Keep your facility in compliance and protect your employees from dangerous dust, fumes and airborne contaminants with industrial air filtration and ventilation solutions from RoboVent. We can design, install and balance your ventilation and filtration systems to ensure clean, comfortable air and reduce the risk of fires and explosions due to combustible dust.
Manufacturing and industrial processes create significant challenges for indoor air quality. Excessive fumes, dust and particulate can impact employee health and safety, create contamination problems on production lines, and leave your facility vulnerable to dangerous combustible dust explosions. We are here to solve your toughest air quality challenges with a science-based approach to industrial ventilation and air filtration system design and engineering.
We’ll help you find the most efficient, effective and practical approach to controlling dust and fumes in your environment.
At RoboVent, we provide turnkey services for industrial air filtration and ventilation, including system design and engineering, installation, system balancing, and ongoing service and maintenance.
Many industrial and manufacturing processes create dangerous dust, fumes and airborne contaminants. Industrial ventilation and air filtration are critical to protect the health and safety of employees and guests and ensure compliance with Federal, state and local air quality regulations. Here’s what you should know about industrial ventilation and how to select the right combination of local exhaust ventilation, displacement (or dilution) ventilation, and air filtration.
All structures—including residential, commercial and industrial buildings—need some form of ventilation. Ventilation removes stale air from the facility and adds fresh air, improving indoor air quality (IAQ). The HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system is one form of whole-facility ventilation, circulating air through the heating or cooling systems and adding fresh air from outside.
In industrial facilities, the ventilation provided by the HVAC system alone is rarely adequate to maintain a clean, healthy environment. Industrial ventilation and air filtration are used to remove or dilute fumes, particulates, contaminants and heat that builds up from industrial processes. Industrial ventilation and air filtration:
There are several options when it comes to industrial ventilation and air filtration.
Industrial ventilation and air filtration are forms of engineering controls. They are used to control emissions and exposures to hazardous substances in the workplace, including noxious, toxic, carcinogenic and combustible dust and fumes from industrial processes. There are several organizations with regulations or standards governing industrial ventilation and air filtration. Relevant regulations and standards include:
Read more: Staying Ahead of Clean Air Regulations.
Industrial ventilation and air filtration improve employee health and safety by reducing exposure to toxic, noxious, hazardous or carcinogenic substances in the air. Maintaining clean, fresh air for employees to breath is one of the essential elements of workplace health and safety.
In the U.S., manufacturers must comply with OSHA regulations for workplace health and safety. OSHA regulations related to indoor air quality (IAQ) for general industry fall under standard 29 CFR 1910. Here are the basics:
Read more: OSHA Regulations for Clean Air.
Industrial ventilation and air filtration help to mitigate the risk of a dangerous combustible dust explosion by capturing and filtering explosive dust before it can build up to combustible levels. Many of the dusts produced by industrial processes are highly combustible, including metalworking dust; sugar, starch, grain and flour dust; and plastic dust. When allowed to concentrate in a confined area, these dusts can become explosive.
Combustion can only happen when dust builds up to the right concentration within an enclosed area in the presence of oxygen (always present in the air) and an ignition source (such as a spark or static electricity). Reducing the concentration of dust in the air is an important element of combustible dust safety. There are five elements necessary for a combustion to occur, sometimes known as the “Explosion Pentagon.”
Both OSHA and NFPA have developed standards for the control of combustible dust that include the use of industrial ventilation and air filtration. These include:
Read more: Combustible Dusts
Local exhaust ventilation is used to pull contaminated air from point sources away from workers and keep contaminants out of the breathing zone. Local exhaust ventilation can save energy by removing emissions right at the source. This reduces the volume of air that must be moved each minute (CFM) to keep contaminants under control. It also saves on heating and air conditioning costs by minimizing the volume of temperature-controlled air vented to the outside and hot or cold air coming in.
Local exhaust ventilation is best used when:
Here is how a local exhaust ventilation system works:
Dilution (or displacement) ventilation is a form of whole-facility ventilation used to dilute dangerous contaminants in air. Dilution ventilation can also be used to reduce exposure to airborne pathogens such as the coronavirus.
Dilution ventilation is best used when:
Here is how a dilution ventilation system works:
Most ventilation systems include both exhaust (fans pulling air out) and supply (make-up air systems).
When air is removed from an enclosed space, new air must be introduced to balance the system. Without make-up air, the pressure in the space becomes unbalanced (negative pressure) because more air is leaving the space than coming into it.
Balancing the pressure in the system is an important part of industrial ventilation design. In many cases, you will want the pressure to be neutral, with the same amount of air coming in and going out. But positive and negative pressure zones can also be used strategically to prevent fugitive dust from escaping from an area or control the flow of air through the facility. For example, pressure zones can be used to prevent fugitive dust from industrial processes from entering a different zone of the building such as office space, shipping or a more sensitive manufacturing process.
Simple exhaust ventilation systems just vent contaminated air to the outside. But these systems are not appropriate for all situations. Unfiltered exhaust systems should not be used when:
In these situations, it is advisable to use some form of filtration and dust collection.
Not sure which form of industrial ventilation and air filtration is right for you? Talk to one of our experts! We will help you define your air quality goals and design a system that works for you. Just fill out the form or call us at 888-298-4214 to get started.
Whether you need a new industrial ventilation and filtration system, or just need to service or upgrade your existing system, we’re here to help. Just fill out the form or call us at 888-298-4214 to get started.