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Safely Collect Combustible Dust

Old TBM dust extraction system with original ductwork. Potentially explosive dust remained inside the facility.

New dust collection system and explosion isolation safety equipment outside of facility.

Tampa Bay Machining (TBM) is a precision machine shop in Tampa, FL, serving the aerospace and defense industries. The company provides CNC milling and CNC turning services per customer design and specification. "With 25,000 sq. ft., TBM has one of the largest facilities in central Florida with 25 state-of-the-art CNC machines, some featuring twin spindles," said a spokesperson.

Finishing processes at TBM generated a lot of nuisance dust. The outdated bag house collector was aging and inefficient in capturing dust at the source and keeping it away from workers. Since the old collector was installed inside of the facility, it also posed a safety issue due to collection of potentially explosive dust. In addition, the old system took up valuable floor space that TBM wanted to reclaim for future growth of their product finishing work and production processes.

Ron Beadenkopf, Technical Sales and Project Manager for Gulftech Casiba Group, performed a comprehensive evaluation of the existing dust collection system. Gulftech Casiba is located in Clearwater, FL, and is often consulted when manufacturers need to collect dust, improve air quality and comply with strict OSHA and other federal safety guidelines.

For TBM, Beadenkopf recommended installation of a cartridge dust collector outside of the facility equipped with an explosion vent and backdraft damper. This recommendation was based on new National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines instituted after the old unit had been installed. NFPA has detailed safety measures governing the potential explosion hazards of aluminum dust generated from TBM's finishing processes. The project also included replacing several source capture hoods at the finishing stations to better capture dust directly at the source-the most efficient and effective dust collection method. The new system design resulted in a smaller footprint in the production area, as well as safely capturing and containing dust outside the building. An explosion isolation flap was installed on the return duct to ensure plant safety, and a silencer was installed on the unit exhaust for quiet system operation.

TBM is pleased with the new source capture hoods, ductwork and central cartridge dust collector. The nuisance and potentially explosive dust from their finishing processes is now safely and effectively captured and collected in the system outside the building. Because the dust is removed by the hoods before it reaches the employees' breathing zone, the workers are breathing cleaner air. With the new cartridge dust collection system, TBM is experiencing operational savings due to reduced time spent on clean up and maintenance. This allows employees more time to focus on finishing parts.

Having the new cartridge dust collector installed outside of the building, with the added safety features of the explosion vent and the explosion damper, TBM has achieved a healthier facility. The new system protects both employees and the facility while safely collecting the combustible dust from TBM's finishing process. The silencer on the dust collection unit helps the system to operate quietly, fostering TBM's reputation for being a good neighbor with the surrounding businesses.

"As part of our commitment to produce the highest quality products and provide our employees with a safe working environment, the SFC dust collector from United Air Specialists was the best solution for us. The Gulftech Casiba sales representative was very knowledgeable about how to improve our current set up to more effectively and safely collect the potentially combustible nuisance dust from our finishing processes. They were easy to work with and helped ensure the successful installation and start-up of the system with very little down time," said Thomas Flanagan, Purchasing Manager, TBM.

For more information contact:

Tampa Bay Machining

13601 McCormick Drive

Tampa, FL 33626


CLARCOR Industrial Air

11501 Outlook Street, Suite 100

Overland Park, Kansas 66211

800-821-2222 / 816-356-8400


Gulftech Casiba Group


2124 Sunnydale Blvd. Suite B

Clearwater, FL 33765

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