Powder and Bulk Solids Show with Chris Cloney from Dust Safety Science – Dusty Jobs Podcast – S4 E3

Powder and Bulk Solids Show with Chris Cloney from Dust Safety Science – Dusty Jobs Podcast – S4 E3

Another episode of the Dusty Jobs Podcast from the Powder and Bulk Solids Show. For this show we meet up with Chris Cloney from Dust Safety Science again as he discusses the important aspects of the show. He talks about always trying to progress the mission of combustible dust safety and providing everyone with the necessary information to help mitigate a combustible dust event.





Narrator: Welcome to the Dusty Jobs Podcast from Imperial Systems. Industry knowledge to make your job easier and safer.

Donovan: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Dusty Jobs podcast. This is going to be our last install here at the Powder & Bulk Solids Show. Chris Cloney is joining us today from Dust Safety Science. How’s it going, Chris?

Chris: Good. How’s everyone doing?

Donovan: Good. We’re doing good. This is like, this is your show. This is like your playground of dust safety. This is where everybody comes to talk about, like where, what you guys are all about, isn’t it?

Chris: Yeah, I mean, the powder show has been a great event for us to come to for the awareness and education of combustible dust. Obviously, the industry is here, plastics and powders and food and wood and pharma and chemical are all creating dust. That’s why you care about it. But a lot of cases that’s combustible dust and that’s what we do all day every day.

Donovan: Yeah. So tell everybody maybe it’s not familiar with your organization, what you guys are all about.

Chris: So our small team runs Dust Safety Science, Dust Safety Academy, Dust Safety Professionals, and it’s all around awareness and education for combustible dust. We have a podcast and run for five years now. We’ve had you on the show before. We’ve been on Dusty Jobs.

Donovan: You guys have like 250 episodes something like that now, right?

Chris: Every week for almost five years.

Donovan: Oh my gosh, that’s a lot.

Chris: A lot of talking all about combustible dust. Can you believe there’s that much to say about it? So we do awareness education. Somebody needs help you send a request through we find an expert anywhere in the world to help them out. We have a number of companies like yourselves that support those efforts. We do a lot of educational material like the conference here right last couple days doing a lot of presentations and moderating of sessions trying to bring people together to understand the challenges.

Donovan: Yeah. Yeah, you know, were talking about this before –  regulations are changing all the time. Yeah, people are coming up with better and safer ways to help people go home safe at the end of the day and you guys are as far as I know you’re one of the people who do one of the best jobs tracking that –

Chris: I appreciate that

Donovan: Knowing what’s going on a great resource for anybody out there who is trying to figure out more about their situation or their dust you guys just are a treasure trove of knowledge.

Chris: I appreciate it. Yeah, from the newsletter every Sunday again going on five years. Every fire and explosion we can find in combustible dust we send it out. Yeah, Dust Safety Academy. It’s got 1700 people in it. There’s open forum there. People’s ask questions get answers, weekly digest so. If if somebody else is creating more material combustible dust trying to trying to further the mission then then I don’t know I don’t know who that be.

Donovan: So yeah, I sat in on your guys online seminar just a couple months back. That was great so many professionals on there talking about just more knowledge. It was like drinking from a fire hydrant trying to learn everything. You being someone who has this huge experience huge knowledge base on what’s going on from this show what are some things that you know if you didn’t come to this show what did you miss out on, what’s some stuff that I mean that new or learned about.

Chris: There’s there’s a couple pieces. One – so we’ll go through three things. But one it’s just nice to be back interacting with people in the flesh. I know with the world events and traveling all that we’re just sort of ramping up in last year so having events but it’s good to have that in-person communication. The reason is just so much faster. So yesterday through our help desk we had three requests plus two DSP requests, Dust Safety Professionals. Training out of Quebec for combustible dust. Is hay dust explosible? TNT equivalents of sugar which actually I know about from a past life in defense research and stuff, if you can believe that. Testing large test sites out of Europe. Where they are located and you know in five or six questions like that.

And within about 20 minutes of walking around the show it says, “I know this person has an answer, go talk to him.” “I know this person has an answer, go talk to him.” We were able to get all that support, help desk requests, Dust Safety Professional requests moved along. At a speed that was just, you know, via email, it takes forever. Now, you guys are responsive, but not everybody responds because of your email. So to have that in-person capability at these events come to one of these events. I appreciate Informa putting it on, and Powder Bulk Solids putting it on. That’s really where in a day people are getting answers to the hundred toughest questions they have, and I think that’s a really big piece.

Donovan: There has been a really great turnout. There’s been a lot of good people here. We’ve had a lot of people come through our booth and just getting to know them and learn from them too as they come in about what they’re doing and how we can help them or how they can help us.

Chris: Yeah, you got it.

Donovan: Yeah.

Chris: So that was number one. We ran a whole track on combustible dust yesterday. Started in standards and regs in the morning moving on to dust hazard analysis in the middle of the day and then hazard management so explosion protection, fire protection options in the afternoon. Really meant take people through that journey and the piece that was a big takeaway for me was that that’s still really important. You still have people that are every you know, every spot of the spectrum for combustible dust. People that don’t recognize the hazard through they started to recognize has they need that education

What really hit home is that a conversation with the large multinational Well, held safety management large multinational, pretty new to the field. She said she came in on Tuesday walked around it was just overwhelmed. You know every vendor of every system and every from from dust collection to explosion protection to fire design and since she almost couldn’t talk, it was too much information. She came to the education session yesterday. Walked right through with all the speakers there again regulations, identify, assess, address combustible dust hazards. Here’s your options and afterwards she came to thank me and said, “I feel more comfortable now going back and talking to everybody next day. I feel like I have that level of understanding.” I know the problem when they say a a flameless vent or a dust collection system or filter receiver whatever the piece of information.

So that that education was really important to keep, you know, front of mind instead of throwing whatever and the end thing is that you have at people, “Here, here,” you know. “You need a suppression system.” Try to understand why in some of the background.

Donovan: That’s true, I mean some people who are new to the industry, just terminology like what is what, what you need, what you know, maybe you do need this on your system, you don’t need that on your system, it can be overwhelming. And that’s something you guys can help with too, helping walk people through that with just a real basic understanding.

Chris: All day, every day. People just ask us questions from, I said Dust Safety Academy, the emails we send out, the podcasts. People will just email and say, “What is NFPA 660?” We’ll talk about this in a second. Just the really basic stuff.  If you’re thinking and ask it to us, because we’ll get you over that hump instead of not understanding for three months. Myself or somebody from our team has brought back, it’s like, “This is definition combustible dust.” “Ask NFPA,” or whatever it’s gonna be. It could be the most basic question in the world. If you’ve got it, somebody else has probably had it, and we’ve probably answered it before.

Donovan: Right, and don’t get hung up on that basic question. Don’t get hung up on that. We wanna help–

Chris: You can’t get safety if you don’t move forward, right? So don’t get hung up there and get to the, yeah.

Donovan: ’Cause that’s your goal, that’s our goal, is just to help people have that safer work environment so they can get home safe every day.

Chris: Yeah, you got it.

Donovan: Yeah, so, and okay, so what were you gonna say about NFPA?

Chris: So this morning we did a panel on NFPA 660, which is the standard for combustible dust. It is a combination of all the older NFPA standards, the current NFPA standards, I should say. So today the framework is 652 is the fundamentals of combustible dust. 61, 44, 655, 654. And I missed one, but there’s five of them are industry and commodity specific standards covering grain, wood, sulfur, metal, and other particular matter. That’s sort of your standard set for how NFPA sits today. They’re all different documents. They’re all very technical in nature.

Donovan: And they’re all unique.

Chris: And they’re all, they’re all unique. They’re all different layouts. Chapters are in the same order. So low point 660 then, and it’s been a tremendous effort by the NFPA committees for all those groups as listed, is to combine that into one document in a hierarchy that’s set up so it’s much easier to understand hazards of combustible dust, you understand that, again, identify, assess, address, framework that’s in there. But if you have questions, you know, and that’s what the panelists heard this morning, is open discussion, we have four of the six committee chairs there, just open forum discussions on what NFPA means, NFPA 660 means for the industry moving forward.

Donovan: Yeah.

Chris: And so the biggest things, I mean, the three top concerns that we talked about, people are worried that’s gonna cause onerous, you know, more requirements.

Donovan: Right.

Chris: The fundamental guiding principle of putting these together, and I’m not on the committees and I’m not NFPA. So from my understanding, but the principle is to actually have no net impact on industry, it’s more of an organizational exercise. So there may be a couple tweaks here and there that are, that are, I’ll say more minor, but it’s unlikely that your industry, whatever you’re in, graphite or coal or wood production or wood or, it’s very unlikely that’s gonna beca whole read write of your combustible dust safety management system. Because 660. It’s really meant to be a platform to help us as a community develop standards moving forward. So you don’t need to be worried that’s gonna re-change everything that you’ve done.

Donovan: I gotcha. So 660 is more of an overall arching to understand the combustible dust standards.

Chris: Yeah.

Donovan: But then you’ll still have to go down into your specific standard to really get into the weeds of it if you need to, right?

Chris: Yeah, it’s just easier now, because it’s all in one document, because it’s the way it’s set up. So to give you an example, it’s recursive. So chapters one and nine are fundamentals, that’s what was in your 652 document. And then chapters 11 and 15 are those other standards I said was added above and beyond the fundamentals for the material you’re studying. The really cool part is the layout is, I can’t think of a less nerdy word than recursive, so I’ll say recursive. But, so say section 4.2 is the owner and operator requirements for combustible bus. I don’t know if that’s the number of it, but say that was it. The additional owner and operator requirements for grain handling would be 11.4.2. The additional owner and operator requirements for metal would be 12.4.2. The additional requirements for other particular matter would be 15.4.2.

Donovan: So, not the other ones were any different. This is a little more logical layout too. So that if you go to this and then you can go to your section underneath it.

Chris: Exactly. And so like I just explained, you could read those, you understand all the combustible dust owner and operator requirements in about 10 minutes. You couldn’t do that in the current standard. You’d have to read every document and because they’re in different order and have different way the–

Donovan: Different flow patterns.

Chris: Conflicts are dealt with. You’d have to read each one, understand each one, understand where the conflicts are, and then kind of come up with a hypothesis on what you think it means for all combustible and then so you have to be really smart which the NFPA committees there but you’re coming in from the outside there’s no way to do it today.

Donovan: Yeah, if I’m the guy in my facility who’s tasked with figuring this out that’ll be a lot.

Chris: Or the or the guys trying to sell, you know equipment to support that operation. It’s confusing for everyone involved. So 660 again, like it literally would take 10 minutes to read those sections. Yeah, this makes sense. This is how it is across all combustible dust and that’s not possible in the current standards.That’s that’s really the the overarching goal for 660.

Donovan: Is it out or is it coming out?

Chris: It’s coming out. First draft came out in October last year, October 2022. There’s public input. Public comments were accepted on that draft till January of this year and now the committees are all voting on those public inputs that came in. So the way the process is they vote on the public inputs and change the documents are made. October this year the new draft will come out. You have another round of public comment they call it instead of public input. Basically the same you put input into the changes that were made. They’ll come on another draft then there’s another chance to appeal at NFPA’s conference in person in 2025 and then the the standard will go out from there. So we’re sort of in the middle, I guess. There’s a draft out there. You can access it today

Right now it’s www.nfpa.org/660, click on next edition. Click on first draft and click on view report or something, it says. You’ve got to create log in credentials. It’s just the way it is. It helped me out. But you do that and you can view the whole thing with all the public input. If somebody’s made a comment they had to leave their name the reason why they think it’s important to to consider, and you could actually understand where 660 is today just by going to those – I know it’s saying it verbally on here is nothing. If we had a we had an image of the 660 thing then we might be able to show how to do it. It’s quite easy. Much easier than people think, right? They might sit here for the next six months and say I don’t know what’s in 660. I’m scared about my section. You just go read it right now.

Donovan: Right and that’s what’s great is that it’s not – there’s not just some people out there who are making up whatever they want. They’re listening. I mean I didn’t know all this but it sounds like there’s a lot of steps to make sure that whatever comes out at the end is gonna be the best for everybody that’s involved.

Chris: Yeah. And it’s, the committees are anywhere from 20 to 30 to 40 people. And I’m estimating last three years, like the average might have been 40, 50 hours. Some I know spent up to 150 hours. So you’re talking high thousands, maybe tens of thousands of hours.

Donovan: Yeah. People are taking their time.

Chris: And they’re not just the gurus, the experts. They have to have a mandatory split of consultants, insurance, end users, large end users, the big companies in the world, smaller end users, couple researchers in there and that sort of thing. So try to get every viewpoint in. And they hash it out. It’s, I don’t know, it could be a bloodbath in some of those trying to get, but that’s the point, right? To bring different perspectives in and then try to get a better doc at the end of the day.

Donovan: Right, which a better document is gonna make it clear for everybody who has to use these, clear for everyone who’s trying to implement them. And then in the end of the day, what it’s gonna do is it’s gonna make a safer environment for people who are working.

Chris: Yeah, and easier to understand too. You can go figure out what your requirements are as per NFPA where, I mean, you can do that today, but it just takes more effort to figure out.

Donovan: It gets tricky.

Chris: Yeah, so that was the big takeaway from that panel. There are a lot of specific discussions. I’d say if you have a question about how it impacts you or your industry, reach out to Donovan. You can also reach out to myself.

Donovan: Yeah.

Chris: And, well, I already explained, that’s what we do. People ask these questions all day every day, so we’re happy to help.

Donovan: Yeah, reach out to me, I’ll ask Chris.

Chris: Yeah. You got it.

Donovan: But, so is there anything else that, you know what I mean, that’s coming up, anything new with you guys coming up that you wanna tell people about?

Chris: I mean, there’s always new stuff going on. 660 is a big deal. If you’re a Canadian company, if you’re working out of British Columbia, they just came out with their proposed regulations on combustible dust. Um, so that’s a big deal if you’re working on British Columbia or you have clients working on British Columbia.

Donovan: Yeah.

Chris: I think it’s only open for public comment for six weeks or something like that. So then this comes out, it may, it may have missed the public comment stage, but it’s good to be aware of what the changes are to the regulations there. Um, lots of stuff overseas in terms of new and novel, and that would have been stuff covered at conference, land spending and suppression and isolation. and that sort of stuff, but that’s like leading edge, things that will impact the standards five years from now. You know, the latest in science of how to protect and prevent dust explosions.

Donovan: Yeah, learning more every day.

Chris: Yeah, for us, we’re just trying to double down with our team of, again, increasing awareness, doing education component, and then helping people when they have a question. And then stick their hand and say, “Hey, I’m lost. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to choose a widget that does X, Y, and Z. I need somebody to come and support me.” Our team get better and better at saying, quickly getting them to a place where they can get the help they need.

Donovan: Yeah, yeah, and that’s what’s great about what you guys do. You’re building the network so people can get answers, get ’em in a decent amount of time. And yeah, ’cause it’s, nobody wants to get bogged down with trying to figure out stuff on Google if there’s people who can just know it. So, and especially, like we were talking about, walking around here, you have the chance to come to a conference like this, it’s a great opportunity to walk around and talk face to face with people who are doing it full time.

Chris: You got it. And if you’re listening to this and you like podcasts, Dust Safety Science Podcast is our show.

Donovan: Oh yeah.

Chris: We’re 250 some odd episodes. Again, only about combustible dust. That’s if you can believe that, but it’s true. We covered a lot of ground from, from Zimbabwe to Jordan to North Carolina to, to here in Illinois, we talked about it all. So yeah, it’s a good spot.

Donovan: Yeah. Yeah. Well, well, Chris, thanks for coming on. We always enjoy having you on. You’re such a wealth of knowledge. It’s like drinking from a fire hose from you sometimes. I’m trying to keep it all in. But we love having you on. And we’re just looking forward to next time we get to talk to you. I’m sure it’ll be about exciting stuff. But I hope you have a great ride home. We’re signing off here from Powder Bulk. And I just want to say thanks for listening, guys. Everyone who’s out there, like, share. Share this with other people who might be trying to figure out what NFPA 660 is or what’s coming up. And until the next time we talk, stay healthy and stay safe.

Chris: A hundred percent. Thanks Donovan.

Donovan: Yep.

Narrator: Thanks for listening to the Dusty Jobs Podcast. Breathe better, work safer. 

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Clean Air & Smooth Operations: Best Practices for Changing Dust Collector Filter Cartridges

Clean Air & Smooth Operations: Best Practices for Changing Dust Collector Filter Cartridges

Dust collector filter cartridges are a critical component of industrial dust collection systems. They help capture and remove harmful dust and fume from the air. Over time, the filters in these air filtration units become clogged with dust and debris. This reduces their efficiency and potentially compromises the air quality in your facility. It is important to know when to change your dust collector cartridge filters to ensure that your dust collection system is operating effectively and efficiently.

1. Monitor Differential Pressure

One of the most common ways to determine when it’s time to change your dust collector filter cartridges is to monitor the differential pressure across the filters. As dust and debris accumulate on the surface of the filters, it becomes harder for air to pass through them. This increases the differential pressure. When the differential pressure reaches the measurement specified by the machine manufacturer, it is time to change the filters. 5 – 6” w.g. is a common pressure threshold that the industry observes.

Testing dust collector filter cartridges for leaks with UV light

These filters are being tested with a UV light for leaks and holes.

2. Inspect the Filters for Visible Damage

In addition to monitoring the differential pressure, it is also important to visually inspect the filters for signs of damage or wear. If the filter media appears to be torn, ripped, or otherwise damaged, it is time to replace the filters. Similarly, if the seals appear to be worn or show signs of damage, replace the filters at that time. One indication that a hole or leak may be present would be a sudden drop in differential pressure or particulate blowing out of the dust collector.

3. Consider the Type of Dust and Application

The type of collected dust and the specific application can also impact how often to change the filters. Dusts that are particularly abrasive or corrosive, for example, may require more frequent filter changes than less abrasive dusts. Similarly, applications with high dust volumes may require more frequent filter changes than applications with lower dust volumes. Facilities that run multiple shifts may require more frequent filter changes than those that just run one shift.

Why Replace Your Dust Collector Filter Cartridges

Depending on what type of filters you need, how many filters you require, and how many dust collectors you have, doing a complete change-out can be costly. While it may be tempting to clean your dust collector filter cartridges to extend their service life and save on replacement costs, there are several reasons why replacing the filters is often a better option:

1. Reduced Filter Efficiency

Cleaning dust collector filter cartridges can be a messy and time-consuming process. It can also reduce the efficiency of the filters. When cleaning filters, some of the dust and debris can embed in the filter media, reducing the overall filtration efficiency. Over time, this can lead to increased emissions and decreased air quality in your facility.

2. Potential Health Risks

Cleaning dust collector filter cartridges can also pose potential health risks for workers. As dust and debris dislodge from the filters, they can become airborne and workers can potentially inhale them. This can lead to respiratory issues and other health problems.

3. Increased Maintenance and Downtime

Cleaning dust collector filter cartridges can also increase maintenance and downtime for your dust collection system. The cleaning process can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, and it may require specialized equipment or cleaning agents. In addition, cleaning the filters may not always be effective in removing all of the dust and debris, which can lead to more frequent filter changes and increased downtime for your dust collection system.

4. Damaged Filters

Cleaning your dust collector filter cartridges may cause potential damage to the media or structure of the filter. Many filter cartridges are designed receive an even distribution of compressed air during cleaning inside the filter housing. A concentrated blast of compressed air to a specific area, such as during a manual clean, may create tears or introduce small holes in the media, rendering the filters useless.


Overall, it is important to monitor the differential pressure and condition of your dust collector filter cartridges regularly and to replace them when necessary to ensure that your dust collection system is operating effectively and efficiently. While cleaning filters may seem like a cost-effective solution, replacing them can help to ensure that your facility is maintaining the highest level of air quality and worker safety. If you’re uncertain whether or not you need to replace your dust collector filters, contact the filter team at Imperial Systems for more information.

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Why Are Replacement Cartridge Filters for Dust Collectors So Expensive?

Why Are Replacement Cartridge Filters for Dust Collectors So Expensive?

The price tag on dust collector cartridge filters often brings a shock to those trying to decide what type of dust collector or brand of filter to buy. Let’s look at three scenarios that may arise when shopping for replacement filters. Then we’ll discuss the additional value you get from a cartridge filter.


Question 1: I have been buying horizontal style dust collectors for years. The filters in those machines are much cheaper. Why are vertical style dust collector filters typically more expensive?

When you break it down, the answer to this question is actually pretty simple. Buy a horizontal style filter, such as those in a Donaldson Torit, ACT, or many other similarly designed brands, and you get less filter media per cartridge. Then compare a filter such as the DeltaMAXX Prime with 400 square feet of media with one of the brands mentioned above that have 190 – 250 square feet of media. You will quickly see that you are not getting the same type of filter. The best way to compare is to divide the cost of the filter by the media square footage to determine the cost per square foot.

There are other issues that you may not initially consider when comparing the two types of dust collectors. Dust collectors with horizontal filters have one major inherent flaw. Following installation, they quickly lose about 25 – 35% of the available cartridge filtering area. When the filters start to separate dust from the air stream, the dust begins to lay on top of the filters. This dust quickly becomes so thick that air can no longer pass through. Consider this the next time you calculate the available filtering media when comparing styles of dust collectors. In reality, the amount of available media is roughly 150 – 200 square feet, which increases both the cost per square foot and the frequency of filter changes.


Question 2: I have a local supplier that charges les for the same filter. Why would I buy from the manufacturer of the dust collector?

Not all filters are created equal. When you consider purchasing filters from a supplier that is offering a lower cost, you need to verify these items:

  1. Does the filter have the same dimensions as your current filters, and will it fit in your dust collector? Get a drawing to ensure that it matches.
  2. Make sure you are getting the same media as well as the same square footage. Many manufacturers of aftermarket or non-name brand filters cut corners. They sometimes use inferior media that won’t last or won’t capture dust as efficiently. Sometimes these manufacturers will use less media to save on cost. If you buy replacement filters from Imperial Systems’ sister company Imperial Filtration you can be certain that their fabrication meets the original manufacturer’s specifications.
  3. The specific type of filter and media may be directly related to a safety feature intentionally purchased in your dust collector. A good example of this would be Imperial Systems’ IDA certification in the CMAXX dust collector. These filters have been independently tested and certified as a safety device in some combustible dust applications.


I have a baghouse, and the filters are much cheaper. Why would I switch to a cartridge style dust collector and spend more on filters?

Let’s review the first item we discussed above. How much media are you getting per filter? Most bags are around 20 – 30 square feet. It takes a lot of filter bags to equal one filter cartridge in terms of the amount of media. To add to that, filter bags are generally not as efficient, and can leave your system expelling toxic, harmful particulate back into your facility or the environment. Lastly, have you ever changed filter bags? Almost no one wants to do that job. It takes a significant amount of time compared to the minutes of changing a cartridge collector. It is one of the dirtiest jobs there is – just ask Mike Rowe!

So, why are cartridge filters for dust collectors more expensive? We might argue that they are not priced high enough for the benefits they present.

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Powder and Bulk Solids Show with Jim Peters from Boss Products – Dusty Jobs Podcast – S4 E2

Powder and Bulk Solids Show with Jim Peters from Boss Products – Dusty Jobs Podcast – S4 E2

We are back in our booth at the International Powder and Bulk Solids Show in Chicago. For this episode we meet with Jim Peters from Boss Products. Jim tells us about what Boss products does, and goes into detail about one of their more popular products. He talks about the NRV (Non Return Valve) and the Vigiflap and how they are used in an explosive dust system. He explains the different orientations and situations to install these devices in a dust collection system to ensure safety in the event of a combustible dust event.





Narrator: Welcome to the Dusty Jobs Podcast from Imperial Systems. Industry knowledge to make your job easier and safer.

Donovan: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Dusty Jobs podcast. We’re here again still live at the Powder Bulk Solid Show in Chicago. Joining us now is Jim Peters from Boss Products. How are you doing today?

Jim: I’m doing good.

Donovan: That’s great. So you guys also have a booth here, right?

Jim: We do. 2714 for anybody who is still here and wants to go.

Donovan: Gotcha.

Jim: We’re there.

Donovan: Swing by.

Jim: Please.

Donovan: See you guys. Jim will get you some candy or something, right?

Jim: We got no candy.

Donovan: You’ve got no candy? That’s all right.

Jim: Oh no, wait. Wait a minute. But if you come by, we’ll find candy. We’ll find you some candy.

Donovan: Sounds good, sounds good. So, you have been with Boss Products for how long now?

Jim: Officially since 2017.

Donovan: Right, but you’ve been in this industry for a long time.

Jim: I’ve been in this industry for over 40 years.

Donovan: Oh, wow.

Jim: Yeah, yeah. I go back before computers with this. I had an Apple IIe sitting on my desk to design negative air lift systems in flour mills.

Donovan: Oh wow.

Jim: Yeah it was so slow that you had to lock the data keys or lock the calculation keys, key in all the lift parameters then you could go to lunch and literally 30 minutes later come back and it would just be wrapping up a mill calculation.

Donovan: There you go.

Jim: So yeah that’s how long I’ve been doing this.

Donovan: Yeah so you have a little bit of knowledge.

Jim: Some.

Donovan: Yeah.

Jim: The more you know the less you know for sure.

Donovan: So, so that’s a little bit about you. Now, Boss, Boss has been around for a while.

Jim: Boss has been around since 2012.

Donovan: Yeah.

Jim: Officially as Boss Products.

Donovan: So, anybody who doesn’t know what Boss Products is or who Boss Products is, what, tell us a little bit about you guys. What you got, what your company does.

Jim: Sure. Boss Products specializes in ATEX certified fire and explosion safety mitigation equipment. Basically, we’re North American distributors for several European companies that are all ATEX certified manufacturing. Their products are ATEX certified manufactured and then we buy in great quantities and represent them here and do the distribution from our plant from our warehouse in San Antonio, Texas.

Donovan: Yeah but you guys are more than just you know buying and reselling products you guys have a knowledge base everybody in your group seems like they’ve been in the industry for a while like yourself and and you know what they’re talking about.

Jim: Yeah our owners, our owners go back decades. I mean we have, I think, Peter Schlantz, the owner, the father, Peter and Nick are the two owners and they go back to manufacturing base in dust collection.

Donovan: Right.

Jim: Nick grew up putting ductwork in as a teenager and so everybody here has got a background. There’s no, no one is learning as we go.

Donovan: There you go. There you go. Except me. I’m learning as we go along this podcast.

Jim: Okay. I don’t know how to do podcasts. So you know more than I do about that.

Donovan: You’re doing great. So let’s talk about what a couple of your guys’ main products are.

Jim: Sure.

Donovan: So you guys really focus in on explosion protection.

Jim: Correct.

Donovan: So that’s providing safety equipment for people who are working around explosive dust, working around a dust collector, that is containing the explosive dust.

Jim: Yeah, I know. Explosion isolation and passive isolation valves is one of the primary items that we sell.

Donovan: I gotcha.

Jim: And that goes back to that 2012 starting date. The first item in Boss Products was the the NRV, the no return valve that they purchased from a company in Italy.

Donovan: Right. And it’s pretty basic. I mean, it’s very doesn’t allow things to return to the facility. It’s a no return valve.

Jim: It’s yeah, it’s basically an no return valve. NFPA would categorize it as a passive flat valve.

Donovan: Okay.

Jim: And basically it’s closed by the pressure front coming from an explosion in a vessel.

Donovan: Gotcha. Gotcha. So how’s it open? How’s it held open?

Jim: It’s held open. Yeah, the flap valves like this are held open traditionally anyway have been held open on the air stream. The airflow keeps the valve just passes under the valve, the flap of the valve and holds it open. The pressure front works way more pressure than there is holding the valve open comes and slams it shut.

Donovan: So there’s a certain amount of air that will be flowing through the duct.

Jim: Correct.

Donovan: It holds the flap open.

Jim: Correct.

Donovan: But then when something happens in the dust collector

Jim: Then you have the you have a flame or a pressure front that moves at about the speed of sound. And that is followed very closely by a fireball. or a series of fireballs that consume the fuel in the ductwork. If it goes unchecked it’ll just continue to consume fuel as it goes and multiply in intensity.

Donovan: Right, the whole way back to where workers are.

Jim: All the way back to where the workers are and then that will in turn if left unchecked it’ll dislodge dust that’s on machinery, on beams up above. It becomes all the housekeeping issues that you may have will all of a sudden become your best nightmare because all that dust becomes fuel for a really big secondary explosion.

Donovan: Right, right. I mean we’ve seen some of that happen.

Jim: Yeah that’s usually the one that gets the plant that takes it.

Donovan: Yeah, but so your valve what it is is so it’s in line in that dust collector And when that pressure wave comes back that pressure wave before the flame gets there.

Jim: Correct. It slams it shut it locks it and then then you’ll see and we have some rapid camera videos basically slow-motion videos. You can see that flame front get almost to the valve or get part of the way to the valve and then just recede back into the vessel and hopefully if your dust collector is properly vented or then that pressure and that flame front is released even through the vent or through a flameless vent or whatever the…

Donovan: To a safe direction.

Jim: To a safe direction.

Donovan: Hopefully where nobody is present.

Jim: Without taking, without damaging the dust collector.

Donovan: Right.

Jim: Yeah.

Donovan: Right.

Jim: So that’s that’s yeah, that’s the basics of where we started was with that NRV.

Donovan: Yeah, so that was the the very first version of that right?

Jim: Correct.

Donovan: Now you guys have a second version of that now correct?

Jim: There’s a second version of the NRV from the same from that same manufacturer and there’s also a similar a similar piece of equipment from another manufacturer in France that is we feel like both have a place they both have their own applications and their own strong points and advantages disadvantages but the Vigiflap…

Donovan: Now that’s the name of the new one right?

Jim: That’s the name of the new one okay so we have the NRV which is the older style and we have the Vigiflap.

Donovan: Okay, I’m with you.

Jim: The Vigiflap is also a passive flap valve. Falls under the same regulations as the NRV. The difference has been the testing that they ran and the design has allowed them to place the valve in a couple of different orientations in the NRV or pretty much any other passive flap valve on the market.

Donovan: Okay, so what are these new positions you can put it in? What are we talking about?

Jim: For one, you can do it in a vertical pipe.

Donovan: Oh, okay.

Jim: Which is a big advantage in real world placement of these isolation valves. You can’t always get it into a horizontal oriented duct and stay within the parameter.

Donovan: Just doesn’t allow it to be there, whatever the duct layout is.

Jim: Yeah, that’s right.

Donovan: What allows you to put it in that vertical position?

Jim: They’ve built a locking mechanism into the valve. So when it’s in a vertical position then the valve was tested and certified with the flap in a locked open position.

Donovan: But if it’s locked how does it close?

Jim: Yeah it’s calibrated. The locking is done by a spring steel mechanism. Okay. Kind of a cam of arrangement and a spring steel and it’s calibrated so that the pressure front that closes the valve is easily overcomes that that lock position.

Donovan: So it’s got enough to hold the flap up but not enough to hold it up under pressure.

Donovan: That’s right. That’s right. The other thing that it can do and again it’s in the lock position but the other thing it can do is it can protect the clean side or the the discharge side of the of the dust collector.

Jim: Which the NRV cannot do that. Yeah, as far as I know no other, I don’t think there’s any other flap valve that does it. You basically reverse the reverse the flap valve so that the air is instead of holding the flap open like we were talking about earlier, the locking mechanism is holding the flap open. The air basically impinges on the the lead edge of the blade itself but with the open, with it locked open, it’s still kept open against that, against that movement of air. Right. But again, the pressure wave locks the valve shut.

Donovan: So the air is not strong enough to cause it to close. It’s still able to held open until the pressure wave causes it to close.

Jim: That’s right. Yeah, correct. Yeah. It takes a little more, as far as the parameters for the placing the valves with these, with these options takes a little more of a minimum distance.

Donovan: So you have a shorter distance with the with the NRV?

Jim: With the NRV, Yeah, it does have a shorter distance with the NRV but one advantage either one can be placed indoors you know you’re not you’re not it’s not mandatory that the valves be outdoors because they are an explosion they’re built to hold the explosion in intact but on the the Vigaflap, one advantage you do have in addition to being able to put it in the vertical is you can it’s got a very long maximum distance. So say you you have to go around an elbow to the vertical and then an elbow in and and you’ve already gone you’ve already gone further than the L minimum and there’s no place else to put it you can go 50, I believe it’s 57 feet.

Donovan: So if your spacing doesn’t allow for that valve to fit in, you can go further away.

Jim: You can go further away. Yeah, that’s correct. And the same is true on either side, but that gives you protection for both inlet and outlet if you’re returning the air, keeps the explosion from propagating back through either way.

Donovan: Right, whether you’re returning the air to the building or the air coming into the collector.

Jim: Correct,

Donovan: So why would what would cause me to choose one over the other when I’m looking at sure an NRV or a Vigiflap? How do I determine which one I need?

Jim: Price-wise they’re very similar. So it’s not really that. The NRV has one advantage, one big advantage in that It’s recently been redesigned, reconfigured a bit. So they’ve made it, the locking mechanism is a double locking and it’s a little more robust, I think than it was originally. They’ve gone through and done recertification, retesting.

Donovan: Okay.

Jim: The new certificates are allowing for a minimum distance from the flange of the inlet of the dust collector at three meters.

Donovan: Oh, so you can put those real close.

Jim: You can put them within 10, you know, like 10 feet.

Donovan: Yeah.

Jim: They still have a little more restriction. They’re only in the horizontal. You can use an elbow in between, which is an improvement now. So that may be one reason you do use the NRV. Another would be, they have done the certification for the ATEX certification for the NRV, all the way up from four inch, all the way up to 48 inch.

Donovan: Oh, okay. So it has a really large range of certification.

Jim: A really large range of certification.

Donovan: Now when you say that certification what does that I mean is that a KST value it goes up to or is it what what are we looking at when you get that certified?

Jim: When you get that certified they do testing where they they run it they run explosions in a vessel with with the the valve in a system. They confirm that they test it to a certain KST value and they confirmed that the valve actually does its job. It actually does the isolation within a certain distance parameters and up to a certain KST. So basically this is one of the nice things about our jobs. We get to see things get blown up. But yeah, when you get the certificate for every size there is a range of distances, there’s a range of KSTs, a range of P-maxes that they’re certified and tested for.

Donovan: So it’s unique to each size, you just look at the manual or whatever documents you guys have to tell you which ones.

Jim: Which is why you see like a spreadsheet of parameters and they’re different for every, basically different for every size. The new the new NRV combos, they could they’re called the new combos I think are all I believe they’re all three meters. I think that the 22 may be the exception I think it’s three and a half meters.

Donovan: So that’s an advantage over the Vigiflap?

Jim: It is, yeah. The disadvantage, one of the places I would definitely use the the Vigiflap over the NRV. Okay. If you look at the design of the the Vigiflap versus the the NRV. The NRV. is basically a box. Right. It’s a box with inlet and outlet transitions and kind of kind of like driving a cement block down the highway. It is not aerodynamic, it’s not it’s not sanitary, it’s good for things like wood and you know things that don’t have a great have a build-up or requirement for sanitary design. It’s not it’s not good. The Vigiflap lap has a rounded contour. The bottom is rounded. The flap is domed so that it has a bit of a…

Donovan: So it has a little better flow properties to it.

Jim: A little better flow properties. The welds on it are robotic. Just a better, as far as sanitation, it’s a better valve in that case. And the disadvantage is that it is only certified, ATEX tested and certified from 6 to 32 inch. So that would be one disadvantage in that case.

Donovan: So you have a little bit more limited size?

Jim: A little bit more limited size.

Donovan: In the certification?

Jim: That’s correct.

Donovan: I mean, you can get them larger than that, though, correct?

Jim: Yeah.

Donovan: But they’re just not certified?

Jim: Yeah. They’re just not certified. And they do come, we do have manufacturers, a letter of, oh, what would you call it?

Donovan: Is it just saying that?

Jim: Just saying that it’s manufactured to the same standard.

Donovan: Right.

Jim: And it’s just a matter of testing you get in the queue and testing costs money and time.

Donovan: Right.

Jim: And they haven’t gotten to the point of doing that for the larger sizes.

Donovan: Oh, that’s understandable.

Jim: Yeah.

Donovan: Yeah. That’s still a big range that you have to pick from.

Jim: It is. They’re both available to 52 inch as a standard. The Vigaflap I know can be done bigger, can be done in 56 as a non-standard size. You can put wheels on them practically and drive them. They’re so big. That’s a large piece of equipment.

Donovan: That is.

Jim: No, there’s other advantages to each one. Those are the main ones really.

Donovan: So if somebody out here is listening, and what would be a reason that they should be thinking about getting one of these devices on their system currently? Like if they have, what kind of dust would you say you definitely should have one of these on?

Jim: Basically anything with a KST value greater than zero potentially, and that’s not to say that if you have a dust hazard analysis, a DHA run that you’re necessarily going to be required to have one. Right. Just because you have a combustible dust doesn’t mean that the DHA is going to come back and say you know that this is necessary but pretty much if you have a combustible dust anything would grain, any non-metallic, if it burns it could potentially explode. So if you have that then a passive system like we’re talking about, right, is probably the least expensive and the least expensive to maintain type of system.

Donovan: And you’re bringing up a good point to point out that this is an explosion protection. This is not a fire protection.

Jim: Yeah that’s correct. It’s not fire protection. It keeps that fireball from coming back in and setting off the secondary explosion.

Donovan: Right, but if you have a fire, this is not designed for that. It’s designed for an explosion.

Jim: That’s right. This does not mitigate your fire at all. And those things, we handle those things as well. Spark detect and extinguish. We do have some systems of fire suppression CO2 systems or dry chemical systems where you isolate the filter of vessel and detect a rapid temperature rise say or a rapid pressure rise and then you suppress a fire in the vessel itself.

Donovan: Now I have another question about the Vigiflap in the NRV though. So between the Vigiflap in the NRV. Is there a certain gauge of ductwork I should have on that?

Jim: Yeah, NFPA requires you to have a strong enough between the filter, between the protected vessel and the valve requires enough strength in the ductwork to withstand an explosion.

Donovan: Gotcha.

Jim: It’s always kind of a gray area as far as calling out an actual ductwork gauge.

Donovan: Gotcha.

Jim: One thing I’ve been told was if it’s the same gauge as the dust collector wall, you’re more than good.

Donovan: It’s probably a good starting point.

Jim: A good starting point, yeah. It wouldn’t need to be anything greater than a heavy gauge. It can definitely not be clamped together.

Donovan: Right.

Jim: It needs to be flanged.

Donovan: Bolted on there.

Jim: Yeah, bolted and full welded and flanged.

Donovan: Yep.

Jim: No spiral, no clamp together.

Donovan: Yeah, spiral duck would not do well under an explosion.

Jim: Would not do well. Probably 12 gauge, 14 gauge, probably good in most sizes.

Donovan: Yeah. So probably just the stronger the better.

Jim: The stronger the better, yeah. And that’s part of, when you talk about moving a valve out to a maximum distance, it is an extra cost.

Donovan: Right, because you gotta get that stronger duck work.

Jim: Yeah, exactly.

Donovan: So where that shorter distance might actually be a cost savings.

Jim: It might be a cost savings, exactly, yeah. But then, you know, safety, safety what’s the price. So you want the valve to be within the parameters, within the certified distances.

Donovan: Right.

Jim: And you want the safe duct work. So you have to kind of gauge that in your own budget.

Donovan: Yep, and there’s a lot of people to help with that. I mean, us here in Imperial, We’re pretty familiar with that. You guys are always willing to help people figure that out.

Jim: Yeah, we’re definitely willing to, we’ll do, try to help with layout and how can we get this valve into the L minimum, L maximum distances. Sometimes it takes another set of eyes to do that.

Donovan: Yeah. But in the end, Boss Products, Imperial Systems, we’re just trying to help people go home healthy and safe every day.

Jim: At the end of the day we want them to drive home.

Donovan: In the same condition they showed up to work or possibly better.

Jim: So well hey Jim thanks for coming on sure thanks for sharing more about this information. If anybody’s out there and they have had an explosion or think that they have a potential of one in their dust collector you know reach out to us reach out to you guys sure and let’s make sure everybody you know has a safer tomorrow because there’s technology out there that can help.

Donovan: That’s right.

Jim: You know, do better than we’re doing. But hey, well, thanks again for listening. Everybody who’s out there, you know, like and subscribe to us on all of the social medias. If you found us on YouTube, you can find us on Facebook, you can find us on everything that’s out there. And until the next time, stay healthy and stay safe.

Donovan: Donovan, thank you.

Jim: Yep.

Narrator: Thanks for listening to the Dusty Jobs Podcast. Breathe better, work safer. 

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Powder and Bulk Solids Show with Todd Havican from Fagus-GreCon – Dusty Jobs Podcast – S4 E1

Powder and Bulk Solids Show with Todd Havican from Fagus-GreCon – Dusty Jobs Podcast – S4 E1

Our first episode of the 4th season of the Dusty Jobs Podcast. We are in our booth at the International Powder and Bulk Solids Show in Chicago. Here we met up with Todd Havican from Fagus-GreCon where he talked about what Fagus-GreCon does. He explains what detect and extinguish equipment is, how it works and why it is important. This podcast is all about fire prevention.





Narrator: Welcome to the Dusty Jobs Podcast from Imperial Systems. Industry knowledge to make your job easier and safer.

Donovan: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Dusty Jobs podcast. Today we are live at the Powder, Bulk and Solid show. Joining us live at our booth for Imperial filtration is Todd Havican with Vegas and GreCon. Did I say it right? Fagus-GreCon. Fagus-GreCon. There we go. That’s it. Solid. Solid. So Todd You have been with GreCon for how long now?

Todd: I’ve been with GreCon for three years now, but I’ve been in industrial sales for about 25 years. 25 years. Wow. Yep. And you know really high quality product line and really enjoying the Powder & Bulk Solids show.

Donovan: Yeah, you guys have it’s having a good time?

Todd: Yeah. Yeah, we’ve got a booth over here at #3712  and You know working with partners like yourself, you know in the show.

Donovan: There’s probably a lot of people out there that when we talk about your name your product They have no idea what we’re talking about. So So explain it to me like I have absolutely no idea what you guys do

Todd: Absolutely. So what we do at Vegas Grey Con is that we manufacture infrared detectors that will detect sparks and embers that are a threat to our customers process. And then we’ll extinguish it with water right after that. And the customers process continues operating. There’s no interruption. The threat is resolved. And so the risk of fire and explosion is mitigated.

Donovan: I got it. So OK. So let’s start this from the beginning. I have a process that’s over here, right? And that process creates sparks?

Todd: Yes, it is. You can have a grinding operation, you could have a shredding operation, you could have a motor. Anything that’s turning could create a spark.

Donovan: Okay.

Todd: And then we detected that and extinguish.

Donovan: Gotcha, so then we have the spark generated in one spot. And then the fan from a dust collector is starting to draw it towards the dust collector.

Todd: Right.

Donovan: There are some other things you could put in between here and there, but not in every situation, right? You can’t like maybe you have a spark trap, but maybe your dust doesn’t allow for that, right? Right. I’m thinking a wood dust. You could never do that on a wood dust application.

Todd: No, no and really what’s required for dust collectors in many cases is a spark detection system.

Donovan: Right.

Todd: And again, because it extinguishes, you know, while the process is running and keeps the customer going, it keeps them safe while they’re operating.

Donovan: Right, so the spark is now traveling through the ductwork.

Todd: Yes.

Donovan: And so your detection system is in the ductwork?

Todd: It is mounted to the ductwork. – We have at least two detectors. – At one spot.

Donovan: Gotcha.

Todd: Because each detector has a cone of vision, we want to make sure we see the entire duct. – And then with the material flowing through and all that, so we want to detect the spark, extinguish 20 feet away.

Donovan: So the spark’s traveling, it gets picked up, and then you need some distance till you can put the extinguisher in.

Todd: Approximately 20 feet.

Donovan: 20 feet, okay.

Todd: That’s what we do. And then we extinguish in line.

Donovan: Gotcha.

Todd: With just enough water to extinguish, so we’re not coating.

Donovan: You’re not putting the full fire hydrant to it.

Todd: Nope, nope, not wide open. It’s typically a mist that we’ll put into the ductwork.

Donovan: Gotcha.

Todd: That way it impacts very minimally the customer’s process.

Donovan: Now how do you guys know how much water to add to that?

Todd: We typically follow NFPA standards.

Donovan: Oh, OK.

Todd: In terms of the amount of water required for this application.

Donovan: Gotcha. So there’s already somebody out there, really smart, did all the calculations, did some testing, figured this out.

Todd: Yep. and we follow those guidelines.

Donovan: Okay, so it gets picked up, it travels down the air duct, the water hits it, goes to the collector, and then–

Todd: And then nothing happens at that point.

Donovan: Nothing happens.

Todd: That’s the whole point is the spark is, or embers extinguished, and then there’s no threat to the dust collector, there’s no threat to the process, it’s all mitigated, and then the customer continues operating.

Donovan: Gotcha.

Todd: Well, sometimes what causes that spark will be you’ll get a piece of metal that will get into a fan and that’ll throw sparks into the ductwork. And then as that occurs, there could be more than one spark. There could be 20, 30, 40 sparks will still extinguish continuously as the operation goes on.

Donovan: But then once it realizes that there’s no more sparks, it stops applying the water, right?

Todd: Yes, it does. Once when the sparks are not detected anymore, it’ll stop. Now the customer may choose to say, “Okay, if we have 50 sparks in quick succession, I want to know about it.” So then we’ll notify the customer because…

Donovan: So you can put an alert system on it.

Todd: Yes. We have a control console that communicates between the detector and the extinguisher, and then it’ll record how many sparks we’re seeing, what duration, how long did we extend distinguish and all that detail can be given and then an alarm will go off if it meets the customer’s requirements for an alarm.

Donovan: Oh, okay. Because some applications you might…so in some applications we get a lot of sparks. This might be going off once, twice a day.

Todd: Exactly.

Donovan: Nothing to worry about but you get 100 of them, then we want to know.

Todd: Right. In typical wood applications where you don’t have really any grinding operations, it’s really not a problem. If you have a hammer mill where you are actually grinding up wood.

Donovan: Is that where you guys see a lot of this?

Todd: That’s where you see a lot of sparks.

Donovan: Oh.

Todd: So, and we’ll protect the hammer mill, we’ll protect shredders and recycling applications. We’re in grain applications as well.

Donovan: Yeah.

Todd: You know, a lot of food applications where we’re detecting not just sparks and embers, but hot spots as well.

Donovan: Oh, yeah. – So it has the sensitivity down to just something that seems warm.

Todd: Yes.

Donovan: Huh.

Todd: Yep. And using infrared, our reaction time is so quick, we react in 250 milliseconds. – That’s why we have such a short distance for–

Donovan: So someone who doesn’t normally operate in milliseconds, what is, compare that to something?

Todd: It’s a quarter of a second.

Donovan: So as fast as I can blink.

Todd: Right.

Donovan: It’s gonna react to that.

Todd: We see it. We extinguish, we activate extinguishing, and that’s why we need the distance that we have so we can extinguish so quickly.

Donovan: So do you guys just operate with water or is there other things you would use to extinguish?

Todd: Mainly in the ductwork, we work with water. But customers will say to us they would like to activate other devices, other equipment, such as CO2 systems, or dry chemical systems, we can do that as well.

Donovan: Gotcha, so it’s not, so you can tie into other systems too. – That might get– – That might get to be utilized.

Todd: And we can do machine shutdown as well. So if a customer wants to completely shut down, because they might have a dangerous situation, they can shut down and save the equipment.

Donovan: So like I’m saying, when I get 100 sparks, that’s it, we gotta shut this down. We can wire it up to do that too.

Todd: That’s right.

Donovan: That’s great. So let’s say, I mean, we’re in Chicago right now for this,

Todd: Yep.

Donovan: And in the winter time, it gets a little chilly here. So if I’m using water to extinguish my system, what do I do with that whenever the temperature get cold? How do you guys handle that?

Todd: Yeah, so great question, because we have insulating jackets that we provide to the customers so they can prevent freezing from occurring if the extinguishing is outside.

Donovan: Gotcha.

Todd: If the extinguishing is inside, obviously not much of an issue.

Donovan: Right.

Todd: But, you know, we suggest that the customer, they use heat tape along with our

Donovan: Insulating jackets.

Todd: Insulating jackets.

Donovan: Yeah, okay. So that seems to, and then like we were talking about earlier, you’re not putting a lot of water into the duct. So it’s a minimal effect on the dust collector or the other systems.

Todd: Because of the air speed, a lot of the water ends up evaporating.

Donovan: Oh, okay. But it’s just enough.

Todd: Just enough to extinguish either the hot ember or the spark.

Donovan: Gotcha, gotcha. So what’s the main applications you guys end up in? Is it wood dust? What’s your major?

Todd: We’re big into, our big markets are, we’re in the wood industry quite a bit. So any panel manufacturers, wood pellet manufacturers are very big. But we’re also in the grain market. also in any kind of any place that has a dust collector that may be transporting a spark along with that dust yeah we will be in that market place right okay

Donovan: We like at Imperial we have a spark trap and we know that that is only good in certain applications and it’s mostly fume applications for us and so I know what I’ve talked to you guys in the past it’s always come with the dust that has characteristic of it being maybe a fluffy dust or something that if you try to put it in another device it’s just going to clog it up and cause an issue.

Todd: Many cases will be in like wood applications and the dust they often call wood flour, which is really really fine like a sanding operation. All of our detectors do not collect dust from that material but But also our nozzles that spray into the ductwork are self-closing. So we don’t collect any…

Donovan: So, we don’t collect any maintenance on yours.

Todd: Yes, exactly. Exactly. And with our control panel, we monitor all the components. So if something goes wrong, we can go ahead and notify the customer ahead of time that there’s any problems. They can, you know, change nozzles out, change detectors and all of that. If they have a problem.

Donovan: So there’s a proactive monitoring.

Todd: Yes, sir.

Donovan: If something’s gonna go wrong, which is what you want on your production devices.

Todd: Exactly. So if there’s no warning signs or no alarms, the system’s working. It’s fine.

Donovan: Yeah.

Todd: The customer can continue working without worrying about fire exposure.

Donovan: You’re a big puddle in their dust collector because of that.

Todd: Exactly.

Donovan: Right. Huh. So is there any applications that you would say, “Do not use this system on”? Is there something that you’re like, “Listen, if you have this, this is not the system for you”?

Todd: Well, if you have a material like black carbon, black carbon does not do well with water.

Donovan: Gotcha.

Todd: We can detect in those applications, but typically we will detect an alarm rather than extinguish because black carbon tends to cake very easily. Other applications is metal applications. A lot of times you can’t add water to those metal applications so we will detect only and then notify the customer if there’s a spark or ember that has moved into a particular area.

Donovan: Yeah so you guys aren’t just detected and extinguished but you are also detected and aware just to let people be aware.

Todd: Because many cases because of reduced maintenance staff, reduced plant staff, they need to have these notifications, this automation so they can monitor it without having to go to it every, have somebody there all the time.

Donovan: Babysitting.

Todd: Yeah, exactly.

Donovan: Yeah, and we have technology to help with those things, and that’s what you guys are doing.

Todd: Yep.

Donovan: So is there anything new or anything that people should be thinking maybe you guys are coming out with down the line, or are we just–

Todd: Yes, we have a new detector that can be used in this kind of an environment. Most infrared detectors are used in dark environments.

Donovan: Yeah.

Todd: So they can sense embers and sparks.

Donovan: Right.

Todd: New daylight detector which can work in this environment where you have all this light and it can go ahead and detect the same sparks and embers. You know so if you have a, if you have material that’s being taken off of the conveyor into a drop chute, right, we can detect sparks and embers in that drop chute in this environment and then extinguish if need be down down the way. So that gets us into any operation like recycling operations that are outside, We can we can detect hotspots and sparks there as well That’s been a new area. We’ve gotten into with this new detector.  So yeah, and what we’ve done is it’s a digital detector that’s been Specifically programmed to look for the sparks and embers there are threats And filter out all the ambient light that you see in the area

Donovan: So because I know we’ve I’ve seen at times where if the detector is too close to the opening of something sometimes some daylight could get in there or reflection and cause a false alarm. So that’s phenomenal that now there’s one out there that can overcome those challenges.

Todd: Right, exactly. And we also have a new extinguisher that’s going to be our standard that is going, it’s rather than having a 20-foot distance from sensor to valve, yeah, it’s going to react a lot faster and it’s going to, we’re going to be able to reduce that distance to about 10 feet.

Donovan: 10 feet? Yes. Well that’s so we have a daylight sensor and 10 feet distance. Yep. Boy that’s a that’s a big game changer in a lot of these situations.

Todd: We’re having a lot of success with that and customers like it because it plants are getting smaller so they need the shorter distance and there’s more daylight in these applications than what most customers realize and that’s really what we’re looking to make it easier for the customer as much as we can.

Donovan: Yeah and that’s where I think we’ve seen that as an industry where people are trying to make their facilities brighter, more enjoyable for their workers. With that being great for the workers, sometimes it does bring new challenges for safety where it would have worked back in the day. It’s some of the dungeons that people used to work in.

Todd: Absolutely.

Donovan: Yeah.

Todd: Yeah, and you know, our again, our control console is control panel is has memory where it can – and if anything happens to the system that will record that if there’s a line break if there’s if power shut off. Oh, it will be able to still it still has a battery backup, but it’ll still be able to record and operate for a period of about I think about 10 hours.

Donovan: Well that’s great. So in a larger event maybe something’s going on maybe a natural disaster that’ll still be able to do its job. Exactly because a lot of

Todd: Exactly because a lot of times if you lose power to the plant customers are powering down their processes. Sometimes that’s when the threat actually occurs. So our system will still be active and operating still doing what it needs to do without interruption.

Donovan: Well that’s great. That’s really good stuff. Well So Todd, thanks so much for giving us a little bit of your time. I know you guys are busy here at the show. I hope people stop by and see you. If you’re listening to this after the show, you can reach out to us at Imperial. We work with GreCon on all types of things. You can look at GreCon. We’d all be glad to help you out.

Todd: Absolutely. Great. Well, thanks very much. Thanks for having me on.

Donovan: Have a great day. And everybody who’s out there listening, just thanks for listening to the podcast, stay healthy, and stay safe.

Narrator: Thanks for listening to the Dusty Jobs Podcast. Breathe better, work safer. 

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