Fabric ducting is a versatile and more efficient alternative to metal ducting in food production plants. As well as being easy to install and configure to a bespoke layout, they can increase the primary air flow rate compared with standard air ducting. But how to get the most from your air socks? We look at some tips that will keep your air socks working as effectively as possible, keeping your factory air clean and helping to avoid cross contamination.
Tip 1 – Get a Proper Survey
Fabric ducting layout can be tailored to your exact requirements to ensure optimum air flow conditions in each of your individual production areas and there is practically no limit to what you can achieve. Spend the time talking through your needs with a trained specialist and arrange for a full survey so you know all the options available.
Tip 2 – Establish a Regular Cleaning Schedule
As with metal ducting, over time, mould and bacteria can build up on the interior (and also exterior) of air socks. This can reduce Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and, consequently, presents a risk to food in production areas and also to workers’ health.
As prevention is always better than cure, we advise our customers to put a regular cleaning schedule in place. A 6-monthly or annual clean is usual, depending on your production area. Air socks can be laundered in industrial washing machines, ensuring a deep clean, or cleaned by hand to remove all traces of build-up.
Tip 3 – Have a Spare Set of Air Socks
In order to prevent disruption to production during air sock cleaning, it is a good idea to have a spare set of air socks on hand. The dirty socks are removed and taken away to be sanitized, and your spare set is installed. The lightweight fabric means that removal and install are quick – keeping your production moving. At HVDS, we can store spare air socks on behalf of our customers to save space on site.
Tip 4 – Clean Air Socks After Factory Washdown
During your regular machinery and factory cleaning, the hot water sprays you use can create humidity. Humidity increases the risk of mould spores and bacteria forming on and in fabric ducting. To help prevent mould and bacteria taking hold, we therefore recommend scheduling your air sock cleaning for just after factory washdown.
Tip 5 – Choose Your Fabric Ducting Service Carefully
A fabric ducting company worth its salt will have engineers who have been BESA trained. The BESA is the Building Engineering Services Association – the UK’s leading trade organisation for building engineering services contractors, and it represents,
“the interests of firms active in the design, installation, commissioning, maintenance, control and management of engineering systems and services in buildings.”
HVDS engineers have completed their BESA training and have the most relevant skills and knowledge and qualifications in air hygiene and health and safety. Our engineers have also completed their Human Focus training – independently approved health and safety courses.
As previously highlighted, a good air sock supply and installation service will conduct a full survey and discuss your application and ventilation requirements with you in detail to ensure you get exactly what you need. They will take into account aspects such as placement of air holes for optimum air flow and temperature control, colour, shape and material of the air socks, as well as installation and maintenance options. To understand your requirements fully, your supplier will need to be a specialist supplier to the food industry. HVDS has been an expert in clean air for food production facilities for over 40 years.
For more information about fabric ducting for your food production site, speak to an HVDS fabric ducting technician on 01785 256976 or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org