Many manufacturers rely heavily on CNC machines to make their products. These machines are tools that are operating under what is considered a subtractive manufacturing process. Material is being removed in a very precise manor to create the finished product. CNC machines generate a lot of heat as they operate and require a cooling fluid to cool the materials and tooling as they do their job. This fluid and heat is the cause of the mist that is generated.
But where does this Mist go?
While CNC machines often have a contained cabinet around the tools, the main purpose of these cabinets is to contain the oil or other coolant that is splashing around during the job. The mist and smoke that is also generated will float around inside and will find it’s way out through any gap it can find. And while an operator is checking on parts or changing tooling, this mist will surge out of the machine directly into the operators breathing zone.
The Risks of CNC Mist
CNC mist has quite a few risks to workers. Some of these include skin irritation, respiratory irritation, and chemical burns. Not to mention mist accumulation on the floor around the facility and mist accumulation on all types of nearby sensitive equipment such as electronics. Protecting your equipment from this harmful mist will greatly reduce maintenance which saves not only money but time.
What is the Solution to Eliminate the Mist?
Specialized equipment known as Mist Collectors are the answer. Many CNC machines come equipped with a port on top for this very purpose. A relatively small Mist Collector can generate enough cfm of air flow to create a negative pressure inside the CNC machine’s cabinet. This ensures that all mist is collected properly and even when an operator opens the door, the mist will be drawn away from their breathing zone and back into the collector. The specialized filters in the mist collector gather the mist, coalesce the droplets and allow the return of the cooling material back into the CNC machine.
In larger scale operations, larger Mist Collectors may be standing next to a machine or hung above and ducted accordingly. You can also find solutions for collecting mist in more open type machines where a custom hood may be used to collect the mist and safely remove it to the nearby Mist Collector.
What are the Regulations for Mist Collection?
Legal regulations from OSHA specify a limit of 5mg/m3 over an 8 hour shift. Mist collectors will keep you within this limit so you can legally and safely operate your business.
Mist and smoke generated from CNC and other machinery can not only be dangerous for you and your employees, but also to much of your equipment throughout the facility. Mist collectors are the answer to this problem. Here at Spartan Air Purification, we work with each company’s unique setup to help find a tailored solution that will eliminate mist issues in your facility.
Please contact us at any time for a free analysis of your facility and to learn how to remedy and mist concerns you may have.