We recently had two conversations with manufacturers on the east and west coasts of North America. Those we spoke with worked at separate companies, and neither of the gentlemen knew each other. Both, however, expressed the same goal: to get all their employees (or as many as possible) off cleanup duty.
While the goal may seem too lofty for manufacturers working with dusty materials like biomass, it is possible. It’s also necessary given that labor is in high demand and in short supply. Plus, what workers companies can find are expensive to employ. So it makes sense that companies do what’s necessary to make the best use of their time, which certainly is not moving piles of low-to-zero-value material from one location to another.
As no one has yet developed a Roomba for cleaning industrial sites, addressing cleanup requires companies to replace leaky equipment. Doing this is no minor feat, of course, because it means upgrading their material handling equipment, machines that companies typically neglect.
Yet replacing conveyors and other material handling systems will often prove the only way forward. Consider the mess that develops from:
- Wind blowing dust and light particles off an open conveyor
- A hole in a pneumatic blower spewing fugitive dust
- Poorly designed transitions spilling material onto the ground
- An overloaded conveyor spilling materials over the edges
- A poorly designed screw moving material past the discharge, toward the end of the trough, where it piles up and spills
Not only will operations need to replace systems that leak, but they’ll need to collect waste in areas where it’s currently allowed to accumulate. For example, many sawmill owners allow waste to collect under their log decks and remove it using manual labor. But if a company truly wants to get workers off cleanup, it must automate the collection and removal of the material by placing conveyors under the deck.
A manufacturing process that produces dust is another example. We’ve visited many facilities with poor or virtually nonexistent dust control. Not only do these companies put their employees and assets at risk, but they must clean up the resulting mess by hand. Dust-collection equipment is needed to prevent these issues.
Struggling with dust and waste management? BE&E offers turn-key material handling systems with enclosed conveyors, storage systems, and metering equipment that will contain dust and keep your facility clean.
Let us automate your cleanup process processes to save labor and operational costs. Contact us today!
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