Reduction of paper dust on a tissue paper manufacturing and packaging line
Tissue paper arrives at the factory in bulk to be processed and packaged into boxed or rolled tissue paper for consumers. In the conversion of bulk tissue paper from jumbo rolls to retail packs the paper is rewound or folded, then perforated and cut before being packaged. This process generates paper dust, and rotation of the high speed equipment distributes this dust around the workshop where it accumulates. The paper dust can affect the health and safety of employees working in the area and is a potential fire hazard. Product presentation is also affected when the dust is trapped and packaged with the product.
Consultation with employees, supervisory staff and engineers resulted in a comprehensive paper dust extraction system being designed and installed to the tissue paper processing and packing plant.
Each of the major tissue paper conversion lines was provided with a dust collection system made of:
- Purpose designed, paper dust collecting hoods on all tissue paper cutting and packaging equipment;
- Ducting all production lines to a dust collection (‘cyclone’) hopper with integral self-cleaning reverse pulse filter bags at the top, and both pieces of equipment continuously discharging collected dust into a waste container;
- A high capacity centrifugal blower situated downstream (on the clean side) of the hopper. The blower has a filter to remove any remaining paper dust particles. Clean air is then discharged into the factory area from the blower to make up air being drawn from the factory by the local exhaust ventilation system.
To prevent fire and explosion the system’s ducting was fitted with heat sensors at regular intervals and explosion panels were fitted to the dust collection hopper.
A regular maintenance system was established which included the removal of waste and cleaning of filters. Also, regular checks of the capture and transport velocities were made.
Hierarchy of Controls:
- A healthier and safer work environment for employees.
- Reduced dust contamination of the final product.
- Less frequent machine shut downs for cleaning.
- Reduced fire hazard.
- Improved housekeeping.