air quality in manufacturing facilities

Creating safe work environments by controlling dangerous dust and fume from industrial processes

Improving air quality inside and around manufacturing facilities

Created Tuesday 6 February 2024

In the world of dynamic manufacturing, the pursuit of precision and efficiency goes hand in hand with safeguarding the health and well-being of operators and the quality of products. Often overlooked, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) plays a pivotal role in achieving these goals. As manufacturing processes evolve, a holistic commitment is essential to create safe and healthy work environments. In this article, our product manager for air pollution control, Ulf Persson, informs about the critical importance of air quality in manufacturing facilities and how the right filtration solution protects against uncontrolled dust and fume generated from industrial processes.

Risks of ineffective controlled dust and fume

The air within manufacturing facilities can contain pollutants such as particulate matter, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and fumes emitted during production processes. Exposure to these contaminants can include 5 main risks.

Whether  you work in food processing, in the pharmaceutical or chemical industry, with metalworking applicatons or manufacture battery cells for electric vehicles - each industry has to deal with its own unique set of challenges and concerns when it comes down to controlling air pollution and improving IAQ. 

Identifying the source & capturing emissions

First step in enhancing IAQ in industrial facilities is to understand the process and identify the source of emissions. Ideally dust and fumes are extracted directly at the source, to ensure they do not enter the ambient air and spread into the workplace. Therefore it is at least as important as the filtration solution itself to determine the right capture solution.

Stationary filters or dust collectors with cleanable filters? 

There are two main types of filtration solutions which help to control air pollution in your facility: air filtration, which means non-cleanable stationary filters, and dust & fume extraction using cleanable filter elements. While they both have the same goal of removing harmful particles from air inside commercial buildings or industrial workspaces, there are key differences. What is best for the individual process really depends on the concentration and on the properties of the emissions.

As a simple rule of thumb, if the concentration is at or above 0.05 mg/m³, a dust extraction system with pulse-cleaned filter elements will probably be the best option to handle the process dust, providing a reasonable filter life.

5 Risks of uncontrolled dust and how industrial dust collection can help:

Airborne particles generated during manufacturing processes can pose severe respiratory hazards, leading to a range of health issues, from irritation to chronic conditions. By implementing effective dust extraction systems, businesses ensure that workplace exposure limits are not exceeded and the company is in compliance with local legislation. A clean and safe work environment also contributes to increased morale, job satisfaction and overall well-being which in turn lowers the absence rate of the workforce.

Dust deposits within the facility can pose slipping hazards for operators but also increase the risk for combustible dust explosions and fires. Controlling process dust by using an effective capture and dust extraction solution mitigates these risks and therefore protects people and the workplace.

Beyond protecting individuals, industrial dust extraction plays a pivotal role in preserving the product quality. Industries such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, food processing, and electronics manufacturing demands strict hygiene standards. Even minimal dust contamination can compromise the quality and safety of the end product. Dust extraction systems ensure that production environments remain pristine, meeting regulatory requirements.

In terms of operational efficiency, industrial dust extraction becomes a proactive measure to enhance processes. Dust accumulation in machinery can lead to equipment malfunctions and breakdowns, resulting in costly downtime. Continuous extraction of dust particles not only extends the lifespan of machinery but also minimises the need for maintenance, ultimately boosting productivity. Uninterrupted production cycles and increased machinery efficiency contribute to overall cost savings, making industrial dust extraction an investment with direct and tangible returns.

Moreover, the impact of industrial dust extraction extends far beyond the confines of the factory floor. Airborne dust particles from industrial processes can contribute to environmental pollution, detrimentally affecting air quality and ecosystems. By implementing effective extraction systems, businesses actively engage in reducing their environmental footprint and meeting regulatory standards.

shaping a safer, cleaner and sustainable future

In conclusion, industrial dust extraction is a comprehensive strategy that addresses multiple facets of a business by prioritising the health and safety of individuals, protecting the quality of products and operational processes, and contributing to environmental sustainability.
It is fundamental, that any business which is investing in a dust and fume extraction system ensures that these risks are considered and mitigated so that an effective solution is always reached. This not only safeguards their immediate interests but also actively shapes a safer, cleaner, and more sustainable future for all. 

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