Let us discuss a long-term approach to optimise the dust extraction capabilities in a body shop that can improve productivity and the health of technicians. It is CENTRALISED DUST EXTRACTION SYSTEMS, that are cost-effective in long term with a long list of advantages.
The relevant questions under our consideration are
The most prevalent dust extraction system in India: Mobile vacuum systems with Brush motor units, while the OEMs globally are recommending Central Dust Extraction System, understanding the long-term benefits and cost advantage.
Are we only seeing the cost per unit while purchasing the mobile dust extraction system or allowing the abrasive supplier to place a dust extractor as an investment?
Are we able to extract the dust generated efficiently in the sanding process in a body shop using the brush motor-driven mobiles vacuums?
The biggest source of dust is produced from sanding. Body filler and primer dust have a huge impact on the cleanliness of a shop. The optimised system will contain a Central dust extraction unit, properly managed terminals to connect the tools, dust-free sanders, and dust-free blocks, which will help to improve the comfort of the technicians will be greatly increased. Working in a clean environment will increase the body shop technicians’ production efficiency and increase the ability to attract and retain technicians. Increases production efficiency by reducing defects in paintwork, less polishing and less time spent cleaning dust out of parts of the car.
It also reduces technicians’ time spent cleaning their workstations, allowing more time to produce work and move more cars through the shop.
What are the Hazards of Dust in Body Shops?
During auto body repair, sanding removes paint from surfaces and makes body panels smooth and repaired with body filling compounds. It creates a lot of dust.
We are only seeing the dust that is visible to naked eyes. Airborne dust produced during sanding may contain hazardous substances, such as lead and chromium from surface coatings and abrasives from sanding discs. It can r
emain in the air for long periods and can settle in the lungs, on the skin and even enter the blood circulation. When dust enters the lungs, it can remain there for several hours causing pulmonary complications like asthma. Some of these particles can become enclosed in the lung permanently, and are known to cause cancer and target the respiratory system, kidneys, liver, skin and eyes..
What Dust Extraction Systems Do?
Dust extraction systems capture contamination at the source. In sanding, the rate of containment is near 90% plus.
This technician from an OEM dealership is now inhaling all the dust created during the sanding process, the “approved” mobile
vacuum is not efficient, and it was sent for repairs after a few months of operation. There are limitations in a brush motor-driven mobile vacuum and maintenance-free hours are the most important.
The mobile vacuum driven by brush-driven motors is a big compromise.
- Less efficient motors.
- Very low filtration efficiency as compared to Turbine driven systems.
- Require replacement of brushes every
800 -1000 hours of operation or motors
- Low Filtration area, mostly only 0.5 sq ft area- This needs to be the right consideration while selecting a dust extraction system.
- It creates a high noise area, especially when more vacuums are working together.
- The number of tools that can be connected is limited to 2 Nos. It creates a confusing working environment, with the hoses and wires all across the bay.
The purchase of a dust extraction system also makes a statement to your employees that you care enough about them to install a Centralised Dust Extraction system with Side Channel Pumps that has real benefits for them.
Not only a healthy work environment, but it will also give extended life to sandpaper discs (40% plus and more in studies conducted).
A measurable improvement in overall shop cleanliness and worker morale.
Good sanders with 16+ holes in the backing plate, and even on the sides of the backing plate helps.
Sanding areas with a lot of mobile extraction systems make it noisy and complicated, with hoses and wires lying on the floor. This causes the technicians to keep it aside and work without extractors compromising their health and productivity.
The Central Dust Extraction system can simplify and strengthen the sanding zone in the body shop.
Power units easily can be located outside the building (with adequate protection) or in a compressor room or storage room in the shop. It helps to isolate the noise completely.
Choosing a Central Dust Extraction System
The single most important piece of information that will dictate system choice is the number of technicians who are hooked on to the system simultaneously. The next item of importance is the floor plan of your facility, which will dictate where the sanding zones are to be located.
Where the turbine can be placed, the drop farthest from the installation won’t always share the same efficiency as a unit closer to the main vacuum supply.
Side Channel pumps of 2 HP to 20 HP, 18 tools can be connected to a single turbine and that can be isolated from the working area, to reduce the noise. Turbines are maintenance-free for up to 20,000 hours (around 8- 10 years for a car body shop). High reliability is ensured when shifting to a turbine-based central dust extraction system.
Typically, these utilise a cyclonic separator that deposits large particles into a disposal can.
The PFTE (Teflon) coated filters ensure the highest filtering efficiency (99.5% with dust up to 0.3 µm), High resistance over time with no filter clogging risk and lower maintenance costs.
Automatic Filter Cleaning using a jet of centralised high pressure compressed air (Rotor Jet Filter Cleaning System) helps direct and localised cleaning of filters and improved filter life.
Invertor System available adjusts the power in relation to how many vacuum points are opened or closed on the suction line.
The multifunction terminals minimise the length of hoses required and keep the floor area free of obstructions.
Turbine manufacturers offer wall-mounted swing arms that provide vacuum, compressed air on a boom that swings over the entire work area.
If you’re serious about implementing such a system and ready to invest, you can look forward to reduced health risks, along with improved quality and production – all of which contribute to, and will help increase your shop’s profitability.
ATEX Solutions for Aluminium Sanding
Aluminium Dust is Combustible and is an Explosion Hazard:
It is not only about avoiding inhaling dust to prevent health problems. There is a large risk associated when combustible dust from aluminium sanding is accumulated in the body shops where car panels made of aluminium are repaired.
Extreme care must be taken to capture all the particulates as aluminium dust is a highly explosive particulate. Some of the fine particles of aluminium generated by such activities as sanding or scratch brushing will be fine enough to be potentially explosive.
In general, combustible particulates having a surface area to volume ratio greater than that of a 420 µm diameter sphere should also be considered combustible dust.
In such body shops, ATEX-certified Explosion Proof/Dust Ignition Protected Vacuums, which
are completely grounded and static dissipating are required. They need to build with non-sparking so there is no risk of fire or explosion from a spark or static build-up. All the electrical components, including the motor and starter, are enclosed so there is no source of ignition.
Country Area Manager