Case Study: Dust Collection System Upgrade for Gibson Guitars 


Gibson Guitars, a renowned name in the music industry, faced a critical need to upgrade the dust collection systems in their Bozeman, Montana, and Nashville, Tennessee manufacturing plants. The existing systems were outdated, with operational inefficiencies and lacked compliance with combustible dust safety regulations outlined by NFPA.

Gibson guitar old baghouse, side view with holes on top
The existing baghouse was an outdated plenum pulse dust collector. It has massive holes on the roof that had been covered with a tarp.

Scope of Work - Nashville, TN Plant

Gibson guitar dust collector - old fan and baghouse that was replaced
The existing outdated plenum pulse dust collector, fan and ductwork was replaced with a modern pulse jet baghouse from along with new ductwork, combustible dust protection and a new system fan.

Having recently come under new management, Gibson Guitars embarked on a multiyear project to upgrade its dust collection systems at both its Nashville, Tennessee and Bozeman, Montana plants. The goal was to increase efficiency, reduce downtime, and improve the safety and environmental aspects of their systems. 

First, was contacted and asked to conduct a thorough audit of the existing dust collection systems at the Gibson USA plant  in Nashville TN, in particular an outdated plenum pulse envelope baghouse that was in desperate need of replacement. The unit had suffered from years of neglect and was in poor physical condition, with large holes on the roof and sides of the unit.  Additionally, the system had only partial protection against combustible dust hazards, which the plant wanted to address. 

Taking into account their unique needs, we designed a complete dust collection system to meet the current production needs as well as providing for future growth. This included the installation of a new pulse jet style baghouse, a larger system fan, upgraded ductwork, and the integration of NFPA-required combustible dust safety equipment. To ensure compliance with NFPA regulationsexplosion vents and an explosion isolation valve were strategically installed. Additionally, explosion-rated equipment, such as rotary valves, replaced non-compliant elements in the discharge system.

Gibson pulse jet baghouse from after installation
New pulse jet style baghouse installed at Gibson USA in Nashville, TN by

Scope of Work at Bozeman, MT plant

Existing baghouse at Gibson Guitars in Bozeman, Montana that was replaced.
Existing baghouse at Gibson Guitars in Bozeman, Montana that was too small for the increased production needs of the company.

The situation at the Bozeman, Montana plant was somewhat different. This plant, which produces all of Gibson’s acoustic guitars, had an existing system that worked well, but that was far too small to account for increased production projections. The expansion of the facility was to take place in two stages: First, a new building was to be built while the existing building and production machines were to keep running. Once the new building was up, the layout of production machines would be completely reworked between the two buildings. Additionally, Gibson asked that the new system be designed and installed in such a way so as to not disrupt existing production and that the changeover be done with little to no downtime. The new system would also need to be able to transition into its expanded role once the facility expansion project was completed in several years.

With these challenging requirements, set about engineering, supplying, and installing a new dust collection system that: (1) would provide for the current production needs, (2) be capable of nearly 3x capacity when the plant expansion was completed, (3) could be installed without disrupting production, and (4) meet or exceed existing best practice for combustible dust applications.

The solution proved to be a much larger multiple compartment pulse jet baghouse capable of handling 75,000 CFM+. The module (i.e. multiple compartment) style was used to provide additional redundancy and minimize downtime when conducting maintenance. Additionally, the system was outfitted with several protection devices to resolve combustible dust hazards such as high speed abort gates, spark detectionNFPA compliant rotary airlocks and explosion venting.

Importantly, during the design stage we proposed locating the new collector and fan adjacent to the existing baghouse so that it could be installed and brought online without decommissioning the existing system. When the switchover was to take place, we were able to simply extend the existing main trunk of the ductwork over to the new collector and connect the new return air ducting into the building through an enlarged wall penetration.

Eventually, once the new plant layout has been completed, a new, larger interior ductwork system will be installed and reconnected to utilize the full capacity of the new baghouse. 

Thew system provides sufficient performance for the existing plant layout and stands ready to handle the estimated 3x increase in demand that will be needed once the plant’s expansion project is completed. 


The upgraded dust collection systems led to improved operational efficiency, reducing downtime caused by maintenance issues and gained long-term reliability, reducing the need for frequent repairs and replacements.‘s expertise in dust collection systems proved instrumental in providing Gibson Guitars with a reliable, compliant, and efficient solution. These projects not only addressed immediate challenges but also positioned these woodworking facilities to handle the demand placed on them by Gibson’s sustained growth. Additionally,’s ability to offer complete turnkey solutions allowed for the development of a comprehensive plan covering the collector, system fan, ductwork, combustible dust safety and installation processes so as to minimize production downtime during the changeovers.

We feel privileged to have been able to work with such a great company and to be part of their legacy as they continue to evolve to meet the needs of the 21st century musician.

Would you like to know how a thorough technical inspection and a system report by could improve the efficiency of your operations? 

Talk now with one of our baghouse experts for more information!

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