Making the Case For Investing in Triboelectric Monitoring - Part 2

Posted by Justin Dechene on Aug 14, 2015 6:00:00 AM

NOTE: This is a two part article. Click here to read part one!

Upgrading your existing monitoring systems with innovative dust collection triboelectric monitoring technology is the surest way to streamline your facility’s compliance, and see huge savings in the short-term and long-term. But as we discussed in the previous article, it is not as simple as outlining a few key talking points from a marketing brochure and saying “It will make things run better”. Decision-makers in your facility will likely be unimpressed with such a presentation and you'll simply be given authorization for another roll of duct tape and one more pack of chewing gum.

To convince administrators that these systems are worth the investment, the practical value must be made clear. Fortunately, this is easy to do with triboelectric dust monitoring systems as the technology’s ROI and potential cost savings are very great. On average, these systems can fully return on their investment costs in around 6 to 7 months.

We have already considered the potential value of improved emissions control and easier compliance reporting. Let’s now consider two more areas for potential savings: Simplified maintenance and extended filter life.

Simplified Maintenance


Switching to triboelectric systems makes maintenance easier, reducing number of maintenance tasks and simplifying the process for personnel. Once installed, they require little ongoing maintenance. They enable easy remote monitoring of multiple sources in real-time, with no processing delays and no subjective analysis required to interpret the data.

Most significantly, the predictive capability of tribo BLDS enables scheduled, preemptive bag house maintenance, thus largely precludes unexpected sudden events that often result in lost production time, plant shutdowns, compliance reporting and fines (or even lost product depending on the baghouse application). Know exactly when filters first begin leaking before they become major leaks. Further, you can pinpoint which filter(s) are leaking down to the exact baghouse, compartment and even row of bags, saving time searching through hundreds or even thousands of bags.

These predictive capabilities offer maintenance planners a more accurate view of the condition of the dust collector filters. This allows them to optimize filter replacement scheduling in their facilities rather than the usual emergency “get it done ASAP” mentality normally associated with bag changeouts.

Quantifiable Benefits - “Losses due to system downtime were approximately X over the last X year(s). X amount of those incidents were related to dust collection issues (e.g. changeouts, failed emissions tests, collector maintenance on process-required units, etc.). Triboelectric dust monitoring would improve predictive maintenance planning and help prevent such incidents in the future.”

Extended Filter Life And/Or Prevent Reportable Emissions Events

Costs for dust filters can make up a large portion of a maintenance budget at a facility. Any way to extend the usable life of these consumable items means a direct reduction in operating costs. 

In many applications where strict emissions standards must be consistently met, many plants choose to go by the manufacturers’ recommended replacement schedule when deciding when to replace their filter bags simply to avoid the risk of overestimating the remaining useful filter life and end up violating their air permits. However, this arbitrary time frame does not account for the complex interaction of other factors that can actually lead to bag failure.

By taking advantage of the advanced dust detection capabilities of triboelectric detectors, plant personnel can more effectively gauge when filters will actually begin to fail. The BLDS will clearly show operators when filters show the first signs of leaks occurring thus making predictive maintenance planning possible.

This will lead to savings in two situations compared to simply following the manufacture’s recommended replacement schedule. (1) If the filters still function when the recommended changeout date comes, plants can save money by extending the service life of their filters knowing they can safety do so without violating their air permits. (2) If the filters begin leaking BEFORE the recommended changeout date, operators can avoid exceeding their emissions limits and begin procuring replacement filters and scheduling a changeout when next convenient. (They thus avoid fines, forced shutdowns and lost production while filters are procured and replaced.)

Quantifiable Benefits - "Currently, we replace all 1,000 filters every 12 months per the manufacture's recommendations, whether they are leaking or not. Each replacement costs X in filters plus X in labor, plus system downtime. Over 5 years we will do 5 replacements at a total cost of X.  Using triboelectric monitoring we can safely extend the service life of our filters, even if only by 3 month each time, we can do one less changeout every 5 years, saving X every 5 years. OR (IN CASE OF TRIBO MONITORING BEING USED TO DETECT LEAKS SOONER AND PREVENT REPORTABLE EVENTS) "Last time our bags failed and began leaking we were not able to detect it until we had exceeded our emissions limits and had to report the incident (due to our current system only serving to alert when we exceed our limits). This resulted in a fine of X and forced us to shutdown production while we rush ordered replacement filters, (costing X more than normal) and brought in outside contractors for the last-minute install (costing X more than normal). 


In short, 4 main areas where BLDS will produce easily-measurable savings are (1) by improving emissions controls, (2) easier compliance reporting (3) simplifying maintenance, and (4) extending filter life. By calculating the potential savings from these four areas you can easily demonstrate the high return on investment for switching to triboelectric monitoring systems. Often, these systems can fully return on their investment costs in around 6 to 7 months. With much more thorough detection capabilities, modern dust collection monitoring systems allow users to reliably meet all compliance standards, whether for local, state or federal EPA regulation, in a simplified process unmatched by other technologies. And by eliminating wasteful bag maintenance behaviors and cutting down on poor management of materials, engineers can provide their companies thousands of dollars in savings.

To learn more about how you can integrate more efficient technologies in your business, and reap the instant rewards of modern triboelectric systems, contact us today.  Not ready to talk but want more detail?  Download our free eBook "Intelligent Dust Monitoring."

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Topics: Baghouse Maintenance, Triboelectric Detection