The #1 negative aspect that welders have about their job is smoke and fumes. In the winter time when the big doors closes this becomes a bigger issue; now everyone in the shop has a complaint about fumes and smoke.
If no satisfactory solution is found then it lands on management’s desk. And management, (who by job description) don’t work on the shop floor, are assigned to find a solution.
When adding extra fume extractors, try and stick to the same manufacturer and model. It’s going to be easier to maintain the machines. Once you learn how to maintain one machine, you’ve automatically learned how to look after all the machines.
Trying to carry extra filters and parts for different brands can be challenging. It’s quite easy for the last filter to be taken without the purchasing department knowing about it. When the next filter is needed there will be a search for a part that isn’t in stock. Hopefully, someone will quickly realize that it needs to be ordered.
Having the same manufacturer/model allows you to carry extra filters and parts. If you have to scrap a machine, you have other machines using the same parts: you’re not stuck with unused parts (i.e. parts you’ll never use again).
Are you adding it into an existing ventilation system? Or does it needs its own vacuum system? What things are being sucked up? If it’s welding fumes, you’ll need to protect the venting system from hot sparks.
Is it mobile or stationary? If you’re putting it on the wall, is it in the correct place? You don’t want to be moving these things. Every time it gets taken down and put up, the chance of damage increases.
How long does the arm need to be? Longer arms cost more money, but too short is even worse.
Everyone who uses the fume extractors should know where the filters and parts are stored.
You should know when the last time the filter was replaced. Write on the filter the date it was installed.
You should know where the tech manual is kept. The manual should be identified by the manufacturer, model and the date it was purchased. This eliminates the funding of unnecessary re-education and demoralizing searches.
Purchasing can also use this information when major maintenance is required to the machine; it eliminates a lot of unnecessary detective work.
You want to avoid the problem of no one remembering when or who the filters were purchased from.
Warning: there are manufacturers who make private label equipment for large suppliers. That’s no problem unless the supplier changes manufacturers to suit their private labelling strategy. But if you have documentation along with good detective skills, then you have a better chance of finding some replacement parts. Remember we’re trying to prevent moth balling a good asset.
If you’re using contractors to do some of your maintenance, it becomes even more vital to keep track of your records. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to do the work.
If you’re using production workers to do small maintenance things, keeping it simple saves the company production time and money.
Make sure they understand its part of their job to do the preventive maintenance; e.g. to know when to change the filters.
Manufacturers usually include details on when and how to maintain their equipment.
You don’t want to leave it up to a powerful government agency to be demand an action plan with a firm compliance date.
It’s easier to come up with good solutions when you’re not under the “gun”.
When everyone understands the plan, it has a better chance of succeeding.
This is especially true if Point # 7 is unworkable. It will save you from expensive stupid mistakes.
A good sales person will have some experience with different manufacturers. They will be aware of what the manufacturers are capable of doing. (You can count on having problems with your equipment.) Some manufacturers are excellent partners with a great support system.
If we can help you with your welding fumes, please give us a call.