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Dust collection is an essential part of industrial manufacturing operations. Like any other piece of equipment, dust collectors require regular monitoring, maintenance, and management. Amid heavier workloads and staffing shortages, working with outside service providers may be a natural evolution for many manufacturing facilities.
Connected technology now enables product specialists to remotely monitor dust collectors and respond to performance alerts as they occur. Linked closely with internal maintenance teams, these service providers can be integrated seamlessly into a facility’s condition-based maintenance program.
Service that includes daily monitoring helps teams keep a close eye on dust collection equipment and is an alternative to the traditional approach of performing on-site collector data collection. Continuous monitoring and upkeep means on-site service only happens when it’s needed.
Leveraging an outside provider who is steeped in dust collection experience allows maintenance staff to focus on projects that support their company’s core business. It can also help save time and money by working with a professional who specializes in dust collection systems and can easily address issues related to underperforming or worn filters, differential pressure changes, compressed air fluctuations, low fan energy, hopper overflows, or other important performance areas.
The outsourcing of historically internal management and maintenance functions has increased over the years. The pandemic has escalated the need and reinforced the value of engaging third-party service providers.
According to a Donaldson survey of maintenance and environmental health and safety (EHS) professionals, the primary reasons for outsourcing unplanned dust collector repairs are a lack of internal resources to maintain collectors and limited knowledge of how to effectively address collector performance issues.
of survey respondents say they call an outside resource when they have dust collector-related questions.
Building on more than a century of filtration experience and customer feedback, Donaldson’s iCue™ Managed Filtration Services is ideal for busy facility teams. Using Donaldson’s proprietary iCue™ connected filtration technology, service technicians provide dust collector support at different levels, ranging from remote monitoring and troubleshooting to full-service, on-site maintenance.
Below are Donaldson’s two iCue service plans that are currently available to customers:
Monitor Plus Plan: In this plan, an off-site product specialist monitors facility dust collection equipment and notifies customers of any maintenance or performance issues. Phone or on-site assistance from a trained technician is available, if needed, to resolve an issue.
Monitor & Manage Plan: This plan offers end-to-end dust collection equipment service. A product specialist will monitor the equipment and actively address any performance issues. Trained technicians will perform maintenance and repairs on-site, as required.
These service plans are available in select regions and will continue to expand to cover more areas. They support all major brands of dust and fume collectors and can be tailored to a user’s unique operational needs.
Outsourcing dust collector management has multiple benefits, including assistance with tracking and recording accurate compliance information that’s required to meet industry standards and some state regulations. As organizations continue to wrestle with staffing disruptions, a third-party service can prove beneficial to lean teams and help manage the total cost of collector ownership for processors.
Following are three examples of industrial collector performance issues that were identified and resolved through Donaldson’s iCue Managed Filtration Service plans.
Issue: After seeing a differential pressure alarm at a major grain facility, a filtration product specialist contacted the producer about a potential collector performance issue. With guidance, the customer was able to determine that their PD pump was no longer building proper pressure and causing the cleaning mechanism to malfunction.
Response: Donaldson’s field service team was dispatched to the facility to help determine the cause of the failure, make the essential repairs and review the process to help eliminate future issues.
Issue: While monitoring collector performance for a metal fabricator, a product specialist noticed the compressed air pressure had increased to 150 psi – 50 psi above the recommended rating for the collector. It was quickly determined that the compressed air regulator had failed.
Response: Donaldson’s field service team was notified of the issue and immediately scheduled a service repair to replace the damaged regulator. Quickly addressing the problem prevented further damage to the filters, reduced collector downtime and prevented a premature filter changeout, which saved up to US$5,000.
Issue: A Donaldson product specialist monitoring an agriculture processing facility discovered the customer’s dust collector was running without compressed air pressure. As a result, the collector’s differential pressure increased by 333% and airflow decreased by 47%. The issue caused a loss of capture velocity and increased the potential risk of high dust levels in the facility’s air.
Response: The product specialist immediately reached out to the facility’s maintenance manager. They were able to confirm the issue and quickly restored the compressed air pressure to its optimal level, returning the collector to its normal operating parameters.
Using outside monitoring and maintenance support can help facility maintenance teams catch and expedite equipment repairs when they arise, and it can free up their time to focus on other priorities. One maintenance manager who uses Donaldson’s iCue service summed it up this way:
“We want to reduce the amount of non-value-added preventive maintenance we’re doing and instead use the iCue sensor package to tell us when we should do an inspection and repair. The less I have to send people inside of the collector trying to dye-check bags and see if we can find a leak – if I can instead use a particulate monitor connected to Donaldson with a differential pressure meter to maintain good operating parameters – it’s less wasted time that we can direct to other places in the facility.”