Plastics 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 Plastics Manufacturers

The plastics industry is the third largest industry in the United States, employing nearly a million workers. Plastic products have become the most ubiquitous material in the marketplace today, through either the end product itself or the packaging surrounding the end product. To keep up with the world’s demand for this petroleum-based material, plastics manufacturers need to be highly efficient.

But efficiency for a plastic manufacturer means more than just maintaining smooth operations. Air quality and dust mitigation are concerns that can often be overlooked in relation to plant efficiency, but they are all closely related. Dust and fumes cause problems like employee sick days and electro-static discharge, which cost manufacturers money. A customized dust-collection system, then, can mean the difference between competitive efficiency and lost revenue.

 

 

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Dust Collection Challenges in the Plastics Industry

Plastic is comprised of chemicals, so machining, processing and forming plastic can produce fumes and dust that create serious air-quality concerns. The release of toxins, along with cross-contamination in source materials, make dust and fume collection a huge concern for plastics manufacturers.

A customized dust-collection solution can capture the toxins released when processing plastics even before facility workers are exposed to them. With a RoboVent source-capture option, for instance, toxins such as bisphenol A from polycarbonate, or dioxins from PVC grinding, can be drawn away directly from where they are being produced.

In moderate doses, the toxins found in plastics can cause headaches and dizziness. In extreme cases, however, fumes and dust from manufacturing plastics can cause nausea, vomiting and even rare forms of cancer. With issues like this looming in the air, having the correct dust-collection system is a must for any plastics manufacturing facility.

 

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The Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued permissible exposure limits (PEL’s) for certain substances found in plastics. For example, vinyl chloride is a highly toxic chemical found in many plastics and is subject to a specific OSHA standard. The PEL for this substance limits worker exposure to 1 ppm (TWA) with an action level of 0.5 ppm.

But clean air is a good idea regardless of what facility workers are in because of the increased efficiency it delivers. Reduced sick leave and an increase in personal energy are just two effects clean air has on employees. Add to these talent retention and equipment cleanliness, and the efficiencies across any plastics manufacturing company with clean air start to become significant.

Though less common in plastics manufacturing, dust combustion has been linked to nearly 200 different industrial accidents that have occurred in the past 25 years. These are disasters that account for hundreds of deaths and hundreds of thousands of dollars and that could have been prevented with appropriate dust-collection systems.

Solutions for Plastics Manufacturing Dust and Fumes

Managing a plastic manufacturing facility in a high-demand market means plant resources like time, space and money are at a premium. At RoboVent, we create solutions that optimize your resources so you can get back to what you do best.

In the case of the fast-paced plastics manufacturing, we offer complete packages, many of which can be installed in under 60 minutes. The majority of our designs have a minimal footprint to keep your space uncluttered. And with products like our SafeSensor™ Particulate Monitoring, you can run your facility with confidence knowing that filtration issues will be automatically detected before they can cost you.

RoboVent is the clear leader when it comes to dust and fume collection. Our customer-centric approach means we tailor our proprietary designs to fit your unique application whenever possible. This ensures that your facility is running as efficiently as it can—giving you contaminate-free products, healthy workers and a safe—dust free—environment.

Solutions

Carbon Black Dust Collection

Carbon Black Dust Collection

Carbon black is a fine powder used in the manufacture of many common products, such as tires. This powder is an inhalation risk tied to pulmonary and respiratory problems.

Pigment Dust Collection

Many pigments contain metallic compounds that give them brilliant colors. Unfortunately, some of those metals are quite toxic, and pigment dust can be dangerous.

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.