Mists are problematic for workplace safety, facility maintenance and part contamination. They can be inhaled by workers, sucked into ventilation systems or end up deposited on surfaces. They can also foul the surface of production parts.
There are several types of mist produced in manufacturing facilities including Smoke, Oil/Coolant and Dust.
Welding and grinding produce smoke fine particulate mists. Oil/Coolant mists occur during high-speed machining operations. The pressure and heat from turning, milling and grinding create aerosolized oil/coolant emulsions. Dusts are fine particulates. They may be produced in HVAC systems or from environmental sources and machine operations.
The liquids and particulates that make up mists are tiny – less than a micrometer in diameter. They are light and able to float in the air. The slightest amount of air flow can carry them long distances in a facility.
Inhaled mists are also hazardous to health. To protect workers, the OSHA standard air contamination is set to below 5.0 mg/m3 for human safety. European standards are even more stringent.
Mist can accumulate on floors and grab surfaces which can pose safety concerns for slips and falls. In addition, the accumulated mists on non-grab surfaces and in ducting must be regularly cleaned. This build-up increases cleaning and filtration costs.
Accumulated mist is also problematic for facilities producing parts and assemblies for medical devices and instruments, aerospace and automotive, and engines and transmissions. These industries require low surface contamination. They often require production facilities to meet more stringent air quality standards than those of OSHA. These requirements can be as high as 0.1 mg/m3.
Given the problems caused by mists, addressing them before they are airborne is paramount.
Ultimately, mist reduction decreases health risks, improves facility costs and addresses customer requirements. Installing a mist collection system is an excellent way to mitigate mists before they wreak havoc on health, facilities and parts.
Mist collection systems collect mist at the source. They capture droplets before they can be carried throughout the facility.
Mists can simply be captured and collected. However, systems like the Filtra Systems’ Eliminator and Stealth mist collection system also filter coolants for reuse. This is an additional cost savings.
The Eliminator, when installed on machines generating mists, the oil mist is coalesced and collected for reuse. Then the Stealth system purifies the air in two stages for circulation in the facility.
Manufacturing facilities should consider installing mist collection a priority for worker safety, facility maintenance and part quality. Mist collectors keep manufacturers ahead of OSHA and European standards. More importantly, they help meet stringent quality requirements set for precision industries.
For more information on mist collectors, mist collection systems, the Stealth and the Eliminator, please call our mist collection experts at 248-427-9090.