Explosion-proof industrial baghouse for dust collection systems

A large Ex-proof modular baghouse designed and produced for a sugar processing plant. The filter unit cleans 32,000 m3 of dusty air per hour and operates automatically, taking advantage of smart mechanical and electrical design.

Industry:

PPE & Air Purification Equipment

Custom Equipment & Tools

TRL:

1 → 9

Project duration:

3 months

Challenge

A sugar processing plant underwent a production upgrade and required a custom Ex-proof baghouse filter for their operations. The bag filter house should capture the fine sugar dust/powder present in the packaging area. 

While some European and OEM air filter producing companies quoted 120 days for manufacturing the Ex-proof air filter systems, EnCata aimed to deliver the unit within 3 months.

Another challenge was to design a dust filter that will fit specific dimensions while providing reliable sugar dust filtration performance.

The explosion-proof design, strict delivery deadlines and predefined dimensions were a particular challenge in this custom filter design project.

Our Role

  • Concept development
  • CFD simulations
  • CAD engineering
  • Electronics development
  • Manufacturing
  • Installation & Commissioning

Technologies Used

Laser cutting CNC

Laser cutting CNC

Sheet metal bending CNC

Sheet metal bending CNC

Welding

Welding

Custom PCL controller

Custom PCL controller

Milling & lathe CNC

Milling & lathe CNC

Radial fan

Radial fan

Antistatic ex-proof coating

Antistatic ex-proof coating

Baghouse pulse jet cleaning system

Baghouse pulse jet cleaning system

Rotary valve

Rotary valve

Differential pressure sensors (Ex-proof)

Ex-proof wiring design (ATEX)

Ex-proof wiring design (ATEX)

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Approach & Solution

The design process started with visiting the customer’s production facility and determining the essential requirements (the customer could not provide it before the project start). Relying on our expertise in air filtration and purification, we estimated the 32 000 cubic meters per hour air uptake would provide a safe dust collection. 

As a result, a modular Ex-proof design for the 32,000 m3/h (delivered by a radial fan), enclosing packed tubular bag filters (an equivalent to an old F9-class specification), automatically cleaned by pulse-jet technology. The pulse-jet cleaning purges the dust off the fabric bag filters ensuring the filter stays permeable to airflow. 

The baghouse’s Ex-proof protection required following strict techniques and guidelines, as sugar powder is a highly explosive IIIB environment (as per European ATEX compliance for hazardous location protection methods and markings).

As part of the engineering concept development, EnCata’s engineers conducted airflow CFD computer simulations for:

CFD computer simulations

As part of the Ex-proof engineering, all the electrical wires and unit electronics were non-sparking and adopted specific components. A special antistatic coating was cast to the metal surfaces of the unit. 

The electronics comprised a custom PLC commanding the filter’s self-cleaning process. The cleaning process’s PLC logic relied on differential pressure sensors, which reported if filters were contaminated and required cleansing with a jet pulse. A variable frequency drive (VFD) and the pressure sensors work in a feedback loop with the two fans’ filters. The adjustable frequency drive enables power-saving and ensures reliable baghouse performance. 

The bunker design incorporated the rotary valve to facilitate the discharge of the accumulated dust to the beanbags.

Special attention to materials and coatings, modules, and parts conjunctions was paid to guarantee protection from sugar dust explosion. The engineering design incorporated several features:

The baghouse was produced and assembled in-house, and multiple tests were performed before shipping the unit in modules to the customer. The filter system was installed and commissioned at the factory.

Drone Station case
Drone Station box
Autonomous Drone Station Box

Results

We designed and produced a custom explosion-proof baghouse filter system within just 3 months.

32K q.m/h

filtration capacity the unit provides

30%

power saving due to VFD working in pair with fans

3 mo

it took to design, engineer, and manufacture the new baghouse

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