What is a Dust Collection System?

The presence of various types of dust can be quite hazardous to workers, equipment, and the facility where the work is taking place. Airborne dust can be as minor as low-grade allergic reactions among workers, but there are certain kinds of dust which can cause a fire and even explosions.

Dust collection systems come in a variety of different forms. In all cases, they draw air and dust out of the workplace breathing zones and filter the dust out of the breathable air. In any industry where dust is dispersed into the air, dust collection systems must always be among a company’s highest priorities.

Summit has the expertise to design a dust collection system to best fit a company’s circumstances and then we’ll help administer the system so it will give top-notch performance for years to come. With over 120 years of combined experience, we understand everything that should go into proper dust collection. Let us put our expertise to work for you.

Dust-Related Hazards

Hazards related to dust vary greatly. It all depends upon the type of dust that could potentially be in the air at any given facility.

Metal dust particles in the air of a facility where metalworking takes place are extremely hazardous. Eye injuries due to metal dust are a very common occurrence. When dust particles from metals like nickel, cobalt, copper, aluminum, chromium and others, are small enough to enter into the lungs, it can cause a variety of respiratory complications.

Silica dust is found in abrasives that are used in metal finishing, so the dust is common in metal fabrication facilities. This dust is small enough to enter airways in the lungs to become embedded within the tissue. Scarring, lung cancer, and silicosis are potential consequences of silica dust exposure in a workplace.

Dust from facilities that work with food or other organic materials can cause health and safety issues, as well. Skin irritation, respiratory disease, and even lung cancer are possible consequences of overexposure to these kinds of dust.

Equipment damage is a potential result of dust circulating with a company’s facilities. When dust enters electronic components and other machinery, it has the potential to cause problems that may require expensive fixes or replacement.

Explosive dust is a hazard to be aware of in any facility where combustible dust is prevalent. Explosive dusts are prevalent in many industries. While certain metal dusts are flammable, so are dusts from flour and sugar.

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Dust Collection Equipment

Familiarize yourself with the types.

Did you know dust collection systems can contribute to sustainability and be environmentally responsible?

Visit the Knowledge Center to learn how

Are you asking yourself … How do I know I’m getting the right dust collection system?

Your dust collection system will not be exactly like another company’s system. Your system must be engineered to address your specific needs and your specific dust. With that in mind, it’s important to walk through these important questions, and Summit is highly qualified to help you find the answers:

The answer to this question is multifaceted. First of all, you must determine whether you have explosive dust. A dust hazard analysis must be run to determine if the processes in your facility are creating dust and circumstances that could potentially ignite and explode.

Secondly, if your dust is not explosive, your system will ultimately be affected by what type of dust you do have. Understanding whether you have metal dust, silica dust, food packaging process dust, or any other kind of dust will inform decisions when it comes to designing your dust collection system.

In a word, yes … if it’s a Summit designed system. We ensure that your system will comply with all standards set forth by OSHA, NFPA, EPA, ASHRAE, and any other regulatory bodies whose requirements may affect your business procedures.

A dust collection system is only as good as the planning behind it. Summit analyzes all contributing factors within a customer’s facility and engineers a solution that’s custom-fashioned to solve that company’s issues.

The health and safety of your team and the security of your facility and equipment are at risk when you leave dust issues unaddressed or less than fully addressed. Product quality comes into play as well.

In our experience, it’s also less expensive to be proactive versus needing to react to a violation.

Did you know …

  1. Deflagration or explosion prevention, in the form of a vent or suppressive measures, will minimize damage and danger in the case of dust ignition.
  2. Dampers and valves within ductwork minimize the impact of strong blowback during deflagration.
  3. Self-dumping hoppers prevent hazardous combustible dust from accumulating, where standard hoppers do not.
  4. Safety monitoring filters are secondary filters that catch any dust that might leak through the media of the primary filters.
  5. Invest in a system that makes filter replacement as simple as possible.

Tips for Running Your Dust Collector Safely

While Summit installs systems that are designed to make your dust collection responsibilities simple and efficient, there are still steps you should take to ensure your equipment is running efficiently and safely.

  1. Use the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) and the ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 199 to determine how your system is performing in regards to emissions.
  2. Invest in long-life filters for the greatest ROI.
  3. While your dust collector is designed to mitigate the possibility of dust explosion and fire, any company with potentially explosive dust should be equipped with a compliant and reliable fire suppression system.
  4. In addition to fire suppression, there should be appropriate doors, railings, and other safeguards installed in order to keep workers away from potentially hazardous processes.

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