How to fight dust in your production area

Excess dust in a production area can damage employee health and workplace productivity. If your factory is dusty, machines won’t run as well as they should, staff won’t work as effectively as they can, and you’ll generally spend more time on cleaning than you ought to – to name but a few issues related to excess dust. A factory with a high concentration of airborne particles will not be as productive and efficient as it should be.

Figuring out how to fight dust in your production area should therefore be a business priority. Here are four golden rules to fight dust in your production area.

Use dust-reduced materials wherever possible

Before you implement extensive protective measures, consider using dust-reducing materials wherever possible.

The dust levels of materials are influenced by chemical composition, bulk density, grain size and moisture content. Accordingly, it’s worth taking a close look at what you’re using, and contacting your suppliers to see if low-dust alternatives are available.

For example, many suppliers stock their materials in a sludge (or paste) or pelletized form, which will generate less dust in your facility if you choose to use these alternatives.

In processes where dust is likely to be generated in large volumes – for example, drying bulk materials, material tipping or transport, and mixing dry materials – it’s important to prevent it as much as you can as early as you can. So the best way to reduce such a huge amount of dust is using the best large room air purifier.

If you can’t find reduced-dust alternatives for the materials you use, you may be able to convert some of your systems to ‘wet processes’ that generally generate lower dust volumes. This means expensive extra PPE (personal protective equipment) won’t be required for your workers.

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Deploy sealed systems

A closed system can be a highly effective way to control dust levels. It may cause some difficulties for your planning and construction engineers, but it will protect your employees’ health and improve overall product quality.

How? It’s simple. Raw material often arrives in big bags which, when cut open, create large quantities of dust. Automated closed systems, open the bags in a sealed-off compartment – emptying them and compacting the wrapper without causing any dust to arise. Pneumatic conveyors can also help: they apply compressed air to push solids through the system towards their destination.

This not only prevents dust from spreading through your factory: it also gives you a considerable competitive advantage. Every task the system performs is another that your employees don’t have to do.

Dispose of waste correctly

While sealed systems will eliminate a lot of the dust in your facility, using them unfortunately doesn’t mean that you’ll have no dust at all. During maintenance work, for example, it’s possible for some dust particles to escape. Furthermore, waste materials generated by your production process can also cause dust when you’re transporting it from the machinery to your waste collection point.

By installing an extraction system to moisten the material, you can guarantee that as little dust as possible will arise: after all, if the particles are wet, they can’t travel very far. It’s also essential to make sure that no waste falls to the ground. Use collection bags to catch all waste materials before they can pollute your production area – and make sure they go into your pneumatic conveyor to minimize the possibility of dust accumulating.

This means less cleaning for you, and more time to focus on the things that really matter to your business.

Combat dust directly at the source

That said, even if you do all of the above, some dust will likely still accumulate in your facility. To fight these particles, you need to combat them at their source.

Never compromise your production processes, staff health, or company image because of the damaging effects of dust. Follow these golden rules to keep your facility dust-free.

Thanks Zehnder for their best blog post.