Of all the things hitting your desk, why should you worry about space pressure control in your facility? We’ve done the research for you and have identified three major benefits.
Top 3 Industrial Benefits of Facility and Space Pressure Control
#1 Quality production output/improved process control:
Where purity standards must be maintained for product quality, production output, and where improved process control is required, facility and space pressure control become important. Space pressure control can help avoid contamination of clean areas by dust, pollutants, or other undesired conditions that might impact the quality of your product.
Here’s a list of examples:
- Manufacturing pharmaceuticals, electronics, food & beverage
- Facilities with “clean rooms”
- Furnace pressure control for battery recyclers (EPA regulation tied to this (40 CFR Part 63 National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) from Secondary Lead Smelting)) for optimal process control and quality production output
#2 Cost Savings:
Without pressure control, there can be some unintended negative consequences to day-to-day functions that end up increasing facility maintenance costs. Correcting these issues help minimize system cycling and excess power use for energy savings. Let’s look at a couple examples.
First, pressure sensing devices must be used to detect pressure imbalances. Without accurate pressure sensing devices in key areas, the control system cannot function efficiently. When a pressure imbalance occurs causing exfiltration or infiltration, the control system will continue to cycle attempting to restore an unattainable balance and energy costs will soar.
Next, have you ever had trouble opening a door because of pressure imbalances? This isn’t just an inconvenience for workers trying to easily navigate the facility, sometimes with product, inventory, or other gear. It can also be a huge energy sink! Sometimes doors will not fully shut from pressure imbalances, too. This causes an air stream to form that allows heated/cooled facility air to escape the space resulting in higher energy costs. A good pressure system with accurate pressure sensors can correct these issues.
Lastly, pressure control can have some long-term benefits – like detecting leaks. The analysis of long-term aggregate pressure level data can pinpoint troublesome areas. Further inspection of the problem areas will uncover any leaks in the airflow system. Repaired leaks will create a more efficient system and save energy costs over time.
#3 Worker safety in industrial facilities:
Maintaining duct pressure levels relative to room or area pressure levels is key to worker safety. This is done by measuring pressure in duct, measuring in the space, then comparing the duct pressure to ambient air pressure. The control system adjusts – based on this data – to balance pressure accordingly. Let’s look at two examples:
- Avoid the introduction of contaminants into work areas that jeopardize worker health and safety
- Space pressure control around smelting areas to protect workers in a smelting facility or foundry
Get up to date on the regulations that might be impacting your facility safety requirements.
How Does it Work?
To get a better picture, let’s look at how a theoretical example of a facility pressure control system would work.
First, the control system may measure the outdoor pressure, which changes periodically due to changes in weather. Then, the control system may monitor the pressure of spaces inside the facility. Some systems incorporate airflow measurement into this control scheme. Pressure data feeds into the control system and triggers the airflow system to open and close dampeners allowing airflow to key areas in the facility. While the air flows through the system, duct static pressure sensors feed data to the control system. Duct pressure data and ambient pressure data are compared with the pressure settings that the operator has determined are ideal atmospheric environments for the work or processes occurring in that space of the facility. In some cases, the control system may be set up to maintain a positive/negative pressure relationship between two areas to avoid contamination of production output.
Why it’s Important
Manufacturing facilities must be able to meet purity standards when producing medicines, food, beverages, electronics, or other dust- and contaminant-sensitive products. Clean rooms create a safe environment, free of contaminants, where these products can be manufactured to the high-quality standards set by the FDA or other regulatory bodies.
Industrial facilities that operate with or produce harmful pollutants like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) must be able to maintain safe working environments for their employees and ensure that these pollutants are being destroyed per regulations in air waste processing equipment like thermal oxidizers and not venting into work areas or the atmosphere.
- Long term pressure monitoring of the waste airflow ducts compared to the ambient pressure can help detect leaks in the waste airflow feeds.
- Keep harmful gases out of smelting and combustion processes
Although OSHA does not have specific requirements for workplace indoor air quality (IAQ), they do require employers to provide their workers with a safe workplace that does not have any known hazards that cause or are likely to cause death or serious injury. Some states, like California and New Jersey, have their own indoor air regulations.
What Can you Do to Manage Industrial Facility Pressure Challenges?
Ok. So, now that we all understand the benefits of having a pressure system and how it works, let’s discuss the challenges that commonly arise when trying to set up a pressure system and the solutions that Air Monitor offers.
Challenge 1: Design challenges
Air Monitor Solution: Full start-up services, duct traverse studies & training
Air Monitor has over 50 years’ experience providing premier airflow measurement and pressure measurement systems to industrial process markets. Our technical team ensures that your system will meet the standards that your challenging application requires.
Challenge 2: Accuracy
Air Monitor Solution: Excellent stability, repeatability, and accuracy
Air Monitor products work together with the best-in-class accuracy of our transmitters to keep your control system running smoothly.
Challenge 3: Tough industrial settings
Air Monitor Solution: Range of Offerings and Materials for Tough Environments
Air Monitor’s rugged product line can operate in corrosive, high temperature, and particulate-laden air streams.
Look at our line of products tailored to meet your facility space pressure control needs:
- S.A.P. (Static Pressure Ports)
- These sensors detect the pressure of an indoor space
- S.O.A.P. (Static Outdoor Air Ports)
- These sensors detect the pressure outdoors of a facility
- These sensors detect the pressure inside of a duct
- VELTRON II Transmitter,
- used in conjunction with our pressure sensors and airflow measurement stations can measure and help regulate space/room/area pressure
- VEL-trol II Transmitter
- Same great features as the VELTRON II, also includes Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) control
Feeling under pressure? Talk to an expert at Air Monitor about what you’re experiencing at your facility: Contact Us