Purchasing new filters for your dust collection system may seem like a simple task of finding a product that fits your collector at the lowest price. But when every penny counts, you may find that some dollars travel farther than others. To find the best value when purchasing replacement dust collector filters, you should fully analyze both your dust collection system and your application’s specific requirements.
Know Your Dust
Different types of dust have unique characteristics. Each has an effect on the filtration you need to contain the particles and comply with regulatory standards.
For dusts such as hexavalent chromium, a known carcinogen, OSHA has set thresholds as low as 5 micrograms (0.005 milligram) per cubic meter TWA (time-weighted average). This is 10 times stricter than the limits for some other toxic dusts. That means a dust collector would have to be equipped with high-efficiency media to adequately meet such a strict demand.
You should also consider:
- The sizes and shapes of the dust particles
- If dust is combustible
- If it is sticky or dry, etc.
These characteristics help to determine the best filter choice. Testing a sample of dust is the only way to get an accurate assessment of its properties. Dust testing is available from independent laboratories and many equipment suppliers.
Understanding the Total Cost
It’s important to understand when shopping for dust collector filters that there is more to the total cost than the price tag. Taking into account the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is critical to calculating the true cost of the dust collector filters. TCO can help to identify where you can save money, time and energy by choosing the right filter for your equipment and application.
TCO applies a step-by-step evaluation process of three categories
- Energy: How much energy does the dust collector consume on a daily basis? Include electrical costs, compressed air usage, and CO2 emissions in your energy assessment.
- Consumables: What parts need to be replaced periodically on the dust collector as part of normal usage?
- Maintenance and Disposal: How much downtime and labor will the dust collector require during routine maintenance? What are the disposal requirements and costs for the consumables?
When calculating additional costs of your replacement dust collector filters, you will also want to factor in the lifespan of the filter and costs of cartridge replacement. Other costs to carefully consider associated with transportation, inventory, labor, disposal, and frequency and length of downtime required to replace the filter.
Whether you’re shopping for a new dust collection system or looking for the most cost-effective replacement filters for your current system, evaluating the TCO can yield useful and often enlightening information.
To learn more about how you can save on dust collector filter costs over time, download our TCO white paper now!