Ventilation and extraction systems are vital in any welding environment, but not all systems can provide the solution for complex projects.
International, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of metal detection and X-ray conveyor systems, Mettler Toledo needed a ventilation system that would be multifunctional. The challenge was that the company’s welding shop had expanded by 150 percent and the area used for welding was no longer isolated.
Not only would a new ventilation system need to ensure that everyone including welders and other workers was protected from hazardous fumes and gasses, but it needed to be designed so that the entire floor space remained open so that once weldments were completed they could be moved efficiently to where they were required.
The company works with stainless steel and their main concern was Chromium 6 or hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)], an alloy that is added to stainless steel to harden it and is known to cause cancer of the respiratory system, liver, kidneys, eyes, and skin.
The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has specific standards for hexavalent chromium in general industry, construction, and in shipyards. Those people employed as welders or involved in other forms of “hot work” on metals that contain chromium are most at risk.
But the challenge for Mettler Toledo wasn’t just OSHA standards. The company’s Florida Product Inspection Division’s product manager, Carl L. Melecci had previously been the victim of throat cancer caused by toxic inhalation. He was adamant that others should be protected from this type of risk and was determined to find a solution that provided protection in excess of the basic OSHA requirements.
Kemper America specializes in ventilation, filtration and extraction systems for the welding industry as well as every other industry where air quality is an issue. While there are a number of products that are ideally suited for welding operations, the company’s VarioHood was identified by Melecci as the ideal solution for Mettler Toledo’s set-up. These would be used with mechanical wall-mounted and custom wire-mounted filter units, and a system of welding curtains.
The VarioHood Difference
Kemper America’s VarioHood is an exhaust hood that was developed for robotic welding.
An advantage of VarioHood is that it works according to an innovative airflow principle that relies on a very low flow rate. Also, dust is extracted at source, offering maximum health protection, as well as protection from welding spatter.
Flexible and versatile in terms of set up, it is modular and can be configured in a variety of sizes to meet the varied needs of individual plants and factories. For instance units may be:
- Mounted on stands
- Suspended from the ceiling
- Integrated with a robot gantry that can be moved
Kemper installed eight ceiling-mounted VarioHoods in the Mettler Toledo welding department. This effectively provides individual welders with their own ventilation while the curtain protects fellow workers from harmful welding rays and welding dust. Each unit was wired with its own controls to ensure operation would be easy and efficient.
Ultimately, safety concerns are minimized and work areas are considerably easier to manage. Welder morale is said to be at an all-time high.
If you have ventilation needs for your welding workshop, warehouse, or factory floor, contact Kemper America to see how we can help.