Clean Air America Announces Welding Ventilation System To Reduce Hot and Cold Air Costs

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Point-of-source air filtration strategies help manufacturing plants significantly reduce heating and air conditioning costs

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Some plants run 80-90% make-up air, and that throws money out the window. We found one new plant with the A/C coils covered with oil and soot from the welding smoke. They were changing filters to the tune of $20-25,000 each month.

Clean Air America has developed a welding ventilation system that assists metal-product manufacturers reduce plant costs by limiting the need to process hot and cold air used in the plant.

The Clean Air America approach is to favor application-specific, turnkey systems that filter air at the source of generation, focusing the solution at a modular level instead of basing it on plant-wide needs. Because point-of-source systems return clean air to within the building they reduce expenses associated with "make-up" air, helping to slash gas and electric costs.

Why waste utility dollars?
The need for welding smoke removal from manual and robotic welding and cutting as well as laser and plasma cutting, and a myriad of other "metal bashing" processes is an ongoing issue. Whether building motor vehicles, construction or farm equipment, or any other of a thousand different parts and assemblies made of metal, manufacturers are now waking up to the significant impact that proper air filtration has on the bottom-line.

Traditionally, facilities that produce smoke or oil mists often collect and exhaust the dirty air to the outside with colossal roof-mounted blowers connected through a maze of ductwork from welding ventilation areas.

"Any dumping of heated or cooled air to the outside is done so at great expense," cautions Fergie Haughton, systems sales manager at Clean Air America, Inc. (Rome, GA), a provider of turnkey, point-of-source air filtration systems for robotic integrators and integrators of laser cutting and plasma cutting tables.

"Whether it's zero or 97 degrees outside, bringing in 'make-up' air at any volume above 50% is very costly," continues Haughton. "Some plants run 80-90% make-up air, and that throws money out the window. We found one new plant with the A/C coils covered with oil and soot from the welding smoke. They were changing filters to the tune of $20-25,000 each month."

Zeroing in on the solution
Rather than taking an expensive shotgun approach by managing air filtration on a plant-wide basis, facility managers are starting to target welding ventilation efforts to only those areas that require them. Benefits to the bottom line can accrue quickly.

Localized control reduces electricity costs
Smoke, dust, oil and other production pollutants are collected and cleaned through modular air filtration systems that often comprise a completely self-contained work center for welding and cutting that includes an adjustable height worktable, shelving, and lighting. No ducting is necessary, and all of the welding ventilation sits directly above the welding area so that zero footprint is taken away from the production floor.

Given the benefits of reduced comfort air costs and more efficient filtering it comes as no surprise that point-of-source concepts continue to grow in popularity if only from a financial standpoint--with a one-year ROI often possible. Additional benefits of maintaining a clean and healthy plant environment ensure that such strategies are here to stay.

For more information, contact Clean Air America, Inc., 7 Superior Blvd., Rome, GA 30161; Phone: 706-291-1700; Fax: 706-291-1747; e-mail: patrick.newell(at)clean-air(dot)com; web site: http://www.clean-air.com

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HEATHER METCALFE

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