How a Tier 1 Automotive Parts Manufacturer Solved Their Robotic Weld Fume Issue Using the Imperial Systems Shadow Compact Fume Extractor
The Situation with Robotic Weld Fume
An automotive parts manufacturer located in the Atlanta Metro area had an issue with welding fume. It was causing unsightly and unsafe conditions in their robotic manufacturing area. Not only was there a haze in the air, but dust and fume settling on the walls and floor was causing a cleanliness issue.
The customer had equipment from one of our competitors installed on three robotic weld cells. This is where most of the smoke was created due to the inadequate dust collectors. They were not handling enough air volume in the space to extract the fume, which was escaping into the facility through the weld positioners.
Four Shadow SH06 Compact Fume Extractors were installed on their two types of robotic applications. The first three are installed on fully enclosed robotic welding cells. The fourth Shadow is being used on an enclosed robotic metal brazing cell.
Metal brazing is a process that joins two or more pieces of metal items together by melting or flowing a filler metal into the joint. This process is different than welding because the metal being joined is not being melted. This customer’s specific process generated a larger than normal concentration of weld fume that needed to be filtered from the manufacturing facility.
In the initial problem-solving process, Imperial Systems’ sales manager Justin Badger and a factory rep from HutchCo in Suwanee, Georgia made a site visit in early 2020. They spent time with the customer and the machine operators to determine their goals and see their problems. On the first visit, it became very clear what needed to be done.
First, they determined the size of the enclosed robot area and the expected fume load. With this information, they calculated the amount of air needed to properly ventilate the robot cell and keep escaping fume to a minimum. Next, they reviewed the layout of the building to determine the most convenient spot to install the dust and fume collector.
Once all the above information was gathered, they were able to create a fully engineered solution to solve the robotic weld fume issue. Following several months of COVID-19 related delays, the complete air filtration system was installed in early November 2020.
Success Extracting Robotic Weld Fume
Several weeks following the installation of the equipment, Imperial Systems did a standard follow-up call with the end-user. This was to get feedback on installation service, the sales process, and their satisfaction with the solution.
The customer (who wishes to remain anonymous due to company policy) said, “We are so happy with the results and cannot believe how clean the air in the building is now. Imperial Systems installation technicians were very professional. They worked very well around our extremely busy production schedule and finished ahead of schedule. We plan to have Imperial Systems back in January to install another (Shadow Compact Fume Extractor) machine on a new welding robot.”