HVAC System / Industrial Robotics

Dust collectors make maintenance easier and reduce fire hazards

In this installment of What Works, an automotive seating manufacturer expects $30,000 savings with dust and fume collection system on robotic weld cells.

dust collector1Toyo Seat USA is an automotive seating manufacturer in Imlay, Michigan, known for a unique production system that allows it the flexibility to respond quickly to customers’ urgent needs. This frequently requires movement, rearrangement, and setup of numerous robotic weld cells used during the production process.

Previously, each weld cell had its own dust collector mounted on top. This layout resulted in sparks being sucked directly into the collector, frequently resulting in fires. Mobility was also a concern. The top-mounted collectors made it time-consuming to move the weld cells, and maintenance was difficult because a lift had to be used for filter change-out. The energy to run numerous blowers and produce compressed air for each dust collector also added up.

Central system

dust collector2Camfil APC and its representative Camfil Exfil conducted an on-site demonstration of the Farr Gold Series dust and fume collector for Toyo Seat. It designed a central system consisting of two GS12 Low Boy collectors, a low-profile model that fits under the ceiling height requirement. Each collector is rated for 9,000 cfm at a 2.3:1 A/C ratio. Ducting runs out and branches off to 18 robotic weld cells. Each hood is equipped with a spark arrestor to prevent sparks from entering the system.

The central system design has returned mobility to the customer. “Now all we do is pull a couple of pins, undo a couple of clamps, remove the hood, and move it where we want to move it,” says Chuck Pratt, Toyo Seat maintenance supervisor. Toyo Seat expects to save over $30,000 a year.

As an added precaution, a sprinkler system is used inside each dust collector, as well as flame retardant HemiPleat Gold Cone filters. To save on energy costs, a variable frequency drive (VFD) controller is used.

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