Manufacturing industries heavily impacted by indoor air quality challenges
Employees who don’t work in an industrial profession probably take indoor air quality for granted. But without clean air, CNC machining, stamping, cutting, grinding, welding, and coating processes pose serious health risks for employees. Illness-related lost man-hours and rampant turnover can devastate a shop floor production schedule. Here are just a few manufacturing industries who face these serious bottom-line threats.
From new part productions to classic restorations to body repair, automotive metal finishing, blasting, and painting processes produce corrosive dust particles and toxic paint VOCs that can threaten employee health and risk eye-popping EHS watchdog fines. Air contaminants can also bottleneck cellular manufacturing when specific tasks must be relocated to designated clean rooms.
Transportation indoor air quality challenges include:
- Preventing dust covered floors from contaminating surface prep and finishing
- Moving large workpieces via expensive cranes to designated painting and coating rooms
- Meeting all clean air regulatory requirements per OSHA, EPA, and other EHS regulations
- Safeguarding against fire or sparks generated by combustible dust
- Speeding dry times without relying on quick-dry agents
Metal fabrication processes pose unique indoor air quality challenges, from welding oil mist to grinding and blasting dust. These airborne particles can pose serious health hazards and eventually settle into a corrosive sludge inside every nook and cranny of your valuable CNC machinery and cooling fans.
Metal fabrication indoor air quality challenges include:
- Isolating, capturing, and containing oil mist at its source, before it damages valuable production equipment
- Complying with EPA regulations for blasting, grinding, welding, and spray painting air hazards/contaminants
- Reducing wasted man-hours spent changing overhead filters in facility-wide HVAC systems
- Improving cellular capability for R&D, fabrication prototyping, and validation
- Creating low-volume workflow efficiencies in tandem with larger projects, such as surface prep along with metal forming constructions
Aerospace and Aviation
From CNC machining small components to finishing and coating jet engines, working with aluminum parts pose complex indoor air quality challenges. Toxic oil mist, hex chromates, isocyanates, and VOCs released from these processes pose serious health risks and invite OSHA scrutiny.
Aerospace and Aviation indoor air quality challenges include:
- Containing welding, finishing, coating, and painting processes with precise temperature and humidity control
- Preventing sparks or fires from combustible aluminum dust
- Avoiding lead time disruptions from alternating between short-term productions and long-term constructions
- Maintaining a clean air environment that’s flexible enough to work with cranes needed to move large workpieces
- Ensuring continuous production flow while meeting NFPA, NESHAP, ANSI, and OSHA indoor air quality requirements
Ensuring safe indoor air quality while balancing cellular workflows is like trying to juggle while running a marathon. Larger pieces must be built in place while smaller crafts, hulls, and decks are moved between workstations, usually via overhead cranes. Conventional air make-up doesn’t sufficiently protect against these hazards and isn’t conducive to cellular production.
Marine indoor air quality challenges include:
- Finding flexible clean air enclosures scalable to large subassembly workpieces
- Creating dust-free, self-contained environments for ship parts that require painting, sanding, or added security
- Guaranteeing worker safety and environmental compliance while increasing productivity
- Speeding paint dry times without heaters, blowers, or drying agents
- Reducing material handling and man-hour expenses associated with low-volume enclosure applications
It isn’t easy to reconcile lean manufacturing concepts with indoor air quality. Designated clean rooms and high-maintenance HVAC systems take up valuable floor space and waste man-hours and resources. But when airborne hazards put employees in harm’s way, productivity can come to a grinding halt.
Lean manufacturing indoor air quality challenges include:
- Preventing workflow bottlenecks from dust contamination that can cause surface prep and coating rework
- Saving production time and man-hours moving large workpieces to specific manufacturing cells for sanding and coating
- Protecting electronics and other valuable equipment from the corrosive fine layers of soot, dust, and oil film
- Keeping dry clean air inside and damaging contaminants outside for faster coating and painting processes
- Eliminating costly air makeup, excessive HVAC filter changes, and disruptions to one piece flows
Flexible Solutions Engineered for Any Industrial Clean Air Challenge
No matter your industry, ensuring indoor air quality is key to solving safety and productivity losses from airborne hazards. Ready to deploy when and where needed, Duroair retractable clean rooms and enclosures can be engineered to move within a wide range of workflows and tailored to a variety of manufacturing plant layouts.
Our custom engineering clean air solutions include:
- Negative and positive pressure anterooms to accompany cleanrooms and enclosures for painting and coating operations
- Retractable paint booths with non-vented filtration to recycle air without the need to exhaust contaminants to the outside environment
- Welding workstations with ambient oil mist containment systems that capture both smoke and mist without impeding crane access
- Subassembly clean rooms with vented or non-vented filtration with retractable enclosures scalable to the size of large workpieces
- Four-stage filtration dust collection that goes beyond OSHA compliance to capture 100 percent of air particulates