Recirculating LEV Systems to control MWF on 4 CNC Machines
RCS were contacted by the client at the beginning of 2020 following an issue with oil mist at the client’s site. The control of Metal Working Fluid (MWF) on 4 CNC Machines had become critical for the protection of workers to the client. RCS were consulted to provide a solution.
RCS, with the client, carried out an assessment of the site using occupation hygiene as well as engineering control assessments and inspections following the hierarchy of control and MW1 COSHH essentials for machining and metalworking fluids it was apparent that Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) was the most suitable option for controlling the MWF as the MWF could not be substituted or eliminated. The use of Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) to control the exposure to MWF is not deemed as suitable as a primary method of control.
RCS carried out a site survey and attended meetings with the client to understand and interpret the requirements for control. After identifying the client’s requirements through occupational hygiene as well as engineering control assessments and inspections, RCS proposed that 2 x Metal Working Fluid LEV Oil Mist Collection units with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Filters should be used to control the contaminant. Each unit would provide LEV to two separate CNC machines.
RCS provided the complete solution from design to installation to commissioning while also ensuring that the client was kept updated with the progression of the project.
Control of oil mist was achieved on all CNC machines and the project was delivered on time and on budget.
Following the successful installation, the client requested RCS to manage and maintain their LEV systems onsite.
The key outcomes of this are as follows: -
Reduced service downtime and improved system performance
Recirculation of air by including HEPA filtration
Improved operator conditions by reducing exposure to metal working fluids
Improved airflow characteristics due to improved capture and make-up air design
Shared duty from 1 system across two CNC applications as opposed to one MWF system per CNC Asset
Management of LEV systems achieved
Compliance with COSHH achieved through annual thorough examination & testing programme
Air quality assessment for the site was improved
Breakdown support package put in place