Fast extraction system slashes cleaning duties for powder coater

Donaldson Australasia Pty Ltd
Thursday, 06 March, 2008

A powder coating facility on the Gold Coast has completely upgraded its dust handling system to optimise occupational health and safety standards for employees, plus gain a system that is largely self-cleaning.

Bundall Powder Coating and Sandblasting, which has operated for 20 years, recently took steps to ensure its extraction system kept pace with world's best practice and the expectations of modern industry, according to director, Peter Brown: "Donaldson Australasia analysed our requirements and worked out how to provide the necessary airflow across our two booths with a single Torit DCE dust extraction system."

"Previously, the system was made up from two older style cyclone units; and what they didn't extract ended up going into the air and spreading around the factory. It was effective for its era, but with newer technology, we knew we could gain efficiencies by reducing clean-up time, while simultaneously improving air quality."

"As we have always had the objective of being an innovator within the industry; and to maintain our leading position in the industry in South East Queensland, we came to the conclusion that we had to upgrade."

Donaldson's product manager, Doug Freeman, in conjunction with engineer Peter McGough from DCE Environmental, used a Donwflo Oval DFO 4-16 dust control unit as the hub of the solution, combined with redesigned plenums for the powder-coating booths to guarantee the correct velocity and air movement.

"This entailed extracting only the excess powder coat, as too much suction would actually pull the powder off the work rather than letting it adhere via its electrostatic charge," explained Freeman. "We also supplied a differential pressure control with an offline cleaning feature so that automatic filter cleaning occurs at the end of shifts rather than at regular intervals. This means the noise from the reverse pulse doesn't occur unexpectedly during operating times, and thus provides a quieter and more comfortable working environment."

"This is a busy operation and we have been successful in designing a system that reduces downtime. Now staff have less cleaning to do and don't need to physically clean the cartridges. All that is required is for a plastic bag containing the excess powder to be removed twice a week. The integrated DFO unit removes all respirable dust away from the booth quickly and safely."

The DFO series of dust collectors utilises oval-shaped cartridges to allow large amounts of air flow through the collector without damaging the filters. Donaldson used Fluent design software to minimise high velocity points in the cartridge and housing design, resulting in a lower potential for media abrasion and increased filter life.

"Our new system has enabled us to keep the place cleaner a lot more easily," said Brown. "We believe we now have the cleanest and most advanced powder-coating facility on the Gold Coast, all of which helped towards our being accredited by Dulux, PPG and Jotun powder manufacturers. This means we have been approved and authorised to apply their high-durability coatings and can provide warranty work when required."

"We attract clients from the higher end of the market and deliberately set up a dust handling and control system expected by such companies that require consistent and quality work."

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