Awards & Engraving

June '19

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8 • A&E JUNE 2019 Back in "ye olden days" of laser engraving, the selection of fume extrac- tion systems was limited. You had no choice but to tolerate the infernal racket from a leaking, duct tape-covered exhaust blower or, to avoid cutting a hole in the wall, you would convince yourself that a woodworking dust collector was actu- ally doing something despite your senses telling you otherwise. Today, increased environmental awareness, greater work- place safety requirements, and advance- ments in technology have made more high-performance ventless fume extrac- tors available to consumers. Established fume extraction brands offer a broad spectrum of high perfor- mance, plug-and-play systems that pro- vide quiet, pollution-free operation to meet most of your laser engraving/cutting applications. So, with a greater selection, how do you know which one is best for your business? VENTLESS FUME EXTRACTORS 101 Before getting into the details of which fume extractor is best for you, it is important to know the basics. Aside from variations in form, a good ventless fume extractor has the following critical com- ponents and general theory of operation: • Filters: Filters remove the contami- nants from the airstream so that clean exhaust air can be recirculated back into the workplace without the need to vent to the outdoors, hence the term "ventless." There is a minimum of three stages of filtration for laser- specific applications. 1. Pre-filters remove the majority of the dust generated by the laser process. These usually have a minimum efficiency between F8 and F9. Less efficient filters work to a certain extent, but allow the HEPA filter to block prematurely, which ends up costing more in the long run. Which Laser Fume Extractor is Best for Your Business? 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 exten- sive experience in designing air purification and fume extraction systems, having worked in both North America and Europe. He blends design, engineering, product mar- keting, and creative thinking strategies in leading PAT's technical team to consistently output innova- tions that clean air. By Chau Vo

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