Your crushing and screening plant is running efficiently, producing in spec product, and making you money!
What is there to worry about? DUST!
We know you want your Crushers and Screens to last, and to work within the EPA guidelines and regulations, as well as keep your workers safe.
Dust can affect your productivity and have an impact on your operational costs. When you are under the pump and have specs to meet and tight deadlines, it is easy to overlook maintenance on the machines caused by dust. If you have a tear in the belt you need to replace it straight away, this becomes a number one priority because the machine will not work properly. You can see the damage clearly and know what needs to be done.
As we all know, the damage that dust can do to your machines is not as easily seen and happens over time, but can cause irreversible expensive damage. This alongside the safety of your workers and the environmental impact requires you to actively manage the Dust.
Here’s a reminder:
Dust can corrode vital components
Electrical systems can be affected by dust. Dust absorbs moisture (even just from high humidity), and if dust particles settle and are allowed to stay in contact with important electrical components such as circuit boards, the moisture in the dust particles will begin to corrode them. This can play havoc with the electrics of any machine, from false readings through to complete breakdowns. Regular maintenance involving blowing out and cleaning the electrics of dust is essential.
Dust can get into Lubricants
If dust particles get into your lubricants, the jagged sharp edges can scratch and damage the metal surfaces within the moving parts, the lubricants are trying to protect. As the dust particles scrape and damage the metal surfaces they can produce metal wear particles which can also cause further damage and continue to contaminate the lubricant and eventually destroy the engine.
Dust can create health risks for workers
Excessive dust inhalation can cause numerous health problems for your workers. Symptoms and conditions can include eye, skin and respiratory irritation, and more serious conditions and diseases can occur from prolonged exposure. Dust can also cause visibility issues on site, putting workers at risk of accidents. We all realise keeping staff safe, is a major priority.
Dust can cause Environmental damage
Dust escaping the immediate site can effect local communities, vegetation and wildlife. Environmental consequences include reduced visibility, health effects on communities, contamination of drinking water supplies, damage to crops as well as damage to buildings. The EPA issued fines for multiple incidents in 2018 to the value of $15000 each.
Solutions to reduce the Dust and its damaging effects
Hybrid machines with detachable power module
Companies like Keestrack have developed machines such as the B4e which has a removable power module. This can make sure the engine is located away from the plant protecting it from dust and vibration. This also allows maintenance to be conducted away from the plant ensuring the safety of the workers while the plant is running and minimising the chance of dust entering components of the engine whilst it is being worked on.
The detachable motor/generator module of the Keestrack H6e crusher guarantees a lower load on the drive through dust and vibrations. This solution is now also available as an option for the Keestrack B4e large jaw crusher (right)
The best options for controlling all areas of dust within the crushing train and surrounds is the use of dust cannons, or in areas with water shortages foaming agents, and in certain applications dust extractors. Prevention of the dust output is the best management of dust and its consequences.
Frontline in Canada best describes the capabilities of Keestrack’s dust suppression systems
‘Next to the standard available dust suppression with spraying areas in the crusher in- and outlet, the R3e is available with a unique optional separate automated dust suppression system. When the crusher is running a signal to the anti-dust control system is given, which activates the dust suppression cannon. The fine mist water droplet system with its tiny droplets of <50 microns in size, uses around 45 litres of water per minute. The high velocity air fan ensures a perfect throw to enclose the dust particles and causes them to fall down. The whole crushing unit and the (un)loading area can be surrounded with a fine mist using the oscillation of the cannon. Other systems, use 5 to 10 times more water compared to the Keestrack W4 dust suppression cannon. This high-tech system keeps the dust levels down to a minimum which is extremely important in water protection areas due to the amount of water used.’ https://frontline-machinery.com/keestrack-r3e-impact-crusher-red-dot-award/
Frequent cleaning, inspections, regular maintenance and monitoring
If measures such as dust cannons are put in place, then the consequences of Dust can be minimised.
The following suggestions will help complete the management of dust in your operations and ensure there are minimal consequences to your business caused by dust:
- Ensure that the machines are washed down regularly, and stay on top of dust and product build up around belts, rollers and other areas of the machines by cleaning and removing it on a daily/weekly basis.
- Electrical fittings and components, need to have the settled dust regularly blown out and removed.
- When working on the engines, special care is to be taken when removing air cleaners, ensuring they are seated and sealed properly.
- Wash and dry the engine bay before servicing, to reduce any contamination into the oil.
- Conduct SOS’s to monitor trends and identify issues, before they result in major breakdowns.
- Make sure skirting rubber is maintained to ensure there is less dust escaping from, in, and around the plant.
- Consider raising the pre cleaner above the plant, with a snorkel like hose, to access the cleaner air.
- Turbo style pre-cleaners will get rid of more than 90% of airborne particles before it gets to your filters.
- Monitor the wind direction constantly, in order to direct the Dust cannons for maximum effectiveness, and ensure environmental impact is managed.
- Familiarise yourself with legislation and regulations.
Steve Covey lists being Proactive as one of his 7 Habits of highly effective people. If we are to run successful business being proactive is a necessity.
“Proactive management is a style of management that focuses on controlling or managing known risks. The purpose of proactive management is to increase the chances of success by decreasing the chances and impact of hazards. In other words, it's being prepared and proactive about handling risks that could adversely impact your project's objectives.”
Consider your options for dust management in your crush and screen operation, and do something sooner rather than later.