Stu­dents wave bye-bye to fumes

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - FRONT PAGE -

The new gas weld­ing area for stu­dents at­tend­ing Whi­tireia In­sti­tute in Porirua.

Whi­tireia New Zealand, the ter­tiary In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy, has al­most 8000 stu­dents based in 4 cam­puses, and boasts a high level of stu­dent suc­cess. The Porirua site, es­tab­lished in 1986, of­fers a huge range of cour­ses in­clud­ing ba­sic trades cour­ses that teach weld­ing – and they take the sub­ject of fumes very se­ri­ously.

When an up­grade in the work room was re­quired due to an in­crease in stu­dent num­bers, Carol Drys­dale, the Pro­gramme Man­ager, con­tacted Ge­off Eb­don at NZ Duct+Flex and asked him to visit the site out­side Welling­ton to ex­plain how things could be im­proved. As it is NZ Duct+Flex com­pany pol­icy to of­fer the best long term so­lu­tion for best prac­tice, Eb­don quoted on three sep­a­rate ar­eas to make the im­prove­ments. The first phase was com­pleted ear­lier this year by the com­pany’s own in­stal­la­tion team and has im­proved the ven­ti­la­tion for the ex­ist­ing and new weld­ing bays, as well as creat­ing a new area specif­i­cally for gas weld­ing.

A JK40D fan with an 18.5kW mo­tor from Dan­ish sup­plier JKF In­dus­tri was in­stalled to drive four new fume arms used by the stu­dents in a cen­tralised bay. The fan also was ef­fec­tive in pro­vid­ing im­proved ex­trac­tion for a num­ber of other ar­eas that never re­ceived ad­e­quate ven­ti­la­tion be­fore.

As the stu­dents are gas weld­ing, and only a small area is used, the fume arms in­stalled to re­move the smoke were the smaller 75mm dia with one me­tre reach, al­though a range of arms are avail­able from NZ Duct+Flex right up to 160mm dia and four me­tre reach. The pow­er­ful fan spec­i­fied also vents the other bays and area’s and has plenty of ca­pac­ity to cope if the weld­ing area re­quire­ments con­tinue to ex­pand in the fu­ture.

“So of­ten we visit sites where the fans are too small to be ef­fec­tive, or some­one has tried to deal with weld­ing fumes by ven­ti­lat­ing the en­tire room. This is not the best ap­proach as it is im­por­tant to re­move the fumes where they are gen­er­ated and not drag them past the op­er­a­tor then on to other ar­eas in the work­place, where other work­ers will also need­lessly be af­fected be­fore the fumes fi­nally exit the build­ing,” said Eb­don.

Fume arms work re­ally well, need neg­li­gi­ble main­te­nance, and as they work the welders and stu­dents in this case, must use them prop­erly. Re­gard­ing ‘proper use’ Eb­don ex­plains that one of the key is­sues with in­stalling Fume Arms is that welders do not po­si­tion the hoods cor­rectly. “Man­u­fac­tured out of alu­minium, hoods on our arms from our Euro­pean sup­plier can with­stand the work­ing tem­per­a­tures and there­fore be po­si­tioned close to the source of fumes, with no risk of melt­ing. The easy-to-grab all round han­dle also means the hood can be repo­si­tioned as the welder car­ries on. Fre­quently I ob­serve this type of work and see that the op­er­a­tor is so busy con­cen­trat­ing on the weld that they can’t be both­ered paus­ing to ad­just the hood to the cor­rect cap­ture po­si­tion be­cause their fume arm is jammed and won’t move eas­ily us­ing one hand.”

Weld­ing fumes are best cap­tured close to the source and fume arms are more ef­fi­cient if fumes are re­moved in a smooth flow – the NZ Duct+Flex fume arms with ex­ter­nal hing­ing and ar­tic­u­la­tion not only last longer be­cause the mov­ing parts are on the out­side, they also con­trib­ute to a ben­e­fi­cial smoother air­flow min­imis­ing ed­dies oc­cur­ring in the cap­ture hood that could push con­tam­i­nated air back out in front of the welder.

Drys­dale con­firms that the work car­ried out by the In­stal­la­tion team from NZ Duct+Flex is all work­ing well and there will be fur­ther en­hance­ments in the fu­ture too for the stu­dents to look for­ward to. “This sim­ple sys­tem is good value as all the com­po­nents can eas­ily be re­con­fig­ured if the work­shop changes yet again in the fu­ture.”


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