Noise and haze can add stress unnecessarily to already taxed welders and machine operators. Why inhibit their productivity when all that’s needed is a well-designed and properly installed air filtration system? This was precisely the case at this agricultural equipment OEM.
Original story by Brad F. Kuvin, Editor of Metal Forming Magazine.
Ducting from Fast Manufacturing’s Mazak laser tube-cutting machine leads to a Farr Gold Series GS8 dust collector, located outdoors.
Welders and cutting machine operators welcome new technology that makes their days more productive, safe, rewarding and enjoyable. Such joy and appreciation can quickly subside when improved productivity and throughput comes with added shop noise and dirtier air.
Such was the case at agricultural industry supplier Fast Manufacturing of Mountain Lake, MN, a manufacturer of pull-type sprayers and liquid fertilizer application equipment. As the market for such equipment has surged since 2008, according to Fast general manager Clay Roll, so has the firm’s fabrication and welding capacity.
In 2009 the firm added 4800 sq. ft. to its main fabrication building, which houses 25 manual arc welding booths. In 2011, a second adjoining production facility welcomed a new plasma arc cutting table, and in January 2012 a new 4500-W laser cutting machine. Finally, in December of 2012 the firm acquired a second 4500-W laser cutting machine, replacing the plasma table. A third adjoining building features a 4000-W laser cutting machine designed to cut tubes and structural sections. Fast processes structural steel plates and sheets from 16 gauge in thickness to 2 in., and square tubes ¾ in. to 10 in.
Air Handling — Undersized and Loud
From left to right, a Farr Gold Series GS8 for weld fumes;
a GS16 and GS6 for laser cutting dust and fumes.
Also significantly improved, noted Camfil APC specialist Jon Ladwig, is the amount of noise generated on the clean air side of the dust and fume exhaust system. Ladwig and Camfil APC metalworking market manager Greg Schreier designed the system for Fast.
“The old horizontal style cartridge unit not only was undersized but created a lot of noise, which can be very fatiguing in the tight confines of a factory," said Ladwig. "We installed a better silencer on the exhaust and optimized the design of the ductwork to minimize air velocity of the clean air reentering the plant. All of this added up to an effective solution — cost and performance-wise — that keeps the air clean and the noise to a minimum.”
The entire article (as well as one of our full-page ads) can be seen in the November 2013 edition of Metalforming Magazine.