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How to Keep Shop Air Free of Oil and Coolant Mist

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines are crucial in automating and enhancing productivity in modern manufacturing facilities. However, a common challenge associated with CNC machines, regardless of their size, is the generation of oil and coolant mist during the machining process. These mist particles can adversely affect air quality, lead to health hazards for workers, and cause equipment damage over time. To maintain a safe and efficient working environment, it is essential to implement effective strategies to keep the shop air free of oil and coolant mist.

  1. Regular Maintenance of CNC Machines

Regular maintenance and proper upkeep of CNC machines are crucial to ensure their optimal functioning. Inspecting and replacing worn-out seals, gaskets, and filters can significantly reduce the leakage of oil and coolant mist into the surrounding environment. Scheduled maintenance also involves checking the condition of cooling systems and repairing any leaks promptly.

  1. High-Quality Machine Enclosures

Enclosures are designed to surround the CNC machine, preventing mist from escaping into the shop air. Look for models made of durable materials, have airtight seals, and are correctly fitted to the machine. Transparent viewing windows on the enclosures can also help operators monitor the machining process without compromising safety.

  1. Efficient Ventilation Systems

A well-designed ventilation system is essential for maintaining air quality in a CNC machining environment. Local exhaust ventilation (LEV) systems can effectively capture oil and coolant mist at the source before they disperse into the air. LEV systems utilize hoods installed near the machining area to capture the mist and direct it toward filters or exhaust systems. The filtered air is safely released back into the shop or exhausted outside.

  1. High-Quality Mist Collectors

Mist collectors are specialized devices that efficiently remove oil and coolant mist from the air. These units utilize various filtration methods to separate mist particles from the air stream. Cyclonic, electrostatic, and mechanical filtration are common types of mist collectors available in the market. Choose a mist collector that suits the specific needs of your CNC machines and shop size.

  1. Regular Housekeeping and Clean-Up

Keeping the CNC machining area clean is crucial to prevent the accumulation of oil and coolant mist. Regularly clean the machines, floors, and surfaces to remove residual mist. This practice not only improves air quality but also enhances the overall safety and efficiency of the workspace.

  1. Employee Training and Safety Measures

Educating employees about the hazards of oil and coolant mist exposure is essential. Conduct regular training sessions to ensure the workforce knows the risks and the correct procedures for safely handling CNC machines and coolants. 

By implementing regular maintenance, machine enclosures, efficient ventilation systems, mist collectors, housekeeping, and safety measures, any shop, regardless of CNC machine size, can significantly reduce mist emissions and ensure a healthier and more productive working environment. Prioritizing air quality not only safeguards employees but also enhances the overall efficiency and longevity of CNC machines, leading to a thriving manufacturing facility. 

Contact your ATS Regional Manager to learn more about maximizing efficiency and productivity in your shop.