An automated cleaning process that continuously protects against combustible dust buildup
by Brad Carr, President of IES, USA An evolution or revolution in controlling dust in overhead areas helps eliminate the risks of fugitive dust for milling and grain facilities xplosions from combustible dust have plagued the milling and grain industry throughout its history. In just grain handling alone, OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, reports that over the last 35 years there have been over 500 explosions across the US, which have killed more than 180 people and injured
more than 675. Clearly, the numbers tell the story that something else needs to be done. But what can solve the problem in the smartest, most practical way? Or more importantly, what could prevent the problem from happening in the first place? SonicAire® fans were engineered to accomplish just that. They are the only proactive solution to eliminate overhead fugitive dust problems. It is a system that has changed how we control combustible dust. These fans can robotically prevent fugitive dust from accumulating in overhead areas. And they provide a vertical cleaning radius from 0-140°, with a full 360° rotation. Their introduction to the milling and grain industry has given managers a new alternative to consider. Allow me to demonstrate how they work and you can decide for yourself.
A proactive solution for sustainable cleaning in high places
Our engineers have designed a full line of these fan systems to address the specific issues of different types of dust characteristics. SonicAire 2 Series Controlled Clean. Powerful Performance. This fan is a powerhouse with a 2HP (1.5kW) motor that delivers twice the cleaning area of the original SonicAire fan, so installations costs are cut in half. The SonicAire 2.0 is designed to combat problems with heavier fugitive dust generated in a wide variety of industries, but especially the milling and grain industry. It boasts a host of new engineering designs that allow for the ultimate in safety, convenience and automation of cleaning 34 | October 2015 - Milling and Grain
overhead structures. Innovation highlights include: • iDrive - A new drive disc that allows operators to easily plan exactly where cleaning coverage is desired. Determining oscillation angles and reach of airflow has never been easier • Unified electrical enclosure - All electrical components are housed in one place. This increases frame strength and is easier to service if necessary. Meets NEMA 12 gasketed enclosure requirements • Sickle fan blade – A new configuration for high efficiency. Sound levels are below 81dBA at 20 feet (3.65m) • Self-lubricating and sealed bearings – Designed for reduced maintenance costs • Sleek, extended fan shroud - Increases fan cleaning distance Other options are available in the 2 Series. They include: • SonicAire 2c: The ‘c’ stands for ‘compact.’ The fan motor still has the power and control, but the fan size allows it to be located in the spaces that are too small for other fans. • SonicAire 2hw: The ‘hw’ stands for ‘heat and water.’ This is a water-tight fan (NEMA 6) that can work in extreme heat as high as 180°
The core of every SonicAire fan is its BarrierAire™ technology, our unique engineering platform. As its name implies, this innovative technology uses dynamic air patterns to create a barrier, or set up a block for fugitive dust buildup. Here’s how it works. High velocity and high mass airflow from a robotic clean fan create an overhead barrier. This barrier essentially controls dust like an air curtain, preventing accumulation of fugitive dust on steel structures, pipes, ducts, walls and process equipment. It does this automatically and accurately. Anything in the overhead areas can be shielded in this way so that no dust can ever accumulate. Managers can pinpoint the areas that need to be cleaned so that no dust is allowed to build up in overhead places. The outcome is remarkable: you can now automatically maintain OSHA compliance throughout your plant – at all times. Users no longer have to pay for expensive cleaning services. They also don’t have to shut down production to allow cleaning services to work. Even more important is that they also don’t