Apia Concrete beats the dust quick smart
Finding installers to assist in the installation of a new filter at the site of Samoa’s biggest privately owned company, Apia Concrete Products, was no issue for Neal England, NZ Duct & Flex’s engineering manager.
Apia Concrete, established more than 40 years ago, provided a team of helpers when work was carried out to reduce the concrete dust produced during mixing and loading of its 80-unit cement truck f leet.
Vernon Wetzell, son of the company’s founder, explained that as the cement bags were cut open and added to the hopper – which feeds the cement and fill to the mixer trucks – staff were getting exposed to cement dust.
With many of its 70-plus staff being with the company for more than 30 years, everyone wanted to help with the installation – the modular filter and matching fan that normally takes two to three days to instal was standing in just hours.
Wetzell had approached Geoff Ebdon at NZ Duct & Flex for advice. Geoff who has experience of working in the Pacific Islands recommended a modular filter, available ‘off the shelf’ at the Auckland warehouse.
The filter needs no maintenance – just a change of bags every few years – and is ideal for the rigours of life in the cyclone prone Pacific, where technical knowledge, spare parts and specialist servicing are not easily available or are expensive.
These filters have no moving parts, apart from the impeller in the fan motor, so are ideal for a location such as Samoa. This simple operation, coupled with Lip Lock ducting, which is easy to quickly clip together, meant the whole thing was up and operating in just over two days.
Neal England and Alex Tauvala’au from NZ Duct & Flex, travelled to oversee the installation.
“Due to the f lexibility of our ducting system we are able to ’guesstimate’ the whole job from a couple of photographs, ship everything up to Apia a couple of weeks prior and hop on a plane to put it all together,” said Neal.
Alex Tauvala’au, who has been selling the modular duct system for more than 20 years (originally as the Speedlock brand), was familiar with the differences in organising such an install in Apia rather than Auckland.
Vernon Wetzell says the system is working well and staff have noticed the difference.
Geoff said: “Modular filters are the perfect solution for small to medium companies with dust issues.
“They are rugged, easy to install and can be expanded to cope with increased demand. Simply remove the end panel, add a module and then bolt the end on again.
“Unless you are running your operation 24/7 you often don’t need a more advanced but complex filter. Compressed air pulse filters are excellent if you need constant usage but are more expensive, require production of compressed air and are often far more demanding in terms of operating costs.”
Neal England form NZ Duct&Flex and an ACP employee who helped install the new filter.