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Guide to Industrial Ventilation

Dust is one of the most common industrial hazards, but that makes it no less problematic. Without proper ventilation, particulate matter presents a serious health risk for employees, who may inhale contaminants that cause irritation or contribute to long-term lung problems. Even small concentrations of dust can affect breathability on a day-to-day basis. Excess dust may also pose a serious fire or explosion hazard and interfere with sensitive industrial equipment. To mitigate these risks, facilities turn to industrial ventilation systems for dust management.

At Indventech, we’re experts in solving industrial ventilation problems—no matter how complex. If you’re dealing with dust build-up, we can help. We offer air and equipment evaluations alongside a diverse catalog of industrial fans, blowers, and ducts designed to integrate seamlessly into any dust collection or ventilation system. Here, we outline the major dust collection and ventilation options, but we encourage you to reach out if you need more individual guidance.

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What is Industrial Ventilation?

Industrial ventilation refers to a range of strategies that ensure a clean air supply, both by removing contaminants and by enabling fresh airflow. There are many ways to accomplish these goals, and different ventilation products facilitate different approaches to dust removal. At the very simplest, ventilation can include opening extra windows to allow movement of trapped air. In general, however, industrial dust ventilation systems will incorporate two key mechanisms: one to remove contaminants from the workspace, and another to circulate fresh air back into the room. An exhaust system removes contaminated air from a localized or broader area, filtering the particles and releasing the cleaned air elsewhere. The air supply system, which is usually a standard HVAC mechanism, includes an air inlet as well as filtration, heating, and cooling equipment to regulate humidity, temperature, and quality of the air supply. The air supply and air exhaust systems work together to capture and safely dispose of dust, cycling comfortable and breathable air back in return.

The exact combination of equipment required to achieve proper dust collection and filtration depends upon the facility size and layout, as well as on the types of contaminants. Even if you recognize the importance of air quality, it can be difficult to determine the most effective and affordable dust management solution for your situation.

How Do Industrial Dust Collection & Ventilation Systems Work?

As discussed, industrial ventilation systems consist of two major components: the fresh air supply system and the exhaust system. These systems are typically combined in one of two ways:

General ventilation or dilution ventilation

Many industrial ventilation systems are designed to reduce contaminant concentration by diluting the contaminated air with uncontaminated air sourced via the fresh air supply. Rather than capture all of the particulate matter in the air, these systems ensure that dust remains at a very low concentration in the air.

Local exhaust ventilation

Local exhaust systems, by contrast, capture contaminants where they are generated, moving them out of the worksite for safe dispersal outside of the facility.

Dilution ventilation relies upon large amounts of air intake and output, requiring large exhaust fans to ventilate the entire workplace. Exhaust ventilation, on the other hand, can use smaller, localized fans designed to capture and filter contaminants at the source. These fans are among the most important components of an industrial ventilation system, so it’s important to consult with an expert to ensure that you install the most appropriate fans for your facility.

Other components of a standard dust ventilation system include:

  • Hoods. These openings connect the ventilation system to the area that requires ventilation. They are designed to capture contaminants, especially in local exhaust ventilation.
  • Ducts. Ducting systems carry exhaust air out of the worksite, move clean air into the worksite, or both.
  • Cleaning devices and filters. Though not present in all ventilation systems, it’s common to incorporate filtration devices to remove contaminants from the air as it circulates. This can improve air quality further.
  • Air inlet. The air inlet provides a point of entry for the clean air.
  • Exhaust stack. An exhaust stack creates an exit point for expelling the contaminated air.
  • Heating and cooling equipment. These systems ensure that the temperature and humidity of the air remain appropriate for the facility and application.

Indventech can help source, repair, or install all of the above components, ensuring that your dust ventilation systems are efficient and compliant with health codes.

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Benefits of Industrial Ventilation

Implementing proper ventilation may seem like a significant investment, but it carries massive benefits for your facility.

Protect employee safety

Dust and particulate matter are not minor nuisances. Over time, exposure to dust can lead to serious health problems even when appropriate personal protective equipment is employed. Industrial ventilation systems are the only reliable way to ensure that employees are protected from airborne hazards. Efficient, well-maintained ventilation can also minimize noise pollution caused by aging or clogged equipment, which is another reason to keep your systems up-to-date.

Prolong equipment life

Even simple dust buildup can cause serious, sometimes irreparable equipment damage. Dust can harm sensors and circuit boards and may also build up enough to absorb lubrication and jam mechanical parts. Dust also collects on surfaces, which can contaminate machinery. In many instances, a high dust concentration in the air also creates a risk of explosion. While preventative equipment maintenance can address some of these concerns, the best way to ensure that dust doesn’t damage your expensive equipment is to remove as much dust from the air as possible.

Save time and money

Modern industrial ventilation systems do require an upfront investment, but they pay for themselves over time. Keeping an older system in place means accepting lesser air quality and dealing with the potential problems listed above. Modern systems run more efficiently and are less likely to break down than older models. If you’re dealing with substandard ventilation equipment, it may pay to schedule an equipment evaluation with Indventech’s expert team. We can identify the most affordable ways to upgrade or maintain your equipment, preventing downtime while safeguarding the work environment.

Industry Standards

In most industries, maintaining breathable air is not just a cost-saving convenience—it’s also the law. OSHA lays out a series of ventilation standards in 29CFR1910.94 that apply to local exhaust systems, and OSHA 29CFR1926 lists standards relevant to welding. These codes consider facility size, contaminant type, and similar parameters to dictate minimum standards that safeguard employee health.

The experienced ventilation team at Indventech can help analyze your current air quality and equipment setup to ensure that your facility complies with OSHA or other applicable industry standards. Keeping your ventilation up-to-code not only prevents costly fines and downtime, but it’s a critical part of keeping employees safe.

Call Indventech For Full-Service Ventilation and Dust Management

To guarantee a safe working environment, facility managers must install and maintain proper ventilation systems that align with OSHA regulations and their own facility’s constraints. Indventech can help at every stage of this process, safeguarding your employees and equipment and keeping you in line with government standards.

The ventilation experts at Indventech offer comprehensive services from air quality assessments to fan installation, repair, and maintenance. Our capabilities include:

  • Facility air evaluation
  • Equipment evaluation
  • System recommendations
  • Fan design solutions
  • Balancing (static and dynamic as needed)
  • Repair
  • Installation
  • Troubleshooting
  • Reverse engineering legacy systems

We also offer proactive, predictive, and preventative maintenance, ensuring that your facility provides consistent air quality, as well as emergency on-site repairs. Whether you’re looking for simple repairs or a complete dust system overhaul, Indventech offers the expert service and the quality products you need.

To learn more about our quality products, you can review our catalog. To get started on sourcing your personalized dust collection and ventilation solution, request your quote today.