Case Study | AAF OptiFlo®
The pharmaceutical industry presents a unique challenge with regards to dust collection. Many of the materials involved in pharmaceutical production can be harmful to workers. Additionally, the industry is driven to ensure the purity of their products; so any source of contamination must be contained and eliminated. Furthermore, the compounds involved are often organic in nature, making them highly combustible. In penicillin production specifically, dust is usually an issue in the post-drying part of the process. At this stage, the dried penicillin is in the form of a very fine powder, which can be easily dispersed when transferred.
The challenge for any dust collector in the pharmaceutical industry is to protect the safety of the workers and to ensure the purity of the product by capturing process generated dust while minimizing the risks of an explosion/deflagration. A Bag-In/Bag-Out (BIBO) arrangement dust collector with explosion vents helps to meet this challenge. The BIBO arrangement allows workers to change out filters and remove collected dust without the risk of exposure to the potentially hazardous dust. By providing an OptiFlo® with the Bag-In/Bag-out feature, AAF ensures the pharmaceutical dust is fully contained safely.
Through the movement and transfer of materials, the plumes of hazardous particles were generated where workers were present.
In pharmaceutical processes, it is highly important to collect and contain particulates as they may be hazardous. It is crucial to provide the customer with a solution that answers the primary concern without causing the pharmaceutical manufacturer additional maintenance requirements or steps in their process.
Using a well-designed hood with over 4,000 fpm (20 m/s) carrying velocity in the inlet ductwork, AAF provided essential proper ventilation to the manufacturing process to capture any nuisance particulates. A high efficient REDClean® N, a nanofiber layered filter rated initially at MERV 15+ (F9), ensured that even sub-micron particles were cleaned from the airstream.
AAF supplied these filters in an OptiFlo® cartridge collector with Bag-In/Bag-Out (BIBO) design. The BIBO arrangement ensured workers would be kept safe from harmful contaminants that are captured by the collector as the BIBO procedure allows filters and barrel changes without exposure to dirty air.
The full containment of the pharmaceutical particles is extremely critical in the production process. The dust collector system should have a high-efficiency filter, but also maintain a complete barrier from workers when doing any maintenance, such as replacing filters and removing the collected dust from the unit. With the OptiFlo®’s BIBO design, AAF provided a complete solution to fulfill the pharmaceutical customer’s needs.
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