A leading test equipment manufacturer that designs, builds and supports test engineering solutions, contacted Impact Technical Services about an issue they were experiencing with airborne composite dust which was being released from the X-Y router heads as they cut composite sheets.
To combat the issue, Impact’s design engineers recommended a centralised high vacuum dust extraction system to control the particles being produced at the router heads during the manufacturing process.
The new LEV system consists of a central HFU-F 7500 high vacuum unit which incorporates a 13m2 G113A Antistatic filter cartridge with compressed air self-cleaning function providing a much greater lifespan of the filter media over typical vacuum systems. The vacuum system is currently connected to 4 routers and has capacity for future expansion/additional machines. The routers are connected via antistatic flexible hoses (50mm DN) to allow full traverse of the tooling in the X & Y Plane.
The LEV system is currently set up to operate based on 100% diversification (all routers in use simultaneously) and to achieve optimum control of the hazard whilst being considerate of energy usage. The vacuum unit is powered by an ABB Inverter which is modulated to suit the demand of the 4 routers and is easily programmable to adapt to additional future machine extraction points.
The LEV system has been commissioned in line with HSG258 guidance including qualitative tests using tyndall illumination (this visual demonstration works as the light from the torch highlights any dust particles that are dispersing into the air). The image on the left below shows the router head cutting without the extraction system being used; as you can see, dust is being dispersed across the machine and into the workplace atmosphere.
The image on the right shows cutting with the extraction system switched on; all the dust is being extracted through the on-tool high vacuum extraction; not only is this protecting the operator from breathing in the fine hazardous particulates, it is also keeping the surface clean, therefore greatly improving accuracy and productivity.
To watch a video showing the centralised high vacuum dust extraction system at work click here.