Introduction to Dust and Fume Collection for Transportation Equipment

The market for transportation equipment is complex—trains, trams, buses, commercial lorries and more all have their own dynamics—but a few trends in the industry can be seen. The most widely made forecast for the industry is one of stability. Industry-wide, demand is relatively stable and growing. Shakeups in the industry have more to do with calls for better analytics, tracking and flexibility, rather than changes to heavy equipment. While this is true industry-wide, there are exceptions; the demand for niche products is less reliable. For example, transportation equipment related to the energy industry has proven unpredictable, lately, such as the demand for oil tank wagons.

The trend in transportation equipment is generally positive for obvious reasons: growing population and urbanization. These phenomena are especially prevalent worldwide. As cities grow, building new roads is not the solution to transportation problems. Governments are investing in rail, subways, bus rapid transit (BRT) and other more centralized transportation solutions. Meanwhile, steady global economic growth ensures that freight traffic will continue to require transportation equipment into the foreseeable future.

Manufacturers of transportation equipment face several challenges in this environment. While they can be assured of relatively steady demand in the future, they will need to keep up with digital trends and changing customer preferences. Manufacturers will also need to keep in mind any changes in regulations regarding dust and weld fumes during the manufacturing process. These regulations sometimes change, and keeping up with those changes is important for both legal, financial and health reasons. Maintaining good air quality is more important than ever.

Dust and Fume Collection Challenges in the Transportation Equipment Industry

The European Union and member states have air quality standards for exposure to fumes and dusts in the workplace. These standards are updated, periodically, and manufacturers must be aware of these changes. Standards exist for fume and dust levels, in general, as well as for substances found within fumes and dust. These substances have proven to be threats to workers’ health. These include substances such as manganese, a common component of weld fumes. Because these particles are extremely small—due to the high temperatures involved in welding—they are easily inhaled. While manganese is a necessary part of one’s diet, when inhaled at certain concentrations, it is highly toxic. Exposure to inhalable manganese in even small quantities can affect memory and reaction times. Chronic exposure can have serious effects on the central nervous system, including manganism. This condition has symptoms like Parkinson’s Disease. Standards exist for other weld fume components, as well, including hexavalent chromium and beryllium. Exposure to these substances carries serious risks, as well, from major respiratory problems to cancer.

The manufacture of transportation equipment is challenging from an air quality perspective because so much of the welding is performed on large components. When welders move along a large piece, it is often difficult to capture the weld fumes produced. Constantly moving a fume arm is often impractical, or at the very least inconvenient. Welders, under pressure to meet deadlines, often fail to keep up with fume capture. Whether a facility is producing automated streetcars or traditional buses, the pieces are large, and the challenges are similar.

Today, manufacturers face yet another challenge: attracting and retaining skilled workers. Young workers are not entering the trade as they did in the past. Maintaining a pleasant and safe workplace will help manufacturers attract and keep the best workers.

Solutions for Dust and Fumes in the Transportation Equipment Industry

RoboVent understands transportation equipment manufacturing and has a solution for every application. Whether you’re constructing freight cars or passenger cars, subway cars or buses, RoboVent understands welding and the air quality challenges that come with it. For decades, RoboVent has designed and manufactured the best air filtration equipment available.

RoboVents Extractor fume gun is a cutting-edge solution to weld fumes. Welders working on large components find the Extractor a powerful, lightweight solution for delivering the perfect weld while collecting weld fumes at the source. The Extractor is a revolutionary leap in fume gun technology and promises to reshape the welding of heavy equipment.

For a larger or facility-wide solution for fumes and dust, RoboVent created the Fusion Series of collectors. This system is designed to save energy while delivering the finest filtration possible. If your operation is large—or growing—you can scale up the collection efforts with the Grid Configuration. This is a ducted array of collectors that offers even more efficiency—the grid uses 70% of the airflow of the individual units combined.

RoboVent also offers exceptional protection from fire and explosion, as well. For example, the Delta 3 spark arrestor and the Supprex-200 Fire Suppression System stop fires before they start. These systems protect workers, property and production lines.

As always, RoboVent guarantees satisfaction. Our manufacturing standards are the highest in the industry, and our warranty is the best in the business.


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