Case study 4: Air XD Dust Monitor

The pigment industry faces challenges of maintaining product yield whilst also maintaining high standards in workplace safety. 

Many of the substances used in the pigment industry are subject to low workplace exposure limits (WEL) making reliable and repeatable control of the manufacturing process critical. 

Profitability of the business is also dependent on optimising process efficiency. 

The challenge: 

In most companies, occupational health monitoring takes the form of personal monitoring carried out every 6 or 12 months.  

Workers wear a personal device containing a pump connected to a filter to collect the dust matter they would be exposed to during a typical eight-hour shift. 

This is then taken to a lab to analyse the total dust exposure along with composition analysis and is generally performed to give indications of exposure to individual elements such as cadmium. 

This is a good way of ensuring that exposure doesn’t exceed current WEL’s; however, limitations arise because it cannot give information about the source of the exposure. This lack of information prevents the problem from being fixed in the future, which therefore doesn’t allow for process improvement. 

What solution does the Air XD Dust Monitor provide? 

Real-time dust monitoring allows for continuous monitoring of the production process. This enables the user to track typical emissions, whilst providing instant and accurate notifications if issues occur. 

The data generated can then be used to highlight parts of the normal production process that generate abnormal or problematic dust concentrations. It can also notify workers instantly if there is a process leak, or the extraction systems are not working correctly. 

In this scenario, the Air XD Dust Monitor provided the real-time data and area dust monitoring.  

How was the Air XD utilised? 

The Air XD Dust Monitor was used in a mobile configuration mounted on a tripod. This enabled the Air XD to be moved around the production plant to monitor the active process. The aim of the deployment was to monitor the levels of airborne dusts as well as monitoring for process leaks and variation.