Awards & Engraving

2018 Laser Engraving Report

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4 n LER 2018 C hoosing the right fume extraction solution for your laser engraver can seem complicated and con- fusing when you get down to all the engi- neering, compliance, and cost details. Some find making this technical decision, which could impact the health and hap- piness of valued staff, stressful. Knowing more about each available option helps you choose the fume extraction system that suits your needs, so you can breathe a sigh of relief and a breath of fresh air while you work. THREE REASONS WHY FUME EXTRACTION IS IMPORTANT Do not underestimate the importance of proper fume extraction when laser engraving. The fumes consist of submicronic dust and volatile organic compound (VOC) gases. The fumes pose a risk to three important aspects of your business: 1. Production quality 2. Laser reliability 3. Health and safety Production quality and laser reliability suffer when there is an over-accumulation of dust and smoke within the laser cabinet. Production parts get stained as the hot fumes linger over them. Exposed optics and mecha- nisms fail when heavily coated with laser dust. Last but not least, the concentration of fumes permeates the immediate work space and quickly reaches unhealthy levels. To mitigate these risks, the fumes must be sufficiently evacuated from the laser cabinet via a suction hose or an exhaust duct and routed away from the workspace or treated with air filters. TWO BASIC EXTRACTION OPTIONS 1. Vent-to-outdoors 1. Recirculating fume extractor Vent-to-outdoors: a blower and a sealed duct system removes the fumes from the laser cabinet and exhausts the untreated con- taminated air outside. (See figure 1.) Recirculating fume extractor (RFE): a fume extractor with an integrated suction blower removes the fumes from the laser cabinet, treats the contaminated air within its multi-stage filters, and recirculates clean air back into the room. (See figure 2.) Demo room showing both vent-to-outdoors and recirculating fume extractor options. ALL IMAGES COURTESY CHAU VO By Chau Vo Chau Thien Vo is an inventor, industrial designer, and has been the Head of Engineering and Product Marketing for PAT Technology Systems since 2011. Chau brings 19 years of extensive experience in designing air purification and fume extraction systems, having worked in both North America and Europe. He blends design, engineering, product marketing, and creative thinking strategies in leading PAT's technical team to consistently output innovations that clean air. BREATHE EASY… With the Right Laser Fume Extraction System Vent-to-outdoor versus recirculating fume extractor versus do-it-yourself

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