Optimize your extraction system to improve air quality and energy efficiency

Nederman FX2 Extraction arm for laboratory

Many industries generate emissions that affect the air quality and the environment. Therefore, it is important to use equipment, such as an extraction arm, that can handle harmful fume, dust, gas and vapour. By using the extraction arm in an optimized way you can create a safer and more energy efficient workplace. In this blog article, you will learn how to maximize the efficiency of your extraction system.

Industries and processes that generate harmful emissions

Workshops, laboratories and industries producing electronics are examples of workplaces that often generate harmful dust, fumes and vapors. When the pollutants spread they can have a negative impact on both the facilities and breathing air. To maintain a safe and sustainable working environment it is important to use equipment that captures and filters the harmful emissions. The aim is to capture the particles or substances before they even reach the breathing zone or pollute the environment. 

Extraction arms create safer workplaces and a sustainable environment

There are different kinds of local exhaust ventilation (LEV) equipment to use. A common example is an adjustable extraction arm that is positioned near the source of the pollution. The extraction arm can be highly efficient if it is used in the right way. The positioning of the extraction arm greatly impacts how well pollutants are captured. By optimizing the setting and position of the extraction arm you contribute to a safer workplace for yourself and your colleagues. In addition, you make it more energy efficient. If each extraction arm is capturing pollutants at maximum capacity, the number of required extraction arms can be decreased, which also decreases the productions energy consumption.  

Study examining efficiency of local exhaust ventilation in laboratories

In other words, there are much to gain from a greater awareness in this area. So, what is the most efficient way of using the extraction arm then? To get to the bottom of that, Nederman got involved in a study at the Danish Technical University in Copenhagen. The study examined the efficiency of local exhaust ventilation in laboratories. Nederman contributed by giving the student interviews and extraction arms to be tested. Still, most of the results can be generalized and applied to other settings and extraction equipment as well. We learned a lot from the study and wanted to make sure that this knowledge also reaches the actual users of the extraction arms. Therefore, we compiled a whitepaper combining the main results from the study with our own experiences and expertise in the area.

How to design your workplace and position your extraction arm

There are many different factors affecting the efficiency of the extraction system. The air in a room is constantly moving due to, for example, general ventilation, cross-draught and operators’ movements. Therefore, these parameters must be considered when dimensioning and using the extraction system:

  • Firstly, always avoid high background air velocities. Especially the ones that concern vertical cross-draft from above. 
  • Secondly, by placing the extraction arms on work tables you can improve capture efficiency. The tables will help guide and block emissions from spreading elsewhere.
  • Thirdly, vertical partitions at vertical cross-draft decrease or have no effect on the capture efficiency.

Once these things are considered, there are a few general guidelines to follow when positioning your extraction arm to maximize its capacity:

  • When the contaminant air has low upward velocity it is best to position the extraction arm sideways in relation to the source of the pollution. 
  • Make sure to place the extraction arm close to the working table to let the surface help you guide and block the contaminant air into the extraction arm. 
  • Always position the hood of the extraction arm as close to the pollution source as possible. 
  • It is important that the area where the extraction arm is capturing contaminant air overlaps with the working environment. 
  • If you need to place the extraction arm at a greater distance you should use a larger capture hood on the extraction arm to increase the capture zone. If this is not possible, the alternative is to increase the airflow in the extraction arm, with the downside of a higher energy use. 

User-friendly and efficient extraction equipment 

By following the recommendations above, factory managers and operators can greatly enhance safety and reduce energy consumption at their workplace. At Nederman, we believe it is important that the capturing equipment itself is easy to position and use. And, in addition, that the equipment has a good-looking design that suits the workplace. Therefore, we continuously develop our extraction arms and other capturing equipment to meet the market’s various needs. We hope that the tips above combined with a raised awareness and knowledge will contribute to a safer and more sustainable working environment for our customers.  

I hope this blog article gave you some new insights on how to maximize the efficiency of your extraction systems. Do you want more in-depth information? Download our whitepaper "Improve Air Quality and Energy Efficiency by Optimizing Capture Efficiency with Nederman Articulated Extraction Arms". Also, feel free to contact us if you have any questions. We are happy to help you!