Maintaining extraction systems for optimal performance

Once specified, a BOFA extraction system is designed to be pretty much maintenance-free ‘straight from the box’ when put into service.

However, when your filtration technology is up and running, there are some easy, routine actions worth considering to help keep your system working at optimal performance levels.

  • A daily visual inspection will flag up any equipment alerts or alarms that need to be investigated, linked for example to filter saturation levels.
  • A weekly supervisor-led inspection should look at the physical condition of extraction devices/nozzles/enclosures/hoses and check the system for damage, changes to configuration, and correct operation.
  • Once a month, disconnect hoses and check for blockages, and signs of dust or vapor/gas/odor carry over (remember to wear appropriate PPE).
  • An annual service by a competent engineer is recommended to include these regular checks plus inspection of filter condition, extractor motor, and electrics. Replace any filters not exchanged during the preceding 12 months.
  • Keep a log of actions and findings to help inform future preventative maintenance.

On systems featuring BOFA’s Intelligent Operating System (iQ), sophisticated control software will monitor system performance and filter condition, with an option to download data logs that can be shared remotely with BOFA engineers for expert analysis and rapid response.

BOFA systems typically include a three-stage filtration set-up and not monitoring the rate at which these filters are filling up can have a detrimental effect on extraction performance. For example, if the pre-filter (for larger particles) becomes blocked, this can shorten the lifecycle of the more expensive high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, while if the activated carbon filter becomes saturated, gases will bypass this stage, with the potential to return into the working environment.

A tell-tale sign that the extractor needs attention would be when fume and dust is seen to ‘dwell’ within an enclosure rather than clearing through the extraction unit.

Darron Norrad, Technical Sales Manager at BOFA:

“Having a clean, professional installation not only makes your business look good when visitors come on-site, but it also helps to provide you with the best possible extraction and filtration rate. It’s important to maintain these systems post-installation with regular checks and general maintenance to have an efficient and cost-effective manufacturing process. Regularly check all components associated with your extraction unit, including the hose and filter condition to ensure optimal efficiency. If using a variable flow machine, it’s good practice to set the machine to the minimum flow rate required to filter the fume/particulate adequately.

Don’t forget, BOFA’s technical team is always on hand to provide advice and information to help keep extraction systems in tip-top condition.”