Triboelectric particulate monitoring systems are recognized as effective tools to measure emissions levels from dust collectors and for broken bag detection in baghouse dust collectors. Since Auburn Systems introduced the first commercial triboelectric broken bag detector almost 40 years ago they've evolved quite a bit. Technical advances have opened up additional application capabilities including interesting Flow/No Flow and More Flow/Less Flow applications.
Many ask whether or not they should use Flow/No Flow monitoring in their application process. While each application is unique, monitoring Flow/No Flow monitoring is an excellent way to gain increased insight into your process operation. It also provides several distinct benefits. Let’s consider two examples of how Flow/No Flow monitoring can improve your operation.
Process Applications - Ensure Constant Product Flow
Many process applications require precise mixing of many different substances in order to make their finished product. When some of these compounds are dry bulk goods ensuring their continued flow is essential to avoid production shutdowns or worse yet spoiled batches.
Other applications involve transporting bulk materials over long distances - unloading rail cars for instance. Triboelectric's capability to provide simple Flow/No Flow particulate monitoring, and more sophisticated particle velocity and mass flow measurements provide engineers powerful real time insights into the flow status of their various product lines. This ensures that if and when any disruption occurs (whether due to blockages in the feed duct or other causes elsewhere in the system) operators and maintenance personnel can take decisive action to remedy the problem.
Tracking flow rates, or More Flow/Less Flow monitoring, introduces predictive capability and greater precision than simple air velocity to ensure product volumes are consistent and reduce wear on systems or damage to product itself.
Increased automation often means that intermediate steps aren't monitored through manual intervention as they used to be. While that reduces labor cost and increases operating efficiency, it also means that often product flow disruptions go unnoticed through the intermediate steps. By the time they are identified further down the line blockages have become substantially more severe and longer periods of production have been interrupted.
These detection capabilities have a wide range of applications to help operations keep constant tabs on otherwise unmonitored but critical flow applications.
Detect Blockages From Product Dropout Instantly
Combustible dust hazards pose an additional concern for many dust collection system operators. A malfunctioning or under performing dust collection system often plays a key role in combustible dust explosions and fires. A number of different issues can cause the collection system to begin to under perform, leading to a loss of air speed, which in turns leads to air in the duct falling below the minimum conveying velocity. When this occurs product dropout can occur, leading to large accumulations in the ductwork that further block off the system and form potential breeding grounds of fires and explosions to start.
By monitoring conveyed product flow using a triboelectricdetector or particulate velocity sensor facilities can keep a careful watch over potential blockages and alert maintenance staff to quickly organize remediation efforts to correct the problem. This will prevent these accumulations from becoming explosion hazards as well as improve dust collection operation further mitigating the chance of dust accumulations forming elsewhere in the facility.
Triboelectric Detectors vs. Alternative Flow/No Flow Monitoring Systems
While alternatives do exist, they are less reliable and require more attention from maintenance personnel than triboelectric detection systems. Mechanical measuring devices that use wheels, levers and other moving parts in physical contact with bulk products (dense-phase) can wear out quickly and require constant maintenance (creating more work for your team). Microwave scanners, while useful in some applications, require calibration and are unreliable over long-term in many instances. Scales and weighing systems often have high capital cost in addition to substantial maintenance overhead - and they only provide a point of reference rather than insight into product flow throughout a system.
In contrast, triboelectric systems are easily installed, require little ongoing maintenance and have established an extensive history of reliability in many installations across many industries. The simple isolated probe with no moving parts can perform in dusty and abrasive applications. Triboelectric detectors can be used for particluate monitoring of flow in bulk conveying systems such as feeders, screw conveyors, pneumatic conveying systems, airslides, chutes, and others.
Conclusion - Flow/No Flow Monitoring Recommended
For any application involving bulk conveying as part of a process Flow/No Flow monitoring should be considered essential. Loss of flow can spoil entire batches of manufactured products (e.g. in industries such as food, chemical, etc.). In another common application, a loss of flow on solid fuel feeders for furnaces (e.g smelters or boilers) could result in system shutdowns, production losses, and other costly complications.
Given the production interruption, downtime, and quality product costs that can be prevented the cost of monitoring is often negligible.
Would you like to know more about how Auburn Systems’ triboelectric technology can be used to solve some of your facilities most challenging process problems? Contact us today for more information or download our eBook below!