In environments that support soldering tasks, the removal and purification of fumes is the number one priority when it comes to safety. When choosing the fume extraction/filter system that is best for a particularly unique fume problem, there are a myriad of factors that have to be considered to ensure the filter system is functioning optimally. The situation becomes complicated further when talking about mobile fume extractor units due to the fact that welders requiring such units are regularly on the move, not relegated to one stationary space.
Still, whether budgets for whole-plant systems are restrictive or prohibitive, space is at a premium or welding demands do not require large applications, portable fume extractor units an ideal option – the key is knowing what to look for in terms of characteristics. This post will help you understand the various characteristics to keep an eye out for as you decide on the perfect portable fume extractor for your needs.
Longevity: How is the Unit Going to Hold Up?
Like just about every other item we buy during the course of lives, the matter of durability – how long a product is going to last – is paramount when considering a mobile welding fume extractor if only because it’s going to be moved around a weld site or facility; as such, it should move with relative ease. Additionally, because it will be susceptible to physical abuse in the form of dings, dents and scratches, it is imperative that a portable fume extractor be built with longevity in mind.
To this end, we recommend seeking out an extractor unit boasting 100-percent welded seams and a cabinet construction made of heavy-duty stainless steel, as these elements will defend against leaks – the proverbial enemy of clean air. The term “heavy-duty” should also be applied when considering a unit’s casters or wheels, being that commercial-grade types of these rolling accessories won’t force you to change them out every few months.
Compliance: How Flexible is the Unit?
There are a plethora of different environments that could benefit from mobile fume extractors, including those featuring small-scale project welders or mobile service technicians as well as weld training facilities. Thus, the issue of flexibility, as well as compliance, is another factor to consider when choosing an extraction unit, being that a diverse assortment of work situations dictate different approaches.
On the high end of the scale, some mobile all-in-one fume extractor units include “quick-change” abilities, allowing the welder to transform the unit rapidly from a fume arm capture-type system to a worktable type with built-in back or down draft capture; but whatever method of source capture ideally fits the welding application in question, fume extractors that are flexible increase budget efficiency.
Execution: How Well Does the Unit Perform?
Performance of a mobile fume extractor shouldn’t be sacrificed just because it’s portable – and that’s the primary factor we want to stress here. While it’s appropriate to scale features to a certain degree, they should not be removed altogether for the sake of mobility; to this end, pulse cleaning filters and high-performance blowers remain the biggest performance features to look for in premium mobile weld fume extractors.
The Hazard Factor: How Safe is the Unit?
In a welding environment, an almost dizzying amount of hazards present themselves beyond the release of toxic fumes, and these include sparks. In response, portable weld fume extractors should incorporate spark suppression technology to prevent them from evolving into four-alarm fires during the ventilation process; indeed, the idea is to smother the chance of sparking before there’s a chance to reach the filter media and dust collector.
Some Closing Thoughts
The removal and purification of welding fumes comes down to choosing a fume extraction/filter system that solves your unique fume dilemma. The aforementioned characteristics should be considered so that you end up with an optimally functioning mobile extraction unit, one that works in a proper way and which was designed for your application.