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Are you effectively using Bag Leak Detection Systems (BLDS) in your Food Manufacturing Plant?

1 July 2015

We have asked some of our partners how they deal with the issues that they come across in their particular industries. Here, dust emissions and process monitoring product manufacturer Auburn Systems gives us their perspective on how Bag Leak Detection Systems (BLDS) can be used effectively in Food Manufacturing Plants in the United States.

Particulate monitoring is critical in all food processing plants where dust and particulate matter are problematic. Many food dusts are combustible and those operations generating or handling food dusts can require special efforts to minimize dust emissions in these areas. There are often issues with breakage or build up that require early detection to flow/no flow monitoring, or velocity issues that need to be appropriately monitored. In addition, filter failures or baghouse leaks may require costly shutdowns and result in product loss that can be avoided with proper monitoring using bag leak detectors. Recent initiatives by OSHA (th US Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) have brought an increased concern over dust collection methods and monitoring for the Food Industry.

Triboelectric Bag Leak Detectors have been used successfully as solutions to dust or particulate problems in Food Manufacturing plants globally. To help shed some light on how your colleagues are doing this, we have provided examples below:

Dust Collector Monitoring/Maintenance
Monitoring that offers early warning of impending filter failure shutdowns; allowing for non-disruptive, maintenance scheduling. This technology also eliminates the guess work of isolating compartments or performing time-costly dye tests and safely extends the use of filter media beyond manufacturer’s recommendation, resulting in fewer preventative maintenance shutdowns.

Process Improvement

The conveying or transporting of dry particulate for manufacturing processes requires a reliable means to verify flow/no-flow (blockage) as well as velocity. One can monitor with non-intrusive ring sensors for example that do not protrude into the line and obstruct flow. Loss-of-flow detectors are in use for a wide variety of flow applications. Typical examples include: monitoring for blockages or for no-flow detection in pneumatic conveying/material handling systems, to monitor screw feeders or material injection; monitoring the velocity of particles to reduce product breakage for cereal manufacturers.

Ambient Dust Monitoring

Many food dusts are combustible and those operations generating or handling food dusts can require special efforts to minimize dust emissions in these areas. Particulate monitoring using a Ambient Fugitive Dust Sensor allows for early detection warnings of ambient or fugitive dust in these areas.

This technology is used to detect unexpected rises in ambient dust levels within the workplace. Using compressed air to create a Venturi effect, room air is drawn through the sensor, generating a triboelectric signal. The signal level can activate a relay contact or be represented as a continuous 4-20 mA output for monitoring and recording. The Ambient Fugitive Dust Sensor can be used to detect dust in areas such as: silos, silo penthouses, bulk packaging areas, loading/unloading, dry mixing/sifter rooms, filling/product transferring, and hazardous dust monitoring.

Application Examples:

Cereal Manufacturer

Customer needed to be able to control the conveying of the finished cereal into the storage containers without causing too much breakage. A custom non-intrusive sensor was developed to measure the flow of finished cereal product. The manufacturer is now able measure the flow and velocity of the material. The sensor gave them the control they needed for using the minimum velocity to achieve enough flow to lift the material into the container with minimal breakage.

Food Manufacturer

The Ambient Fugitive Dust Sensors are being used to monitor a room where they have large sifters. If the sifters develop a leak, the room will fill with grain dust which is explosive. The sensors detect the rise in dust levels to signal an alarm so the personnel can react. They also use this equipment to monitor the sugar and flour Silo Penthouses.

Another food application is using the Ambient Fugitive Dust Sensor to monitor the levels of dust in the work environment near weigh hoppers – The manufacturer’s Township required a system that would provide an alarm to indicate the rise in dust levels due to the explosive hazard of the dust.

Sugar Plant

While installing 40 new baghouses at a rebuilt sugar plant, the plant realized that they needed to focus on 23 of the new collectors as they were exhausting inside the facility. Triboelectric bag leak detectors were installed on all of these collectors to provide assurance that the filters were in good operating condition and notify immediately via an alarm if there is a leak. The installation of these detectors assists the plant in staying within OSHA and NFPA regulations for dust within a facility.

We hope this gives you some suggestions on how to use Bag Leak Detection Systems in your food manufacturing plant.

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