How to Prevent 3 Common Sources of Baghouse Related Production Downtime

Posted by Earl Parker on Dec 10, 2015 10:30:00 AM

In most factories baghouse systems receive only limited attention. However, as soon as a problem causes a shutdown of not only the baghouse but also the entire production line, everyone immediately takes notice. 

Rather than worrying that one day your oft-ignored baghouse will jeopardize production quotas, we encourage you to take notice of 3 common issues that lead to shutdowns and how to avoid them. 

Opacity-Emissions-Example.jpgBroken Bags - Locate Leaks Quicker with Triboelectric Broken Bag Detectors

For baghouses to function properly every single bag in the unit needs to be in good condition. Even just one leaking bag amongst thousands can result in a facility exceeding emissions limits. 

In most cases, identifying and locating leaking filters can prove quite challenging. Leak testing an entire system can take days, often requiring shutdowns of the baghouse and many connected systems while technicians conduct a dye leak test. 

Triboelectric bag leak detection systems can help shorten the process. No matter how large the system, operators can use triboelectric detectors to narrow down the location of the leaking filters to a specific unit, compartment or a specific row of bags (pulse jets). Additionally, by detecting leaks within hours, rather than days like other methods, facilities can reduce the amount of remediation required when leaks occur

Loss of Suction/Reduced Airflow - Properly Maintain and Operate the Cleaning System

When dust collection systems encounter problems they cease to provide adequate suction. This means the system will fail to adequately vent any equipment and/or processes connected to it. Failure to provide adequate venting can create a host of problems that can then cause a chain reaction and propagate throughout the facility causing serious damage. 

Most of the time loss of suction results from the dust collector reaching a high differential pressure. The dirtier the filters get the more resistance they provide to incoming air. This means the fan has to pull harder to maintain the same airflow. Since most systems do not have VFD fans, the fan continues at the same power but the total airflow (CFM) and the vacuum pressure (inches of water or w.g.) goes down because of the increased resistance across the filters. 

Maintenance staff can prevent this by ensuring the cleaning system is in good condition and set correctly. Broken pulse valves, leaking diaphragms, leaking compressed air lines, etc., can all affect the effectiveness of the cleaning system. Additionally, the cleaning system must be properly set. Many times plants revert to using timer settings (randomly picking delay times), or simply put the system into continuous (test) mode where the valves fire repeatedly one after another with little delay. By using cleaning settings as recommended by a dust collector OEM or other qualified dust collector expert and keeping it in good working order you can ensure that the filters are cleaned properly and avoid airflow and vacuum pressure loss due to high differential pressure. 

Combustible Dust Fires & Explosions - Install Prevention and Protection Devices

Combustible_dust_characteristics.pngCombustible dust conflagrations almost always result in an instant shutdown, often for extended periods of time. Extensive repairs, and regulatory processes often mean even a minor incident can drag on for months before production is allowed to resume. 

Avoid these incidents altogether by installing certified protection and prevention devices in your system. 

  • Prevention devices like spark arrestors, abort gates, inert gas systems and other devices prevent sparks and other hot materials from entering the dust collector and ductwork or eliminate any potential ignition source before it can cause a problem. 
  • Protection devices such as explosion vents, diverter gates, sprinklers, dry injection systems, and other suppression systems protect the dust collector and connected ductwork from damage by suppressing or minimizing the effects of a fire/explosion. 


Problems sometimes cannot be avoided. However, with a little attention and preventative maintenance you should never have to suffer from an unexpected baghouse shutdown that interrupts production. 

Triboelectric dust monitoring is often part of the preventative maintenance solutions to these 3 problems and many others. Why not contact Auburn System today and find out how their technology can help your facility avoid production downtime and improve your bottom line? 

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Topics: Baghouse Maintenance