BOFA electronics distributor conference 2021: Q&A
Thank you to everyone who posted questions during our conference. We have supplied the questions and answers here:
Where can I look up my country's legislation?
The governing body in your country in charge of occupational health should be able to provide guidance on this. Visit our legislation page to see some guidance on this, but please bear in mind this is not provided in local language and the legislation may have been updated since this content was written.
Is it a legal requirement to have extraction?
In some countries there is an explicit requirement for extraction, but in many the legal requirement is to meet the Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs). The best way to do this is normally to use an extraction system.
Why are the sales of pre-filters higher than for combined filters?
Pre-filters protect the main filters, filtering out the larger particulate and so generally need replacing more frequently.
What is the shelf life of filters?
Assuming they are stored in a clean, dry place, BOFA filters have a shelf life of one year. It is assumed that they will be in use for a year after this at most.
How often should filters be changed?
The short answer is that “it depends”. There are lots of factors governing filter life, for example what the process is, what type of machine, what the hours of operation are and what materials are being used, so there’s no universal answer.
Do I need to wear PPE when changing filters?
BOFA recommends the use of PPE when changing filters. The level of PPE required should be determined by the substances the filter has collected and the end user risk assessment. BOFA normally recommends a mask, gloves, eye protection and safety shoes (if the filter is heavy).
Can filters be re-used?
No, this is expressly not recommended. Our filters are designed to perform at an optimum level and, once full, will not be efficient. They cannot be cleaned or reused because the regeneration process will reduce the effectiveness and damage the filters. If would also be necessary to dismantle the filters to access the filter media.
Please ensure used filters are disposed of accordingly.
What is an 'easi-seal' filter?
Easi-seal refers to the way BOFA extractors are designed to aid easy installation of the combined filter. The easi-seal feature will be found on BOFA units with a cam shelf. This provides a simple and efficient way of correctly installing the combined filter, ensuring a quick and effective seal is made.
How should used filters be disposed of?
The relevant European directive is 91/689/EC Hazardous Waste. This directive encompasses the European Waste Catalogue under which new clean filters would be classified under item 15 02 03 “absorbents, filter materials, wiping clothes and protective clothing other than those mentioned in 15 02 02”. This is a non-hazardous category. However depending on the materials being lasered the fume which is collected in the filters may be considered dangerous, in which case the classification changes to 15 02 02 M. This is potentially a hazardous category depending on the amount of hazardous material in the filter and the risk it poses.
For the pre-filter, the risk involved would normally be R37 “Irritant to respiratory system” caused by the very fine particulate trapped in the filter. However, this only becomes hazardous if more than 20% of the waste (filter + particulate) is made up of the hazardous material, which is unlikely. PVC applications have an added dimension in that HCl is generated and in some circumstances this could potentially form an acid inside the filter which would be difficult to quantify, so we recommend that the filter is treated as a hazardous waste with a potential R34 corrosive risk.
The combined filter needs to be considered in the same way with the risks being different for different materials. Most applications will be non-hazardous because the percentage of any hazardous material is likely to be below the threshold level. Again, for PVC and other polymers which generate highly toxic gasses, it is safest to treat the filters as hazardous waste with a toxic risk.
Extraction system performance
In the iQ download data, what is the difference between alarms, faults and info?
Alarms relate to alerts, for example, filter blocked or motor failure.
Faults are internal faults on the PCB system as it self-monitors its health.
Info provides BOFA with information on the unit status, for example, in standby, running etc.
What is the purification outflow of air in percentage, compared to poisonous air extracted?
BOFA HEPA filters are rated to remove 99.997% of 0.3 micron particles, with 0.3 microns being the established most penetrating particle size (MPPS). As it's a chemical process, the gas filtration will be determined by the chemicals to be filtered and process / environmental conditions.
What is the difference in static pressure and airflow rate? How do I know what exactly is needed for an extractor?
Static pressure refers to the amount of pressure an extractor can generate and normally dictates the hose kit you can use and the filter life in your extraction system.
Air flow is the volume of air the extractor can move in a given time period and is primarily linked to the capture effectiveness of the extractor.
Speak to your BOFA account manager to determine the requirements for your process enquiry.
How can I reduce dust build up on the inside of my hose?
Reducing the diameter of the hose used, increasing the air speed and / or reducing the resistance to flow (e.g. bend and restrictions in the hose) will help reduce build up of particulate. Reducing diameter and increasing air speed may come at the cost of filter life.
If I highlight an opportunity to you, how do you go about deciding whether to implement? How long may this take?
Our product managers will first go through a business case review process. Within this process they look at the ability for BOFA to undertake and complete the opportunity well; the cost; the timeline; and whether the new capability fits with the range. The time to complete is opportunity-dependant. A decision is then made off the back of the business case review whether to progress. This decision is communicated to the originator of the opportunity.
Are you planning to remove any of your products from your electronics range?
We have no definitive plans to remove any of the current product line. We do, however, regularly review our product range to ensure BOFA remain market leaders. As per our obsolescence process, any change to the product line will be communicated far in advance to help you prepare for any future transition.
Can you use a BOFA extractor with a Heller reflow oven?
Yes, it is very likely that this is possible, but it would depend on things such as the model in question and what materials are involved. We are happy to discuss application questions individually at any time.
Can I link one system to cover two processes such as oven reflow and selective soldering?
In theory yes, this is possible. We would need to examine all aspects of the requirement in order to ensure the correct extractor is proposed and appropriate installation connections and accessories are specified.
How many hand soldering stations can be sequenced with one V 1000 iQ and V 2000 iQ ?
We would need some knowledge of the proposed layout. Once we have this information, we can work towards the most cost effective solution. It's important to consider the most efficient layout, and the type of collection equipment that would suit best. Then we can interpret the flow requiremnts, and, therefore, the number of extraction points we could service. These systems can offer a first class solution where the benches are likely to be fixed in one place over long periods. There are less filters to change, and systems to test, plus the benefits of flow control and iQ operation can be fully deployed.
What will be the outlet air flow rate in a V 250 if we are using 1.4m hose funnel type, with a single port?
We will need to have R&D test this for us. For any specific questions like this, please contact your BOFA account manager.
The static pressure of a V 250 is 3000Pa, but the airflow rate is 180m³/hr. Why can't we increase the airflow rate of this unit in compared with the V 300 flowrate, which has 500Pa?
BOFA offers the two different systems for different application requirements. The V 250 is a more compact design for use with 50mm arms. The V 300 is an entry level extractor for use with 75mm arms. The lower static pressure of the V 300E wouldn’t allow it to be used efficiently with the 50mm arms.
Additive manufacturing / 3D printing
How do the larger 3D extractors connect to the printers?
3D extractors come in all shapes and sizes. BOFA offer a great range of off-the-shelf accessories. Additionally we have CAD modelled universal capture devices available to download and print. We also offer a design service to develop custom ports for 3D printers. Please get in touch so we can give you a solution to enable extraction today.
Will there be a range of different sized sealed extractors?
Yes, we will be bringing a range of different sized extractors to the market. We have begun with the AM 400, which is currently being tested by customers worldwide. Feedback from this will guide us on our next release, with the end goal being a portfolio which can cater for all printer sizes.
Would the machine supplier not have a fume extraction system already integrated on the initial purchase from the customer?
As of yet, there is not definitive legislation driving OEMs to sell printers with extractors. It could also be said that there is a rhetoric of denial among OEMs with regards to the dangers of the emissions with this type of equipment, for obvious reasons. Hence many OEMs bring product to market without any form of extraction with their printers. For those that do, it is often a token effort which doesn’t fully solve the problem as typically the filters have a very short filter life and don’t capture 100% of the fume.
BOFA provide long lasting, effective fume extraction solutions for most types of printers, regardless of their pre-existing filtration situation.
If a customer places an order direct with BOFA, how do you work with your distributors?
As a business we are not set up to supply end-users. Our proven successful model and company philosophy is to work with OEMs, OEM distribution partners and specialist / broadline distributors and NOT end-users. We pass all (where identified) enquires we receive to the supplier of the original extractor or distributor.
How do we suggest customers proceed with BOFA when there are several more models available locally?
BOFA offers significant advantages, not only in terms of machine performance and quality but also service levels and support which can be taken into cosideration when in discussion with customers. All of our units are manufactured to international standards and carry all the necessary compliance certificates.
How quickly can you ship filters and spare parts?
Typically we ship spare parts and consumables (filters) within three days at receipt of order.
Is it more cost effective to order filters in bulk?
Yes - we are happy to advise the optimum shipping quantity and the most economic method of shipment.
Logistics / distribution / Brexit
Where does the Logistics Manager's role fit in the overall supply chain for BOFA?
As the Logistics Manager, Graeme is responsible for moving everything out of and in to the business. Our strong team bring in raw materials form all around the globe and feed that just in time to our manufacturing department. With 90% of our business being global, covering over 65 countries, the outbound is just as busy to keep things flowing out working closely with our preferred logistic partners.
What marketing support material is available and where can we get it?
Please refer to our resource portal within our website for videos, datasheets, user manuals, filter specification sheets and trouble shooting guides.
Please refer to useful links for details of other resources available online. If you require hardcopies of brochures, contact your account manager.
There are lots of other possibilities so please get in touch and we can see how we can help you.
Can we appear on your website?
Yes, we have a section dedicated to our authorised distributors, showing logos and contact details. You’ll find that by clicking on the green ‘How to buy BOFA’ button at the top right of the website. If you can’t see your logo there, get in touch with your account manager to see if you qualify.
Who do I contact at BOFA for help with a customer question about which system to use?
In the first instance please get in touch with your BOFA account manager, with as much information as possible. They’ll involve the technical team if necessary and discuss with you what solution we recommend. We actively encourage customer engagement and welcome this at any time.
You can download the Q&As here:
Useful web links
BOFA resource portal registration:
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Product brochure: issuu.com/bofa-international/docs/bofa_product_brochure
Laser brochure: issuu.com/bofa-international/docs/bofa_laser_product_brochure
Electronics brochure: issuu.com/bofa-international/docs/bofa-electronics-brochure
If you require hardcopies, please contact your account manager.
Videos, including FireBOX and Spark Arrestor 2:
Please scroll the videos to find the one you want to watch!
BOFA Academy: bofainternational.com/en/portal/bofa-academy/
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