Glass Industry and Dust Collection

Clean Air Matrix

RoboVent engineers are experts in every category of air filtration and ventilation. The four categories below represent the major options for treating your contaminated air. RoboVent has designed solutions for each of these categories and has manufactured air filtration systems of unrivaled quality.

For more information about these categories, see Indoor Air Quality 101.

Ambient_Filtration

Large blowers and air filtration equipment draw contaminated air from the plant (typically at the ceiling level), filter it and return it to the plant. This is a proven solution in plants welding large parts with overhead cranes. It reduces the haze in the air, resulting in a cleaner working environment, with no negative pressure or heat loss.

SourceCapture_Filtration

Air in the immediate area of the welding activity is captured in a hood system, then filtered and returned to the plant. This is the best solution whenever possible. It allows for a more flexible system and removes the smoke directly from the operator's breathing zone. There are many types of source capture, including overhead hoods, crossflow hoods, fume arms and fume guns, some of which work better than others.

Ambient_Exhaust

Large exhaust fans draw contaminated air from the plant and exhaust it directly into the environment, typically through the roof or walls. This is a traditional method and often results in negative air pressure. Also, it is very difficult to climate-control your plant and the system may not work well in the winter.

SourceCapture_Exhaust
Air in the immediate area of the welding activity is captured in a hood, sent through ductwork, and exhausted directly into the environment. This is a lower capital cost alternative to filtration, but tends to result in high operating costs and large, unsightly ducting systems that work less efficiently with modifications. It also results in negative pressure problems.

Introduction to Dust and Fume Collection for Glass Manufacture

As the economy has slowly emerged from the recession, demand for glass products has grown steadily. Industries such as construction and automotive are rebounding, creating solid demand. Use of glass in bottling, telecommunications and consumer products is strong, too, due to growing consumer spending. Economic forecasts predict continued growth in glass demand over the next several years.

Whether manufacturers are making flat glass, pressed glass or new containers, workplace safety is still a major concern. In fact, a new regulation on silica dust will require many glass manufacturers to change their air quality protocols. As manufacturers increase production and implement new technologies, they must be vigilant in keeping up with air filtration. Besides protecting employees, clean air is necessary for maintaining high product quality, as well.

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Dust and Fume Collection Challenges in the Glass Industry

The biggest change in regulations applying to glass manufacturing has been the 2016 change to silica dust standards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued these rules to tighten the regulation of this dust in the workplace. The rules are significantly more stringent than previous regulations. While some manufacturers will already be in compliance, many will have to take serious measures to address the change.

For years the evidence had been growing that the previous limits on silica dust were not keeping workers safe. When inhaled, silica dust can travel deeply into the lungs and cause a number of health problems. The dust is implicated in lung cancer as well as chronic bronchitis and other respiratory diseases. Over time, it can damage other bodily systems, most notably the kidneys. Prolonged exposure can lead to silicosis, a serious disease caused by damage to the lining of the lungs. Chronic silicosis develops with even low-level exposure over time, reducing lung capacity until sufferers need oxygen to survive.

OSHA's new limit on silica dust cuts the permissible exposure limit (PEL) by half. The new limit is 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air. As with most PEL's, this limit is measured as an 8-hour time-weighted average. Due to the dangers of silica dust, manufacturers can't settle for filtering out 80% of so of the dust, as they might with other dusts. With silica, a manufacturer needs to aim for capturing and controlling at least 99.9% of the dust.

The first step in addressing this, or any, air quality issue is to obtain a baseline measurement of the current state of your air quality. This should be done at both the source of the dust and in the ambient air. Professional, certified, third-party services exist to measure and report on air quality.

In order to clean your air to the necessary standard, you will need a highly efficient dust control system that filters the air and, most likely, is able to return that clean air to your facility. Such a system will probably require a source capture device, such as a well-designed capture hood that pulls in contaminated air as it is produced.

While these efforts are significant, the costs of non-compliance are likely to be greater. OSHA is expected to step up the enforcement of silica dust standards. Meanwhile, the need to protect workers' health is pressing and is always the best reason for maintaining clean air.

Solutions for Dust and Fumes in the Glass Industry

Using standard ventilation systems to blow contaminated air out of the working environment will most likely not be sufficient to meet OSHA regulations. RoboVent has decades of experience producing air filtration equipment well suited to glass manufacturing. Our dust collectors are efficient and powerful systems that can clean and return the air to your facility.

From small, portable solutions to large grid configurations, RoboVent offers a solution for every application. Our source capture solutions will allow you to collect dust at the source. Our cutting-edge filters take the harmful dusts out of the air and leave the air clean enough to return to the facility. Keeping a closed system helps save energy, since you avoid exhausting your heating and air conditioning to the outside.

RoboVent is pushing technology forward, as well. For example, RoboVent's VentMapping software creates a computer model that simulates the airflow within your facility. This allows our engineers to analyze the variables of your dust production, facility layout and air currents in order to design the best filtration system.

Solutions

Glass-making Dust Collection

Glass-making ingredients produce dusts that are a current regulatory focus, but RoboVent can solve these air quality challenges quickly and cost effectively.

Silica Dust Collection

Silica is used in countless industrial applications. A recent change in air quality regulations has made silica dust a pressing concern for many employers.

Talc Dust Collection

Talc Dust Collection

Talc is a naturally occurring mineral that crumbles into a very fine powder. While highly useful in manufacturing, this powder can easily become airborne.