Which Exhaust Hood is best for Robotic Welding?

Welding Exhaust Hoods

Source capture solutions provide the most efficient and cost-effective remediation of weld fumes

Welding Exhaust Hoods for Robotic Welding

Many substances found in weld fumes have proven to be dangerous, and robotic welding facilities produce a high volume of those fumes. Welding exhaust hoods are an ideal solution for capturing fumes before they can propagate throughout a facility, putting workers at risk and threatening regulatory compliance. A hood encloses a robotic welding cell and provides the most efficient way to evacuate fumes produced by the process.

The use of robotic welding is expanding in manufacturing, and plant managers are looking for the best way to address weld fumes. As long as the parts being welded can fit under a hood, this solution is proving to be both powerful and efficient. Because the exhaust hood is collecting and filtering air from a confined area, it uses less energy than ambient capture solutions.

Confining weld fumes and evacuating them as fast as possible is also the best way to ensure worker health and safety. Weld fumes are a well-documented health risk, and substances like manganese and hexavalent chromium are heavily regulated. Failure to comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations can lead to heavy fines and other legal troubles.

Considerations in Selecting a Welding Exhaust Hood

Making sure a welding hood is properly sized for the application is the best way to ensure that it is meeting your goals. A hood should be the right size and no larger. The right size and a tight containment around your application means less energy use and more cost savings.

A system should also be easy to install and move. In today’s world of fast-moving product cycles, factory floors must be more flexible than ever. Plant managers don’t have time to stop production and build a new air quality solution for the new layout. Welding exhaust hoods should be modular and easy to manipulate, like RoboVent’s Streamline Hood. Recent changes have made the hood slimmer and more efficient, producing more benefits while taking up less space. The hood can be sized to fit over any application.

Choosing a Dust Collector for Welding Exhaust Hoods

There are many options available for dust collectors to attach to your exhaust hood. If a single filtration unit is all you need, RoboVent’s Spire collector provides a powerful solution in a small footprint. Built for low maintenance and energy efficiency, this unit is a flexible solution for a robotic welding cell. For an array of welding cells, a centralized collection system might be required. Collectors in RoboVent’s Senturion Series can handle a number of welding cells and can be located inside or outside the facility. Senturion collectors feature cutting-edge technology, such as intelligent controls and particulate monitoring. The Senturion Series can be scaled up, as needed.

Many of RoboVent dust collectors come in different configurations. The FloorSaver Configuration, for example, allows for collectors to be stacked directly on top of exhaust hoods. This saves on floor space and keeps your facility flexible. The Grid Configuration is another example—it connects multiple collectors in an array that saves energy and cuts maintenance costs.

Other Source Capture Options for Robotic Welding

When a welding exhaust hood isn’t appropriate for your application, there are other options. If the pieces being welded are too large to fit under a hood, for example, you might consider robotic tip extraction. This technology has radically improved in recent years. Today’s units produce a perfect weld combined with finely tuned tip extraction of weld fumes. The ability to capture 90-95% of weld fumes at the point of creation without the need for hoods or ducted systems could have a major impact on robotic welding in the future.

Regardless of the method used, the mitigation of weld fumes is a pressing need in manufacturing. Workers’ health depends on a vigilant approach to air quality, and regulatory compliance requires it, as well. Fortunately, there are many powerful and affordable options to solve the problem.

SOURCES:
Components of Weld Fumes: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA_FS-3647_Welding.pdf

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