For Food Industry, Finding the “Right Size” Commercial Air Filters Made Easy
For different food plants—and even different areas in a facility—the optimal air filter can vary. Tools like Camfil’s LCC software identify the best product
While high indoor air quality is essential in all industries, it is particularly crucial for the food and beverage sector. That’s because air that is contaminated with harmful particles can easily come in contact with food products, threatening customers’ health — and the business’s future. The threat is all the more worrisome given that outdoor air carries between 200 and 1,500 bacteria per cubic meter and a typical air handling system could take in 2 to 15 million bacteria each hour. Proper air filtration isn’t just a safeguard, but a necessity.
Yet air filters aren’t all the same, and filters that are perfectly adequate in one indoor environment may not be suitable for another. How to choose the optimal air filter products? That’s a challenge for many businesses—but one that can be tackled, with great success, with the right tools.
A March 5 article by FoodEngineering explores this complex topic in depth, highlighting the importance of keeping bacteria and other harmful particles (such as mold spores and viruses) out of food processing and packaging areas. It discusses how different systems may be appropriate for different parts of a facility and covers tools that help companies home in on the best solutions. To shed light on that last point, FoodEngineering turned to Mark Davidson, the national accounts district manager for the food and beverage segment at Camfil USA.
Camfil — the world’s leading provider of clean air solutions—has long been at the forefront of providing next-generation air filters that maintain peak efficiency longer than more traditionally designed filters, which can quickly degrade. Leveraging a half dozen global research centers, Camfil has created filters that use less energy and require less frequent change-outs. But the company is innovative in another way, too: in creating unique tools that enable customers to compare the real-world performance and the lifetime costs of different filters.
Perhaps the most important tool in Camfil’s portfolio is the company’s proprietary Camfil Life-Cycle Costing (LCC) modeling software. As Davidson notes in the FoodEngineering article, the LCC software can predict the performance characteristics of virtually any air filter on the market.
“The software takes into account the outside environment in which the filter will operate, as well as the operating characteristics of the air-handling unit itself, such as system airflow, filter area, return air rate, and hours operated annually,” Davidson explains. It will show what the real-life average pressure drop, filtration efficiency, service life, and energy demands will be for each filter a customer may be considering — and not only determine if air is being filtered to the appropriate level, but what the lifetime costs of that filter will be.
For businesses that use air filters, lifetime costs are a far more useful measurement than a filter’s initial cost, as energy use, change-outs, maintenance, and disposal all significantly impact what a customer ultimately pays for its clean air solution.
The idea is to enable customers using the LCC software to identify the optimal solution for their needs. That’s especially valuable for food industry users, since those needs will likely vary from one part of their plant to another. Areas where raw food is handled, for example, will have different requirements than areas where finished products are stored. The LCC software lets food producers identify the best solution for each specific area of their facility.
With tools like Camfil’s LLC software, it isn’t just possible to balance the need for clean air with the need to control costs — it’s simple to do it.
The world leader in air filtration systems, Camfil provides clean air solutions for hospitals, hotels, office buildings, educational institutions, and pharmaceutical and biotech companies. We provide the tools to achieve sustainability, maintain high air quality, and reduce airborne infections — all while lowering total cost of ownership. Camfil customers go green without ever sacrificing performance.
For more information, visit us online at www.camfil.us or call us toll-free at 888.599.6620.
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