Bucket list item… Cleaner air in the workplace

Excavator accessory manufacturer Robur Attachments from Mt Wellington in Auckland, improves the air quality of its large factory, with a solution allowing it to dig itself out of any changes or increases to production in the future.

When Clem Simpkin, managing director at Robur Attachments bought the business, he immediately wanted better extraction for his welding staff, and to go back to basics, which means when you’re talking the business end of a digger, to manufacture simple, strong attachments, built to last, and at a good price.

After years of designing product and extensive field testing via its rental division, Robur knew the pitfalls of lightly constructed buckets, that simply weren’t up to the job. With bent cutting edges, buckets cracking and premature wear, some products available in the market just didn’t have the muscle for NZ conditions. It committed to make products that last, attachments that will offer years of service and are excellent value for money. Carrying a large range in stock, with the ability to dispatch within just a few days of ordering, means its factory with eight welding bays is extremely busy, fulfilling this goal.

Simpkin visited NZ Duct+Flex in Otahuhu to see for himself the various solutions available from its own large stock holding.

“In the NZ Duct+Flex warehouses, were 35 different sizes of Fume Arms from European company Oskar Air, ranging in size from 75mm/1m reach up to 200mm/4m reach, with unique telescopic arms, extension booms and mounting posts in stock to accommodate any installation issue,” says sales manager Geoff Ebdon.

Being able to touch and feel the product helped Robur’s decision to purchase eight of the robust European made metal, externally hinged fume arms for the eight welding bays, ducted to a common extraction system. These arms require little maintenance (no down time to clean or fix a jam), due to the external hinge design and the improved airflow makes them highly efficient compared to the performance in internally articulated arms.

“The current extraction was not going to cope with the business expansion anticipated so Nav Sharma, the installation manger designed the solution to include a JKF 40D 22kW fan from Danish JKF Industri.”

The fan size chosen is deliberately 20% bigger than the current requirements and has been sited outside meaning the excess capacity will allow Robur to add filtration for any polishing/grinding work in the future without having to start all over again. This future protection of the customer spend is a company policy at NZ Duct+Flex, and as the installation team are in workshops every day, they know how to design the best and most economic solution.

A fan sensor unit was fitted to detect any pressure drop in the common ducting which can alter, depending on how many of the eight arms are open or closed, ensuring consistent minimum air flow at the required velocity to keep staff safe.

The solution is working well; Simpkin says that with the shutter doors fully closed, the essential service company could operate during a lockdown, with no complaints from his staff about air quality.

Truly efficient fume extraction that effectively removes fumes, smells and associated dusts, must be operated as close to where these problems are generated as possible. A fume arm and hood connected to the right extraction, positioned correctly and constantly repositioned as the welder works, is the cheapest and best solution to deal with welding smoke and fumes.

“Our suppliers have been around for decades and their products have been tried and tested and enhanced over this time. No other company can offer what we offer in New Zealand, a source of LipLock modular ducting components, fans, and fume filtration units, guaranteed to work as a system efficiently and effectively,” says Ebdon.

For more information visit http://www.nzduct.co.nz or call 0508 69 38 28 to discuss your fume issues.