Hastings Air Energy Control works with a Midwest metal fabrication company producing equipment for the transportation industry. The company has an award-winning culture and is recognized as a Top Workplace in the region. Safety of their employees is a primary goal.
This metal fabrication company’s applications involve laser cutting and manual MIG welding on stainless steel materials. Recognizing the health risks associated with welding stainless steel, they reached out to Hastings Air Energy Control for a demo of our FumeVac weld fume capture products. Hastings provided on-site demos and invited them to tour our Technology Experience Center for a group demo and technical presentation. After testing the recommended solution, there was a strong preference for the FumeVac system. Two centralized extraction systems were installed.
Welding stainless steel produces hazardous weld fumes comprised of chromium and nickel. During the welding process, chromium is converted to its hexavalent state, Cr(VI). According to OSHA: “Cr(VI) is known to cause cancer. In addition, it targets the respiratory system, kidneys, liver, skin and eyes. Chromium metal is added to alloy steel to increase hardenability and corrosion resistance. A major source of worker exposure to Cr(VI) occurs during “hot work” such as welding on stainless steel and other alloy steels containing chromium metal.” OSHA standards require minimizing worker exposure to hexavalent chromium.
The initial solution provided was FumeVac’s FV-500-20 high vacuum extractor. With a compact layout and minimized footprint, the unit is powerful enough to handle weld fume extraction from multiple workstations simultaneously. It comes standard with two primary filters and a single secondary HEPA filter. Automatic pulse-jet filter cleaning with adjustable settings is standard. The unit also comes complete with two differential pressure manometers to gauge filter status, a static pressure gauge, an hour meter, remote start function, and adjustable timed shut-down.
The company had considered other fume extraction options but quickly settled on the FumeVac solution. Over the last year, the system has expanded to over 20 weld stations utilizing dual wire feeders for both stainless and mild steel welding flexibility.
Their operators are happy with the performance of the system and love working in a cleaner, healthier environment. Another key benefit is service and support. Weld fume extraction systems, while not overly complex, are an integral part of the welding process. Reliability is critical. Support issues are handled quickly and while the exceptional performance of the system is what won the job, quick and effective service ensured success. As the company’s production requirements continue to grow, further expansion of the FumeVac central extraction system is underway.
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