Awards & Engraving

2018 Laser Engraving Report

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10 n LER 2018 resistance of each filter into your calcula- tions. In addition, to ensure that the filters are effectively cleaning the air, you have to consider dust capacity, maximum face velocity, VOC residence time, particle size capture efficiencies, and seal strength of the filters. Efficient RFEs operate at much higher pressures, so you even have to consider the structural strength of cab- inet you intend to use to house the filters and blower. The cabinet can flex or fail, allowing fumes to escape. Designing and implementing a reliable, safe, and cost-effective fume extraction system from scratch involves a steep engi- neering learning curve and/or a long itera- tive process that can end up costing more than expected. Through inexperience, you may unintentionally and unnecessarily expose your staff to hazards. Also be aware that a DIY solution still has to comply with OSHA and EPA requirements. So, it can be done, but it isn't a shortcut or means to avoid complexity, especially if all of the technical details mentioned here are new to you. It is certainly not the best way to mitigate risks and liabilities. PRIORITIES Ultimately, all of the options are viable if done right. It is a question of priori- ties. Professionally designed and installed vent-to-outdoor solutions are usually best suited for scenarios where high-produc- tion volumes are projected. RFEs spe- cially designed for laser engravers are best suited for situations where you want to get production setup underway quickly, if you have physical or legal constraints that prevent you from venting outside, or if you have low environmental impact or low energy consumption objectives. Con- sulting with HVAC professionals or spe- cialized fume extractor manufacturers will likely save you time and money in the long run. As for DIY solutions, there may be a satisfaction in figuring it all out yourself under the pressure of ensuring workplace safety, mitigating risks and liabilities, but doing it all yourself is usually not a wise business decision. LER From left to right: open radial blade with back plate blower wheel for debris and high pressure; forward curve multivane blower wheel — low pressure, clean side; backward curved blower wheel — high pressure, low noise, clean side.

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