How to ensure clean air in an industrial workplace

Having clean air in the factory or workshop is a must for companies who wish to stay attractive and competitive. Clean air in industrial environments has gone from being an apparent contradiction to becoming a convenient, cost-saving reality, with numerous benefits to your personnel, productivity, and company brand.

Clean air is an investment with many positive results

Awareness of the importance of clean air, both from an industrial and a societal perspective, is growing. Much too often, however, it is still seen as a secondary issue at best; something that can be dealt with at a later point in time. It can also be dismissed as merely another expense, whereas in fact it is a highly advantageous, long-term investment.

Every company has its core focus, and that focus is rarely clean air. That in itself is not a problem. Even so, it is important to realize that having clean air in your production facility, service station, workshop or laboratory will benefit key aspects of your business.
These benefits are many and considerable:

  • The health of the personnel can be maintained, or improved, with less sick leave and early retirement.
  • It will be easier to attract new employees, customers and investors, and keep the ones you already have.
  • Production quality can be maintained (or even improved).
  • Longer lifespan of equipment, machines, vehicles and gear.
  • Increased productivity and decreased energy consumption.
  • A tidier workplace that is safe and clean.

Ensuring full extraction equipment and air filtration system capacity

Just like a vacuum cleaner with a full dust bag will not work at full capacity, extraction equipment and air filtration systems need to be checked and maintained in order to function as intended. Regardless of whether this work is carried out by your own service technicians or by an external partner, it is essential that those who do the maintenance have a genuine knowledge of the application. It cannot be considered a mere sanitary procedure that can be taken care of by, say, a cleaning company. 

Instruction manuals and operation directives need to be followed at all times. In the event of a repair, always try to use equipment and spare parts from the system manufacturer. And, very importantly, make sure that there are proper industrial housekeeping routines in place, and that these routines are followed.

Checklist for maintaining clean air in an industrial workplace

What potential risks may cause the air quality in your factory or workshop to deteriorate? How can these risks be removed or minimized? Below is a list of some of the most important factors to consider:

  • Where in the factory or workshop is dust and/or are fumes generated, and by what?
  • What elements or segments of the work process constitute an increased risk of dust or fumes being released into the air?
  • What does the physical environment of the worksite(s) look like? Are there places where combustible dust may accumulate?
  • What air filtration system is used, and does it have the capacity to keep the air clean?
  • Is the air filtration system inspected regularly? If not, why?
  • Are there proper housekeeping routines, and does the personnel follow these routines? What does the personnel think about their work environment?

IIoT technology facilitates supervision of filtration system performance and air quality

One of the best and most convenient ways of making sure that your particulate filters are working as they should, is by installing a filter performance monitoring system connected to the Internet; essentially, to make the filters smart. These IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) systems collect data about your air filter and its performance, providing the operator with lots of useful information. Information that, in turn, is presented to you in an intuitive and illuminating way, and that can be read and analyzed on a smartphone or tablet.

Energy consumption can be tracked and measured, maintenance needs can be predicted with greater ease, unnecessary downtime can be avoided, and operators can examine filters without having to access them physically. In other words, having continuous access to your filtration system data saves a lot of time, money and resources. You can read more about smart filters, and our own IIoT solution – Nederman Insight –
here.

Want to know more about our work with clean air, and what we can do for your company? Feel free to contact me at hans.dahlen@nederman.com. Nedermans motto is: Protecting people, planet and production from the harmful effects of industrial processes. This has been our core business for over 75 years. Today, we are working with a wide variety of industries and applications, including robotic welding, vehicle exhaust extraction, additive manufacturing, and tobacco and food production.