Is a Particulate Monitor Worth the Investment?

Any investment in new technology, maintenance process or a management system is usually evaluated by the likely return on investment. Triboelectric particulate monitoring systems are no different. Many facilities are required to use the technology for compliance. In others, however, investing in a triboelectric particulate monitor may be a business decision, the same as adding additional instruments and controls. The calculation of ROI can be more complex when considering detectors all the way down to the compartment and row level, and when investing in baghouse control systems.

This article explores the 4 main benefits of triboelectric monitoring of PM emissions and provides some tips on justifying the investment.

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Is Baghouse Dye Leak Testing Necessary When Using Triboelectric Monitoring?

Find and fix it fast!

One of the many benefits of triboelectric particulate monitors is the ability to detect leaking filter bags quickly. In fact, triboelectric systems for dust collectors are often (and rightly) referred to as “leak detection systems”, “bag leak detectors” or “broken bag detectors”. Interestingly, most dust collector OEMs recommend “dust collector leak testing” as part of their preventive maintenance schedules. This leads many to ask whether or not triboelectric leak detectors replace normal baghouse leak testing. Let’s consider this topic and see what role both play in maintaining your dust collection system. 

What is Baghouse Dye Leak Testing?

Maintaining peak collection efficiency in a fabric filter dust collector requires no individual filters leak at all. Even just one leaking filter among hundreds in larger systems can cause the system to exceed its maximum allowable emissions. For this reason, plant operators must keep a close watch on the filters in their systems and quickly identify and replace any damaged filters. But how do you find a small amount or even just one broken filter bag among dozens or even hundreds of filters in a dust collector? 

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4 Important Dust Collector Insights that Differential Pressure Can't Provide

Differential Pressure - Not necessarily the best parameter for dust collector/baghouse monitoring

DP is the king of dust collector monitoring metrics. However, some users have come to think that it is the ONLY metric to monitor on an industrial dust collector. This certainly is not the case…especially as the size and complexity of the system increases. Here are 4 important areas for which differential pressure cannot provide adequate insight.  

Total Emissions Levels

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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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Planning Baghouse Filter Media Replacement to Reduce Cost & Downtime

Just because...it's time

Many plants change their baghouse filters based on a firm schedule. Others prefer to wait until the filters begin to show signs of leaking and then they replace them. Others use differential pressure as a guide, replacing the filters once the DP begins to trend above a certain level. And others simply wait until a reportable event, citation from an air quality inspector or massive loss in system suction (process flow) before taking action. What is the best method for scheduling filter replacement? 

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5 Steps for Finding the Best BLDS for Your Facility

Updating your bag leak detection system with today’s innovative, more efficient technologies doesn’t have to be rocket science; in fact, it’s quite easy to justify the investment, and find the ideal monitoring solutions for your facility. It all comes down to knowing what to look for in a new system, and how to treat the buying decision.

In this blog, we’ll focus on 5 major steps for installing the perfect emissions monitoring system in your facility, as well as how to overcome common barriers that many engineers face when making a purchase decision and integrating these technologies.

1) Determine Areas in Need

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Predictive, Indicative & Alert Indicators - Baghouse Monitoring Metrics

Direct and Indirect Dust Collector Performance Metrics

On smaller dust collection systems, differential pressure often is the only metric used by operators to monitor the performance and condition of the system. For smaller systems this often proves sufficient. However, as systems get larger and more complex, plants usually start including additional monitoring metrics into the mix with the goal of early warning and predictive monitoring to reduce down-time, prevent reportable incidents and manage the maintenance burden and costs. 

Predictive, Indicative & Alert Dust Collector Monitoring Metrics

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Planning Your Air Permit Renewal - Tips to Upgrade Baghouse Technology and Downgrade the Hassle

An Opportunity Not a Hassle

Do you dread the task of managing you air permit renewal? Sure there's a process - but it's one that also provides a great opportunity to look at how your plant can improve operation while reducing costs.

The key is to take a different approach than simply copying the last permit application as many folks do. Certainly this involves more work, and requires an earlier start. (Want a reminder so that time doesn't slip away? We provide that service at no charge with a simple registration here.) By taking a fresh look, you'll often find opportunities to break the shackles of inefficiency that were built into your permit based on the best available technology at the time it was first written...which is often a decade or more ago. Imagine running today's plant with '90s computers!

Here are 3 tips to help you make your next air permit renewal a success and not just a refiling of paperwork. 

Tip #1 - Quit Taking Manual Readings and Automate Data Collection

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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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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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