Air Purification Blog

Air Filtration for Woodworking Shops

Air Filtration for Woodworking Shops

Whether you are a hobbyist or operate an industrial woodworking operation, you will be all too familiar with the issues of sawdust and other by-products of woodworking equipment. What you might not be familiar with are the best methods of air filtration for woodworking. Even with the best woodworking equipment and materials, tiny wood particles (“sawdust”) will be emitted from the cut you are making. These particles are actually tiny wood chips that are created by the jagged teeth of a saw blade running through the wood. The type of sawdust you create will partly depend on the type of saw you are using. Woodworking produces both chips that break off small “clumps” of wood (these are a nuisance but not a health risk) and the finer dust particles that cause health concerns. The combination of particles you need to manage will depend on the situation. In fact, saw blades are becoming thinner with better technology and production techniques, making sawdust into smaller particles than what was experienced previously. As discussed below, this is a key consideration of air filtration for woodworking – it needs to be able to target these small particles. 

 

Health Risks of Wood Dust or Saw Dust 

Many conventional methods of managing air quality issues in woodworking involve the use of masks or mechanical vents with primary filters. These measures are usually accompanied by shop cleaning, and work okay at managing acute exposure or significant buildup of sawdust. However, they don’t manage the full risks of sawdust, which is why air filtration for woodworking is required. As advised by the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety, the biggest risks from exposure to wood dust are respiratory (hence the need for woodshop air filtration). When inhaled, wood dust can cause irritation of the lungs/eyes/nose, shortness of breath, dryness, dermatitis, reduced lung capacity, swelling, and occupational asthma. Wood dust is classified as a potential occupational carcinogen. There are also concerns specific to different types of wood – for example, cedar is associated with asthma and inflamed sinuses while inhaling oak wood dust is linked to nasal cancer. 

 

What You Should Know When Seeking an Air Filter System for Your Woodshop: Other Woodworking Risks – Quality and Fire Safety

Notwithstanding the health risks, wood dust presents operational issues and fire safety issues. Operationally, machines run best without buildups of wood dust, and shop cleanliness will become an issue without mitigating measures. It can interfere with your other production processes, such as wood particles settling on your product during the application of a stain or finish. In severe cases, production quality/efficiency will become an issue. Lastly, fire safety is a concern when wood dust is not mitigated with a woodshop air purification system. When fine layers of dust accumulate on surfaces and remain to dry out or begin to build up in or around machinery, there is the potential for spontaneous combustion. There are many sources of ignition within a woodworking shop, such as the heat or sparks generated by machinery or the heat from the friction of cutting wood. Therefore, air purification for a woodshop is a safety concern for many reasons. 

 

Small Wood Dust Particles In Woodshop Air

To achieve clean air in a woodworking shop, Aeroex focuses on the size of the particles, their sources, and the available methods for controlling them within the layout of your shop. Unless you are a small hobby shop primarily using hand tools, chances are your woodshop has some machines that already have fume hoods and some central ventilation. If you do a decent job of cleaning your shop equipment, you may be wondering what the issue is or whether there is a need for an Aeroex solution. This is where particle science becomes important – your current methods are only getting the larger particles, and the smaller particles are the ones you actually need to worry about. The dust that accumulates on your surfaces is evidence that there are ambient levels of wood dust in your shop, and their small size means they can be suspended in the air for hours after you stop cutting. To deal with the health risks, you need an air filtration solution for woodshops. 

The average size of wood dust particles ranges from 10 to 30 micrometres, however many are smaller than 10 micrometres. These particles are suspended in the air for much longer and are not mitigated by primary filtration systems. They pose the greatest health risks to workers. These particles will be small enough to pass through the basic dust collectors that come with your equipment. Even smaller particles can be an issue when operations other than cutting take place – sanding of wood to make a refined, smooth surface can produce the smallest particles found in a woodshop.

 

Air Filtration System for Woodworking You Can Count On

Aeroex air purification solutions target the smallest airborne particles discussed above. We use multi-stage filtration techniques that target the sources of air quality issues. Our systems are designed to capture the smallest particles with the highest efficiency, and our made-in-Canada devices are designed to maximize the lifecycle of your filters (important given the volume of sawdust produced by woodworking). Typically, we focus on modular source control – by mounting an air purification directly to the source of woodshop air quality issues, removal efficiency becomes more efficient than if you had to purify all the air in the shop to get the same amount of pollutant. Models like our ARO Series are designed to be mounted onto your equipment. If ambient air quality is an issue without a discrete source of wood dust, Aeroex also has the ability to augment any existing ventilation systems you have with an ambient control solution. This can be an option when you already have some mitigation measures in place at the source, but wish to improve the working conditions across your shop. Given the various options and models, we recommend that Aeroex get to know your operation in order to make a recommendation about the most affordable and efficient options. To get started, contact Aeroex today.

 

Air Purification Blog

Reopening Businesses Safely With Air Purification

Reopening Businesses Safely With Air Purification

Businesses are still navigating the unknown of operating in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, with changing public health policies and an evolving body of knowledge about the transmission of airborne viruses. Many workplaces have likely had to deal with some positive cases among their workforce, disrupted supply chains, or an abrupt change in reopening plans. With the economy entering new stages of reopening thanks to reduced case counts and increasing vaccination rates, there is now a need to pivot towards increased utilization of public spaces. The most successful businesses in this time will be those able to seize the opportunities of the new economy. Because COVID-19 and its variants cannot be eliminated altogether it is understood that reopening will carry residual risks related to the virus, and various methods of screening those COVID-19 risk factors are needed. As gathering restrictions are reduced and more workers and customers return to public places, new risks will emerge related to COVID-19 transmission and heightened expectations for workplace safety. Improving the ventilation of your business or public space with air purification will be a critical part of successfully adapting to this reality. 

 

Air Purification – Part of a Reopening Strategy

For a business owner or facility operator, there is no “silver bullet” to reopen. Instead, a suite of measures is needed to eliminate or mitigate the different threats of COVID-19. This is true for restaurants, shopping malls, offices, schools, medical centers, and other gathering locations. Air purification will be an important strategy when paired with other measures such as mask-wearing, social distancing measures, or hybrid work arrangements. Air purification will significantly reduce the risk of airborne COVID-19 transmission but is not a replacement for other public health measures or workplace best practices. The combination of strategies that you use in your workplace will depend on your operations but are likely to include a portable or industrial air purification solution given its effectiveness in reducing the transmission of airborne viruses. For example, check out our case study below on why the Ontario government is using HEPA filters like Aeroex’s as a way to scale back mask-wearing policy for low-risk cohorts.

 

What To Know About Air Purification for COVID-19 

Improving indoor air quality is a key way to reopen business safely because of how COVID-19 is transmitted. Per the CDC, viruses like COVID are transmitted when a contagious person breathes out droplets and very small particles that are carried through the air to recipients. Infections occur when this air is breathed in or received by other vectors. However, as reported by sources like the New York Times, medical-grade air purifiers (like those produced by Aeroex) with a HEPA filter can capture these small particles highly effectively. Particles that cause the virus are around 125 nanometers in size while a HEPA filter captures particles as small as 10 nanometers (the HEPA standard is 30 nanometers but a recent NASA study showed its highly effective past this). Therefore, deploying HEPA filter air purification systems like those produced by Aeroex in your workplace is an excellent strategy. Understanding the science of air purification and the root causes of COVID-19 transmission, buyers should be aware of claims from other technologies like UV lights that don’t prevent transmission – evidenced by recent controversies like the UV light recalls ordered by Health Canada.

 

How to Know What HEPA Filter To Use for Air Purification

While science shows the power of HEPA filters, the way they are deployed is important for success. There are many different public spaces in need of protection ranging from condo lobbies to the storefront of an independent business – in each case, the existing ventilation, air volume, and gathering size will be different. To prevent transmission, air needs to be purified at a rate that prevents particles containing the virus from staying too long in the air – this is measured by something called air exchanges per hour. To prevent transmission, an air purification system catered to your space must provide sufficient air exchanges. Aeroex is aligned with the ongoing research recommending ~6 exchanges per hour and uses tools like our volume calculator to propose the appropriate model with sufficient capacity. It is important to ensure that the HEPA filters used to provide this air exchange capacity, either using a larger unit or several small units where a large unit is not possible. Many companies claim to provide the HEPA efficiency, but not with the air exchanges you need. When deploying for locations with large open rooms, Aeroex typically uses models like our IRIS 4500, a unit that mounts into your existing ventilation systems and provides a primary MERV 8 carbon filter and a secondary HEPA filter with an efficiency rating of 99.97% at 0.3 microns. Other strategies include leveraging existing mechanical ventilation and choosing the right locations inside the room. If you do not have mechanical ventilation, we will help you to see a portable (non-mounted) model.

 

Case Study – Provincial Government Deploys 70,000 HEPA Filters in Ontario Schools

Medical grade air purification systems with HEPA filters like those designed by Aeroex are widely accepted as an industry best practice, which is why the Province of Ontario continues its deployment of HEPA filters in schools. To date, 50,000 have been deployed and another 20,000 are being deployed in time for the 2021 school year (as reported by Global News). The Province wishes to enhance the safety of schools and prevent the spread of COVID-19, using HEPA filters as part of a range of policies and measures. The Province is using air purification systems to enhance mechanically ventilated classrooms, as well as to provide standalone coverage in areas like cafeterias and gymnasiums that do not have mechanical ventilation. In the announcement by Minister of Education Stephen Lecce, highlights relevant to the case study included the following:

 

  • It’s another added layer of protection that recognizes that our youngest learners in this province will not be required to wear masks” – Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education
  • “Standalone HEPA filter units should be used in places where mechanical ventilation and improvements to ageing HVAC systems was difficult to achieve” – Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table

 

Aeroex is a proud contributor to the fight against COVID-19 and high-quality classrooms for Ontario children. Our IRIS system is popular among public workspaces and institutions, including education, medical, government, and commercial buildings. Even before COVID-19, hundreds of our units were deployed in school boards, colleges, and universities across Ontario (we are an Ontario Education Collaborative Marketplace approved vendor). This has only increased due to the increased business case for deploying HEPA filters. To become part of Aeroex’s fight against poor air quality, contact us today to learn more about deploying our IRIS medical-grade air purification system. 

Air Purification

Industrial Odor Control

Industrial Odor Control

 

Industrial odor control is a key determinant of a safe and healthy workplace and an indicator of the quality of your facility operations. In some industries, odors are a natural and important part of the business – examples here could include composting, cannabis cultivation, industrial food production, or wastewater treatment. In others, odors may arise as a result of equipment malfunction, incorrect batch ingredients, or other operational issues. In each case, the odor has a direct impact on the products you distribute, the services your facility provides, and the way your staff and customers interact with your workplace. odor is not always the first thing that comes to mind when industrial air purification is considered – often, issues like visibility, inhalation, and related safety concerns are top of mind. However, after consideration, it is clear that industrial odor control is necessary to maintain a safe and successful business. Therefore, attention should be paid to understanding your odor challenges and translating them to industrial odor control solutions.

Causes of Odor Issues

Odors are caused by volatilized chemical compounds traveling through the air. Typically, more volatile compounds have stronger smells. We smell odors when particles enter our nose, which usually occurs when particles freely move through the air via diffusion (random movement in all directions, with a net flow from high concentration source areas to low concentration receiving areas). Sources of odor-causing particles may include cleaners, building materials, and aerosols. These particles tend to be incredibly small. 

Odor control has been a source of some debate with 2020’s need to manage the COVID pandemic – some of the basic COVID control measures like masks do not mitigate odor – this is because odor particles are much smaller than those that cause COVID! Therefore, filtering the particles that cause odor must be scaled to the causes of the odors themselves. Aeroex has a strong foundation in the science of odor causes and controls and has created an industrial odor control system matched to the problem and the science. 

 

Industrial Odor Control Solutions

The IRIS Series Medical Grade Air Filtration System optimizes indoor air quality, providing clean air by capturing the particles that cause odors, allergies, and other undesirable airborne contaminants like aerosols, particulate matter, microorganisms, and the previous discussed volatile organic compounds (VOCs). It accomplishes this through a highly engineered solution, recognizing that the particles that cause odor tend to be incredibly small (discussed above). Therefore, the filtration technique used needs to be small enough to eliminate those particles.

Our industrial odor control solution uses two progressive, powerful filters to eliminate industrial odor. The first filter in the IRIS series is made of activated carbon, and as our primary filter, it has a MERV 8 rating (it will be followed by an even stronger filter in the second stage). Carbon fiber is an excellent material for odor control because of its distinct ability to adsorb the particles it interacts with, chemically reacting and sticking to the filter. This is an important technique for odor control because it targets the root causes of odors rather than the odor itself. MERV 8 filters are excellent at targeting particles in the range of 3 to 10 micrometres – particles in this range typically include mold spores, dust, and cleaners – also known as the particles that commonly cause industrial odors!

The second stage filtration in the IRIS commercial odor eliminator machine is a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter with a 99.97% removal efficiency for particles with a size of 0.3 microns. This is the highest standard for air filtration systems and is referenced by guidance documents from leading organizations like the CDC. By removing larger particles first with the MERV 8 filter, the HEPA filter is then able to target the smallest particles that cause industrial odor. 

To eliminate industrial odor you need a solution that efficiently filters the smallest particles, and the Aeroex commercial odor eliminator machine can do this at scale. Aeroex provides a range of models that are portable or can be centrally mounted, allowing you to employ source control solutions that are targeted odors nearby or ambient solutions that integrate into an existing HVAC system. The size of the unit will depend on the volume of your facility. Additional consideration could be given to how frequently you wish to cycle the air. Our larger units are often used where industrial odors are commonly associated with the workplace and occur throughout the building, such as a waste collection facility. Aeroex staff will advise on what unit is most efficient for you based on your operational context, but as a starting point check out our air purification requirements calculator for the IRIS system. 

 

Securing Your Workplace

Industrial odor control is an important issue, but the 2020-2021 pandemic has taught us that there are many other reasons to be concerned about indoor air quality in workplaces and public spaces. While an industrial air purification system does not supplement government or public health guidelines, the medical grade status of the IRIS system means that it will minimize the presence of airborne infectious diseases, including COVID-19. The IRIS system is popular among public workspaces and institutions, including education, medical, government, and commercial buildings. Aeroex is proud to be able to support the efforts to fight COVID-19, with hundreds of our units being deployed in school boards, colleges, and universities across Ontario.

Evident from the discussion of the health benefits of medical-grade air purification is that there are many reasons to adopt an industrial odor control solution. As our awareness of workplace safety increases, so too does the need for air purification systems that attack the root causes of odors by filtering out the smartest particles. Aeroex achieves this while delivering a level of efficiency that helps to make an IRIS system a sound investment – our primary filters last 6 months and our HEPA filters last 3 years. The progressive filtration stages not only provide contaminant removal performance but also minimize the frequency by which you have to replace your HEPA filter. To learn more about industrial Odor control solutions, contact our team today. 

Case Study

Case Study: Laker Energy LTD

Case Study: Laker Energy LTD

 

Precision Machining Company in the Nuclear Parts Industry Uses Aeroex Oil Mist Collector for 15 YEARS WITH NO MAINTENANCE.

Laker Energy LTD was one of Aeroex’s first clients dating back to 2007 and after 15 years their original oil and coolant mist collector is still performing as strongly as the day they bought it. 

 

Case Study: Laker Energy LTD

Laker Energy is a Canadian success story – founded more than 20 years ago, its 140 employees produce components for CANDU® nuclear power utilities around the globe using precision machining techniques. Laker Energy started their business supplying nuclear grade pipe, tubing, fittings, fasteners that hold up under pressurized operating conditions. To supply the nuclear industry, they are a CSA N285.0 certified Material organization and are a supplier of CANDU parts like fuel channel components, feeder components, and reactivity control components. Its mission is to provide best-in-class service that is safe, emphasizing quality and customer satisfaction. Their mission was a success, as they have since been acquired by BWX Technologies Inc., a large, 150-year-old US-based nuclear power and operations company serving the US government. You can find them at one of their southern Ontario machine shops or their Oakville headquarters. The Challenge

Today Laker Energy has a very large machine shop, but that wasn’t always the case. When they were starting in the 2000s their machine shop was much smaller and tightly packed. Because everything was so close together, even a small oil mist problem is going to feel big! Laker was running many cycles in their shop and had begun to observe ambient mist conditions over the day. Oil mist can become an issue for anyone, including Laker – if you are using higher tool speeds, applying fluid to cutting edges, and/or have higher workplace temperatures. Laker prioritized safety and quality and understood that issues with oil mist could include acute/chronic health issues, visibility, slippery floors and equipment, maintenance, work stoppages, and environmental pollutants.

 

The Solution

After identifying the oil mist issue, Laker Energy came to Aeroex for a reliable mist collector solution that would fit into their existing shop configuration. Laker Energy received one of Aeroex’s earlier models based on the design of the day in 2007. Key issues for Laker Energy in selecting an oil mist collector manufacturer were: 

  • A modular design that could fit into their “smaller” shop;
  • High quality to align with their customer needs in the nuclear industry, and; 
  • Reliable performance with minimal disruptions to their busy and growing business. 

Aeroex oil mist collectors use industrial air purification systems based on the science of how mist, vapors, smoke, and fumes behave when released, so Laker Energy was confident that the oil mist issue would be dealt with. However, they also needed a solution that addressed their key issues (above). The Aeroex oil mist collectors achieved this by:

  • Size Having flexible unit sizes and mounting options that can fit into any shop or machine. The modular design allows it to be a source control measure via mounting that occupies a very low shop footprint if you are short on space. Tubing can be used if desired, but it is generally not required – giving it that clean shop look.
  • Quality Aeroex is a made-in-Canada solution that uses the highest quality parts and manufacturing in the units they produce, a standard that Laker Energy expects from its equipment. Aeroex does not cut corners with cheap parts, and the thoughtful design enforces a quality mindset.
  • Reliability Aeroex uses multistage filtration that extends performance for years to come. Primary and secondary mechanical elements have an “infinite” life with some periodic handwashing, and the depth loading fibre bed is thick and durable enough to go for years without clogging thanks to the staging of primary elements that remove most oil mist.

The Results

Laker Energy knew they had the oil mist collection solution they needed, but the result went beyond their expectations. They now have many Aeroex oil mist collectors, but that first model they purchased back in 2007 is still going in 2021! It has run without disruptions for many machine cycles without major maintenance or filter changes, and it even made the move with them when they upgraded to a larger shop. Hear it first hand from a Senior Manager at Laker Energy, who said during an Aeroex shop visit that: 

  • “We purchased backup filters, and to this day we haven’t had to install them”!
  • “They run all day, every day (three shifts)”.
  • “No problems with clogging”.
  • “We use Aeroex for rough machining, which creates a lot of mist. We’ve tried a couple of other mist collectors in the past, but performance-wise they have longer cycle times than Aeroex.” 

Evident from the case study is that the result was a resounding success. The Laker Energy results demonstrate that Aeroex oil mist collectors truly are an investment that pays for itself, and even in rough machining operations, they outperform the competition with longevity for years to come. When Laker Energy chose their first oil mist collector, they never imagined it would still be running 15 years later to the same standard as when they got it! 

 

Apply the Case Study to Your Needs

If you are reviewing this case study, you are likely aware of your oil mist collector needs and maybe starting to refine your search to a final model. Aeroex understands that selecting an oil mist collector manufacturer and model can be a difficult process. The industry has its language and performance standards with various companies making claims about what is being provided or omitting key details. The Laker Energy case studies prove the standard Aeroex provides is transparent and lives up to its promise. Aeroex oil mist collectors are an excellent investment with high performance and a better life cycle than other brands, as Laker Energy experienced firsthand. If the Laker Energy experience sounds like something you want for your operation, reach out to our team today to get started

Case Study

Case Study: Benmur Precision Tooling

Oil Mist Collector Helps Waterloo Machine Shop Perform Fly Cutting Machining. When Benmur Precision Tooling stepped up their machining operation to fly cut larger products for a client in the tech sector, oil mist quickly became an issue. They came to this oil mist collector manufacturer for an industry-leading air purification system at an affordable price.

Case Study: Benmur Precision Tooling 

Established in 2008, Benmur Precision Tooling is a specialty machining shop located in Waterloo, Ontario – the “Silicon Valley North” of Canada. Benmur uses 5-axis CBC milling like the Kitamura 4xD to produce components, housings, hardware assemblies, and many other products. They work for clients across southern Ontario in industries like nuclear, automotive, food manufacturing, lasers or optical systems, and digital projection. Notable clients include Nikon, North + Google, and the University of Waterloo. Benmur serves this industry with machining techniques like lathe turning, injection mold making, grinding, polishing, waterjet cutting, anodizing and coating, mig and tig welding, and of course multi-axis machining.

 

The Challenge

When Benmur Precision Tooling was commissioned by a company in the local tech sector to produce a larger specialized part, they got straight to work with a machining program that required fly cutting. Fly cutting is a machining technique in which a single point cutter is used on a mill, often to produce a surface finish when a face mill can’t get the job done at the right cost or scale. Its larger diameter means that you can get a great finish for your product in a single pass. This was the main driver for Benmur selecting fly cutting as the technique for their client, as the products Benmur had to machine were fairly large. Unfortunately for Benmur due to the scale of the production and the technique involved, the buildup of oil mist as a byproduct of machining became too much. Oil mist built up in the machine and was released into the shop, leading to work disruptions 3 to 4 times a day as staff tried to deal with the oil mist. It became clear that if Benmur wanted to produce large parts requested by its clients, the problem had to be addressed –both for operational efficiency, quality, and health and safety. Benmur did not have an oil mist collector but knew that they could not continue to operate in a shop with machines overrun by oil and coolant mists.

 

The Solution

When Benmur Precision Tooling needed an oil mist collector, they came to Aeroex as the mist collector manufacturer who could meet their needs with an affordable, made-in-Canada solution that would fit right into their shop. Aeroex examined Benmur’s needs to understand what type of pollutants they were experiencing, what sources of pollutants had to be controlled, the size of the operation, the volume of the building, the types of machines they had, and what ventilation was in place. This was compared against the suite of oil mist collector products Aeroex offers to select the best model with the best value for Benmur. After consultation, Aeroex recommended the Mist-Fit 550 oil mist collector, an option that was compact yet high performing, affordable, and ideal for high-pressure coolant and oil applications.

The Mist-Fit is an Aeroex oil mist collector that eliminates mist, smoke, and fine particles caused by machining. It eliminates oil mist through four consecutive stages of filtration, each providing a layer of operational efficiency. The first two elements eliminate up to 95% of mist by disrupting the flow, quickly causing droplets to condense and drain out of the filter stages back to the sump of your system. With much of the oil mist already eliminated, the third-stage fiber bed can work in optimal conditions to capture small, sub-micron-sized particles (0.3 um) with 95% efficiency. The depth loading fiber bed has a significant thickness, meaning it has a very long useful life and high removal efficiency thanks to the amount of filter media – not to mention lower oil mist concentrations after the first two stages. This is in stark contrast to competitors who often use thin filters without primary filtration, resulting in frequent clogging, maintenance, and filter replacements. If your system is releasing the smallest smoke and fume particles, an optional HEPA filter is staged after the fiber bed to finish the job. To learn more about the design features of the model Benmur selected on Aeroex’s recommendation check out the product page. The information contained within demonstrates the design features of the solution and the efficiency it offers the end-user.  

 

The Results

After a quick and easy installation (approximately one hour to mount the new unit), Benmur immediately noticed the improved operations of the shop and the virtual elimination of the oil mist that had become a big issue during their previous fly cutting. As time went on, they also discovered the low maintenance and operating costs of the Mist-Fit, one of the key benefits they cited in their debrief with Aeroex about their experience with the Mist-Fit. As shown in the breakdown of the Mist-Fit design (above), the Mist-Fit oil mist collector was specifically designed to deliver on performance without the frequent maintenance commonly associated with other models. The result was Benmur Precision Tooling continuing to operate in their Waterloo shop for their many tech sector clients.

 

Apply the Case Study to Your Needs

Those interested in the Benmur Precision Tooling case study should know that challenges with oil mist during machining are not unique to them. You may be experiencing newfound challenges for the first time as you branch out into new techniques, products, and service volumes, for example, if you are starting to incorporate high-pressure coolants. Like Benmur Precision Tooling, you will find that there are solutions available to you and experts ready to help you navigate your need for an oil mist collector. If you think this is you and you’re ready to get started, contact Aeroex today.

Case Study

Case Study: Lauer Machine

Coolant Mist Collector Helps Machine Shop Expand Into High-Pressure Coolant Applications. When Lauer Machine added high-pressure coolants for their machining operations, they went to Aeroex to supply an oil mist collector that would keep their staff, equipment, and the environment safe.

 

Case Study Profile

Started in 1973 as a single-person operation, today Lauer Machine is a modern machine shop providing vertical and horizontal milling, lathing, measurement analysis, cylindrical grinding, and many other techniques using materials like stainless steel, aluminum, copper, and even bronze or titanium. Operating under the motto of “manufacturing beyond expectation”, the work done by Lauer is frequently recognized by their clients like Husking Injection Molding Systems Ltd. You’ll find them at their 10,000 square foot shop in Orangeville, Ontario.

 

The Challenge

There comes a time when every machining shop begins to implement high-pressure coolants, and a strong performing and growing company like Lauer Machine is no exception. It could be at times like when you landed that important client who orders materials outside your usual selection, such as titanium. Unfortunately, the standard machining approach without high-pressure coolant will typically lead to chip formation. Chip formation is caused by material failures that do not conform with the machine cuts being made, resulting in the accumulation of chips in the workspace. High-pressure coolant addresses the issues of chip formation and size by helping the materials and tools to transmit heat away from the machining zone, reducing chip formation and the wear and tear on your tools.

 

High-pressure coolant is an excellent technology to utilize and the logical choice for your process. However, it poses safety and operational challenges. Coolant can vaporize under high temperatures, entering your equipment and creating a thin film of oil. When released, oil mist poses both safety and environmental concerns. Like those that came before them and those that will come after, Lauer found that the application of high-pressure coolants warrants an oil mist collector that mitigates the risks.

 

The Solution

After learning about the challenges with oil mist at Lauer Machine, Aeroex took time to understand Lauer’s operation before recommending the optimal solution with the best value – ultimately landing on the Mist-Fit 550. To learn about the specifics of the model, check out our product pages. For now, understand that air purification is best done in stages and Aeroex has designed a multi-step process of removal with increasing efficiency using materials that limit your maintenance costs, such as the use of thick depth loading fiber beds rather than thin pleated face loading filters that keep you coming back for costly filter replacements. 

Aeroex supports many industrial air purification needs for various substances, but in the case of Lauer Machine, the oil mist from high-pressure coolant was the issue of concern. The Mist-Fit was the best solution for them because it promotes drainage of larger particles before attacking the smaller particles with MERV 15 and HEPA-rated filters. This is because while the majority of oil mist particles range from 1 to 100 microns in size, many are below 1 micron and therefore aren’t addressed by conventional air purification systems. If your application is producing oil smoke, particles as small as 0.3 microns need to be filtered (hence the HEPA filter). However, if you start with a very fine filter it will immediately clog, which is why the progressive design of Mist-Fit maximizes the efficiency of both the oil mist removal process and the need for maintenance with filters that do not clog. Understanding this, Aeroex and Lauer Machine deployed the Mist-Fit 550 (sized according to the cubic feet of air handling needed for Lauer’s machines and shop size) to great success. 

 

The Results

At the beginning of the case study, Lauer Machine had transitioned to high-pressure coolants and found themselves employing extra safety measures and equipment maintenance to keep up with the oil mist. After installing the Aeroex oil mist collector, Lauer immediately reported the oil mist issue was resolved. Another year of operations later and Lauer said in their own words that:

 

  • The Mist-Fit was incredibly easy to install.
  • The Mist-Fit had been running continuously for a year with no issues.
  • Aeroex mist collectors are powerful enough to draw air from the surrounding shop, as well as the machine it’s mounted to (when not running).
  • “For any machine with high-pressure coolant or a smoky environment, these are definitely the way to go”!
  • “If you want to keep your employees happy, you need these things”!

 

To see for yourself, check out the shop visit video hosted by Lauer Machine in Orangeville.

 

Apply the Case Study to Your Needs

As documented by Production Machining (2004), high-pressure coolants are still a relatively recent industry advent that only became common practice for small to medium-sized shops in the early to mid-2000s. With any new technology, there are always unintended consequences or side effects like oil mist during machining, and the best ways to manage these were subsequently addressed by companies like Aeroex during the increasing awareness of safety and environmental workplace issues. Setting the challenges of new technology aside, for any expanding company it is normal to experience growing pains and one day realize you need an oil mist collector due to high-pressure coolants (as was the case for Lauer Machine, an expert machine shop). Rest assured that Aeroex understands your challenges and is ready to help meet the moment with a made-in-Canada solution – contact us today to get yours!

Case Study

Case Study Profile: Grimsmo Knives

Case Study Profile: Grimsmo Knives

Grimsmo Knives was looking for an air filtration solution that would efficiently filter out the oil and coolant mist from their shop facility. Aeroex Technologies installed 2 Mist-Fit MF-550 mist collector units to vastly improve the air quality and mitigate the negative impacts associated with long-term exposure to oil and coolant mist on shop equipment and personnel. 

Learn More About: Grimsmo Knives

Grimsmo Knives is a Canadian-based knife-making business that specializes in machining premium knives and gear. John Grimsmo started the business in his garage over a decade ago, dedicated to learning how to make knives and sharing his journey to becoming a self-made CNC machinist on Youtube. John’s Youtube videos include everything from knife making, how-to, shop vlogs, manufacturing shows, and more. 

Now with 72.3 thousand Youtube subscribers, John’s knife-making business has grown in staff and product offerings. The Norseman, The Rask, and The Saga Pen are all machined in-house at the Grimsmo Knives facility in Stoney Creek, Ontario. 

 

The Challenge

Like many shops that house CNC and metalworking equipment, Grimsmo Knives wanted to reduce the risks associated with long-term exposure to oil and coolant mist on shop personnel and equipment. Oil films can form on equipment, increase the risk of slip and fall accidents, and can irritate the skin, eyes, mouth, throat, and lungs of shop personnel. Long-term exposure to oil and coolant mist has been shown to increase the risk of developing skin and respiratory diseases, including cancer.

Midway through the video, we learn that the air quality at Grimsmo Knives feels “swampy” due to the increase in the buildup of oil and coolant mist in the air when machines are in operation. The air quality was tested at the beginning of the workday at 0.8 mg/m3. While this result is below the recommended limit set by OSHA of 5.0 mg/m3, most companies and health and safety committees agree that exposure limits should range from 0.3-0.5 mg/m3 – which puts Grimsmo Knives above the recommended industry range.   

The Solution

A team of engineers and specialists assessed Grimsmo’s Knives facility to find them the best oil and coolant mist collector solution that would vastly reduce exposure to oil and coolant mist, and improve air quality. 

2 Mist-Fit MF-550’s (550 CFM) were installed strategically at Grimsmo Knives shop facility to promote airflow. The Mist-Fit MF-550 uses multi-stage filtration to remove oil and coolant particulates and is capable of moving 1 unit of air every 15 seconds. Stage 1 of the filtration process features a smooth mechanical element engineered to disrupt and remove wash and swarf. Stage 2 utilizes a special wire mesh to encourage the formation of droplets – making it easier to drain. At this point, 95% of the oil mist has been removed. Finally, Stage 3 features a thick fiber bed filter that collects 95% of particles that are between 1 to 3 microns. There is also an optional Stage 4 HEPA filter that can be added to target sub-micron particles – typically used for facilities and shop environments where there is smog prevalent. 

The Results

Once the 2 Mist-Fit units were installed at the Grimsmo Knives facility, the air quality was tested again at 0.010 mg/m3 indicating a large drop in oil and coolant mist in the air when compared to the air quality tested earlier that day. 0.010 mg/m3 is well below OSHA and the majority of health and safety committee standards for oil and coolant mist exposure ranges – therefore mitigating the risks associated with long-term exposure at the Grimsmo Knives shop.  

The Grimsmo Knives is now able to operate in a shop environment with cleaner, safer air for both personnel and equipment. 

Apply the Case Study To Your Needs 

The issue of long-term exposure to oil and coolant mist isn’t just unique to Grimsmo Knives. The increased use of high-pressure coolant systems within the metalworking industry has contributed to the negative effects of long-term exposure of oil and coolant mist on staff and equipment. To ensure the health and safety of your shop personnel, and the working life of your CNC and metalworking equipment, we recommend opting for an industrial mist collector that meets the demands of your everyday operations. 

Luckily, Canadian-based Aeroex Technologies is a dedicated oil mist collector manufacturer that is committed to ensuring that your facility’s air quality is safe for your staff and equipment. Our team of engineers and specialists will assess your shop needs and offer an oil mist collector solution uniquely suited to promote air quality and limit exposure to oil and coolant mist. Get in touch with an Aeroex Technologies representative today to learn more! 

Case Study

Case Study: Ferro Technique

Case Study Profile: Ferro Technique

 

Learn about how one of Canada’s leading importers and distributors of measuring and metalworking equipment have relied on Aeroex Technologies’ industrial mist collectors for over 15 years. 

Hear From Our Customer: Ferro Technique

Ferro Technique is one of Canada’s leading importers and distributors of measuring and CNC metalworking equipment for the metalworking industry. With offices in Mississauga, Windsor, and Montreal and over half a century of experience, Ferro Technique holds a reputation for providing first-class products and excellence in service. 

Client needs are prioritized by all members of the Ferro Technique team – from sales to their in-house engineers – you can rest easy knowing that the product choices you make result in a long-term return on investment. Their high-quality distribution line includes equipment from Doosan Machine Tools, Geminis Maher Holdings, Hartford, Southwestern Industries, and Mitsui Seiki, with product offerings ranging from machining accessories, standalone equipment, and turnkey solutions. 

The Challenge

Ferro Technique prioritizes ensuring high-quality metalworking equipment, accessories, and solutions for their clients in addition to the first-class service. As leading importers and distributors of CNC metalworking equipment and accessories in Canada, oil mist collectors are an in-demand accessory that diminishes the exposure of harmful oil mist particles from high-pressure coolants in many machining and metalworking processes. 

The long-term oil and coolant mist exposure pose a hazard to both shop personnel and equipment. Oil mist collectors are used in tandem with metalworking equipment to reduce exposure of oil and coolant mist and mitigate risks associated with long-term exposure. While many oil mist collectors are available on the market, few are durable, flexible, and capable of filtering oil and coolant mist for lasting, long-term results. 

The Solution

Aeroex Technologies offers a large range of oil mist collectors that are durable, flexible, and capable of filtering through a full spectrum of pollutants of various sizes to ensure long-term results with little maintenance. Our decades of experience in the industry have enabled us to develop an intimate understanding of the impact of oil and coolant mist in industrial processes – as well as other types of pollutants that are prevalent in these processes such as general smoke exhaust. We’ve engineered our oil mist collectors capable of effectively filtering through a large range of pollutants of various sizes to reduce the risks associated with long-term exposure. 

 

As premier oil mist collector manufacturers, our commitment to ensuring high-quality oil mist collector products and customer service is why we’ve been able to cultivate a professional working relationship with Ferro Technique for 15 years!

 

The Results

In the 15 years of working with Ferro Technique, we are elated to report that there have not been any issues or complaints from customers with any of our oil mist collector products. 

Aeroex Technologies’ commitment to offering high-quality oil mist collector products also extends to ensuring superior customer service. In the video featured, Brian Donnelly, President of Ferro Technique reflects on a large project where 30 mist collectors were needed on short notice and how the Aeroex team was able to meet client demands promptly. 

When asked what message to send out to other machining shops that might be interested in mist collectors, President Brian Donnely stated “If you’re looking for a mist collector, you’ll ultimately have to look at Aeroex. What you decide is up to you, but you’ll have to consider Aeroex”.

Apply the Case Study To Your Needs 

Risks associated with long-term exposure to oil and coolant mist are common in the metalworking industry. Many metalworking applications and processes emit contaminants into the air that create hazards for your shop personnel and equipment. 

As leading distributors of metalworking equipment, with a reputation built on high-quality products and excellence in customer service – Ferro Technique relies on Aeroex Technologies to provide long-lasting oil and coolant mist collector solutions for their clientele. 

If you require an oil mist collector for your shop or facility, consider Canada-based Aeroex Technologies’ Mist-Fit Series of oil mist collectors to meet your daily operational needs. Durable, compact, and affordable – the Mist-Fit Series oil mist collectors utilize multi-stage separation technology to filter through contaminants of varying sizes, mediums, and concentrations. 

Moreover, our team of industry professionals is here to understand your unique needs and find a Mist-Fit product that will effectively keep your metalworking facility safe and clean. Protect your personnel and equipment from oil and coolant mist exposure by getting in touch with an Aeroex Technologies representative today! 

Air Purification Manufacturing

3D Printing Fume Extraction

3D Printing Fume Extraction

Three-dimensional (3D) printing is an increasingly popular technique for prototyping and additive manufacturing. The  ever expanding number of applications for 3D printing technology means the industry is expected to increase from $0.7 Billion in 2019 to $5.6 Billion in 2026. 3D printing can use a variety of materials including plastic, resin, ceramics, wood, metal, graphite, nitinol, and paper. Due to the diversity of 3D printing applications, the scalable nature of 3D printing technology and the rapid growth of the industry, every 3D printing company is likely to hit a point where the need for fume extraction becomes apparent. Similar issues surrounding fugitive fumes caused by various production and fabrication processes exist in comparable industries like laser printing, laser etching and laser cutting to name a few. For the majority of these industries, there is an alarming lack of awareness and education revolving around the negative health impacts attributed to fugitive fume inhalation in the production phase. Even though 3D printing is a fairly new idea, fume extraction is not. For more than 20 years, Aeroex Technologies has been at the forefront of developing mist and fume extraction products for the industrial and commercial sectors. With decades of experience and expertise in air purification systems, the team at Aeroex was able to modify and improve on already highly efficient filtration technology to meet the specific needs of the 3D printing industry. 

Challenges of 3D and Laser Printing

With many institutional and DIY newcomers to the 3D printing realm, health and safety is becoming an increasingly discussed topic. To understand the health hazards associated with fugitive fume inhalation, we must first understand where the fumes come from. In the process of 3D printing, filament reels are melted by the printer as it moves along the pre-programmed path. While heating and melting the material, fumes are generated as a byproduct of the process. The composition of the fumes will depend on the material being printed. Some of the most common materials like thermoplastic polymers (e.g. ABS) are known to emit styrene, a suspected carcinogen that also causes headaches, drowsiness, and fatigue. Some materials can be substituted to reduce the toxicity levels of fumes, but this does not discount that fumes will be generated regardless of material. 3D printing often takes hours and even days to complete a project, with machines running for a long time to print each layer. 3D printing is an incredibly powerful and scalable technology, but output rates should not be limited by health and safety concerns and you should not have to downgrade your materials from durable thermoplastics to reduce the risk of these fumes. Instead, an air purification system designed for fume extraction in 3D printing will allow you to safely continue your prototyping or manufacturing work without compromise to productivity or health. 

Aeroex’s 3D Printing Strategy

Before proposing a solution for 3D printing fumes, the engineers at Aeroex spent considerable time researching  the nature of the fumes generated by 3D printing including the materials involved, equipment used, typical shop configurations, and the nature of the fumes released (composition and quantity). Much like our medical-grade air purification systems and/or mist extraction systems that are used  for other processes that generate fumes like CNC machining, we apply the principles of source capture  and ambient control. In the case of 3D printing, processes are usually quite modular and the sources of fumes are easy to pinpoint. Therefore,  the source capture method is bound to be highly efficient because fumes can be extracted before they enter the ambient conditions of your shop, which would require purification of much larger volumes of air at lower concentrations. Our attention to strategy and deployment planning is a key consideration when many other air purifiers cite the performance of MERV or HEPA filters without a plan for you to experience this level of performance.

The Right Filter for the Job

Beyond our overall strategy, the filters in question will ensure complete fume extraction during 3D printing or laser printing. For fumes like styrene which are associated with 3D printing, Aeroex uses activated carbon filters with a HEPA standard for particle size and efficiency. HEPA (also known as high-efficiency particulate absorbing, as defined by the US Department of Energy and the EPA), has an efficiency rating of 99.97% for particles as small as 0.3 μm. Typically, fumes exist in the particle range smaller than one micron, making the HEPA filter the optimal application for 3D printing. 

Commercial HEPA Air Filtration Systems with Activated Carbon

Activated carbon is a powerful technology that removes airborne gaseous chemicals through adsorption (adhesion of molecules to a surface without inducing solubility), which is why it’s a trusted part of sacred processes like the treatment of drinking water and wastewater. Activated carbon is also the focal point of Aeroex’s air purification systems design for fume extraction in 3D printing and laser printing. In an industry where claims about carbon are abound, Aeroex goes beyond the competition. We use real carbon made of coconut shells. While some companies will use small sprinkles of carbon in their filters so it can be cited in their product description, Aeroex goes as far as filling the filter media with small elongated pellets. During fume extraction, the air is pushed through the pellets to maximize the adsorption process, providing you with superior efficiency and long lasting filters.. The composition of our activated carbon and the sheer amount of it we use is a key reason to choose Aeroex, especially once you begin to understand the underlying “gold standard” technology of our products versus others who claim to provide fume extraction.

There are both established 3D printing practices in North America as well as quickly emerging companies that are still fine-tuning their processes. 3D printing companies are quickly realizing the need to focus on health and safety, but we would encourage you not to rush – instead take time to understand your fume sources and the purification technology. Some companies are offering “technologies” like bipolar ionizers, hydroxyl generators, and disinfectant foggers (as reported by outlets like Mother Jones and Colorado State University) that claim to be quick fixes, when in fact these will leave you at risk without the fume extraction you truly need. Due to the growth of 3D printing and the ever expanding variety of materials used for printing, the industry is still zeroing in on the best methods of industrial air filtration and ventilation, like our HEPA filters. 

We Are Committed to Supporting the 3D Printing Industry

We understand 3D printing is a growing industry, and we want to ensure the health and safety of your workplace for the long term. Our superior quality means the fume extraction technology you receive will be long-lasting and scalable as your 3D printing business grows, while the filters we use have large amounts of media that reduce the overall costs of filter replacements, by widening the maintenance intervals and lowering the labour hours required for maintenance. This is why we have stationed every aspect of our product lifecycle in Canada, from manufacturing to customer support. While many larger companies outsource their customer service internationally, purchasing a made-in-Canada product means your air purification supplier is with you for the long haul. We want to make sure that your operations are successful and we will be there to help you make the right deployment and get the most out of our products. Check out our operation in Barrie Ontario, and contact us today to get started with your Canadian partner for air purification in laser printing and 3D printing. 

Air Purification Manufacturing

Plastic Welding Fume Extraction

Plastic Welding Fume Extraction

Plastic welding is a popular technique for assembling goods from plastic components or materials because it allows you to directly join two compatible pieces without relying on adhesives or fasteners. This technique often produces products with a seamless appearance due to the components all being the same plastic material, without joints or clamps. The surface of the plastic is usually melted with a hot air welding gun. Although, there are other techniques like acoustic vibration, friction welding, laser welding, and contact welding. These manual techniques are useful for small operations, while larger operations can scale up with automatic welding. With these technologies, many of the goods we use in our everyday lives can be produced fairly inexpensively. However, any production technique that involves melting plastic will produce fumes that raise health and safety concerns and operational issues like accumulating by-products on the facility’s equipment. 

Challenges with Fumes in the Plastic Welding Industry

Plastic welding poses some unique challenges for air quality due to the types of materials being used and their operating conditions. Typically, rigid thermoplastics like PVC are welded at air temperatures of around 350 degrees Celsius to avoid discoloration or scorching of the product. Unfortunately, the melting point of these plastics and the operating temperature of the equipment mean that the emissions produced are bound to contaminate the ambient air in the facility.. The following are a few indicators  associated with industrial fume emissions: 

  • Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) is known to produce black smoke and soot flakes.
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) produces black smoke.
  • Acrylics produce a lot of odor.
  • Polycarbonate (PC) produces yellowish smoke and soot.

In each of these cases, fumes are producing chlorine, styrene, and other harmful by-products that cause acute effects like irritated skin or eyes, nausea, and headaches – with chronic effects including cancer. The rate at which these toxins are released can vary with your operating temperatures, complicating matters further. A plastic welding operation that wants to scale up has to manage these risks to remain safe and sustainable. 

As mentioned above, plastic welding smoke is often dark and mixed with fumes (the finer solid particles). Suspended in these emissions are large and fine airborne solid particles produced by vaporizing and condensing plastic particles, causing the dark color. The transient state of these particles means that they do not remain vaporized or airborne. The result? Condensation of smoke and fumes from plastic welding, leaving behind waxy residues! Setting aside the health and safety concerns of the fumes, these residues will impact and clog your machinery and conventional HVAC systems – driving up maintenance costs and reducing the useful life of your assets. The variation of particle sizes from smoke and fume combinations means that a uniform approach will not mitigate all emissions equally.

Strategies for Industrial Air Filtration and Ventilation

The waxy fumes and smoke from plastic welding are a reality of the production process that should be managed effectively for both safety and the longevity of your shop. This unique challenge is where Aeroex’s air purification systems perform as advertised while some competing air purification systems fall short as they advertise high efficiency, yet provide insufficient airflow to fully mitigate the inbound emissions. To manage waxy residues, a special design is needed to prevent clogging. Otherwise, you will be stuck doing perpetual maintenance without realizing the true benefits you should expect from your air purification system. 

 

Aeroex’s industrial air filtration units use progressive filtration technology where each stage is designed to complement the shortfalls of the last, and ultimately results in longer-lasting filters as well as allows filtration of particulate sized emissions and emissions on the molecular level. . Typically, this is where other air purification systems fall short and get clogged as these systems rely on the filter itself without primary mechanical elements. While these air purification systems “perform” well when brand new or during demos, they don’t have a design that will sustainably deliver the service you need. 

 

Since waxy emissions are a reality of plastic welding, then, there needs to be a way to deal with them in a way that does not impact your maintenance budget significantly. Your competitors are likely dealing with the same issue, due to the nature of plastic welding emissions. The progressive filtration approach allows the wax to accumulate on the primary washable elements, keeping your consumable activated carbon and HEPA filters in an environment where minimal wax residue is able to get through. The primary filtration elements are easily removable and hand-washable, a periodic and very low-cost maintenance activity. This design choice was intentional because it will prevent you from having the frequent filter replacement costs seen in other competitor models. 

Industrial Air Filtration Systems Designed for the Long Haul

Future-proofing your business is one of our core mandates, and Aeroex aims to outfit you with quality, made in Canada air purification systems. The longer your systems last, the better your investment return is, something Aeroex has strived for both in design and materials used. The nature of plastic welding is that it will incur costly maintenance to your filters if the correct design is not deployed. Aeroex has developed a solution that will cut through any issues you have had with clogged filters in the past. Our clients regularly report satisfaction at how durable our products are. For instance take Laker Energy, one of our first clients. Their mist collector (a similar product to what we would recommend for plastic welding) is going strong after 15 years, with the SAME FILTER inside – working smoothly after all this time. 

 

Our industrial air filtration systems will cut out the headaches of smoke and fumes during plastic welding, allowing you to focus on the things that matter like scaling up your business into automatic plastic welding. Contact Aeroex to talk to a specialist team member, get the specs, and plan an air purification deployment for your plastic welding operation today.

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