August '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 A U G U S T G R A P H I C S P R O 7 9 your entire blower and ducting system and go through the whole engineering and con- struction process again. Simplified Solution: Because filtered fume extractors are essentially plug and play, you can execute your growth plans with imme- diacy, and strike while the iron is hot by just ordering a new extractor. Some extractors can even be upgraded in the field to service two or more lasers simultaneously. Outdoor Venting Potential Pitfall No. 7: Some of us who live in parts of the coun- try where winters are brutally cold know that even small drafts through the window frames, walls, and insulation of our homes can cause significant loss in heat, resulting in inflated energy bills and uncomfortably cold rooms. The heat escapes through these passive leaks of air between the inside of the home and the outdoors. Now, imagine in- stalling a blower, which actively pushes out huge volumes of heated air outside. We're talking hundreds and sometimes thousands of cubic feet of air per minute (CFM). This will proportionally increase your en- ergy consumption and maybe even require you to upgrade the heating system in order to keep the room warm enough to work in. The same issue exists for air-conditioned rooms in hotter climates. You should con- sult an HVAC engineer to project what your heating/cooling bill might swell to and assess whether or not you need a bigger furnace or air conditioner. Simplified Solution: Because filtering fume extractors recirculate the air inside the room and do not vent anything to the out- doors, your precious heated or cooled air will remain within the building. MAKE INSTALLATION A BREEZE Despite the inherent simplicity of filtering fume extractors, there are still some things to consider to make installation a breeze, though filtering fume extractors are virtu- ally plug and play. You need to make sure you have the right electrical socket to plug into. Most extrac- tors operate on a standard 120V, 15-amp wall socket and breaker. It's a given that you will have a standard socket, but make sure that the circuit you intend to use does not have other high-current pieces of equip- ment on it. The circuit breaker may trip prematurely if this is the case. For example, if a fume extractor draws a maximum of 12 amps, and you have another machine which draws 5 amps on the same circuit, your 15-amp circuit breaker will trip and cut off the power. Some higher power systems require 120V, 20-amp wall sockets and breakers. These sockets are common, but less so than a 15- amp wall socket. You may want to check whether or not you have one already. If you don't have an available or appro- priate wall socket, call a certified electrician and provide him with the extractor's electri- cal specifications (available from the manu- facturer). The electrician will easily specify and install the sockets and circuit breakers necessary for your application. Though most high-quality filtering fume extractors will let you know when the filters need to be replaced and will also allow you to proactively check the status of the filters at any time, you still need to keep on top of placing your orders for replacement filters and allow for a few days for shipping. You may want to consider ordering some spare filters in advance to have on hand, especially if you have a tight production schedule. I've outlined many of the pitfalls associated with venting to the outdoors, not to say that it cannot be done, but to help you navigate the unknown. With proper planning, you can execute either outdoor venting or filter- ing fume extractor solutions. That being said, if you choose the route of simplicity associated with filtering fume extractors, it just might keep you on the quickest path toward perfecting your craft and achieving your business goals without experiencing the dreaded "Ugh …" moment. GP CHAU THIEN VO is an inventor, industrial designer, and is the Vice President of Engineering and Product Marketing for PAT Technology Systems. Chau brings 19 years of extensive experience in designing air pu- rification 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 consis- tently output innovations that clean air. AT FIRST GLANCE, YOU MIGHT THINK YOU CAN GO THE DIY ROUTE WITH FUME EXTRACTION, BUT THAT ISN'T NECESSARILY A GOOD IDEA. READ WHY HERE:

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