Why is Service of Electrostatic Air Filtration Equipment Important
Routine Maintenance = Clean Air
Because most units are used in source capture applications. Without an inspection and service plan they stop working. Wash the electrostatic cells frequently enough so that they are not too hard to clean. Schedule time to INSPECT each air filtration unit and put a SERVICE PLAN into action.
Routine Maintenance is Extremely Important
Electrostatic cells consist of an ionizer section and a series of thin aluminum plates that are positively and negatively charged. The oil particulate in the air that is being filtered is charged in the ionizer section of the cell and then sticks to the negatively charged fins. These fins are one of the main components of an electrostatic cell. If neglected oil builds up on these fins and over time the oil will bridge the gap between two fins causing the cell to ground out. To put it simply. It stops working. Routine maintenance is extremely important.
Do Not Neglect your Air Filtration Cells
Make time to check the overall function of the air filtration unit.
If neglected the cells can become too dirty to clean, and end up taking much too long to clean, and creating quite a mess in the cleaning process. OR something else could be wrong with the machine besides a dirty cell, like a bad power pack. In these instances the air filtration unit will suck up the oily air from inside the CNC cabinet, and discharge it out into the ambient factory air.
The cells becomes too dirty to clean – An analogy to clarify this point; imagine cooking bacon every day with a frying pan you never clean. When you eventually decide to clean it you’re going to have to scrape it really hard with a Brillo pad or use some seriously powerful cleaning chemicals. The oil cooked onto the fins of the electrostatic cell can be as stubborn to clean off like on the frying pan, except the electrostatic cell is delicate;
- 1. In most instances you should NOT use a brush or brillo pad to clean the cells:
You cannot get good access between the fins; there is a ton of surface area on each fin and virtually no way to scrub it clean; and usually if you do try and scrub them clean you end up bending the plates. (If you think cleaning a cell is tough, try repairing a bent plate – it seems to touch something regardless of how many times you re-bend it. If you bend the fins and they touch one another the whole cell won’t work.
- 2. OK you say; I’m not going to scrape them clean, I’m going to use some powerful cleaning agent. Please be careful here because you can etch the cells. A few cleanings with too harsh a chemical and the aluminum cell will dissolve away. (We once washed a cell in an acidic wash, the cell was shiny and clean looking…except all the ceramic insulators became brittle, all the ionizing wires broke, and the cell weighed about 5 lbs. lighter. Electrostatic cells are expensive to replace; be careful using harsh chemicals, short term gain in appearance, but the cell won’t function right.
Inspection of the Air Filtration Unit is Recommended on a Monthly Basis
An electrostatic cell is only one component of an electrostatic mist collector (Trion, Smog Hog, Tri-Mist, Mistbuster) Regardless of the brand, in all instances the blower motor will stay on even if the electrostatic cell is not working. It is important to check the entire unit as well as replacing the dirty cell with a clean one. I have been in many factories where the machine operator thought that the mist collector was working because he was getting suction. However what wasn’t realized was that the indicator light was not on. The machine was on, but the indicator light wasn’t; which means the cell or power pack is bad. Look at the entire system, make sure the cell is charged and that there is good suction inside the CNC cabinet.
Take Care of Your Equipment and it Will Take Care of You
All major brands of Industrial electrostatic filtration equipment (Smog Hog, Trion, Trimist, Mistbuster, Cool Blaster) work extremely efficient if they are sized correctly and routinely maintained. If you identify and schedule these inspection and service tasks the factory air will be much cleaner to work in and healthier to breath.