screw conveyor. Both methods have benefits in certain applications over others. In general, finer, more consistently sized materials as well as some granular and pelletized materials work well with pneumatic conveyors whereas larger, irregularly sized materials, as well as moist, doughy, and packable materials work better with screw conveyors. However, in the middle reside the majority of materials for which both systems could be appropriate. 

In cases where either system could be used, sometimes previous hassles or perceptions of pneumatic conveying problems may lead engineers to use a screw type system. Let’s review three of these and consider why engineers should not be hasty to rule out pneumatic conveying - in fact how to overcome these problems to make pneumatic conveying more reliable. 

3 Pneumatic Conveying Challenges:

1. Justifying Investment in “Complex” Pneumatic Systems

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