Mist Collectors

Location of Mist Collectors

Location of Mist Collectors

The design, filtration size, and air handling capacity of industrial filtration systems like oil and coolant mist collectors are often discussed for their impacts on air quality. However, the location of the oil mist collector is an overlooked but critical aspect of your air filtration strategy. The location of the mist collector is a key consideration for any deployment made by Aeroex. By ensuring the proper placement and integration of the mist collector, the right capture strategy can be used that provides optimal efficiency. 

Types of Locations for Mist Collectors

There are two general ways of locating your coolant and mist collector. You directly integrate the filtration system with your machine to provide source control as a closed system, or you can install it nearby on the wall or ceiling (often paired with your existing ventilation) to provide ambient control. Each provides benefits and rationale, although for machining operations Aeroex recommends starting with source control first. 

Location of Mist Collectors for Source Control

Source control means capturing contaminant air particles directly at the source of release by maintaining close proximity and a direct feed between the source and the method of filtration. The advantage of this technique is that the duration between release and capture is limited, there are fewer opportunities to enter the atmosphere, and a higher concentration of particles can be captured before they begin to diffuse. A source control solution is highly efficient as a result – a higher concentration means less air is circulated through the filter for the same amount of particles captured. However, a source control solution can be more demanding for the air filtration system. If it cannot efficiently remove the large number of particles, you may get a buildup or disruptions like clogging. 

Aeroex systems are designed for source control locations first and foremost, with depth loading filters, screening methods to optimize filter efficiency, good drainage, and large volumes of filter media. This is the most efficient way to target oil and collant mists that come from a discrete source. In machine shops, oils and coolants are usually sprayed within an enclosure, making them opportune for a source control strategy. 

Location of Mist Collectors for Ambient Control

If an ambient control strategy is being used, typically the filtration system will be installed on the ceiling or with an existing ventilation system to oversee a broader area or a series of operations and sources. Normally, an ambient strategy is only recommended when a contaminant source is not discrete or there are too many sources for a source control strategy to be feasible. Some machine operations like grinding also pose source control challenges. Ambient control can also complement source control – for example, if you had several grinders equipped with source control measures you may also use ambient control as the finishing method to eliminate any remaining contaminants.  

An ambient control solution applies to the entire room of a facility, meaning it will need to circulate more air than a source control method to replace contaminants with clean air. This is due to the effects of dispersion. As well, the lower circulation frequency compared to source control (enclosures can often be cycled in seconds) mean that there is the potential for interim exposure in the atmosphere. 

While source control is most common for machine operations, ambient control is common in other applications like healthcare and institutional settings.

Mounting Oil Mist Collector for Source Control Strategy

Aeroex is committed to the source control strategy, so much so that we have created a wide range of mounting options to ensure that whatever the circumstance, models like our Mist Fit can integrate into your shop. Where other suppliers may opt for a less efficient strategy due to accessibility issues, we will go to extra lengths to ensure a source control strategy is feasible. We understand space is a scarce commodity in any machine shop, and mounting to a machine can therefore require some creativity. Our install kit provides mounting options by including custom and prefabricated base plates, flanges, base plates with side suction, side mounts, elevated base plates, side mount extensions, pillar stands, wall mounts, and more.

How to Choose the Location of Mist Collectors

When choosing the location of your mist collector, we will assess the footprint of your facility, the existing ventilation, the location of your machines, conflicts with other devices and utilities, routing, accessibility, and other factors. From there, we will assess the options for a source control strategy. Often this is straightforward but if not the Aeroex team will get creative in providing you with a safe and optimal location solution. In almost all cases, source control is achieved.

Learn More in This Case Study of Determining the Location of a Mist Collector 

For an example of the installation process, check out Aeroex’s video feature in popular Youtuber and custom knife fabricator Grimsmo Knives. 

Grimsmo Knives is a Canadian business making custom knives. The process includes operations like lathing with common machine brands like Nakamura. In this video, we visit John Grimsmo’s shop and learn about the buildup of oil and coolant mist experienced in the shop when machines are in operation. Grimsmo Knives has a small shop with limited ventilation and there were initially some questions about how best to locate the oil mist collector, but over the course of the video viewers get to see the process for a full installation. The hosing in our installation kit made the process go by quite smoothly. By the end of our site visit, the Mist-Fit 550 was fully installed and providing immediately noticeable clean air. 


You can also learn more by reading our Grimsmo Knives case study.


Mist Collectors

Mist Extraction for CNC Machining

Employing the use of an mist extraction system in tandem with regular CNC machining equipment operations can aid in preventing risks that you may not easily identify with the naked eye. Luckily, Aeroex Technologies engineered mist collection systems are built with the unique needs of CNC equipment processes in mind. Our mist collectors effectively remove mist from the workplace environment to ensure your machine operators and facility equipment are not exposed to health and operational risks down the line. 


In this blog we uncover the mist extraction needs unique to CNC machining and how Aeroex Technologies’ offers a reliable and efficient mist collection system tailor-made to meet these needs. 

The Important Role of CNC Machining Processes for Manufacturing 


CNC machining equipment plays a fundamental role in manufacturing for their ability to produce accurate and specific parts by turning raw materials into final products. CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control, which represents two standard methods (3D printing technology and FDM) to build prototypes all from a computer software file. CNC machining has been used to manufacture a range of materials including wood, metals, and plastics.


Unfortunately, a common byproduct of CNC machining is chip formation. Chip formation occurs when the machine tool makes contact with the edge of the material that is being worked on. Common with CNC machining processes such as milling, grinding, honing, and turning – chip formation is imminent. Chip formation can detriment the production process leading to shortened tool life, stoppages, lack-luster surface finishes, and can increase the likelihood of safety hazards from occurring. 


Many CNC machine operations will employ the use of a high-pressure coolant to deal with chip formation control. High-pressure coolants offer a myriad of benefits when it comes to controlling chip formation, but an unfortunate byproduct is that it leads to the dispersion of coolant mist into the air which can lead to slick work environments, and post significant health risks to facility personnel as well as to other equipment in your facility. 


It is for this reason that effectively controlling the dispersion of coolant mist is regulated by OSHA, NIOSH, ACHGI, and Health Canada. All of these governing bodies dictate legislation to limit exposure to harmful workplace pollutants like oil and coolant mist. 


Health Risks Associated with Coolant Mist Exposure 


Exposure to coolant mist and toxic fumes include irritation of the eyes, skin, mouth, and throat, and can lead to other symptoms like headache, shortness of breath, fever, rapid heart rate and vomiting. Persistent and unchecked long-term exposure to oil and coolant mist can increase the likelihood of developing more serious respiratory and skin diseases including cancer.


Despite the growing trend toward the regular use of high-pressure coolant for CNC machining applications, there has been a gap for a solution that effectively filters through the airborne particulate that high-pressure coolants disperse into the working environment. 

Aeroex Technologies’ Mist Extraction for CNC Machining Solution


Because CNC machining utilizes 3D printing technology, the team of experts at Aeroex Technologies have conducted extensive research to inform engineering efforts when it comes to addressing the types of mist and fumes emitted by 3D printing. Paying special attention to factors like composition and quantity, the Aeroex team understood the importance that source capture extraction systems play in the more modular processes in which 3D printing emits mist and fumes. 


Source capture filtration effectively and efficiently mitigates dispersion of harmful mists and fumes from being emitted into the working environment, as it is captured at the source. Ambient filtration in contrast, collects unwanted airborne particulates that have not been filtered immediately via source capture filtration. Depending on your facility needs, employing the use of both ambient and source capture filtration might be the best solution for you. We recommend reaching out to learn more about how Aeroex Technologies can propose a mist collection system that meets your unique facility needs. 


How the Mist-Fit Meets the Unique Filtration Needs for CNC Machining Processes


Aeroex’s line of Mist-Fit mist collection systems have been engineered to mitigate risk of oil and coolant mist exposure for CNC machining applications. Benefits of selecting the Mist-Fit for your facility include:


  • Multiple stage filtration to ensure high efficiency and avoid plugging from occurring 
  • Less maintenance and more cost effective due to longer filter life
  • Option to select a 4th-stage HEPA filter to capture extra fine mist particulates 
  • Compact, modular design and multiple direct mounting options make the Mist-Fit highly adaptive and easy to install
  • Canadian-based and engineered to yield high-quality results and service


Aeroex Technologies’ team of engineers are able to assess your shop’s needs to offer a high-quality mist collection solution that is economical, highly efficient, and made with CNC machining equipment in mind. Our dedication to offering high-quality mist collector products is matched by our commitment to customer service. 


If you’re looking for a mist extraction solution for your facility, consider the Mist-Fit line of mist collectors and request a quote today!

Mist Collectors

Mist Collector Based on Calculated Airflow

Mist Collector Based on Calculated Airflow

Oil and coolant mist collectors are often defined by the smallest particle size they can filter, but calculated airflow is just as important. In fact, focusing on filtration size or failing to consider other factors like airflow may be leading to less than optimal performance. Filtration size might be the right starting point, but we’ll go over some of the reasons why you need to consider airflow when using oil and coolant mist collectors for industrial air filtration. 

What Is Air Flow and Why Is It Important for Industrial Air Filtration

In the context of industrial air filtration, airflow describes the nature and rate at which air is circulated and discharged using a mechanical ventilation system. This could be across a facility, within a particular production room, or in a machine enclosure. Airflow is measured using units of volume (e.g. cubic feet or meters) and time (e.g. minutes or seconds). Aeroex uses cubic feet per minute (or “cfm”) as its standard unit of measurement. Airflow also has a direction or vector, such as from areas of high to low pressure or from a source of forced air to a source of air capture. The direction, volume, and velocity of airflow all play important factors in the performance and outcomes of your filtration scheme. 

Airflow is important for industrial air filtration because it is a key determinant of the ability to capture or mitigate the effects of airborne contamination caused by industrial processes like machining. This can be true both at the macro level for a large facility or at the source of a single machine. Consider the following examples.

Example #1 – Air Flow Considerations for Source Control Applications 

You are machining at high cycles and use coolants or lubricants to maintain the temperature of your tools, but need to maintain visibility or prevent the over-accumulation of oils and mists. Therefore, your ventilation and oil mist collection system will need to recycle the enclosure every few seconds. By extension, your oil mist collector needs to have the airflow capacity to do so. The “direction” of airflow is of less concern here because it is a closed system with source control. Aeroex often recommends source control solutions because contaminants are captured quickly before they are released into the shop atmosphere where they disperse – you can often capture at the source with less airflow than what is required under ambient conditions. 

Example #2 – Air Flow Considerations for Ambient Control Solutions 

You may use an ambient control method for air filtration when source control is not feasible – for example, some grinding applications without enclosures may not achieve 100% success with source control. Ambient control is also used as a “finishing” method complementing source control to achieve the cleanest possible air. Here, you need to consider the entire volume of the room rather than just an enclosure, and you also need to consider the direction of airflow relative to your air filtration system. The placement of different sinks and sources of ventilation will determine the overall flow in a facility, and proper engineering is needed to ensure the entire room is circulated. If there are corners circulated less frequently or at limited capacity then there are areas of higher risk. Ambient control often requires high airflow because you will be recycling an entire room of air, usually several times per hour.

Engineering the airflow of a room or facility is a complex topic, and deploying an industrial air filtration system may mean consulting an engineer – Aeroex has experienced staff who can make sure any deployment is planned properly. The below figure depicts some examples of common airflow dynamics.


Figure – Types of Air Flow Dynamics for Planning Ambient Industrial Air Filtration (Source: Building Performance Institute

Risks of Inadequate or Mismatched Air Flow

Performance is often described in terms of the smallest size of particles captured by a filter, but if your oil mist collector cannot deliver the required airflow then the contaminants are not being removed at a rate that can ensure the quality or safety you expect. The filters selected can impinge on airflow, especially among cheaper membrane filters without the proper screening or depth loading to prevent clogging or deliver higher volumes of air. While filters may often guarantee using things like the HEPA standard, an improperly sized filter will negatively impact the air flow generated. Once airflow is restricted, contaminants will bypass the filter and carry into the airspace downstream of your filtration system – an outcome your filtration system was intended to prevent. For this reason, Aeroex uses depth-loading filters and provides a wide range of capacity options, ranging anywhere from hundreds of cubic feet per minute to thousands. 

While it’s common among other suppliers to be overpromised on a system with inadequate airflow, you also want to avoid overpaying for capacity you don’t need at additional cost. 

Why Is Filtration Size Mistakenly Emphasized Over Airflow?

Within the industrial air filtration space, we often speak in terms of particle size because it’s something all applications can relate to. Contaminant particle size, within a theoretical range, is common to all applications. While particle size can vary with temperature, dispersion method, etc, its chemical composition means that particle size will be within an accepted range. This means that the design and business case of a filtration system can relate to everyone via consideration of particle size. This commonality creates a shared language but can omit the factors that make each situation unique (notably your airflow requirements).

Airflow will depend on your enclosure size, amount of oils and coolants being applied, machine type and technique used, desired air exchange frequency, etc. At the ambient level, you will also need to consider the size and orientation of the facility, along with the other airflow contributors. 

Get The Right Airflow Advice

So, while filtration size can start the conversation, don’t make the mistake of not selecting your mist collector based on calculated airflow. At Aeroex, we will diligently and patiently understand all your needs including calculated airflow to recommend the right mist collector. If you want to learn more or get started, contact Aeroex today.

Mist Collectors

Mist Collection – Coolant vs. Oil Applications

Comparing Oil and Coolant Applications in Machining for Mist Collection

Cutting and shaping metal through machining is an intense process that generates significant amounts of heat, creating implications for shops to perform these operations at scale. This is a well understood constraint on modern machining and there are strategies in place to deal with this. Given the amount of heat generated during the machining process, it’s very common to use oil lubricants or water-soluble coolants in your machining process to either reduce the heat generated or mitigate the impact of heat generated. 

What Are The Benefits of Lubricants Versus Coolants?

For each operation, a shop will choose which fluids make the most sense given the type of machining, material type, past experience, etc. Each choice of coolant or lubricant will have different outcomes for your process, and for the safety and quality risks posed by mists in your shop when these fluids are used. Aeroex understands the range of fluids machining shops use and considers the properties of each when recommending a mist collector or industrial air purification solution. Here are a few things to consider:

Considerations for Oil Lubricants

Oils are relatively viscous fluids, meaning that the friction between their particles is greater than the surfaces they interact with. This is what makes oils “slippery”, making them an excellent lubricant for machining. By reducing friction between surfaces and workpieces, less heat is generated during machining. Note that if any heat is generated in spite of a lubricant, the oil will not reduce the heat. Lubricant can be applied during machining or with a coating layer on the tool itself. 


Oil lubricants come in a range of viscosities ranging from low viscosity to high viscosity. The goal of each is the same – to reduce friction and heat generation during machining. A fluid that is too thick can make your machines work harder, leading to wear and tear because of undue effort. However, if the oil is too thin, it may not be sufficient enough to prevent friction and create lubrication. In any machine operation, a balancing act is needed to select the right lubricant for the job.


Perhaps most importantly, oil is a combustible and volatile fluid. If for some reason too much heat is generated and the flashpoint is reached, lubricants can ignite. So, any machining operation and oil collection solution needs to account for these fire prevention and safety considerations. Oil lubricants can also lead to smoke along with volatilized mist, meaning that your air purification system will need to be able to capture these particles.

Considerations for Coolants

Coolants are the second major category of fluids to use in machining that will help you manage potential heat generation and can keep your machines operating. There are a number of differences when compared to lubricants that add considerations for selecting machining fluids.


Coolants differ from oil lubricants in that they take heat away only after it is generated, rather than preventing it in the first place like oils would. While heat generation occurs, the coolants continually keep the cutting zone at a lower temperature. The main benefit of a coolant is that it does not risk ignition, which allows more opportunities to scale up your machining operations without risk of fire hazards or added resources for monitoring.  


Some coolants are compromised of oil diluted with water, which can lead to corrosion depending on the material of your machine or the product. The diluted nature of these coolants means they have less lubricity than their synthetic counterparts, limiting their use to lighter applications. Water-based coolants also have odor problems caused by bacteria depending on how they are used and stored. There are also synthetic lubricants, which are popular for precision machining but risk generating smoke (another air quality concern). 

Managing your Lubricants and Coolants With A Mist Collector

Your choice of lubricant versus coolant is likely to depend on your shop, the materials you are using, what operations you are running (e.g. drilling, milling, tapping, etc.), and how much heat is being generated. With each choice, it’s important to be aware of the dynamics of the fluids you are working with and how best to manage risks to your shop. Aeroex has been in the business of mist collection for more than twenty years and has studied the market to provide you with customized solutions that meet your performance expectations. 

Aeroex Mist Collectors: Mist-Fit and ARO Series

The Mist-Fit is Aeroex’s most popular option for lubricants and coolants for a reason. Its compact and modular design means it’s ready for deployment in any shop, and it’s easily configurable – for example, if you are using lubricants or coolants at different phases of your operation. A three-stage progressive filtration system uses mechanical elements to catch most of the product before finishing with a depth-loading fiber bed filter with MERV 15 rating to capture the hard-to-get oil mists that can cause problems in your shop. Our Canadian engineers have included a number of design features that promote drainage, limit filter changes, and prevent clogging. Mist-Fit is a great value choice for day-to-day machining with coolants and light oil lubricants. If you are using synthetic oils, we may recommend an optional four-stage HEPA filter to capture the sub-micron smoke and vapor particles. There is also an optional odor control for issues mentioned earlier. 


The ARO Series incorporates all of the design and quality of life features known and loved in the Mist-Fit. The ARO Series has added capacity for heavy machinery using thick oils that need near-constant runtimes without disruptions for filter changes, maintenance, or clogging. The ARO is the premium choice for the virtual elimination of smoke and mist at scale, delivering up to 4000 cfm and potentially accommodating multiple machines simultaneously.

Solutions for Oil and Coolant Applications

At Aeroex, we will not push “one-size fits all” solutions on you. We value the time and patience of learning your specific challenges and getting consensus on a solution that is best for your situation. Oils and coolants present different challenges for machine operations and shop management, and we will work to fit right in with the corresponding oil mist collector that is right for you. To help us understand your needs, contact Aeroex today.


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Mist Collection for Swiss Lathe Machining

Mist Collection for Swiss Lathe Machining


Swiss lathe style machining, named in reference to a Swiss watchmaker who invented the technique in the 1800s, is a unique machining technique gaining in popularity that presents some significant challenges for oil mist and smoke releases. 


In this article, we discuss the unique aspects of the Swiss lathe style method in the machining industry, the challenges of oil mist and indoor air quality that it often creates, and methods for addressing these issues to keep your shop running at full capacity and top condition. 


What is Swiss Lathe Style Machining?

Swiss lathe style machining is unique for its use of a slider to move parts along the longitudinal or “z” axis towards the guide brushing using a moving headstock for mounting. This approach ensures the part is fully stabilized yet capable of any rotation when brought into contact with the guide bushing. 


This is different from conventional turning because of the mobile headstock (rather than fixed), the ability to rotate during cycles, and the ability to mount long and thin parts in the collet or “chuck” of the headstock. A fixed chuck feeds the part towards the tool, allowing for a variety of machining treatments to be applied along a single path, such as the intervals needed to produce threading. Improvements in the precision of programming make it an attractive choice for parts like medical equipment or military equipment where very low tolerance for variability is accepted.


Do Swiss Lathes Generate Heat and Oil Mist?


The customizable nature of Swiss lathe machining and the ability to deliver multiple cuts in the same cycle using rotations means that this technique commonly leads to heat issues with your parts and equipment. With so much cutting happening in a short period, it’s easy to see how it could get too hot. 


Swiss lathes commonly generate a lot of high due to the high spindle speeds used to achieve high precisions, and there are a variety of applications being made in quick succession within a cycle due to the rotational abilities and mobile headstock. 


Many of the advanced capabilities of a Swiss lathe that make it an attractive option for high precision parts also produce heat in the machine matrix, commonly treated with oil coolants. These coolants can produce sprays, mists, and vapours when deflected from the parts – these liquids remain in the air of the machine enclosure until cleared out. The emphasis of this technique on small, high-precision parts means that the enclosure is often smaller than other equipment, meaning that high oil mist and smoke that is generated accumulates and leaves faster than in more general CNC machines. 


While enclosure size alone is not an issue, unfortunately, a lot of oil mist is generated due to the high spindle speed of a Swiss lathe intended to ensure high tooling precision. This spindle speed volatilizes the oil mist particles that would otherwise be mechanically displaced, leading to smaller vaporized oil mist particles. These oil mist particles are difficult to filter and are the root cause of your air quality issues.


What Coolants Do Swiss Lathe Machines Use?


The overview above demonstrated that Swiss lathe machines generate a significant amount of heat due to their precision techniques and that this is generally mitigated by an oil lubricant. The type of oils used for Swiss lathe machining requires further consideration due to their unique aspects. Swiss lathes will use thick oil lubricants designed to reduce the heat and friction generations by precision machining. Thick coolants have less emulsified water, resulting in splashes and sprays off the machine tools that are more concentrated. These thick oils quickly become sticky when heated and can create issues for your filters and equipment if not removed. 


How to Remove Oil Mist From Swiss Lathe Machines?


Removing oil mist from the Swiss lathe enclosure requires an oil mist collector that can safely and efficiently filter out the sprays, mists, and vapors produced from the oil lubricants and the machining process. Conventional ventilation or filtration systems are not equipped to safely remove dangerous oil mists, meaning a specialized solution is needed that has sufficient air handling to prevent a buildup in the small enclosure while still delivering superior filtration. Aeroex has designed oil mist collector solutions that are highly customizable and built on the underlying science of the heat management challenges in machine techniques like Swiss lathes. 


For machine applications like Swiss lathes where oil mist and smoke need to be quickly removed from the enclosure due to its size, Aeroex typically recommends the use of models like the Mist-Fit 550 or the ARO Series 600. All Aeroex oil mist collectors work to virtually eliminate mist, smoke, and fine particles, making them ideal for oil mist applications. Aeroex oil mist collectors use multi-stage separation technology to progressively remove oil mist with increasing filtration media. The primary and secondary stages eliminate up to 95% of oil mist through mechanical element filtration and mesh designed to promote the coalescing of mist particles. Aeroex products then use a depth loading fiber bed with a MERV 15 rating – unlike products that require frequent filter changes, the volume of filter media provided ensures that it lasts up to 3 years, thereby reducing your maintenance. 


Custom Solutions for Swiss Lathe Style Machines


Aeroex solutions are customizable to the Swiss lathing application in question. Models like the Mist-Fit can be equipped with a fourth-stage HEPA filter to deal with very fine mists if needed, without compromising on filtration capacity. In cases like Swiss machining where heavy oils are being used, Aeroex may recommend a Pre-Filter Box – this is to capture heavier material early, which usually extends the life of your equipment significantly. In each of these cases, the solution we recommend will depend on factors like the type of oil you’re using. Ultimately, Aeroex understands that air needs to be moved quickly before sprays can stick to your equipment, but filtering too aggressively without primary stages could cause clogging in the filter. 

Aeroex provides the right custom solution of progressive stages with optimal efficiency needs for oil mist collection in swiss lathe style machining. We aim to deliver the best value with made-in-Canada equipment that has a long life and saves you money in the long run, while delivering the superior performance you expect. Contact Aeroex today to learn more.

Mist Collectors

Mist Collectors for Cold Heading

Mist Collectors for Cold Heading

Cold heading is preferred over metal cutting operations for this process due to its ability to generate less waste while producing large quantities. However, while more efficient – cold heading machines are not immune to the output of oil and smoke buildup. 

Learn how oil mist collectors aid in reducing exposure to smoke and oil mist in cold heading processes below.


How does Smoke and Oil Mist Occur in Cold Heading?

Cold heading, also known as cold forming, is the manufacturing process where metal wire is fabricated into fittings and fasteners without heat and at high speed. The amount of smoke and oil mist will depend on several factors – the type of metal used, the diameter of the stock, the speed, the specific process being performed, and the type of lubricant applied. 

Oil lubricants are used to prevent excess wear and tear of the dye in the cold heading process. When lubricants are used, heat becomes vapor – resulting in smoke and oil mist. Mist is generally defined as a liquid droplet that is or less than 20 microns in diameter. Smoke is much smaller in comparison as it can range from 0.07 to 1 micron in diameter, and can be either liquid or solid. 

Cold Heading Mist Collectors
Cold Heading Mist Collectors

Identifying Oil Mist Problems

Some believe that if they are unable to see the mist, it must not exist. This point of view fails to realize the issues that submicron mist can pose in the shop environment. Moreover, the presence of mist can be realized by the other senses. There is typically a distinguishing odor when oil mist is present. 

Depending on the lubricant used, the smoke and oil mist can also accumulate and become sticky to touch – adhering to the shop environment and the machines it houses. Regular cold heading operation without adequate industrial air filtration will eventually lead to the visibility of smoke and oil mist – on the floors, walls, lights, and equipment. 


The Risk of Long-Term Exposure to Smoke and Oil Mist

Simply put, conventional methods of managing air quality around cold heading machines do not effectively mitigate the risks associated with long-term exposure to smoke and oil mist. Using masks, mechanical vents with primary filters, and regular clean-up of the shop environment may be able to mitigate the impact of minimal exposure to smoke and oil mist. But they are unable to properly manage the air quality when it comes to long-term exposure to smoke and oil mist. 

Maintaining industrial air quality is essential when it comes to the health of shop personnel, your equipment performance, and ultimately – the success of your business. 

Slick or sticky shop environments and poor air quality due to smoke and oil mist can result in severe health issues for shop personnel. Slick environments can lead to more injuries related to slip and fall accidents. People that are exposed to oil mist can experience irritation of the eyes and skin, a burning sensation in the mouth and throat, as well as fever, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, headache, and vomiting. More severe health issues related to long-term exposure to smoke and oil mist can also lead to skin and respiratory diseases, as well as cancer. 

Improper air filtration of smoke and oil mist will also deteriorate machine life over time- ultimately contributing to increased operational and maintenance costs. It is for these reasons that proper air filtration for cold heading is essential to ensuring the health and safety of shop personnel and equipment. 


Mist Collectors for Cold Heading Machines

Mist concentration in cold heading processes will differ in comparison to other machining processes. Cold heading processes create a high amount of oil smoke, and exclusively used electrostatic mist collectors up until 15 years ago. The primary issue with the use of electrostatic mist collectors is that they did not efficiently collect the oil in the smoke, as the oil is an insulator. This resulted in the electrostatic cells to decrease in efficiency, and led to increased cleanings of the electrostatic oil mist collector (as often as twice a week for heavy loading, and once a month on lighter loading). 

The primary purpose of an oil mist collector for cold heading machines is to remove smoke and oil mist droplets from entering the shop environment. However, certain mist properties will impact mist collector performance. 

OSHA states that the limit for airborne metalworking fluids (coolants) by 8-hour exposure, from 5 mg/m³ for mineral oil and 15 mg/m³ for other coolant types. NIOSH recommends lower at 0.4 mg/m³. 

Increased temperature can result in condensation – impacting droplet size and how it is collected. For instance, when water-based coolants are utilized – water will evaporate at higher temperatures and lower humidity – resulting in smaller droplet sizes. 

The type of mist will also impact mist collector performance. As different types of mist droplets will have varying surface tension and viscosity properties, this will affect the mist collector’s ability to collect and drain the fluid. Moreover, if a mist contains many dry particles (swarf) then they will also need to be removed in addition to the coalescing (collection) of the droplets. 


Aeroex Mist Collectors for Cold Heading Processes

Innovation in oil mist collector technology over the past 15 years has introduced a more efficient solution that requires less maintenance. Today, most cold heading operations have converted to mist collectors that use fibre beds to deal with smoke and oil mist. 

Canadian-based Aeroex Technologies’ line of Mist-Fit and ARO mist collectors are made with cold heading applications in mind. Aeroex’s mist collector solutions reduce consumables by utilizing mechanical progressive filtration, quality fibre bed technology, and HEPA filtration in tandem to provide superior smoke and oil mist collection performance that ensures clean air and reduced maintenance costs. In fact, maintenance is low with filter life spanning up to 3 years. 

The Aeroex team of engineers and specialists will evaluate your unique needs, and can recommend an industrial oil mist collector solution that will limit exposure to oil and coolant mist as the result of cold heading processes. Get in touch with a representative today and eliminate the negative effects of long-term exposure to smoke and oil mist on your shop personnel and equipment. 

Mist Collectors

Mist Collectors for Grinders

Mist Collectors for Grinders

Grinding is a great technique for finishing products by smoothing surfaces or other final steps like adding grooves. Given the number of goods that can be produced with flat surfaces, techniques like surface grinding are very common. Other examples of grinding techniques include centerless grinding (typically faster than surface grinding and requires fewer passes) or cylindrical grinding (for specific round product shapes). These different types of grinding have their advantages and use cases, but also have some common challenges. In contrast to most other machining operations, grinding generally does not use an enclosure unless the facility has a customized enclosure for grinding (however these enclosed grinders usually have very high demand oil applications, discussed further below as a case study). Open-air grinding leads to dirtier operations that release lots of byproducts like oil mist. The heat generated by the wearing surface can lead to friction, burning, or swarf accumulation which is why a mist collector for grinders is recommended.


Oil Mist from Grinding Wheels

The abrasive surface of the wheels used for grinding can come in a variety of materials, usually aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, diamond, or cubic boron nitride. These materials also vary in hardness, which will play a role in determining what the process quality is. However, some materials can cause the previously mentioned issues of heat generation. In some cases, the heat generated can also lead to loose material, lower production quality, and burn marks. Modern machine operations typically address this issue through oils that cool the cutting surface and provide lubrication. The use of oil will improve the process quality and the longevity of the tools but will produce mist and workplace issues that require the use of a mist collector for grinders. This issue is exacerbated by the open-air workspace of grinding. 


Typically, the type of oil used will depend on the material of the product. The Manufacturing Product Reference Guide typically recommends light or heavy-duty oils for common materials like aluminum, with the added recommendation of synthetic oils for materials like stainless steel and plastics. Each of these oils will have its considerations such as the particulate formation, current regulatory guidelines (OSHA at a minimum but not a best practice), and viscosity/density (typically, synthetic oils are the cleanest to work).


Mist Collector for Grinders
Aeroex Mist Collector for Grinders


Causes of Oil Mist During Grinding

A common refrain among oil mist collection for machining is “the faster the process, the finer the particles”. Oil mist is applied to promote speed and reduce heat generation, but this increased speed of machining (in this case grinding) causes subsequent problems. At typical speeds where oil mist becomes a practice, oil mist is producing sprays of droplets mechanically and vapors of oil thermally. As grinding speeds increase, the amount of heat vaporizing the oil will also increase. Vapors are much harder to deal with than droplets because they are significantly smaller in particle size, meaning there are more of them but they are smaller and harder to filter. The size and volume of these vaporized particles mean that an efficient mist collector for grinders is required. 


Risks of Oil Mist from Grinding

Oil mist can be contained within the machine enclosure immediately after application but left any longer and accumulation would cause films to develop in your equipment. If exhausted or the hood is lifted, the oil mist will be circulated or released into your shop floor. If you do not have an enclosure, then release is already an issue. Oil mist can create visibility issues from the misty haze, which then lands on your floor and creates slip hazards. While in the air, it can be breathed in by staff or create irritation in body parts like the eyes. If exposure persists, there will be health issues and possibly a workplace that contravenes regulatory requirements for health and safety.


How to Remove Oil Mist from Grinding

The answer to the challenges of a grinding process made efficient with oil coolants that cause dangerous mists? An oil mist collector for grinding that provides an efficient source control solution achieving sub-micron particle removal. The mist collector will need to capture the large droplets mechanically dispersed from the grinding process, as well as the smallest particles vaporized from the heat of faster grinding. It should be efficient, and powerful enough to provide the cycles desired in your shop.

For machining applications like surface grinding, cylindrical grinding, or centerless grinding, Aeroex typically prescribes the use of the Mist-Fit series of oil mist collectors for grinding. Aeroex takes a different approach to open-air grinders than other machine applications and includes configuration options that ensure the source control solution that captures all pollutant particles before they can be released into the shop (at which point elimination by ambient control is much harder to achieve).

The Mist-Fit mist collector for grinding delivers a series of separation processes that remove any oil mist with increasing efficiency in each stage. The primary mechanical and secondary demister capture up to 95% of oil mist, notably the mechanically generated particles that are larger. The next stage in the filtration series is a depth loading fiber bed with high media volume – this MERV 15 rated filter will capture up to 95% of the oil mist particles. This efficiency is often more than sufficient for standard applications, but our products also carry HEPA filters durable enough for long-lasting air purification for machining while providing the highest standards in removal efficiency (99.7% @ 0.3 µm). 


Case Studies in Mist Collectors for Grinding

We have seen that grinding as an open-air machining operation poses challenges to workplace safety and quality that can be effectively treated with Aeroex’s Misfit Solution. However, many grinding applications push the limits of current machining practices. Aeroex is at the forefront of these applications and is delivering mist collector solutions.

A customer specializing in biomedical manufacturing was using enclosed grinding centers with high-pressure oil. The demanding nature of the high-pressure oil meant the customer had gone through multiple competitor mist collectors before trying the ARO Series mist collector. The result was the client not seeing any oil leave the machine for the first time. Efficiency was the best they had seen, and they achieved longer filter life than competitor oil mist collectors. As a result, the ARO series deployment was expanded from a pilot station to all the machines in the biomedical manufacturing facility. 

Aeroex has seen similar client journeys with other grinding operations. A recent example includes an aerospace parts manufacturing facility. The specialized grinding equipment was enclosed and high-pressure oil was being applied. This aerospace manufacturer went through several competitor mist collectors before ultimately selecting the ARO Series mist collector.

Our mist collectors for grinding are made in Canada, provide the best value and lowest lifecycle cost (achieved through low filter maintenance frequency), and encompass design principles that reflect Aeroex’s leading knowledge of machining processes like grinding. This article provides a brief overview, contact Aeroex today for a specialist who will guide you through the strategy of selecting a solution that provides you your desired outcomes for the best value. 

Blog Mist Collectors

Introducing the BlowBox – The Next Generation of Blow-Off Station

Product Showcase: Aeroex BlowBox Blow-Off Cleaning Station

We recently introduced our brand new product line of blow-off stations – the Aeroex Technologies BlowBox was engineered with the manufacturing industry in mind. 


End users can simply place a machined part into the blow-off station, and using their own compressed air gun, are able to safely and efficiently clean the part without having to worry about also spraying airborne oil or coolant mist around your facility. 


Reduce Oil Mist Exposure, Improve Efficiency and Save on Maintenance Costs with the Aeroex BlowBox

Aeroex’s BlowBox utilizes motorized propeller suction – meaning on-demand airflow and no spool time needed, allowing end-users to clean more parts more efficiently between uses. 

At 24”x24”, the BlowBox is available in both table-top and stand options. Inside the unit is a HEPA filter, rated at 95% efficiency at 0.3 microns to capture any fine mist particles – mitigating exposure to the rest of your facility. 

When it comes to maintenance, the BlowBox only utilizes one consumable air filter, with current estimated life of 2 years. The remaining two Demister elements are easy to remove and rinse off once in a while (this will depend on use).


Where Other Blow Off Cleaning Stations Come Short 

Current blow off cleaning stations available on the market are pneumatic. Pneumatic blow-off stations also take longer to function as they require spool time, increasing the overall start-up time. Typically, users will have to shoot the air gun up in the air to get the fan spooled to blow their machine parts off. This means that users will have to wait longer in between uses to clean machine parts.  

The Impact of Long-Term Oil and Coolant Mist Exposure 

Ineffective air filtration of oil and coolant mist can lead to long-term exposure to your workers and facility equipment. Workers exposed to oil mist through skin contact, breathing it in, or ingesting it may experience irritation of the eyes and skin, mouth, and throat. Fever, increased heart rate, headache, and vomiting can also occur. Years and decades of unhindered exposure can also lead to the development of skin and respiratory disease and even cancer. 

Long-term exposure to oil and coolant mist will also negatively impact your shop equipment as it sticks and coats your machines. Besides increasing the likelihood of a slip and fall injury from occurring, this can result in the deterioration of your shop equipment over time, increased maintenance costs, and machine failure if not dealt with properly. 

If you’re interested in minimizing exposure to oil and coolant mist in your facility and reducing maintenance costs, consider Aeroex’s BlowBox blow-off cleaning station. Get in touch with an Aeroex representative today to learn more about this product line. 

Blog Mist Collectors

What are mist collectors?

What are mist collectors?

Mist collectors are industrial-grade machines designed to remove airborne particles from industrial working environments. While more commonly found in the metalworking industry, innovation in mist collector technology has also enabled their utility in other industrial applications including commercial food production, air purification, and other specialty uses. 

Businesses that rely on machining processes that emit harmful pollutants must ensure that the working conditions, including indoor air quality (IAQ), are compliant with contemporary exposure standards set by regulatory bodies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) and Health Canada. For instance, OSHA limits exposure to 5 mg/m3 for all employees that work 8 hours/day and 40 hours/week, and any employer that does not comply with these restrictions could risk a lawsuit or fines. Health and safety committees work to achieve a recommended limit of 0.3-0.5 mg/m3 to provide a safe working environment. To be certain that your industry stays within the stated guidelines, an industrial hygienist should be consulted to determine the air quality in your environment. 

Luckily, Canadian-made Aeroex Technologies Inc. has engineered mist collectors for a large range of industrial applications in addition to metalworking, such as commercial food production, air purification, and other specialty uses that are compliant with the standards set by these regulatory bodies. 


Tsugami Mist-Fit


Where are mist collectors used?

Mist Collectors in the Metalworking Industry

Mist collectors used in the metalworking industry serve to trap harmful oil and coolant mist that is formed during machining processes. Oil and coolant mist exposure poses a significant health hazard risk to personnel and shop equipment. Regular and proper maintenance of metalworking machines can cut down on production time and aids in preventing machine failure. One way machine operators ensure proper maintenance of metalworking machines is by keeping their metal cutting tools lubricated. This keeps metals cool while in action, reduces friction, and protects their integrity in the long term. 

Amid machining processes such as milling or grinding, oil or coolant mist may be generated and can easily disperse throughout the work environment. When exposed to high temperatures, oil mist can develop into oil smoke in which the oil begins to burn before it is released into the air. This can pose a great health risk to machine operators and can contaminate CNC machine assets. Oil mist exposure can also leave behind a slick residue on the machines as well as the working environment. Slick working conditions can damage machines, as well as increase the risk of slips and falls occurring if not properly controlled.

Exposure to oil mist can occur through skin contact, breathing oil mist in, or ingesting it. People that are exposed to oil mist can experience symptoms such as irritation of the eyes or skin, a burning sensation in the mouth and throat, fever, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, vomiting, and headache. Long-term exposure to oil mist can also increase the likelihood of developing skin and respiratory diseases, as well as cancer. With a growing shift in the industry toward the use of high-pressure coolant systems, many mist collectors on today’s market fall short in their ability to filter through the byproducts these coolants produce. 

Fortunately, Aeroex Mist Collectors are made to effectively remove byproducts that are produced by high-pressure oil and coolants used in metalworking processes to mitigate the risks associated with oil mist exposure. Aeroex Mist Collectors are built to be durable and low-maintenance to meet the everyday demands of your facility’s regular operations. Regardless of machine size, Aeroex Mist Collectors can be fitted to meet the needs of your equipment and can be customized with accessories that further ensure quality air filtration.

Mist Collectors in Commercial Food Production

Mist collectors can also be used in commercial food manufacturing processes to remove cooking odours, grease, smoke, and oil mist from food production facilities and commercial kitchens. Hygiene is essential when it comes to food and beverage processes – ensuring a sanitary work environment is imperative to reduce the risk associated with contamination necessary for quality. Moreover, clean working conditions allow your equipment to work at peak performance while also maintaining a safe work environment for employees. 

Requirements for businesses to meet air purification and oil collection standards in commercial food production will depend on a myriad of factors. Many businesses will seek professional advice when it comes to health, safety, and environmental standards concerning air purification and oil collection. Aeroex engineers offer years of experience in outfitting commercial food production facilities with air purification and oil collection solutions that meet the specificity of food production industry standards. Air purification systems can be equipped with Oil Extractors and other accessories needed to ensure your machines are fully capable of meeting everyday air filtration demands.

Mist Collectors in Speciality Applications

The modular nature of Aeroex Technologies air purification systems allows great flexibility when it comes to outfitting the needs of specialty filtration applications. Fume extraction in laser engraving, 3D printing, plastic welding, wet scrubber exhaust, mobile applications, odour and fume control, cold heading, stamping, heat treating, and parts washers applications can all be custom outfitted with Aeroex air purification solutions to control the release of undesired airborne particles such as mist, smoke, aerosols, fumes, odours, and exhaust. 

Mist collectors are vital for maintaining air quality standards in metalworking, commercial food production, as well as a myriad of specialty applications. It is no wonder why more and more businesses are seeking effective ventilation of unwanted airborne particles by opting for a mist collector machine that is compliant with industry air quality stands.

How Do Mist Collectors Work?

Many mist collectors work by using centrifugal technology where a rotating drum is used to intercept unwanted particles and merge into larger droplets that ultimately drain out of the unit. The disadvantage to centrifugal separation is its inability to separate fine mist particles. This is often supplemented with an afterfilter. The downside to relying on an afterfilter to eliminate fine mist particles is short filter life leading to diminished airflow. To maintain operational performance these mist collectors require frequent service with a high cost of consumables. 

The engineering experts at Aeroex Technologies Inc. have found a solution by using innovative filtration techniques and cutting-edge materials to ensure high-efficiency mist collectors that can maintain consistent airflow with industry-leading maintenance intervals. Aeroex mist collectors feature several innovative design elements that guarantee high efficiency, the extensive lifespan for its filters, and low operational costs. Design elements such as; first-stage mechanical element filters use inertial separation technology to drain up to 85% of contaminants from the airstream before entering consumable filters. Further filtration is achieved by using depth loading fiber bed filters to progressively capture the remaining mist particles, consolidate them to a central drain for return to the machine sump.  

Source Capture vs. Ambient Capture

In air filtration, source capture and ambient capture refer to where the air filtration takes place. As its name would suggest, source capture filtration occurs at the source where unwanted airborne particles are produced. In contrast, ambient capture works by continuously circulating plant air through overhead filtration units.

The main benefit of choosing a source capture mist collector is that it eliminates the mist directly at the source. This is a much more efficient and cost-effective solution. 

With ambient capture, the contaminants are allowed to exit the machine and circulate through the facility before it is captured by the ambient air cleaner. .. That’s why Aeroex designs machine-mounted mist collector solutions to effectively and efficiently capture air contamination at the source.

What Factors Should I Consider When Purchasing a Mist Collector?

Are you in the market for a mist collector for your unique application? Choosing a mist collector that meets your demanding day-to-day operations can feel overwhelming. However, meeting industry air quality standards and ensuring the safety of employees, equipment, and their working conditions should never be overlooked regardless of the industry you work in. The following, are guidelines that industries should look out for when purchasing a mist collector:

Air Quality Standards and Filtration Capability

  • The efficiency or MERV rating of filters indicates the specific size of particles in microns that can be collected by the mist collector. 
  • Delivered Airflow indicates the amount of airflow that a mist collector can intake factoring airflow loss with filters installed. Usually measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM).
  • Minimum particle size is measured in micrometers. Signified with the unit µm, they show the minimum diameter of aerosol that a mist collector is capable of filtering.

Air Purification requirements can be determined using our calculator.

Application, Size, and Weight Specifications

  • Consider what size mist collector you require to meet the needs of your industrial application. Use our calculator to help you determine which is the best unit for your specific needs. 
  • Size specifications indicate the dimensions of the mist collector unit. They are usually measured in feet (ft) and inches (in), and they go a long way in helping to determine the positioning and mounting opportunities available. 
  • The weight of the mist collector in pounds (lbs).

Sound Level Considerations

  • The sound levels of mist collectors are also indicated to show the amount of noise that it would generate while operational. This is measured in decibels (dBA). Top-of-the-line mist collectors aim to reduce noise levels as much as possible.

Power and Usage

  • Power specifications refer to the voltage requirements to power the mist collector and should be matched based on the power supply available at the facility.
  • Maintenance intervals will determine how frequently the filter must be cleaned or replaced.

Installation Options

  • Installation indicates how the mist collectors are to be mounted and connected for optimum performance. Generally, numerous mounting options will be available to accommodate the wide range of applications.