It’s a WEL in the UK, MAK in Germany, REL in the USA, OEL in Japan and WES in Australia, but whatever the acronym, each one spells out the rules governing workplace protection from potentially harmful emissions.
Around the world, the direction of travel is towards tighter workplace standards, but for BOFA, a world leader in portable fume and dust extraction systems, it’s not just about removing airborne risk to a specified standard, it’s also about optimising the value to customers.
This customer centric approach has been the company’s hallmark since it was formed over 30 years ago – and it’s an ethos that has led to BOFA becoming a multi-award-winning global leader in extraction and filtration technology.
BOFA’s International Sales Manager, Geoff Hamilton explains:
When we embark on a new project, the first step is to understand the process involved and then to draw on our huge resource of knowledge to frame the best solution. Even in the same sector, for example the laser industry, applications can vary enormously, so diving deep into the process detail – and involving our R&D team, application engineers and filtration experts – will lead to the optimal solution.
The considerable experience embedded with the team will inform project development, but the detailed system design will require in-depth analysis of many different variables – such as the material being worked, the manufacturing process and volume, and the mitigation of risk.
This will require taking account of material safety data sheets, the make-up and volume of airborne contaminants and/ or gases given off by the process, the type of production machinery, whether the process is enclosed, the duration of production and whether there are thermal risks associated with higher temperatures.
Once armed with this information, BOFA can advise on system design, which will include data-driven airflow analysis, extraction control and advanced filtration technology, such as patented DeepPleat DUO pre-filtration, a main High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter and a layer of activated carbon to remove vapours and gases.
The objective isn’t just to remove airborne contaminants, it is to do so in a way that enhances productivity and maintains safety, for example by keeping fast moving laser marking and coding lines free from dust to avoid unscheduled downtime.
Optimal performance also depends upon system control, so BOFA has developed its revolutionary Intelligent (iQ) Operating System, which has introduced performance enhancements, such as independent filter status monitoring to ensure the timely change of filters and remote diagnostics to lower the overall cost of ownership.
Support doesn’t stop once the system is installed. Technical support is readily available from BOFA and the company has recently launched an industry-first innovation – the BOFA Academy – which will enhance knowledge about the importance of fume and dust extraction, health and safety requirements and productivity to optimise investment in world class technology.
To find out more about the workplace standards that apply around the world, go to https://bofainternational.com/en/do-you-need-extraction/legislation/