Should Multinationals Harmonize their Industrial Dust Collection Globally?

Posted by Justin Dechene on Dec 3, 2015 11:30:00 AM

Multinational corporations with manufacturing facilities in multiple locations face unique knowledge management and regulatory compliance challenges. Harmonizing industrial dust collection technology across all facilities can result in significant savings in two basic areas.                                                                       

Direct Savings on Cost of Goods

Eliminating unnecessary variations allows companies to consolidate requirements and purchase higher quantities of fewer items.  This typically results in better pricing from vendors. In a simple world they would use dust collectors with the same style and sizing of bags. Realistically, one size filter will not work for every application across a large plant, let alone a series of plants, so a more practical goal is to minimize different styles and keep only a few variations. For example, avoid purchasing systems with different bag diameters of 6.25", 6", 5-7/8", etc. Rather, try to keep diameters the same and just vary the lengths, having a set size for your "short" and "long" units. 

Eliminating unnecessary variation also reduces the need for extensive warehousing of countless different variations of parts. Dust collection bags come in many varationsWhen multiple units/plants use the same parts fewer total spares need to be kept on hand and at central storage sites. In some cases, product vendors can even hold certain parts in reserve and release them to a specific location when needed, thus freeing up additional space and lowering costs further. 

Doing this can be a challenge at times. It requires a concerted effort from personnel at each facility and corporate to avoid collecting a plethora of different OEMs, style and designs. But the effort is worth it. 

                                                     

                                                              Many different variations of filter styles exist. It can quickly get complicated when you have multiple collectors from multiple vendors!* 

Savings from Uniformity in Processes Across Organization

Ultimately the people, and embedded knowledge, are the most valuable asset of most companies.  Sharing great ideas and establishing best practices across locations simplifies new projects (a welcome change for shrinking engineering teams) and reduces the risk of mistakes.  That doesn't mean to avoid innovation or to ignore new developments.  But it substantially simplifies corporate and plant engineering tasks.  But the savings extend well beyond the knowledge management aspect.

Less variation also makes maintenance and operations training simpler and more effective. This allows for easy movement of personnel between locations and minimizes time spent having to learn new styles of equipment and operational procedures. 

This is especially the case regarding emissions compliance and monitoring. While local regulations may vary from place to place, a company-wide policy and procedures make these complicated processes less likely to result in human errors. For example, insisting on the use of triboelectric monitoring for bag leak detection systems throughout an organization results in less paperwork, fewer exceedances and more productivity. Additionally, data metrics from the same technology (and often the same vendor) is more easily gathered and reported compared to using a mix of multiple methods across different locations. With data metrics gathered using the same monitoring methods central planners and decision makers can be better informed and make better decisions that affect operations across the entire company. 

Additionally, some vendors offer additional goods or services when buying in larger numbers. For example, baghouse parts and filter manufactures may offer free system audits and credits towards maintenance and operations training when making purchases over a certain amount. These consulting services can provide extensive value in the long run, especially when geared toward improving operations, reducing maintenance costs or increasing efficiency and cutting downtime. 

Conclusion -  Maintain Flexibility When Required

While the above points hold true as a general rule, care should be taken to avoid setting overly-strict rules about the matter. In some instances, sourcing unique equipment or parts is required due to varying circumstances. For example, a certain plant may have to meet stricter-than-normal emissions limits due to its proximity to an environmentally sensitive area such as a national park or water source. And the rapidly changing, local nature of many global environmental regulatory topics requires attention to local details.  In such cases, it may best to consult local or specialized vendors for assistance. 

However, as we have outlined above, the benefits to harmonizing and unifying dust collection technology globally presents a real costs-savings advantage for multinational firms. industrial 

For over 40 years Auburn Systems has helped multinational firms to realize savings from their triboelectric dust monitoring systems. Let their experience work for you and see the potential benefits for your company, whether large or small. Contact us today for a free consultation!

Free Bag Leak Detection Resource Kit*Photo Credit - Baghouse.com

Topics: Dust Collection