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Problem Solvers: John Rock Inc. installs SonicAire®2.0 fans
Fugitive dust can kill, so it can’t be allowed to accumulate. Is there an alternative to ongoing cleaning services to solve this problem?

By Staff
Date Posted: 12/1/2013

Problem:  A pallet manufacturer needed a smarter way to prevent combustible dust from building up to comply with OSHA regulations and to keep employees safe.


Solution:  John Rock Inc. installed SonicAire®2.0 fans that makes an air barrier that keeps combustible dust from building up.


                John Rock Inc., a wooden pallet manufacturer in Coatesville, Pa. that has committed to never compromising on quality, has a goal of getting the best results in every aspect of its plant operations - not only in the processing equipment producing the pallets, but also in the equipment behind the scenes. 

                As all pallet manufacturers know, fugitive dust is a critical issue, and John Rock wanted to set the bar for high quality in this area. Not only is it dangerous, able to cause explosions from accumulated combustible dust, but the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has strict regulations on the issue. The staff at John Rock knew they needed a solution that worked in tandem with its existing filtration system, since no filtration system can capture every particle of dust. 

                John Rock President Bill MacCauley first heard about this solution at a trade event earlier this year. He discovered the SonicAire 2.0, a cleaning fan with BarrierAire Technology™, an engineering innovation that prevents combustible dust from accumulating on overhead structures. The company decided to take advantage of the “Try and Buy” program, where one fan could be tried for 60 days, and returned if not completely satisfied. After testing the SonicAire 2.0 for six weeks, John Rock decided to order three more fans for better coverage for more of its plant. 

                “John Rock Inc. is always looking for state-of-the-art solutions to make our plants efficient – and safe for our employees,” said MacCauley. “We installed SonicAire 2.0 fans because we saw the need to prevent dust from accumulating in the first place. Smart engineering is important to every facet of our business; these clean fans use technology that makes an air barrier that keeps combustible dust from building up on overhead structures. They work.”

                The SonicAire 2.0 robotically creates this barrier so plants can continuously maintain OSHA compliance. More importantly, employees are safer from the risk of combustible dust explosions at all times. The SonicAire 2.0 is part of the full line of SonicAire fans manufactured by Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES), based in Winston-Salem, N.C. 

                “SonicAire 2.0 was designed specifically for the wood and timber industries, since the type of dust has so many more challenges,” said IES President Brad Carr. “Wood dust has a wide range of issues – it can be heavier or moister or even drier than other types of dust. So we needed to design a more powerful solution to deal with the unique characteristics of wood dust. We’re pleased that John Rock Inc. sees this as one of the state-of-the-art solutions that the company has implemented in its plant.”

                For more information on SonicAire fans, visit http://www.iesclean.com or call Carr at 336-712-2437.

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