Lean Into Clean, Safe Manufacturing
Painting a 30-foot wide electric turbine is a formidable maintenance task, especially for manufacturers trying to go more lean by eliminating wastes and increasing efficiencies. For one global energy equipment manufacturer, sanding or spray painting even a single electric turbine required shutting down seven different operations in the hangar, until each task was completed.
While not exactly in line with lean best practices, these shutdowns were essential for safeguarding workers from:
- Toxic dust and oil mist produced by metal grinding, sanding, and other pre-paint preparation tasks
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and isocyanates released during spray painting
- Carcinogenic hexavalent chromium particulates produced by sanding and coating aluminum components
Creating a designated, hard-walled paint booth would significantly disrupt lean, cellular workflows in the space-constrained hangar. Plus, hard-wall booths don’t allow for crane access, which is why the manufacturer was forced to transport the large pieces by dolly to move them into a separate bay. This type of movement significantly slows work in progress (WIP) and requires excessive man-hours and material handling.
Duroair engineered a lean, dual-purpose clean air solution to accommodate sanding and coating in a single modular enclosure. Housed in a portable, retractable booth, a six-stage filtration system with two exhaust units enabled employees to switch from sanding to painting, by simply changing out the filters and cleaning the enclosure prior to each task.
The system enabled the energy manufacturer’s employees to:
- Safely sand each turbine while the six-stage filtration captured 99.4% of particulates and vented the dust to the outside
- Begin painting immediately after sanding without having to worry about dust contamination and without having to worry about VOC hazards
- Safely vent VOCs to the outside while abiding by EPA standards
As noted above, before the Duroair clean air solution, the manufacturer had to put each turbine in a transport dolly for sanding and painting in the hangar bay. Simply transporting each enormous workpiece took two days of labor and planning. The industrial air filtration system eliminated these maintenance inefficiencies and significantly reduced overhead expenses.
With the lean, clean air solution in place, the other operations in the manufacturing hangar can now continue uninterrupted, including welding and testing stations.
The modular, industrial air filtration reduces efficiency wastes by:
- Preventing workflow bottlenecks from dust contamination that can cause surface prep and coating rework
- Protecting electronics and other valuable equipment from the corrosive fine layers of soot, dust, and oil film
- Eliminating costly air makeup, excessive HVAC filter changes, and disruptions to one-piece flows
- Speeding dry times for coating and painting by flooding dry clean air inside each work area while keeping damaging contaminants outside
By combining retractable enclosures with vented air filtration, Duroair’s technology brings clean air to each electric turbine to reduce downtime and eliminate transport costs. The company now has five of the dual-purpose air filtration booths in place, safeguarding its employees from hazardous sanding dust, toxic VOCs, and potential injury from moving the enormous turbines.
What’s more, each Duroair custom-engineered solution can be tailored for specific cellular workflows. Our clean air experts can provide an in-depth evaluation of your hangar or facility to create an industrial air filtration system that will meet your budget and work with your lean manufacturing expectations. Contact our industrial clean air experts today for a free consultation.