7 Considerations in Industrial Ventilation System Design

CWA National Seminar 2017

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7 Considerations in Industrial Ventilation System Design

Options Abound When it Comes to Dust Collection and Fume Extraction

Industrial ventilation solutions are like socks.

Some elect to grab a six-pack of generic tube socks to cover the basic requirements of cotton foot protection. These are your general ventilation options: blowers, fans, and similar simple solutions. There’s nothing wrong with these standard calf-high crews. They will provide some comfort and fit OK at first. But then, they will stretch in odd ways and develop holes in the toes. They have also not benefitted from any groundbreaking design updates in recent memory.

Others, though, have seen the advantages of the innovative foot technology known as technical socks. Technical socks are designed with a specific activity in mind and, as appropriate, incorporate components like moisture wicking fabrics, strategically-placed padding, and arch reinforcements to maximize structural support. Think of these technical socks as complete industrial ventilation systems custom-engineered for the specific plant environment.

If cost, available resources and related concerns are all equal, it’s difficult to imagine anyone passing up the technical socks to grab a package of bargain-brand tubes. But before you just haul off and grab the first whole-plant fume extraction system you see, it’s important to take a few things into consideration.

Whole-Plant Industrial Ventilation System Considerations

Protect breathing space. Make sure the welder’s positioning in relation to smoke creation is accounted for. Avoid extracting smoke past the operator and through the breathing zone.

Air-to-cloth ratios. The common rule of thumb is a 3-to-1 air-to-cloth ratio for cartridge filters. This may look like a higher cost up front, but lesser filters will wear out at a quicker rate. Cartridge filters should last sic-twelve months with a proper air-to-cloth ratio designed for the application.

Automate tasks. To free up labourers, choose a ventilation system that can automatically monitor filter performance, track maintenance, and start and stop automatically as a welder or machine operator works. Some of the most advanced systems have accompanying apps for remote monitoring.

Safety first. Spark arrester controls and explosion vents reduce the risk of explosion and fire, which is especially important if paper-based filters are used and where multiple metals are processed.

Open or closed? Open plant doors or large windows, if unaccounted for in system design, can overwhelm fume extraction processes. Make sure you don’t allow open plant doors and windows to overpower the system. Even a light breeze (about 500 fpm) can drastically change air circulation patterns.

Workload. On average, human welders keep the arc on for 30 percent of their shift, but that number rises to 90 percent with robotic systems. Be certain the system is designed to process fume appropriately.

A Final, Most Important Consideration: Choosing a Partner

Here’s a bonus consideration: choose a clean air technology partner who is as committed to proving their resourcefulness as you are to achieving your business goals. You owe it to yourself to work with a team devoted to engineering an ideal whole-plant ventilation system for your needs.