General Fabrication Industry and Dust Collection

Clean Air Matrix

RoboVent engineers are experts in every category of air filtration and ventilation. The four categories below represent the major options for treating your contaminated air. RoboVent has designed solutions for each of these categories and has manufactured air filtration systems of unrivaled quality.

For more information about these categories, see Indoor Air Quality 101.


Large blowers and air filtration equipment draw contaminated air from the plant (typically at the ceiling level), filter it and return it to the plant. This is a proven solution in plants welding large parts with overhead cranes. It reduces the haze in the air, resulting in a cleaner working environment, with no negative pressure or heat loss.


Air in the immediate area of the welding activity is captured in a hood system, then filtered and returned to the plant. This is the best solution whenever possible. It allows for a more flexible system and removes the smoke directly from the operator's breathing zone. There are many types of source capture, including overhead hoods, crossflow hoods, fume arms and fume guns, some of which work better than others.


Large exhaust fans draw contaminated air from the plant and exhaust it directly into the environment, typically through the roof or walls. This is a traditional method and often results in negative air pressure. Also, it is very difficult to climate-control your plant and the system may not work well in the winter.

Air in the immediate area of the welding activity is captured in a hood, sent through ductwork, and exhausted directly into the environment. This is a lower capital cost alternative to filtration, but tends to result in high operating costs and large, unsightly ducting systems that work less efficiently with modifications. It also results in negative pressure problems.

Introduction to Dust and Fume Collection in General Fabrication

After years of industrial decline, manufacturing in the United States and many other countries is seeing a comeback. Manufacturers are finding the advantage of having suppliers close to home. Technological advances have helped to bring costs down, as well. General fabrication operations are humming, and the near-term outlook is positive.

General fabricators face many challenges, from staying on top of orders to keeping up with technology. One challenge that is not going away is complying with air quality regulations and maintaining a safe and clean workplace. Controlling dust and fumes requires constant vigilance. Highly performing dust collectors are a must in an active facility. Ideally, those dust collectors would be flexible or modular, as well, to accommodate changing floor layouts.


Dust and Fume Collection Challenges in General Fabrication

Air quality concerns in general fabrication originate in common processes such as cutting, machining and welding. As any floor manager knows, dust and fumes can create serious challenges for worker health, plant cleanliness and regulatory compliance.

Welding, in particular, presents serious health concerns, since many weld fumes contain toxic metals. The extreme heat involved in welding creates fumes with metal particulates less than a micrometer in diameter. When toxic particulates are inhaled, their small size allows them to travel deep into the lungs and be absorbed into the body. Hexavalent chromium is a good example of a commonly produced and dangerous weld fume particulate. This substance is a known carcinogen. Without a fume collection system in place, workers are at risk throughout an entire facility.

Besides the pressing concern of worker health, worker recruitment and retention should be on manufacturers’ minds, as well. The American Welding Society estimates that manufacturing will see a shortfall of 290,000 skilled welders by 2020. Recruiting and retaining the best workers will become more and more challenging in the near future. A healthy, clean and attractive workplace free from haze and hazards is crucial.

Fires and explosions are other serious concerns for general fabrication operations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that these events cause about 3% of workplace fatalities. Cutting tables and other such equipment produce dust which can be combustible. A dust collection system can prevent a buildup of dust, and a spark arrestance system can further safeguard a facility from dangerous fires and explosions.

Complying with federal regulations on air quality is another mandate for a general fabrication operation. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets these standards to ensure workers have clean air and a safe workplace. For example, welding facilities must comply with air contaminant requirements that address permissible exposure limits (PELs) for specific toxic substances, such as inhalable manganese and hexavalent chromium. Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to serious fines.

Solutions for Dust and Fumes in General Fabrication

RoboVent has its origins in the automotive parts industry and understands the processes and challenges of general fabrication. RoboVent provides affordable equipment and engineering services to make your facility safer, healthier and more efficient.

Lower operating costs with RoboVent equipment are achieved through automated systems. Dust collectors only run when they need to, seriously reducing energy use. No operation can afford downtime caused by a failed or finicky dust collector, so reliability and easy maintenance have been designed into RoboVent equipment.

The Spire dust collector is an example of a device well suited for general fabrication. This efficient, space-saving equipment can also be outfitted with a Delta 3 spark arrestor and a Supprex-200 Fire Suppression System to reduce the risk of fires in ductwork. If a facility needs a larger system, the RoboVent Grid ducted collector can easily be scaled up. For applications where a source capture system is not an option, RoboVent also offers ambient collectors like the Vortex Series collector.


Manual Welding Source Capture

Source capture is a proven way to reduce weld fumes in manual welding operations. Collecting fumes at the point of welding ensures a more efficient means of capture and a higher degree of safety for workers.

Robovent Manual Welding Ventilation Solutions

Manual Welding Ambient Systems

Ambient solutions for manual welding stations capture weld fumes from the environment, improving the air for workers and the entire facility.

Ventilation Solutions For Portable Weld Fume Extraction

Portable Weld Fume Smoke Extraction

These self-contained systems enable workers to capture weld fumes from any location. When production lines or welding cells must remain flexible, these systems safeguard workers, no matter the situation.

Robotic Welding Ventilation Systems by RoboVent

Robotic Welding

RoboVent offers multiple systems for addressing the special concerns of robotic welding. Cutting-edge collectors provide workers and facilities the highest levels of protection possible.

Ventilation Solutions for Laser Welding

Laser Welding

Laser welding is a growing field, and RoboVent offers solutions for the unique weld fume issues involved. Our enclosed capture solutions are ideally suited for the high-volume, precise nature of laser welding.

Plaser Series: Laser Cutting Ventilation System by RoboVent

Laser Cutting

RoboVent's solution for laser cutting is a powerful ventilation system that both protects workers and ensures the air is as clean as it needs to be. RoboVent's engineers have decades of experience helping customers be leaders in manufacturing.

Ventilation Solutions for Plasma Cutting

Plasma Cutting

Plasma cutting is growing in popularity, and RoboVent has developed a ventilation system that is perfectly suited to its demands. The Plaser Series offers powerful airflow, long filter life and the longest warranty in the industry.

Ambient Oil Mist Collector

Oil Mist Ambient Systems

RoboVent's ambient capture solution for oil mist is a facility-wide system engineered to address the problem in the broadest, yet most effective, way possible. This system's proprietary design creates a circulating airflow throughout your facility that produces extraordinary results.

Source Capture Solutions for Oil Mist

Oil Mist Source Capture

RoboVent's source capture solution for oil mist is the result of a rethinking and redesigning of oil mist collection. The final result delivers exceptional performance to protect your workers and your facility. As always, satisfaction is guaranteed.

Abrasive Blasting Dust Collection

Abrasive Blasting Dust Collection

Abrasive blasting operations produce a wide variety of dusts, and RoboVent has the expertise and equipment needed to clean the air of any operation.

Finegrinding Fiberglass Dust Exposure

Fine Grinding Fiberglass Dust Collection and Filtration

Fibrous glass particulates, like those associated with fiberglass fine grinding, can be a health hazard in dust form. RoboVent specializes in solutions for these kinds of concerns.

Laser Cutting Dust Collection

Laser cutting is fast and efficient, but controlling dust is key to protecting workers and an unobstructed beam. RoboVent has solutions custom-made for the process.

Pigment Dust Collection

Many pigments contain metallic compounds that give them brilliant colors. Unfortunately, some of those metals are quite toxic, and pigment dust can be dangerous.

PVC Grinding Dust

PVC Grinding Dust Collection

Particulate dust from plastic processes like grinding can be a challenge to both worker health and plant efficiency. RoboVent has numerous solutions to mitigate this dust while keeping you on budget.

Talc Dust Collection

Talc Dust Collection

Talc is a naturally occurring mineral that crumbles into a very fine powder. While highly useful in manufacturing, this powder can easily become airborne.

Thermal Spray Dust Collection

Thermal Spray Dust Collection & Ventilation

Thermal spray, the process of melting metal and spraying it onto a surface to form a coating, carries serious risks for workers in the field.

Welding Fumes Collection

Weld fumes are a serious threat the workers' health and a manufacturer's bottom line. RoboVent has decades of experience solving weld fume challenges.