FAQ CATEGORY: Extraction Arm

Extraction Arm

What is an extraction arm?

A fume arm, also known as an extraction arm, is a specialized ventilation device designed to remove airborne contaminants, such as fumes, dust, and particulate matter, directly from the source of emission. This is particularly useful in industrial settings like welding, where toxic fumes can pose a health risk to workers. The fume arm typically consists of a close-capture hood or nozzle, which is placed near the source of the fumes, and a duct system that transports the captured fumes to a filtration or exhaust system for treatment or removal.

What are fume extraction arms used for?

Fume arms are primarily used for capturing and removing airborne contaminants directly at their source, thereby protecting workers from inhaling hazardous substances and improving overall air quality in the work environment. These devices are widely used for manual welding and other applications where toxic fumes, dust, or particulate matter are generated. They are generally best for environments with light to moderate manual production processes. In addition to welding and metalworking, they may be used for bench-scale laboratory applications, control of moisture and odors in food manufacturing, and control of toxic dust.

How do you use an extraction arm?

When using a fume extraction arm, it is very important to place the capture hood close to the fume source to ensure efficient capture of fumes and keep them out of the breathing zone. To use a fume arm: 

  • First, securely attach it to a wall, post, or workstation using the provided mounting bracket. 
  • Connect it to a ventilation or filtration system as per the manufacturer’s guidelines. 
  • When you’re ready to work, extend and position the arm’s capture hood or nozzle close to the source of the fumes (max ~12”) but without obstructing your work. 
  • Turn on the system to begin extracting fumes. 
  • Periodically check and clean the filters and ducts as part of regular maintenance to ensure effective operation.

What are the benefits of extraction arms?

Fume extraction arms are a simple, versatile and cost-effective method of fume extraction for manual welding and other processes. Extraction arms offer several advantages for facilities needing effective fume control for light to moderate production and manual processes. 

  • Targeted Extraction: Fume arms capture contaminants right at the source, making them highly effective in preventing the spread of fumes into the wider work environment and keeping fumes out of the breathing zone. 
  • Flexibility and Versatility: The articulated design of fume arms allows for easy repositioning, making it possible to adapt to various tasks or workstations without the need for multiple extraction units. 
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Because they are more targeted in their approach, fume arms often require less energy than whole-room ventilation systems, resulting in lower operating costs.
  • Ease of Installation: Fume arms are generally easier and quicker to install than larger, more complex ventilation systems. This can be particularly beneficial for smaller businesses or facilities that need to become operational quickly.
  • User-Friendly: Fume arms are typically easy to operate, with simple controls and straightforward maintenance requirements.
  • Space-Saving: Due to their targeted nature and smaller size, fume arms are ideal for work environments where space is at a premium.

What kind of dust collector is used with an extraction arm?

An extraction arm or fume arm must be connected to an exhaust system or dust collector that provides the airflow required to pull contaminants into the fume arm. Sometimes, a fume arm is connected to a simple exhaust ventilation system, which uses a fan to pull air through the extraction arm and exhaust it to the outside. More commonly, they are attached to a dust collection or air filtration system. A cartridge dust collector is commonly used for applications like welding that use fume arms to collect contaminants at the source. A cartridge collector filters contaminants out of the air and returns clean, filtered air to the facility or the outdoors. 

  • A centralized dust collection system may be ducted to multiple extraction arms and other dust- and fume-creating processes. A centralized system with an industrial dust collector such as RoboVent Senturion™ is an advantage for shops with a large number of weld booths or a combination of welding stations and other applications requiring dust control, such as robotic cells. 
  • For individual welding stations or small shops, an all-in-one unit that combines the fume extractor with the extractor arm is a simple and versatile solution. The collector may be a portable unit, mounted to the wall or ceiling, or floor mounted. 

Learn more about principles of weld fume control: The Complete Guide to Welding Fume Extraction Systems.