The best way to capture weld fumes from a robotic welding station is to enclose it and attach the cell to a dust collector. This ensures that workers are protected and that weld fumes are caught at a very high capture rate. Enclosures are neither expensive nor difficult to install, but sometimes there are obstacles to implementing them, such as overhead cranes or other equipment. The best option is often a modular enclosure, such as RoboVent’s Streamline Hood. This hood can be customized to fit over any operation, including multiple robotic welding stations. It also features a low profile that works well with overhead equipment. Air quality engineers are able to advise on the most practical and cost effective way to enclose or partially enclose a welding cell.
RoboVent’s Spire dust collector is a good example of available units with powerful filtration and low running costs that can be attached to welding cells.
If an enclosure is not possible and if a welding arm produces a high volume of weld fumes, especially over a large weldment, the next best solution is to affix a hi-vac extraction system to the robotic arm. This system will capture fumes at the source. Because the robot performs the same task in the same way every time, air quality engineers can design a system that accounts for the robot’s speed and movements, ensuring that the fume extraction point is well placed at all times.