Transportation Equipment 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 for Transportation Equipment

The market for transportation equipment is complex—trains, subways, buses, commercial vehicles and more all have their own dynamics—but a few trends in the industry can be seen. The most widely made forecast for the industry is one of stability. Industry-wide, demand is relatively stable and growing. Shakeups in the industry have more to do with calls for better analytics, tracking and flexibility, rather than changes to heavy equipment. While this is true industry-wide, there are exceptions; the demand for niche products is less reliable. For example, the recent boom in demand for oil tanker rail cars has collapsed.

The trend in transportation equipment is generally positive for pretty obvious reasons: growing population and urbanization. These phenomena are especially prevalent worldwide. As cities grow, building new roads is not the solution to transportation problems. Governments are investing in rail, subways, bus rapid transit (BRT) and other more centralized transportation solutions. Meanwhile, steady global economic growth ensures that freight traffic will continue to require transportation equipment into the foreseeable future.

Manufacturers of transportation equipment face several challenges in this environment. While they can be assured of relatively steady demand in the future, they will need to keep up with digital trends and changing customer preferences. Manufacturers will also need to keep in mind any changes in regulations regarding dust and weld fumes during the manufacturing process. Some of these regulations have been updated recently, and the need to comply is both legally and financially serious. Maintaining good air quality is more important than ever.




Dust and Fume Collection Challenges in the Transportation Equipment Industry

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued regulations for fume and dust levels since the early 1970s. These regulations are updated from time to time. Recently, manufacturers of heavy equipment have needed to pay special attention to changing standards on weld fumes—in particular, the standard for manganese. Manganese particles are a common component of weld fumes. Because these particles are extremely small—due to the high temperatures involved in welding—they are easily inhaled. While manganese is actually a necessary part of one’s diet, when inhaled at certain concentrations, it is highly toxic. Exposure to inhalable manganese in even small quantities can affect memory and reaction times. Chronic exposure can have serious effects on the central nervous system, including manganism. This condition has symptoms similar to Parkinson’s Disease. OSHA regulates workers’ exposure to other weld fume components, as well, including hexavalent chromium and beryllium. Exposure to these substances carries serious risks, as well, from major respiratory problems to cancer.

The manufacture of transportation equipment is challenging from an air quality perspective because so much of the welding is performed on large weldments. When welders move along a large weldment, it is often difficult to capture the weld fumes produced. Constantly moving a fume arm is often impractical, or at the very least inconvenient. Welders, under pressure to meet deadlines, often fail to keep up with fume capture. Whether a facility is producing automated streetcars or traditional buses, the pieces are large, and the challenges are similar.

Today, manufacturers face yet another challenge: attracting and retaining skilled workers. Young workers are not entering the trade as they did in the past. The American Welding Society estimates that manufacturers will see a shortage of 290,000 skilled workers by 2020. Maintaining a pleasant and safe workplace will help manufacturers attract and keep the best workers.



Solutions for Dust and Fumes in the Transportation Equipment Industry

RoboVent understands transportation equipment manufacturing and has a solution for every application. Whether you’re constructing freight cars or passenger cars, subways or buses, RoboVent understands welding and the air quality challenges that come with it. For decades, RoboVent has designed and manufactured the best air filtration equipment available. For example, RoboVent’s line of portable collectors lets you capture dust and fumes at their point of creation. These collectors use fume arms or hoods to make sure welders are protected, as well as everyone in the facility. These collectors are especially useful when welding or cutting large components.

RoboVent’s Extractor fume gun is another cutting-edge solution to weld fumes. Welders working on large weldments find the Extractor a powerful, lightweight solution for delivering the perfect weld while collecting weld fumes at the source. The Extractor is a revolutionary leap in fume gun technology and promises to reshape the welding of heavy equipment.

For a larger or facility-wide solution for fumes and dust, RoboVent created the Fusion Series of collectors. This system is designed to save energy while delivering the finest filtration possible. If your operation is large—or growing—you can scale up the collection efforts with the Grid Configuration. This is a ducted array of collectors that offers even more efficiency—the grid uses 70% of the airflow of the individual units combined.

RoboVent also offers exceptional protection from fire and explosion, as well. For example, the Delta 3 spark arrestor and the Supprex-200 Fire Suppression System stop fires before they start. These systems protect workers, property and production lines.

As always, RoboVent guarantees satisfaction. Our manufacturing standards are the highest in the industry, and our warranty is the best in the business.


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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Resistance Welding

Resistance welding produces serious weld fumes. RoboVent offers powerful solutions for whatever kind of welding operation you have, in order to protect workers, comply with regulations and improve your facility's environment.

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.