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A pharmaceutical manufacturing and packaging company that produces and packages over-the-counter medications needed a reliable solution for managing combustible dust. The wide range of pills and tablets produced at the facility creates an excessive amount of powdery dust which was not being properly managed, creating regulatory compliance issues and serious safety threats. 

Pharmaceutical pills and tabs

Recognized as an expert in combustion dust safety systems and compliance, Glacier Technology was brought in to develop a dependable, comprehensive system to protect the employees and facility from explosive events and to bring the company in line with governmental safety regulations.


The tablets and pills produced start out as bags of bulk powder. Source capturing the dust as the tablets are being produced is the most effective approach to dust containment. The company’s pill manufacturing machines were equipped with built-in source capture nozzles, but needed an effective system to adequately perform the combustible dust capture and air filtration processes. 

A complicating factor in this project was very tight quarters in the building due to low ceilings. The customer also wanted all their lab rooms, where the dust needed to be captured, to remain the same, making planning and the ultimate installation more challenging.


CMAXX Combustible Dust Collector for Pharmaceutical CompanyThe Glacier Technology team designed and installed a complete combustible dust system including a CMAXX Cartridge Dust Collector and a network of ducting around the plant to serve the dumping room and pill labs. The duct sizing was designed per the required transport velocity, which is crucial when collecting combustible dust. Per NFPA, duct velocity (with combustible dust) must be a minimum of 4000 feet per minute.


The new system is now successfully capturing the dust in the bag dumping room as well as in the eight pill manufacturing labs. Providing optimal efficiency, the system was engineered to return air back into the building. This was accomplished using Imperial Systems IDA filters in conjunction with the CMAXX. 

Additional combustible dust equipment included: 

  • EIV (Explosion Isolation Valve) – Installing an Explosion Isolation Valve (EIV) protects workers and facilities from the damaging effects of a baghouse or cartridge filter explosion 
  • IDA filters (In-Line Deflagration Arrester) – Since the company is returning the clean air back into the facility, we used the proprietary IDA DeltaMAXX filters, these  have been proven by third-party testing to isolate a deflagration and stop a flame front from entering the building. 
  • Rhino Drum – Rhino Drum eliminates need for an airlock at half the cost
  • Explosion Vent – Includes Burst Indicator used to activate alarms, bells, remote annunciators or interfaced with process control systems.


The pharmaceutical manufacturer now has a clean plant with no worries about non-compliance or dust combusting inside the facility. The customer also is experiencing peace of mind with service after the sale including comprehensive training on system maintenance.

Our team brings extensive experience and expert knowledge in not only industrial dust collection system design and development, but also experience in successfully navigating OSHA and NFPA requirements. Contact Glacier Technology to learn more about combustible dust and the industry’s leading equipment solutions.

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