Success for Joy Global

Problem: Excessive weld fume in large (600 x 125 x 60 and 600 x 85 x 60) weld shops.

Situation: Joy Global was concerned that the excessive weld fume and grinding dust might be an employee safety issue, raise concerns about quality, or create a negative perception for prospects and clients.

Alternatives: Joy Global was considering A) Source capture systems, B) General ventilation, and C) A total ambient weld fume control system, to address the situation.

Solution: General Ventilation was the only practical alternative in this large fabrication facility where overhead cranes and large weldments preclude fixed or mobile source capture devices. (Source capture devices have been in place in practical areas).

 

This means the entire volume of the space being served must be considered in determining the capacity of the air cleaning system. Overall flow rates are much greater than those used for source capture. It also means that well thought out flow patterns must be established to induce the fume upward into the system. It was necessary to incorporate the air cleaning system design with the general heating and ventilating system, thus combining fans and air distribution systems to ensure the cleanliness of the heating system (air makeup units).

A highly accurate approach to determining general recirculation capacity is to calculate the air volume using actual job data such as fume generation (welding wire consumption), type of welding being performed (flux core) exhaust air (present flow), makeup air (present flow). Such an approach uses a simple equation where all factors are considered and the system is designed utilizing all of them, with flexibility and scalability. Thus the fume is removed utilizing air cleaners, exhaust, and other factors.

The decision at this point was to remove the concentration of fume in the general plant air. Prior to installation the levels were unacceptable, with a goal to reduce them to an acceptable level. The key factor in this decision was to remove all visual airborne contaminant to confirm P&H provides a world class facility with a safe environment for all employees and customers. This level was measured and controlled by pre and post testing of background contaminant.

The P&H team accepted HASTINGS' proposal to install (63) self contained filtration units outfitted with self cleaning devices attached to a unique housekeeping system to easily maintain all units at one control point, being monitored by an on-line system. The air cleaning system purifies air through a cartridge-style filter system with a low pressure, high volume, dual inlet to reduce pressure and increase flow. The automated filter cleaning system in the dust collectors requires very low pressure to clean, on demand, for only seconds per day. This engineering device is a one-of-a-kind cleaning system in the industry.

Intelligent controls, Powered by ivec™, including variable frequency drives, control speed (energy consumption) based on demand. In conjunction with the air cleaning system P&H incorporated the existing air makeup and ventilation systems into the total solution that is monitored and controlled through our integrated Building Automation System (BAS). The system installation, which incorporates the existing air makeup system, is designed to utilize multiple layers (dual) of flow to control welding fume from the floor to 55 through strong air patterns and unique air distribution pattern that covers the entire cubic footage assuring control of all stagnant spots in the plant. P&H welding points are from the floor to as high as thirty feet above the floor.

Hastings Air Energy Control, Inc. understood the problem, designed a system, managed the installation, commissioned the on-time start up, and has been monitoring the performance through the intelligent control system.

Result: Ted Leamen, Director of Global Environmental Health and Safety for P&H, had this to say, Our adjoining large weld facilities, totaling 126,000 square feet and 60 feet high, had particulate levels that were under the OSHA limits; but we wanted to provide even better protection for our workers. In our continuing effort to become a world class organization we needed a robust system that would remove the heavy weld fume from our operations in these two large rooms. We also needed a system that was flexible to modify as our processes change, would accommodate our growth, is easily maintained, and is easy to control as the seasons in Wisconsin change.

“We can see the results while you easily look across the bay in the facility. Independent testing yielded a 70%+ reduction in particulate matter. We are very proud to walk any of our customers and prospective customers through the Large Weld facility at any time of the day or night. Our employees are providing positive feedback and our attendance metrics have improved since the system has been implemented. We have plans to model this approach into our Global Transformation Initiative. We also received a grant from Focus on Energy for more than $350,000.00 to help us make this decision at this time. We are thankful to Hastings Air Energy Control for listening to our employees and for providing a solution that works!”

We can see the results while you easily look across the bay in the facility. Independent testing yielded a 70%+ reduction in particulate matter... We are thankful to Hastings Air Energy Control for listening to our employees and for providing a solution that works!

Ted Leamen, P&H Director of Global Environmental Health and Safety
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