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  • Date : 14 / 12 / 2017
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Air Filtration Solutions for Defense Manufacturing & Maintenance

Defense contractors engineer, manufacture, and maintain a wide variety of oversized military products — diverse work that requires flexible air filtration solutions.

Regular processes employed during the research and development, manufacturing, and maintenance phases of a product lifecycle that require air filtration solutions include:

  • Clean room assembly
  • Coating and painting
  • Grinding and sanding

Because defense products are usually so large — think jets, MRAPs, submarines — typical air filtration solutions such as fixed paint booths and clean rooms aren’t feasible.

For one, it’s too costly to build permanent installations that are big enough to accommodate these oversized products — and it takes tremendous effort to move the products into the demarcated areas.

Second, it’s difficult to create a fixed booth that will be able to accommodate the diverse defense products that may come through a fabrication facility or maintenance shop.

That’s why we developed portable air filtration solutions that combine non-vented air filtration machines with retractable enclosures that fold up when not in use. Tailored to any size and shop configuration, these configurations bring EPA-, NFPA-, OSHA-, and UL-compliant air filtration to products when needed, providing flexible air filtration solutions that fit work processes during research and development, manufacturing, and maintenance.

Research & Development

When one gets to the prototyping phase of R&D, sample parts have to be assembled for the first time.

No matter how strict the tolerances, matter is always a bit inexact when compared to the idealized dimensions of a digital model. Parts need to be ground down to fit and some metal parts need to be welded together, producing grinding dust and welding fumes.

Air filtration at this stage is important to keep dust from interfering with fit, protect workers, and preserve a facility’s surrounding environmental systems. Working in a fixed, oversized metal box with an integrated air filtration system isn’t realistic for most at this stage because of the size and material handling restrictions. On the other hand, a portable air filtration solution equipped with a retractable enclosure that can be moved into position to envelop the work pieces when needed is feasible.

Following prototyping, validation can involve some of the same operations on a lesser scale. But air filtration becomes even more important at this stage as errant particulate can interfere with functionality, particularly the electronics systems and exotic alloys that many of today’s defense products rely upon.

One can’t grind, clean up the dust, and hope for the best — the particulate has to be contained as part of the work process itself. Again, a portable air filtration system that combines a non-vented air filtration device with a retractable enclosure provides a workable solution.

Manufacturing

At the manufacturing stage, it’s imperative that products move efficiently through a facility to meet agreed-upon lead times.

With defense manufacturing, one of the major contributors to delays or unnecessarily lengthy production timelines is the amount of time spent on material handling — i.e., moving the unwieldy products from one place in the shop to another via overhead cranes and other material handling equipment that require laborious setups and adjustments to the workspace.

This sort of delay often comes into play when moving work pieces from an area where one production process is performed to a fixed, contained area where another operation that requires air filtration, such as finishing, is undertaken. With a portable clean air solution in place, these sorts of time-consuming material handling situations can be minimized as the clean air environment can effectively be brought to the work piece.

Maintenance & Repair

Defense product repair facilities need to be adaptable and quick — and are sometimes even temporary. These circumstances don’t lend themselves to taking the time to design and install a permanent air filtration solution to contain and manage repair processes involving grinding, painting, and sanding.

Maintenance and repair operations that use these processes need a flexible air filtration solution that is portable and easy to set up. Again, air filtration solutions that combine non-vented air filtration devices with retractable enclosures are ideal for these circumstances. They can be quickly installed, unfurled, and stored without any venting or other permanent alterations to a hangar, warehouse, or other facility where repairs occur. And, if necessary, the portable air filtration systems can even be broken down, transported, and set up at temporary maintenance locations with relative ease.

Learn More About Portable Air Filtration Solutions for Defense Contractors

To learn more about modular air filtration solutions and how they can help defense contractors working at all stages in the product lifecycle, contact Duroair for a free consultation with one of our clean air experts today.

We’ve helped dozens of defense companies ranging from those working on non-manned aircraft prototypes to those repairing vehicles that have been returned from overseas by providing them with innovative air filtration solutions that contribute to the optimization of their work processes.