All posts by Josh Fields

AirTek’s Commitment to Safety – Our Values

At AirTek, our commitment to safety allows us to maintain, install, and upgrade electrostatic precipitators consistently and without incident, one project at a time. When we’re called to job sites, we understand the risks. We don’t stop until each individual member of our crew understands them too. 

Our commitment to safety culture throughout the Southeast has led to a likewise commitment from our customers. In fact, 80% of our business is based on repeat customers—testimony to our high safety standards. 

From our headquarters in Troy, AL, and then beyond throughout the Southeast, we safely handle ESP outages for a multitude of loyal clients. But how does our commitment to safety play out in the everyday? What makes AirTek the preferred ESP maintenance choice for pulp and paper industries, cement, and power plants across the country.?

Injury Free, One Project at a Time

Complacency is the #1 contributor to worksite accidents. When a contractor of any kind believes too strongly in the same old safety plan, accidents are more likely to occur. Sometimes, the most likely risks are those we think we’ve avoided.

At AirTek, we never rest on our safety laurels. Each new job presents another chance to consider our protocols. Our safety procedures are reviewed constantly from one job to the next. We update those procedures to meet the latest applicable safety requirements and the latest, unique jobsite. 

Once we decide on the correct safety protocols for a jobsite, we employ an active process to instill those safety values in each employee and regularly implement programs to reinforce safety practices. In short, there’s no such thing as being too safe at AirTek.

OSHA & Beyond

At AirTek, we believe that meeting the minimal requirements for safety sounds better on paper than in practice. Our commitment to zero injuries extends beyond the minimum OSHA requirements to grant us, and our customers, some extra peace of mind. 

Every unique jobsite, job scope, and customer safety standard is taken into account. This above-and-beyond attitude ensures a safety procedure that meets or exceeds OSHA guidelines. We continuously improve our safety processes to ensure that we stay on the path to industry-leading safety excellence.

To adjust our safety procedures with each job, we stay informed on the shifting standards and adapt accordingly. Our safety procedures are constantly reviewed and updated to meet the latest applicable requirements. 

Everyone Knows the Plan

A plan is only as good as the people who know it and execute it. That’s why we actively instill our safety values in each employee and regularly implement programs to reinforce those  practices. In addition, comprehensive safety training and coaching is ongoing with each new project, fostering an environment where workers help each other work safely.

Our dedicated safety program includes ongoing improvements, such as:

Adopting a behavior-based safety culture to ensure safety compliance from top to bottom

Recruiting professional safety personnel to the AirTek team

Enhancing our safety manual and supplementing with updated on-boarding and orientation videos

Involving immediate supervisors and foremen in annual safety seminars

What results from our holistic, 3-dimensional approach to safety is a crew that—from top to bottom—knows the plan like the back of their hand. Only when safety is comprehensively understood, and only when each individual is accountable for that safety, can a plan really come to fruition.

The AirTek Safety Advantage

There are too many good reasons to be as safe as possible on the jobsite. For our crew, for our business, for our customers, and for the successful completion of the job at hand, we take every precaution. 

At AirTek, our commitment to safety is our #1 advantage. Our extensive knowledge and experience with electrostatic precipitators wouldn’t be worth much without the continued health and safety of our employees and the accident-free record we bring to the jobsite. 

For the safest, most experienced, most dedicated ESP maintenance partners in the industry, trust AirTek in Troy, AL, and beyond.


Putting Safety First Since 1988 – AirTek in Troy, AL

Safety cannot be an afterthought, and an appropriate safety plan should be far more than a burden to be addressed before you can send an invoice. At AirTek, our commitment goes above and beyond precisely because of the value that safety adds to our work and every jobsite we’re lucky enough to work on. To learn more about our culture of safety, contact us or give us a call today at  (334) 384-0457.

When explained in certain terms, electrostatic precipitators can sound like something out of science fiction. Ionized particles created through industrial processes are attracted to collection plates while cleaner air is released. The technology allows industries like yours to operate in compliance with local, state, and federal guidelines so that you can focus on working toward success.

But at the end of this amazing, scientific feat, what happens to the trapped particles? Most electrostatic precipitators have a rapping function—a method for physically separating the particles from the collection plates. But depending on your ESP’s rapping method, some of those trapped particles could be re-entrained (or re-released) back into the air.

For optimum function, compliance, and worry-free ESP usage, it may be time to consider an upgrade to your ESP’s rapping mechanism.

Tumbling Hammers and You

A tumbling hammer rapping function is exactly what it sounds like. As one of the more common rapping methods, tumbling hammers work by riding a shaft and striking the collection plates at certain, opportune times. The collected particles fall to the hopper below where they can be collected, discarded, or reused in another part of the industrial process (such as those used by paper mills). 

Tumbling hammers are a reliable rapping method, but they do have their drawbacks. Tumbling hammers can funnel energy through support channels rather than directly into the plates themselves, causing accelerated wear and decreased efficiency. Furthermore, the rapper rod and collection plate may share a welded connection—a common failure in some designs.

So, when considering your options, what’s a superior rapping design method?

Direct Plate Rapping

Companies like AirTek in Troy, AL, can provide more cutting-edge rapping solutions for your electrostatic precipitator. Direct plate rapping ensures superior acceleration and maximum transfer of rapping energy into the collecting plate rather than plate support channels.

In direct plate rapping, two collection plates are rapped at a time, minimizing rapping losses and re-entrainment that can cause opacity spikes and diminished efficiency. Rapping smaller collecting plate areas requires less impact energy and, as a result, maximizes the life of the equipment. Simply put, direct plate rapping reduces maintenance costs by requiring less physical, concussive force. 

Direct plate rapping has numerous other advantages and helpful features, including:

-Maximized Transfer of Rapping Energy into Collection Plates
-Reduced Re-entrainment
-Optimized Precipitator Efficiency
-Prolonged Equipment Life
-Less Need for Regular Maintenance
-Electromagnetic Rappers

In other areas of our lives, an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” mentality may prove wise. But when talking about the longevity, functionality, and reliability of industrial machinery, the occasional upgrade proves wiser. 

Every Advantage You Can Get

You need your electrostatic precipitator to function as best it can for as long as possible. That means maximizing both efficiency and longevity. By converting your ESP to a direct plate rapping design, you can avoid untold maintenance costs and unscheduled downtime for the next decade or longer. 

Heavy, expensive industrial machinery that keeps you compliant with environmental law shouldn’t be neglected or permitted to operate day-in and day-out under less than ideal circumstances. Upgrade your ESP today with AirTek’s direct plate rapping system and rest easy that you’ve done what you can to add value to your business.


Call AirTek to Learn more About Direct Plate Rapping

Maintenance and machine replacement are a matter of IF not WHEN. Doing everything you can to increase efficiency and machine longevity can save you untold sums of money, untold days of work stoppages, and untold grief and frustration. Let AirTek help you by helping your ESP work harder, longer, and better. Contact us or give us a call today for more information on Direct Plate rapping at (334) 384-0457!

 

Top Causes of Fan Failures & How You Can Prevent Them

A general rule of engineering holds that the more complex a machine, the more ways it has to break down. Put another way, simple machines (such as pulleys, wheels, and levers) won’t require as much maintenance (if any) as a combustion engine or massive, industrial excavator. 

While you’re no doubt familiar with the tools of your trade, some machines on your jobsite may escape your watchful eye. The health and continued functionality of our electrostatic precipitators (ESPs), for example, can easily get away from us. 

Simple Component, Complex Machine

As a necessary part of your industry’s commitment to reducing air pollution, Fans rank among the most critical  machines on your plant site. Minor failures or dips in performance can often go undetected. It can be easy for issues with your large fans to go unnoticed until it’s too late. 

At AirTek in Troy, AL, we service Fans from the top down, reviewing every critical and minor component for operational fitness. Your fans are necessary to hitting your compliance goals while also hitting those monthly and quarterly production goals. 

Here are the top reasons fans break, causing work stoppages, periods of noncompliance, or expensive, emergency repairs.

Top Fan Failure Causes & Issues

Blade Issues 

Your fan wheel may be 10 feet in diameter or larger. That’s a lot of surface area for each individual blade. 

Without regular maintenance, your fan blades could end up coated in dust. 

Excess weight on fan blades can compromise functionality, contribute to wobble, or even accelerate wear and tear until a replacement is required, rather than some simple maintenance.

Bearing Issues

To hold that 10-foot fan wheel in place, your fan requires other hefty components. Bearing alignment and maintenance is necessary to keep the fan operating smoothly and without excess degradation brought on by wobble. Without a healthy bearing, your fan may be at risk of failure, to say nothing of functioning at an acceptable level of performance.

Loose bearings, battered bearings, or elderly bearings can contribute to increased friction during fan rotation. Your fan’s bearing also helps to distribute the load across the shaft  for the greatest, sustained balance throughout operation. Simply put, a fan without a healthy bearing cannot operate (or cannot operate for long).

Fan Ducts

Unmaintained or simply old equipment can retain moisture—a serious issue for your continued operation. In what’s meant to be a dry environment (where dust can rise, collect, and settle to keep it from the air), moisture can cause clumping, clogging, and other issues. 

Clogs or blockages in your fan duct  can seriously undermine performance and operational efficiency. To make matters more difficult, simply cleaning the duct  may not be enough. You’ll need to locate the components responsible for the build up of moisture or the blockage itself. 

At AirTek, we pride ourselves on diagnosing ailing ESPs and ducts. We can restore the components while also locating and repairing other malfunctioning components for best performance, longer life, and reduced costs all around.

Complex Machines, Simple Solutions

For the best performance year after year, AirTek services electrostatic precipitators and fans so you don’t have to worry about them. On any given day, you have a hundred other fires to put out. The last thing you need is a necessary piece of environmental protection equipment malfunctioning for reasons beyond your understanding. 

AirTek can help through regular, scheduled maintenance before emergencies arise. When emergencies do happen, we can help with those too. But the best kind of repair jobs are scheduled well in advance and when you can afford them.

Set up a maintenance program with AirTek today so that you can get back to business.


Repairs and maintenance rather than emergency work stoppages & noncompliance

You need the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re set up for success each and every day. To keep working hard toward your goals, you need a hard working ESP. To schedule regular maintenance, or to diagnose an issue with your ESP, trust the electrostatic precipitator expertise at AirTek. Contact us or give us a call today at  (334) 384-0457 for more information on the operational health and functionality of your ESP’s and fans.

 

How a Good Maintenance Program Translates to Performance – AirTek

In heavy industry—as in other fields—the most important part about being in business is simply staying in business. But “staying in business” may be more easily said than done, especially for those industries with stringent environmental compliance regulations. “Staying in business” means maximizing the working hours in the day, complying with environmental regulations, and otherwise not shooting yourself in the foot or committing unforced errors.

You rely on heavy machinery to keep you and your crew compliant with local, state, and federal regulations, but your heavy machinery relies on you to keep it up and running as powerfully as possible. Regular maintenance can boost performance, optimize daily operations, and generally increase performance across the board. Here’s how.

Stay Compliant

Air pollution equipment—such as an electrostatic precipitator—allows your team to stay focused on the day’s work. An optimally functioning electrostatic precipitator gives you and your crew the peace of mind to work at the highest levels of performance without worrying about compliance in the slightest.

Penalties for noncompliance are a great deal more inconvenient than regular maintenance. If your electrostatic precipitator (or another vital piece of equipment) is found to be less than adequate, sudden work stoppages, expensive emergency repairs, and even health and safety violations may soon follow. 

In the interest of carrying on with your business, it’s best to stick to a solid, disciplined maintenance schedule. At the very least, scheduling your maintenance ahead of time may save you from scheduling maintenance as an emergency.

Consistency is King

While it can be easy to neglect certain pieces of equipment that don’t (at first glance) have much to do with the daily operation of your facility, an overlooked electrostatic precipitator is more likely to underperform today or even malfunction altogether tomorrow without regular maintenance. Maintenance put off over weeks, months, or days is bound to catch up with you at some point. That bill will inevitably come due.

Without regular maintenance, you’re creating an unknowable variable in the daily operation of your facility. Will your electrostatic precipitator malfunction this week? Next? When it does malfunction, will it require just one part to fix or several? Will that malfunction cause cascade failure in your operation, requiring a work stoppage to correct? At the end of the day, we simply can’t know.

To stay open for business, compliant with regulations, and consistent in hours worked and revenue generated from month to month, regular maintenance helps us by removing a significant amount of doubt.

Power is Preferable

Environmental compliance is not measured in zeroes or ones. While local, state, and federal agencies set measurable thresholds for air pollution, it’s not always optimal to stay at or near the upper ranges of those levels. Ultimately, environmental compliance is important to you because staying compliant means staying open for business. Even flirting with the upper limits of “parts per million, etc.” is unwise.

Simply put, the more efficiently and powerfully your electrostatic precipitator runs, the better. If you never even approach a limit, you’re a great deal less likely to exceed it. Staying as far away as possible from dangerous limits is simply the best strategy. 

So while your neglected electrostatic precipitator may still keep you technically compliant with regulations, a better-maintained piece of equipment could provide you with a valuable cushion.

Scheduled Maintenance & Carry On

In some industries, it can often feel like there’s never a good time for maintenance. But in all honesty, every single machine—no matter how well it’s engineered—will require maintenance sooner or later. 

Staying on top of your regularly scheduled maintenance is less about fixing what’s broken and more about never allowing anything critical to your operation to break in the first place. Even so, unforeseen problems may occur. But at least those issues won’t compound or worsen neglect to the point of a work stoppage or worse. 

For peace of mind, consistent operation, and optimum performance, call AirTek to schedule your regular maintenance today. Let us worry about your machinery so that you don’t have to.


Maintain your equipment before it causes problems. Call AirTek.

The best emergencies are the ones that never happen. The second best emergencies are the ones we can see coming from a long way off. To stay prepared and spare yourself the arrival of an honest-to-goodness emergency, call AirTek to schedule regular maintenance today. At AirTek, we’ve been innovating, repairing, and maintaining electrostatic precipitators for more than three decades. Contact us or give us a call today at (334) 384-0457!

AirTek Everywhere – Our Electrostatic Precipitators by Industry

Industry and regulation—the two will forever go hand in hand. But the most successful industrial leaders of our times find ways to appease both sides of the coin. By meeting and maintaining regulatory guidelines, we reallocate resources which help us rise to the top of our field.

Electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) are vital components in even the loftiest industrial dreams. But the majority of electrostatic precipitators used today are aging and in dire need of upgrades. After nearly three and a half decades of revolutionizing ESPs, AirTek has turned its attention to designing, engineering, fabricating, and erecting electrostatic precipitators of our own.

Here are just a few of the industries relying on AirTek’s cutting-edge technology today.

Power Generation

Energy is everything. It literally makes the world go round. But making energy is a tricky business, and even basic methods of power generation run a risk of creating airborne pollutants. 

AirTek’s electrostatic precipitators help our partners in the power generation industry by catching regulated particulates in boiler gases, ensuring that our partners stay in business and that everyone’s lights stay on.

Pulp & Paper

Moving on to boilers of a different sort, AirTek is proud to play a role in the especially challenging pulp and paper industry. The conversion process to take wood to pulp or paper creates unique particles in the resulting gasses. These particles are important to capture, both from an environmental standpoint and for reuse in the chemical recovery process.  

AirTek’s electrostatic precipitators, enjoy the benefits of decades of research, expert design, and the latest in monitoring technology to ensure the consistent operation of our nation’s pulp and paper industry.

Petrochemical

In perhaps the most highly regulated industry today, AirTek’s masterfully engineered electrostatic precipitators perform day in and day out. Refining processes throughout the petrochemical industry result in uniquely regulated byproducts. But our experience with our petrochemical partners through the years has given us an insider’s edge.

Staying within regulations is essential to the petrochemical industry. That’s why we go the extra mile at AirTek to design exceptional electrostatic precipitators to keep our partners operating at maximum efficiency. 

Partners in Progress 

In addition to the power generation, pulp/paper, and petrochemical industries, AirTek electrostatic precipitators serve too many other industries to list. From steel manufacturing to rock products, our electrostatic precipitators are keeping our partners compliant, operational, and successful.

To repair, maintain, or upgrade your current electrostatic precipitator, or to see what an AirTek ESP can do for you, contact us today. Serving our industrial partners in Troy, AL, and the surrounding region, AirTek can help you strive toward your industrial dreams for decades to come.


Helping you meet and exceed your industrial dreams.

Regulations, no matter how strict, are just one more bump on your road to success. With AirTek electrostatic precipitators, you can spend more time thinking about efficiency, revenue, and costs, while spending less time on staying compliant. Keep your doors open and your mind free with AirTek. For more information, contact us or give us a call today at (334) 566-7400!