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Industrial Infiltration Mistakes

January 1, 2015

By Jeff Maree, Commercial Industrial Supply

When properly installed, a quality filtration system can make a serious difference in machine performance and can improve longevity. Filtration systems are used to clean air or water that is used in heavy machinery — think fans and cooling systems, for example. The filter, often a type of bag, will remove unwanted particles that otherwise would pass through the machinery and accumulate over time, resulting in expensive malfunctions. However, a lot can go wrong as a result of an improperly installed industrial filter, as well. A bag failure can be a costly mistake, as it can damage both your filtration system and other machinery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


In many cases, it’s easy to identify the result of the mistake: the pressure is too low. Determining the cause is another issue. In other cases, your filtration system is failing entirely, or your machinery is not as clean and efficient as it should be. Below, we look at some of the most common mistakes that can occur during installation or replacement, as well as a few ways to get ahead of those types of errors.

Your Pulse Pipes Are Knocked Out of Position

Even if you’re not starting from scratch with a new filtration installation project, your system requires routine maintenance and occasional replacement. With so much movement involved in replacement bags, it is very common for pulse pipes to be knocked out of alignment. You should take care to double-check the pulse pipes every time you come in contact with them, as a misaligned pulse pipe can cause a bag to fail prematurely.

Your Hoppers Aren’t Clean

This problem relates mostly to filter replacement, because poorly timed replacement can lead to blocked hoppers — which can cause dust and other types of debris to build and wear on your filter bag. It can also cause an unusually severe drop in pressure. Each time you inspect your filtration system, be sure to clean the hoppers. And in some cases, it helps to install a detection system to alert you when hoppers are blocked and causing issues elsewhere.

You Aren’t Using the Right Filter Bag

It’s so simple and (seemingly) obvious, but also very common. Often times, people doing replacement or maintenance work on a filtration system will inadvertently use the incorrect bag for the system. Your filter bag should always match the cage size for optimal performance and it should always be made to filter out the precise size material you aim to remove. Filter bags come in many different micron ratings and materials. Using the right bag or system of bags is essential to maintaining a well-functioning filtration process. 

You Haven’t Properly Started or Restarted Your Filtration System

As with any piece of equipment, your bag housing must be properly warmed prior to putting it into use. This is important in filtration because a failure to do so can result in less-than-ideal conditions in which dust can stick to unwanted moisture in a baghouse that has not been warmed. The result is a sticky coating of dust that can reduce pressure. With that same situation in mind, be sure to properly clean the bag to remove that coating, and do it before shutting down. If you allow it to remain, the dust coating will harden, potentially causing much more damage later.

You Are Too Committed to a Replacement Schedule

It cannot be stressed enough that your filters must be replaced routinely, and scheduling is an excellent way to ensure that the task doesn’t slip through the cracks. However, there are downsides to adhering to a schedule too strictly. The need for replacing a filter comes down to how much it has been used and worn — not how much time has passed. The result of an overly rigid replacement schedule can be that you are replacing filters too frequently (not an economical option) or waiting too long (resulting in poor functionality). The best way to be sure is to either frequently inspect the filtration system or install a mechanism that can monitor flow and help you detect when the filter itself is reaching capacity.

If You Stick to a Schedule, It’s the Wrong One

As mentioned above, schedules are smart — as long as you are flexible. That said, a common mistake is to adhere to a schedule that is not suited to your specific filter or the materials that you are filtering. For example, certain types of dust clog a filter at a much faster rate. The best way to determine whether your schedule is close to where it should be is to consult with your filter bag supplier and let them know the application you are using and your expected results.

Jeff Maree is the Product Specialist at Commercial Industrial Supply (http://www.commercial-industrial-supply.com/industrial-filtration.html), a leading online supplier of  Industrial Basket Strainers. Jeff assists plant managers to ensure that their equipment is running correctly. 

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