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Immersion Separators: The True Explosion-Proof Vacuums

September 19, 2012

Nothing in life is ever as clear cut as it seems. Did you know that explosion-proof vacuums aren’t always explosion-proof?  The term “explosion-proof” actually means that it won’t spark or heat up to start an explosion in the facility. However, if your factory or workplace is dealing with the type of dust that is volatile enough or unstable, or for that matter hot enough, the dust itself can start an explosion or fire within the vacuum. So what can you do to make sure your vacuum is actually explosion-proof? In this case wet collectors or immersion separators are the solutions. These water or oil-based machines cool down and inert the dangerous dust.  Of course not all dust cooled the exact same way. Aluminum, magnesium, titanium, and zirconium need mineral oil. For most other materials, water will do the trick.

We have found that customers are apprehensive about purchasing wet collectors mostly because they can be quite messy to clean. However, for many of our clients, immersion separators are an absolute must. Ruwac’s NA35-100, 110, and 1220 immersion separators are the perfect choice for these customers. They can:

  • Neutralize 100% of intake material
  • Safely rule out any risk of explosion
  • Quench any possible ignition source that enters the vacuum

Their non-sparking, anti-static housings eliminates any risk of static buildup or arc, and they have a maintenance free modular design that provides hassle free filter maintenance.

So in the end, when you find yourself in a situation when a vacuum that is “sort of” explosion-proof won’t do, let Latta help you become safe and sound.



The Costs Are Just Too High

September 5, 2012

We’ve talked a lot about the horrible human cost of not taking explosive dust seriously. Every week there seems to be another sad story of preventable injuries and deaths due to people simply not taking dust seriously. While nowhere as important as the loss of a single life, these explosions can also bring crippling financial setbacks, which can destroy companies, town, and a worker’s ability to earn a living.

Last year’s infamous iPad factory aluminum dust explosion and fire in China, led to the loss of at least 500,000 iPad 2 tablets. In fact some experts believe that due to production delays that number might have climbed to as high at 2.8 million. If you crunch the numbers there is a chance that explosive dust cost Apple almost $1.2 billion in lost revenue. That’s billion with a b. All of the losses came from not paying attention to something as basic as dust. Even a company that is worth $500 billion cannot afford to just give away that much money due to negligence.  Assuming that these are not losses you wish to ever sustain, you absolutely need to take every single precaution at your disposal.

So visit our website or drop us a line, because Latta’s expertise and equipment could be the difference between longevity and bankruptcy.


Dust Explosions and the Food Industry

August 22, 2012

Dust explosions have been in the news for years. From coalmine disasters like Upper Big Branch, to the recent Apple factory tragedies, we are constantly bombarded by stories of heavy industry dust explosions. Despite the perception that these avoidable disasters only happen in the world of metals and mining, it turns out that they also touch on industries that we haven’t previously related to dust explosions.

In a recent article in the March 2012 issue of Food Manufacturing Vahid Ebadat, Ph.D discusses the causes and solutions to dust explosions in the food industry. Dr. Ebadat covers all aspects of this underappreciated but equally dangerous problem.  He does a wonderful job of detailing how manufacturers can and should assess their dust explosion hazards, including all the relative laboratory testing needed. The tests that Dr. Ebadat mentions are broken down into two categories, the “likelihood of an explosion” and “consequences of an explosion”.  Once a food manufacturer chooses the proper tests for their facility, Dr. Ebadat lists some hints for prevention and protection the manufacturer can utilize.

It comes as no shock that Dr. Ebadat’s number one way to minimize the risk of an explosion is to make sure that “an explosible dust cloud is never allowed to form.” In the end, it’s really that simple. It doesn’t take a battery of expensive and complicated tests to understand that if you are in any industry that has even the possibility of dust, then you need high quality industrial vacuums like the ones we make at Latta. In the end, prevention is really the only way to stay clear of the dangers of dust explosions.

To learn more about Latta’s amazing line of ISO-9001 certified Ruwac Industrial Vaccums, contact us today.

It’s Never Really All Of A Sudden

August 15, 2012

One of the real myths of dust fires and explosions is that they just happen out of the blue. When in reality they are a confluence of missed opportunities and tragic oversight.  As we have mentioned in this blog, dust tragedies happen when powder or dust form into a cloud and then are ignited by a spark, flame, or superheated pipe. It shouldn’t come as a shock that you would find all of these conditions in most factory floors. The big problem is that often times the dust in question takes years to build up to a dangerous level. It is rare (but not impossible) for a dust problem to spring up overnight. Because nothing happens right away, workers become complacent and just believe that dust is a part of the workplace. Moreover, this isn’t just a modern problem, these types of explosions have been killing workers for over a century. If you think about it, the industry should have eliminated the complacency by now, but they just haven’t.

At Latta, we are just amazed and saddened every week to see another new and very preventable tragedy in the news. So who’s to blame? Well, in many ways it is a combination of optional standards and lax enforcement, but in the end we all have to take responsibility for our own factories, workers, and actions. We will continue to try to get the word out that you CAN prevent dust fires and explosions. If all the responsible parties got together and combine the right equipment, (like our Ruwac Explosion Proof Industrial Vacuums) and their collective common sense, there might come a day when the world can eliminate the heartbreaking deaths and injuries that dust explosions and fire keep causing.

Avoiding Disaster with Latta

June 14, 2012

We talk a great deal about the dangers and horrors of industrial dust explosions and fires. We’d like to not have to, but unfortunately of late each new week has brought a new batch of avoidable tragedies. Recently, one explosive dust accident stood out from the rest.

It all began a few months ago when the Purity Zinc Metals plant in Clarksville, TN had a small fire inside one of its grinding machines. At the time, this small dust fire was contained and life went on. Unfortunately, no lessons were learned. It would have a perfect time to invest in a certified OSHA compliant explosion proof vacuum. The warning signs were there, explosive dust was clearly building up despite any cleaning methods being utilized by the company. When it comes to explosive dust, it is never a question of if, but when. The “when” came soon enough.

Only a short time later, a fire broke out that was burning so hot that the entire three-story building’s metal walls were glowing bright orange. Because zinc dust cannot be extinguished with water, foam had to be used to dampen the flames. Of course, without water the fire never cooled down, and the second the foam dissipated the entire fire started up again. After many hours of work by the brave Clarksville Fire Department, the fire was finally under control, and luckily, no one was hurt or killed in the blaze. But that didn’t stop the fire from destroying hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment and products, an entire 40,000-square-foot structure, and the jobs of so many workers. Some fires are unavoidable, they come on without warning, but in Clarksville, this was not the case. A few well placed and utilized explosion proof vacuums could have prevented everything, including putting the lives of brave firefighters in danger.

If you have already seen some explosive dust warning signs, then you cannot afford to ignore them. Give our explosive vacuum experts a call today and let Latta help you keep your workers, factory, and future explosion free.

Bagger Vac Series

April 16, 2012

Bagger Vac SeriesAt Latta, we constantly remind our clients that completely removing dust and dirt from their industrial shop has to be taken seriously. Of course, fine particles have a way of moving around, they’re not real big on just landing in one place every time. So sometimes having a stationary vacuum system just isn’t enough. If that’s the case in your workspace, then you need Ruwac’s powerful and portable Bagger Vac series.

The Bagger Vac series of vacuums features an ultra-rugged housing and enough suction to power an entire central vacuum system. Ruwac’s exclusive direct bagging system allows for dust-free clean-up all while providing zero contact with contaminants.  Unlike other systems, the Bagger Vac is compatible with any bag, so there’s no need to waste money on expensive, custom sized bags. MicroClean FiltrationThe system also includes Ruwac’s industry-leading MicroClean Filtration, which prevents premature clogging and once again saves you cash by eliminating the need for costly filter replacements. It’s upgradeable to HEPA and ULPA filtration, comes in twelve different sizes and configurations, and like everything Ruwac sells, it’s made in the USA.

To learn more about this outstanding line of portable and maintenance-free direct bagging system vacuums, please visit our website, or contact an expert at Latta today!

And remember, letting dust build up isn’t just unpleasant, it’s dangerous.

Safely Remove Insulation with the new Attic Vac 300

March 21, 2012

Many older buildings and homes have insulation that was installed before we knew the dangers of certain materials like vermiculite and lead. Even if your older insulation wasn’t made with hazardous materials, there is a chance that toxic mold might have built up over time. Either way, when it comes time to replace your blown-in insulation you need to take special care so you don’t put your workers’ or residents’ health at risk.

At Latta, we are always trying to find new heavy-duty vacuums that offer higher levels of safety and efficiency. Therefore, we are pleased to announce our latest line of specialized vacuum systems, the Ruwac Attic Vac 300. Ruwac Attic Vac 300Thanks to our years of experience, we know how important it is to provide a safe vacuum environment while removing blown-in insulation. The Ruwac Attic Vac 300 features 11 Hg” of negative vacuum pressure which returns only clean air and is the most powerful on the market.

The Attic Vac’s strength and durability allows it to contain and filter harmful materials all while safely collecting them into a 55-gallon bulk drum. The Attic Vac 300 includes a 240 V single phase motor, 28 ft2 of Ruwac’s industry-leading MicroClean filtration (with the option to upgrade to HEPA), a 3” inlet with a 50’ hose, hose connector, and 10 lightweight bulk bags.

Ruwac USA is a leading manufacturer of portable, central and specialty industrial vacuum systems. Made in the USA, Ruwac’s industrial vacuums are known for their reliability, innovative design, and superb filtration. For more information about the new Attic Vac 300, visit our website or contact an expert at Latta today.

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