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Solving a dust problem

22 September 2017

Food Processing finds out more about a solution that has helped one company to purify the air in its warehouse and remove troublesome dust caused by floor abrasion due to the necessarily high levels of truck traffic and the introduction of external dust. 

Areas used for storage and transport often have high dust levels, which can impair the well-being of employees as well as the appearance of goods and product quality. To reduce the problems caused by dust, companies often have to increase cleaning regimes which is costly and does not prevent the continuing distribution of fine particulate matter.

This is why the Hamburg-based beverage wholesaler, Göttsche, sought out an effective solution to minimise dust levels in its logistic halls. The main dust problem for the company was caused by abrasion of the hall floor due to high levels of industrial truck traffic and the introduction of particles through open hall doors. This caused dust to quickly collect on bottles in crates and on the surfaces of boxes on the shelves, which resulted in customer complaints and a lot of time-consuming manually cleaning of products and premises.

“Our primary objective was to significantly reduce dust levels for our goods and employees to achieve a higher level of customer satisfaction,” said Andrea Wipprecht, head of warehouse logistics & logistics projects at Göttsche. “We also wanted to optimise the general cleaning process. The concept of a professional air cleaning system convinced us immediately.” This is because these air cleaning system filter dust particles out of the air before they can settle.

“The primary reason why we chose Zehnder to provide us with a solution was the contractual flexibility thanks to the service packages, good price/performance ratio as well as the technical advantages the system had to offer. We were also convinced by the level of competence and support services provided by the company,” continued Wipprecht.

Zehnder first completed a detailed preliminary analysis of the dust levels and requirement calculations. The amount of dust generated was recorded over several days. One of the measuring points was located in the hall, which is used as an allocation area for the routes, and recorded an average dust level of 212 µg/m³. Another measuring point was placed at the junction between two halls and recorded an average of 167 µg/m³.

In a second stage, Zehnder developed a solution to ensure the optimum purification of the room air.  Zehnder CleanAir 3 models were then implemented. The systems were installed directly in the activity areas, mostly above the main traffic routes in the halls, to absorb the dust particles close to the location that they are generated. All systems are ceiling mounted on to the hall girders at a height of between 8 and 11m. “The installation of the systems was simple and did not restrict operations,” said Wipprecht. No structural changes had to be implemented either, thanks to the simple chain suspension of the systems. 

A dust level reading was completed three months after the installation and recorded a significant reduction of the dust particles in the air. The general dust volume during working hours and rest periods was able to be reduced by up to 75.4%. The average value at the first measuring point was previously 212 µg/m³ and was reduced to 54 µg/m³, while the load at the second measuring point could be reduced from 167 µg/m³ to 41 µg/m³.

The empirical values with the new air cleaning systems are very positive: “We have been able to record a significant reduction in the number of customer complaints by an estimated 70 %. The surfaces of bottles and boxes are considerably cleaner, which has also reduced the amount of cleaning work required,” said Wipprecht. “Our employees also made positive comments about air cleaning systems, stating that the air was noticeably cleaner and that their well-being had improved. The use of professional air purification has ensured that the working environment at the beverage wholesaler, Göttsche, has been optimised easily and quickly, while reducing the amount of cleaning work and effectively resolving the main problem of products being impaired by fine dust.

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