Processing Magazine

Managing air management

February 19, 2007


The reach of a well-known cleanser company extends beyond its product dispensers mounted in many public restrooms nationwide. The Midwest company – named after its leading heavy-duty hand cleaner – also offers an extended line of healthcare products, waterless hand sanitizers, and soaps sold through retail channels in the United States and around the globe. While the first boxes of the company’s industrial hand cleaner were shipped from a garage workshop more than a half-century ago, the company today manufactures its comprehensive product line from modern facilities – boasting elaborate quality control and hospital-like standards. But there was one remaining cleanliness problem that AIRLANCO was hired to solve.

The Problem

As part of the modern production process for the company’s leading industrial-strength hand cleaner, two types of grit, which are stored in separate containers, are blended together to make the cleaner’s dry component. Before AIRLANCO was called in, the two gritty materials were simply poured directly into a large tote. This filled the air with dust and allowed material to spill onto the plant floor. The result was a safety and sanitation problem. It created a less-than-pleasant work environment in the immediate vicinity of the mixing operation, and much of one worker’s time was spent cleaning up the area.

The Solution

AIRLANCO specializes in designing and manufacturing air management equipment, including aerators and dust filters. The company’s high-capacity dust collection filters help customers in a wide array of industries meet OSHA, EPA, and other clean air guidelines for entire plants. When the project manager at one of the company’s facilities contacted AIRLANCO to explore ways to handle the problem, AIRLANCO engineers recommended installation of its Bag Dump Station.

AIRLANCO Bag Dump Stations are compact and easy to install. They are designed to eliminate the labor, waste, and potential safety issues associated with the dust and spillage caused when dry, dusty materials, such as grit additives, are introduced into processing systems. Construction is 304 Stainless Steel, with a welded interior and exterior. The model AIRLANCO recommended in this application consists of a sizable collection hopper topped by a bar grate and hinged door. Dust collection is handled by an integral pulse jet filtration unit equipped with polyester cartridge filters and a powerful 865-cfm fan.

The Bag Dump’s pulse jet unit operates much like AIRLANCO Pulse Jet Filters that are used to clean large volumes of plant air. Both can handle demanding dust collection jobs safely and efficiently. When the Bag Dump Station’s hopper door is opened, the fan automatically switches on to ensure that any dust present is drawn through the filter. Airborne particles collect on the outside surfaces of the filters. The filtered air then flows into the clean air plenum and exits the unit. Programmable short bursts of compressed air reverse the airflow in the individual filters. These pulses dislodge the surface dust from the filters so that it falls into the collection hopper.

The Outcome

The previous way of mixing the grit created a great deal of dust and spillage. It was a problem that tied up floor space and cost time and money. The AIRLANCO Bag Dump station became the centerpiece in the solution to the problem. According to a company spokesperson, “The AIRLANCO Bag Dump is doing a great job. There is no more spillage, no dust in the air. It has helped clean up the entire facility and freed up floor space because the spillage problem is gone.”

The equipment installed easily and the mess that was created by spilled product has been eliminated.