Trends and New Technologies: Dust Collection

Grain Journal spoke to five dust collection equipment suppliers to see what’s trending and what’s new in the industry.

Steve McConnell | Global Director-Filtration | Schenck Process LLC | Kansas City, MO

“There’s a desire for energy-efficient systems. People are trying to be greener and reduce their carbon footprint, and we’re seeing systems designed for lower compressed air usage. Medium-pressure systems with self-contained blower packages will reduce compressed air usage, leading to lower energy costs. Variable speed fans with pressure monitoring can reduce horsepower requirements.

“We’re designing systems so they can be balanced to shut down areas that are not in use. Properly designed ductwork and hoods can reduce overall static pressure in the system and reduce energy costs.

“We’ve provided remote monitoring of critical processes to detect expensive downtime events. Sending data to the cloud to monitor remotely is a trend we’re seeing on these critical processes. It’s valuable for plant operators to have that information in real time. This gives operations the ability to monitor a baghouse remotely from corporate headquarters.”

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Joe Kiolbassa | Product Manager | Donaldson | Bloomington, MN

“We’re seeing a trend from bag filters in cages to pleated bags that hold more media and are more durable. Customers are seeing two to three times longer filter life, and they’re adding new dust collectors or converting existing collectors.

“Pleated bags are 5 feet long vs. 10- to 12-foot lengths for bags in cages. Because more media can be packed into pleated bags, creating a larger media area, they are much more efficient at capturing dust and can reduce emissions by 94%. This keeps facilities and the surrounding area cleaner. Pleated bags also handle abrasion better.

“A lot of facilities are moving to point-of-use dust collectors. Rather than having one large central collector, they use multiple collectors where dust is generated. For example, placing a collector at a grain transfer point prevents dust from wafting. A pulse is generated to clean the collector, dropping dust cake on the conveyor, so you don’t lose valuable product. The collector is easier to maintain, and you don’t need to shut down the entire operation to replace the filter.

“The Internet of Things allows facilities to do more with fewer people, including monitoring how dust collectors are performing using a phone or laptop. You can check a particular collector, and with a connected subscription filtration service, send data to the cloud, and receive alerts and monitor collectors. This can be used on any dust collector, not just Donaldson collectors, and it monitors to prevent unplanned downtime, reduce costs, and provide data for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other regulatory agencies.”

Mark Hochstetler | President | Honeyville Metal Inc. | Topeka, IN

“Facilities are trying to meet tightening EPA regulations and state requirements related to housekeeping and dust collection.

“Additionally, more and more facility managers are seeing the importance of worker safety regarding airborne dust.

“For genetically modified (GM) grains, there are increased dust issues and nuisance debris. We are seeing an increase in the amount of nuisance debris, known as “bees’ wings” or “red dog,” which come from the cob in the corn-shelling process harvesting high-moisture corn. Flaky dust is a severe problem, and it builds up in every piece of equipment.

“We see an increasing demand for dust extraction systems on grain dumping pits. We offer a line of OEM dust extraction manifolds for our line of incline drag conveyors, and we fabricate custom dust manifolds for existing dumping pits in grain facilities.”

Syed Ashraf | Vice President | Automation and Electrical Engineering | Kice Industries | Wichita, KS

“We are seeing a lot of movement toward the Internet of Things. Customers can receive information from any system examples, including the Kice dust collection or blower package system. Performance monitoring can be done remotely, and it also allows for collection of analytical data.

“This is an era of the Machine-as-a-Service model. With a subscription, clients can be notified via email or text when the filter bag is dirty, or it can send replacement bags automatically after a set number of runtime hours is detected. After a set runtime, an alarm can be triggered to notify users that it is time to perform some proactive maintenance on their equipment.

“People are trying to squeeze more efficiency out of their systems and use data to maximize operation. The technology helps prevent downtime by alerting operators of issues before major problems. How we use technology to increase plant efficiency is the name of the game. Many plants run 24/7, so shutdowns are very detrimental.”

Jim Byrge | Project Manager | TCR Systems | Decatur, IL

“We’re doing more dust collection on dump pits. New projects have been trending toward CVP units, without ductwork, next to the pit. The units pull air through the pit, and the inclusion of a baffle means you don’t need to put as much air on it.

“We make air plenums and install them on pits, so they don’t suck out grain from the pit. These typically are installed on older pits and use the regular dust collector.

“They pull dust without sucking grain into the dust collector.”

From the July/August 2021 GRAIN JOURNAL

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