These new welding cells were installed by Engineering & Welding Supplies Ltd based in Sutton in Ashfield and distributors for Flextraction Ltd, who supplied two TEKA ‘Strongmaster’ BGIA approved 1,1 kW cartridge filter Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) units for the extraction of the welding fumes.
Fluorocarbon products include bread tin sets, large baking trays, pizza trays, pie hoops, cake tins and other baking products designed to meet individual customer requirements. The company supplies many of the UK’s large plant and small size bakeries as well as exporting to a growing market in Europe.
To manufacture these products the company has extensive manufacturing facilities automated welding cells and stand alone MIG/TIG welding machines.
The TEKA ‘Strongmaster’ was chosen, because Lee Duckworth, Fluorocarbon’s Engineering Team Manager decided to incorporate portable extraction units to keep the footprint of the equipment in each cell to a minimum and at the same time the equipment should be adaptable for use in other processes if required and ‘Strongmaster’ fitted this specification.
‘Strongmaster’ is designed specifically for industrial fume extraction that is easy to use with a fan capacity of 3,000m3/hour, a separator and a durable manual dedustable large surface class W3 UPF filter cartridge, which remains in the unit during dedusting making operator exposure to dust extremely low. The dust collecting bin has a volume of 50 litres and is sealed by a new TEKA developed sealing face lifter. In addition a visual and acoustics filter monitor informs the operator when dedusting is required.
Lee Duckworth said: “We already had 5 existing welding cells, but because of strong demand for our products and the consolidation of an acquired competitor at Beeston, we needed to increase the capacity of our welding operations. The new cells are being used to produce ‘fabricated bread straps’, which are seam welded bread pans held together by a strapping system and other parts depending on the construction. Each cell is flexible enough to cope not only with different design parts, but also materials ranging from 0.9mm – 2mm thick alusteel and aluminium. The introduction of these cells has resulted in improved product quality, greater reliability and higher output.”
Each of the two new welding cells comprises a Lorch S-series Saprom digital MIG/MAG twin pulse inverter based welding machine and a Strongmaster fume extraction filter. Each welding machine was adapted to be used with a Mitsubishi linear actuator mounted in a framework with viewing windows. All controls are managed by a manually operated control pendant which allows manipulation of the PLC to change welding parameters including weld bead length, weld speeds as well as change welding programs stored in the welding machine.
Lee Duckworth continued: “Each cell is manually loaded and unloaded. We have seen re-work levels improve with improved product quality, whilst the flextraction equipment has much improved the working environment for the operators. The operators clean the filters each week, which is very easy to do. We have also undertaken air sample monitoring and this has shown a tremendous improvement in air quality. In the past although fume levels were not harmful they were unpleasant and our operators had to wear masks. To-day, the efficiency of the fume extraction equipment and the resultant air quality means this is not necessary.”
Ian Elliott of Engineering & Welding Supplies said: “Working closely with Fluorocarbon and flextraction’s installation engineers, we were able to ensure that we were able to install the fume extraction equipment on the mounting flange and sort out the power requirement. It is essential that the correctly specified fume extraction equipment in used in any welding application for the amount of cubed area you are extracting from. Flextraction took care of all these requirements for us and made the installation very efficient with the customer more than satisfied at the end of the day.”
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