A metal working company in Canada needed assistance with a solution for improving facility air quality. The company fabricates large steel assemblies for bridges, as well as buildings and structures for customers in industries including transportation, mining, oil/gas, and renewable energy. The fabrication processes used by the company relies heavily on welding operations.
When not properly managed, welding fumes are hazardous to the health of welders and anyone else breathing in the variety of toxic chemicals left in the air. Weld fumes can include everything from lead to manganese and carbon monoxide, to arsenic to chromium. This steel fabricator often had 15 to 20 welders working at the same time, so a solution was needed for improving air quality in the facility to protect their employees.
In most cases, source capture systems would be the best choice for capturing weld fume contaminants with the least amount of air volume requirement or cubic feet per minute (CFM). The greatest benefit comes from capturing the welding fume before it enters the employee breathing zone or enters the ambient air within the work space. However, in a large, open facility with overhead cranes and large fabricated structural pieces, a source capture system was not an effective solution.
Since the company is located in Nova Scotia, climate was another complicating factor that needed to be addressed. Winter temperatures, which are often extreme in Canada, meant that a system that could recirculate filtered air was preferred, so the company could avoid the expense of heating make-up air.
Ultimately, the project team decided to go with Smog Hog® units installed above the plant floor. The units were strategically placed so they could move air in a uniform pattern, filtering the suspended welding particles and recirculating clean air. An advantage this system offers is that welders can move freely and make their weldments without restriction. Since this solution allows for the recirculation of air through the facility, as opposed to exhausting it outside, it provides employees with a safer environment, while saving the company on energy costs.
The Smog Hog units are electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) that remove suspended particles from a gas or exhaust by applying a high-voltage electrostatic charge and collecting particles on charged plates. The SmogHog is up to 99% efficient on mist, smoke, and fume removal keeping businesses in compliance with even the strictest federal, state, and local environmental standards. And unlike barrier filters, which can plug and become ineffective, ESP technology ensures constant airflow.
Need assistance with a clean air solution for your facility? Contact us to discuss your needs.