Polar Industrial Plastics Clears the Air
August 15, 2015
Polar Industrial Plastics Ltd., located in Edmonton, Alberta, makes high-performance piping systems and other industrial components out of plastic and fiberglass. They came to RoboVent in the winter of 2015 to address air quality issues in their fiberglass fabrication facilities.
In order to bond fiberglass, workers must first sand it to roughen the surface. This creates a fine dust that can cause inflammation and reduce lung function when inhaled. The dust also gets everywhere, creating a work area that is both visually unappealing and uncomfortable.
Because the parts that Polar works with are very large, working under a hood to contain the dust wasn’t feasible. A large roof fan ventilation system helped to suck out some of the visible dust, but created a noisy environment and resulted in significant heat loss during the cold Alberta winters. Because ventilation was inadequate, workers had to wear uncomfortable respiratory protection equipment while working with the fiberglass.
The RoboVent Solution
Polar contacted RoboVent for a better solution. Our engineers first evaluated the work area to determine the needs. Polar has eight grinding areas with a total area of 50′ by 180′ and a 22′ ceiling. The large space required a powerful ventilation system that would continually pull fiberglass dust out of the ambient air.
We installed two RoboVent Vortex DTS-5000 units in phase one, and plan to install two more units in phase two. The proprietary Vortex system creates a circulating airflow to effectively capture and filter particulates. Clean air is then re-introduced to the plant, conserving energy and protecting workers. The system creates a plant-wide environmental vortex that turns the air at a consistent and steady rate. Nozzles can be adjusted directionally towards the main grinding areas to maximize efficiency. The turnkey package was fast and easy to install, with Phase 1 completed in just one day.
Workers noted an immediate difference in air quality, visible dust and comfort. The work area is cleaner and more appealing for employees and visiting guests. Workers are also happy to be able to work without wearing respiratory protection and without the added noise of the old roof fan. With the dust under control, there are fewer worker concerns about health and safety and morale is noticeably higher.
“You can just walk in and visually see how much better it is,” says Vice President Ryan Gowing. “And we’ll really appreciate the energy savings this winter. This was the right choice for our workers and company.”