Do you have questions around dust extraction or are you wondering where to start with LEV (local exhaust ventilation) equipment for your workshop or manufacturing premises? Fercell have been designing and manufacturing ventilation solutions for over 4 decades, supplying and servicing countless dust extraction systems for various industrial working environments.

Below we explore frequently asked questions on dust extraction systems. These questions are not exhaustive, and we’re here to answer any you have. Contact us here.

What is a dust extractor?

Referred to as dust extraction, dust extractor, dust or chip collectors, they are all local exhaust ventilation (LEV) systems and are designed to capture, remove and collect dust and any particulate matter from process air, aiding production quality, ensuring cleaner air and compliance with health and safety regulations.

Fercell supply a wide range of dust extractors to suit various working environments and applications. Find out more here.

Why do you need dust extraction?

Surprisingly, there are multiple motivations to have effective dust extraction. Perhaps, the main reason is to protect your health!

HEALTH: Inhaling fine dust can lead to respiratory conditions such as lung diseases (occupational asthma) and lung cancer. In addition, it can cause irritation or damage eyes, while skin contact with wood dust can develop dermatitis or ulceration.

PRODUCTIVITY:  Occupational illnesses account for more than 35 million days of lost production, as stated by the HSE. In addition, the production of quality products requires a clean, tidy and ordered working area.

LITIGATION:  Exposing employees to dusty environments can result in claims for compensation and potential litigation.

LEGISLATION:  There is a legal responsibility to protect the health of employees not only from the potential harm from employee exposure, but also from the creation of hazardous, explosive, atmospheres. Fine dust can stay suspended for many hours, which increases the risk from exposure and hazardous atmosphere.

Can any type of dust be extracted?

While any dust can be extracted, properties of and hazards presented by materials are varied.

While some materials may require a basic design with minimal safety features, other materials may require greater attention and demand a system specification with complex features and safety systems.

Having a good working knowledge of materials and their characteristics can help reduce the hazards and risks, particularly when you consider that the mixing of certain materials can result in a new material with self-combustible properties.

How do industrial dust extraction systems work?

The systems work by capturing dust at its source, transporting it via ductwork to a filtration system, and then separating the cleaned air from the dust before releasing it back into the environment or an external vent.

It is important that the necessary consideration is given to the flows required for the effective capture and suspension of material within the airstream to prevent system blockages, in addition having the correct filter medium and area is essential for efficient filtration and consistent performance.

What types of industries require dust extraction systems?

Any process where a by-product, in the form of dust, fume, gas or vapour is released routinely requires some form of LEV to control airborne particulates, including industries such as woodworking, metalworking, paper, pharmaceuticals, construction, recycling and manufacturing.

Dust extraction is not limited to big businesses, as a facility to protect the environment and health of operatives, the benefits can be applied in any setting, from the hobbyist to the largest industrial processes.

You can find out more about industries requiring industrial ventilation here.

Why is dust extraction important in industrial settings?

Dust extraction is crucial for maintaining air quality, protecting worker health, preventing equipment malfunction, and complying with environmental regulations.

Under the ‘Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974’ it is the responsibility of the owner in control of premises to put in place systems to prevent harmful emissions to atmosphere. In addition, CoSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) regulations 2002 require employers to risk assess, provide preventative measures and deliver adequate instruction and training to staff about the risks, steps and measures put in place to control such risks. The HSE provides guidance and ACOPS (Approved Codes of Practice), which details recommended methods to comply with health and safety regulations.

What are the key components of a dust extraction system?

Key components include an air intake, ductwork, a filtration unit, a fan system, and waste disposal mechanisms. Effectiveness of a dust extractor is measured by the system’s ability to capture dust particles, the efficiency of its filtration, and its capacity to maintain consistent air flow.

What maintenance is required for industrial dust extraction systems?

Regular maintenance, the frequency of which is subject to the material and process, includes inspecting and cleaning filters, ducts, and fans, along with monitoring system performance to ensure efficient operation.

In addition, dust extraction systems should be monitored through the use of routine inspection logs and ‘tell tails’ such as filter condition indicators, airflow indicators and pressure gauges.

A LEV test, also known as CoSHH assessment must also be carried out at least once every 14 months, to ensure ventilation equipment is working efficiently and providing necessary protection to anyone in the vicinity. Book a LEV test here.

Fercell’s service portfolio includes, planned preventative servicing, ad hoc servicing, refurbishment, spares and repairs, and LEV examinations.

Can dust extraction systems be customised for specific industrial needs?

Yes, extraction systems can be customised based on the type of dust, volume of air, space constraints, and specific industry requirements.

Fercell will conduct a site survey to ensure a solution is right for the production environment, working processes and onsite equipment. Proposed solutions will be customised to fit the customers exacting requirements, as opposed to a one size fits all approach.

What are the safety considerations for operating dust extraction equipment?

Safety considerations include ensuring proper grounding to prevent static build-up, regular maintenance to prevent blockages, and compliance with fire and explosion safety standards.

Following installation of a new system commissioning will be conducted, to provide training on best practice, general maintenance and safety guidelines for the ventilation equipment.

When it comes to safety, LEV airflow indicators provide an effective visual indicator of keeping check on system performance. Find out more here.

How does one choose the right dust extraction system for their industry?

Choosing the right system involves assessing the type of dust, volume, space available, and specific industry regulations, often with the guidance of a dust extraction specialist. For more information contact our LEV team here.

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