The primary purpose of installing fume cupboards in an industrial setting is to provide operator protection. Cupboards are needed to protect staff from processes that produce or generate toxic or harmful fumes, vapours, gases, dust or chemical aerosols. By carrying out the process in a fume cupboard, the risk of exposure can be reduced to an acceptable level.
However, when choosing equipment, you need to be aware that a fume hood is not to be used for containment of biological materials. Where such containment is required, a microbiological safety cabinet must be used. If you are in doubt, Tecomak can advise on which type of protection would be appropriate for your facility.
Installing LEV systems in a workplace, and maintaining them to high standards, can ensure compliance with regulatory standards. These include the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations, as well as BS EN 14175-2:2003 and a number of other standards, which may depend on the process and the types of materials being handled. Fume extraction systems require regular testing to ensure they continue to comply and provide the right level of protection.
Fume hoods provide protection for people working with a range of chemicals in industrial labs or processing areas, including chemical aerosols and powders. Filters need to be suited to the type of chemical being used. An option with some advanced models is to choose the level or type of resistance, depending on the type of chemical or other material which is being worked with.
Potentially harmful vapours and gases can also be filtered out by fume hoods, safeguarding staff health and, by preventing any dangerous build-up, helps to guard against the risk of an explosion. Other substances filtered include dust and fine particulates, cleaning the air and improving the working environment. Whatever the type of process, and whether you are considering a ducted or recirculating LEV system, you will want to provide the optimum level of fume extraction and the highest level of safety for everyone working in the area.
Part of a Production Process
Industrial fume cupboards should not be regarded as just an add-on, but as an essential part of the production process. Many of the same factors apply when choosing this type of cabinet as with other industrial equipment, since it will be relied on during day-to-day operations.
Regulatory compliance is obviously one of the most important factors, and key to this is reliable performance. If a unit goes wrong and needs repair, this will mean statutory protection is no longer in place, leading to unscheduled downtime and loss of production. Closely related to this is the importance of durability, including how strong and well-constructed the units are and how often components are likely to need replacing.
Energy efficiency is also key, in line with the growing focus on conserving power, both for the sake of the environment and to save on your costs. High-quality modern LEV equipment is constructed with energy conservation in mind. For instance, the Typhoon Twin hoods manufactured by Labosystem feature an eco power mode which can reduce the volume of air drawn in, depending on the type of use.
In an industrial setting, especially where a production process is being carried out, a fume cabinet may also be used as a workstation for several hours at a time. With this type of use, a variety of factors and design features are important to maximise productivity.
Ease of use is a crucial consideration, meaning controls need to be clear and accessible. For instance, the Typhoon Twin has all its control buttons at the side, while the SafeHood from EuroClone has a soft-touch control panel. The cupboards also need to be well lit, with the SafeHood featuring fluorescent lighting as an integral part of the unit. Operator comfort and ergonomic design are other important factors to consider where a unit is being used as a workstation.
Industrial Fume Cupboards from Tecomak
Tecomak supplies, installs and maintains a high-quality fume cupboard range by leading manufacturers including EuroClone and Labosystem.
Our highly-qualified engineers are experts in installing all types of LEV system and providing maintenance, in every industrial sector. We can help to advise on the right type of ventilation equipment for your industry or particular application, and will ensure it is installed correctly in terms of positioning and airflow, to provide the maximum protection for your staff.
We can commission fume cupboards for first use, including provision of necessary testing and certification. Tecomak are also experts in providing ongoing maintenance, and you can rely on us to take your industrial priorities into account and make sure any downtime is kept to a minimum, with systems back up and running as quickly as possible. Testing can be combined with maintenance to save on time and costs.
Fume Cupboards – Follow the link for details on the quality range of ventilation equipment available from Tecomak.