Assembly in Action: Modular Air Filters Cut Costs
September 29, 2009
F&P Georgia manufactures subframe and suspension components for Honda and Nissan. The firm runs extensive welding, stamping and painting operations in its 200,000-square-foot facility in Rome, GA.
When it originally constructed the plant in 2001, F&P installed a traditional air ventilation system to expel welding gasses, smoke and other airborne contaminants. However, when the plant was expanded, the company installed a newer, more efficient air filtration system from Clean Air America Inc. The new system, which consists of a number of modular hoods and dust collectors that filter the air instead of exhausting it to the outside, was able to pay for itself in a matter of months.
In contrast to those more traditional systems that circulate the air for an entire plant, the Clean Air approach employs application-specific, turnkey systems that filter air at the immediate source of generation. Because these point-of-source systems retain the filtered air within the building, they reduce the expenses associated with pumping out heated or cooled air and then pumping “make-up” air back in. This, in turn, reduces the gas and electric costs associated with heating and air conditioning.
“Because the Clean Air system filters and returns the plant air, it was simple math to see that we could save $200,000 annually with this system,” says F&P facilities manager Glen Tuplin. “This strategy has really paid off. I believe the payback on our system was about one year, something that our own engineers and management would hardly believe.”
At the same time, the smaller motors required by the systems require far less power than the massive centralized fans traditionally employed to vent dirty air outside. They also do away with the need for the extensive ducting required by a plant wide system, and require minimal installation space, because the filters and motors are located immediately above the processing area being treated.
Finally, because they do not vent air to the outside, the systems are not subjected to the same permitting and approval process required by conventional plant wide systems. The units’ variable-frequency drives can also further reduce costs by cycling on only when needed-say, when a welding or grinding cell is actually operating.
“A variable-frequency drive consumes less power because it only draws the current that’s necessary to maintain the airflow that you want,” Tuplin says of the system.
For more on industrial filters, visit www.clean-air.com or call 706-291-1700.