Being More Efficient at Disc Filter Change Outs

One of the biggest complaints against horizontal disc filters is how long changing them can take. They require careful preparation and methodology.

One of the biggest complaints against horizontal disc filters is how long changing them can take. These filters are capable of incredibly fine filtration, somewhere around 1 micron or below. However, they do require careful preparation and methodology to reach those levels. As a result, they can take much longer to change out than other types of filters. 

So what can we do to speed it up? There are a few things. We can time out change outs over a weekend, we can size our filters appropriately, and we can utilize a second stack of disc filters. Oftentimes a mix of all three of these is the best solution for the individual shop’s needs. 

Timing change out seems like an obvious option. Of course we are timing our change outs to be one of the last things we do during the week! But, are you pulling the disc stack and allowing it to dry over the weekend before changing the media out? Setting the disc stack in a containment area and allowing the media to mostly dry over the weekend will make the job of cleaning those discs off much easier and cleaner. Then, come Monday morning, you quickly empty the now mostly dry media off the discs, replace the paper (or cloth) discs, and repack the media. Cleaner, faster, and hopefully less of a pain. 

Sizing filters appropriately also seems obvious. We try to get the correct sized filter for our baths every time. But what is the correct size? Generally, this has been determined based on bath turnovers per hour. That is a great metric for some baths, such as nickel. But is less useful for a zinc bath. Zinc baths tend to produce much more sludge than a nickel bath, and so a better size metric would be the sludge holding capacity of the filter. We might find ourselves going up in filter size, not for the flow rate, but for the sludge capacity. Sometimes it is even possible to use a smaller pump (thus a lower flow) on a larger chamber. 

Having a second stack of disc filters is probably the least obvious, but one of the biggest time savers. By having another stack prepped and ready to replace the stack that is in use, you can maintain almost seamless operation of the filter. You are then free to clean up the used disc stack when time permits. In fact, pairing the second disc stack with proper timing of the filter change out could mean zero wasted time, a less messy clean up, and smoother filter operation. 

Generally speaking, there is no one answer for making filter change outs more efficient. But there are a few small things to do that can add up to be very efficient. Above are a few generalized suggestions. It is recommended that you contact us today to see if there are other ways we can work together to make your filter change outs more efficient. 



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