Despite the health and environmental benefits associated with ensuring clean air in industrial environments, many companies still consider air filtration as a nonessential element of their operations, says air filtration solutions provider Aircure owner Darren Bibby.
He notes that, while there is adequate legislation in place governing occupational health and environmental protection, there is a disconnect when it comes to implementing and monitoring these standards, with little consequence for noncompliance.
The health and environmental impacts of industrial operations are by nature long-term considerations that require foresight and planning, offering little short-term financial reward, he adds. “Other aspects of the business are, thus, often considered to be more important and lucrative.”
However, Bibby highlights that there are many benefits to clean air, which include lower absenteeism rates and better productivity among employees.
“The benefits of air filtration have been proven in the pharmaceuticals industry, especially where air contamination is strictly controlled to meet the regulations specified by the Medicines Control Council. Other industries need to take heed of the importance of clean air; however, this requires forward thinking, good leadership and stronger enforcement of existing regulations.”
Aircure offers a range of locally produced options aimed at helping companies manage air-quality problems. Last year, the company introduced its containerised baghouse filter system, which features a cost-effective design for manual and automated filter units that employ ‘used’ shipping containers. Through this design, the company can repurpose unwanted containers while producing an efficient air filtration system.
The system is modular, constructed through a ‘building block’ multistorey configuration of the containers. Its size can, thus, be scaled according to requirements and transported easily using a regular container truck.
Bibby further highlights that any level of filtration can be supplied in the container to suit the client’s budget. The system is highly cost effective, easy to install and maintain, and designed specifically for its application.
Aircure also offers the cycloduct, which can remove large particles out of the air stream prior to entering the filter system.
“This saves money on replacement air filters, as well as reducing maintenance requirements for filter systems. These units are also custom-designed according to the size needed and the dust type to be filtered,” says Bibby.
Aircure has also made the MOD5 modular filter system available. It has been designed and tested by the company specifically for underground use in the mining sector. The system has proven to be so successful that the South African Chamber of Mines is advocating its use for dust control and the prevention of silicosis.
Meanwhile, test results on Aircure’s airhead – a simple clip-on to a standard hard hat that is designed for personal protection of employees in static or semimobile occupations – show that it can significantly lower the risk of occupational diseases caused by inhaling harmful contaminants.
Bibby explains that air supply from the device creates an air curtain around the person’s face, limiting direct exposure to environmental dust. Air curtains act similarly, but on a larger scale, to form a nonphysical barrier to high-dust entrances or open apertures. These have proven highly effective in mining and general industrial applications.
“Aircure’s products are all locally designed, produced and supplied to manage the air pollution challenges we face in South Africa. “Our products have had great success in the country, and we foresee significant opportunities for further expansion into Africa as companies become more cognisant of the need for air filtration,” Bibby concludes.