Making a careful regulatory investment
When the need arises to invest in a bag leak detection system for dust collection system(s), many plants face a myriad of options. But what should plants look for in a bag leak detection system? How do the various options compare? How should you decide what's the best BLDS for your requirements?
3 key features are critical to efficient long-term BLDS operations.
- Early warning & predictive levels of sensitivity
- Monitor data real time to identify trends
- Total cost including capital, installation, maintenance, down time and life span
Before making any purchase, consider these points and see whether or not your preferred BLDS measures up.
Sensitive Enough to Detect Minor Leaks Quickly
Finding leaks quickly requires a sensitive detection range. Many models cannot detect particle concentrations below 0.0010 g/dscf (equivalent to 10% opacity in most applications). By this point most applications covered by MACT standards or newer NSPS will have exceeded their permissible limits and be out of compliance. Additionally, by time a leak progresses to that level, the amount of remediation work will likely require dozens of man-hours and could cause a significant production shutdown. (The cost of unplanned down time is one of the biggest that companies cite in today's hyper competitive markets.)
Look for a BLDS with a detection range low enough to register incremental changes in emissions small enough to detect deteriorating performance indicative of a developing filter leak. The most powerful BLDS available today will be able to detect emissions levels as low as 0.000002 g/dscf (0.005 mg/m³).
Wondering how a BLDS can PREDICT impending system failures? Download our free Guide to Intelligent Dust Monitoring
View and Record Data In Realtime
Realtime emissions trend data can provide valuable insight for maintenance and operations personnel into the workings of their dust collection system. These include predictive maintenance capabilities (e.g. predicting when an entire set of filters will need replacing) or pinpointing the exact locations of the leaking filter(s) down to a particular unit, compartment and even row of bags. Additionally, the ability to transmit concentration levels and other parametric data (like differential pressure) in realtime to a PLC or other remote location provides operators with the ability to instantly put emissions data to use in their operational decision-making process as well as record such data for later analysis.
Many BLDSs for one reason or another lack the capability to provide much more than a mere “Red Light/Green Light” functionality. Still others can only provide a reading at a control board located near the detector, requiring a technician to manually inspect the unit to take readings and then relay them back to operators.
When comparing various BLDS options, look for the ability to view and record trending data in realtime as well as the ability to transmit data remotely. In addition, check for full integration capabilities with existing PLC software that your facility may currently use. The latter can deliver enormous savings with every routine report - no more clipboard and "cut & paste" nightmares!
Total cost weighs not only on initial budget factors but also on longterm ROI of the BLDS. Some BLDS devices can cost upwards of $25,000 for a complete install of just one unit! Others, require extensive maintenance at regular intervals, such as calibrations, cleaning and rebuilds. On the other hand, newer BLDS units can cost as little as $3,500 completely installed and require little to no maintenance over their service life, with no periodic calibrations or rebuilds necessary.
Consider initial capital costs as well as total lifetime maintenance costs when determining what's the best BLDS. Lower initial capital costs are not always indicative of lower maintenance costs over the life of the unit (and vice versa).
With so many BLDS options to choose from facilities can easily give up and pick the first option presented to them. Hopefully, this guide will provide an easy to reference guide when asking "what's the best BLDS?" for your facility!
Auburn Systems has been the leading innovator in Bag Leak Detection Systems for over 40+ years! Let us assist you in determining the best BLDS for your facility with our free consultation.