Vreden, 8 June 2021 – Capture of welding fumes automatically matched exactly to the extraction torch? A unique torch datadase from KEMPER now makes effective torch extraction possible. This is because for this to succeed to optimum effect, the right balance between extraction capacity and individual torch technology is required. This is stipulated by the international standard DIN EN ISO 21904 and has been given broad relevance as an issue not least by an appeal made by the Deutscher Verband für Schweißen und verwandte Verfahren e.V. (German Welding Society (DVS)). The KEMPER data pool with the parameters of around 100 torch models now provides the basis for the optimum capture of hazardous substances by means of the VacuFil i series of high-vacuum extraction units.
Torch extraction has emerged as the hot topic of the year in welding technology in 2021. Demand is growing, international standardisation continues to gain momentum among manufacturers. Most recently, the DVS attracted widespread attention with an appeal: The appeal is for manufacturers to make the relevant data for all torches in the country publicly available, with a view to achieving optimum extraction to provide protection for welders.
This would mean that there is a considerable amount of work ahead for the industry, says Manfred Könning, Technical Director at KEMPER. As co-initiator of the DVS leaflet, he should know. An expert in welding fumes, he already has many years of experience in investigating the key requirements for optimum torch extraction. “Every extraction torch is different in terms of design. As a result, there is no off-the-shelf welding fume extraction system which is automatically suitable for every torch. The optimum extraction capacity has to be determined individually for each model.”
Starting point: Demand in the French market
The starting point for the latest new developments in welding technology were the increasing efforts in the French market to provide reliable extraction torches. The health and safety executive there started initial measurements for the determination of the optimum extraction capacity. The findings were used as the basis for the DIN EN ISO 21904 series of standards at international level. Part 1 of these stipulates that manufacturers must provide information about the optimum extraction capacity in the manuals.
KEMPER addressed this challenge. The extraction technology pioneer developed its own test station and, on the basis of the international standard, specified the relevant parameters for optimum welding fume extraction such as, for example, the required vacuum for the air volume flow and the resultant extraction capacity. The data, which vary according to the extraction torch, are incorporated in the KEMPER database.
Optimum extraction capacity at the press of a button
The stored parameters automatically define the required extraction capacity of the VacuFil i device series. This gives the manufacturer a hitherto unique body of data which facilitates optimum torch extraction. When a welder connects the VacuFil i extraction unit to an extraction torch, they simply have to select the connected torch via the touch-screen and the device automatically and permanently regulates the optimum extraction capacity, even adjusting it to changes in external conditions.
When these key parameters are defined for other models of torch or for new ones, these data are integrated by KEMPER in the cloud. A system update is all that is needed and the VacuFil i series accesses the data without any action required by the welder or for the devices to be connected to the company network. The digital devices operate completely independently via SIM technology. Depending on the intensity of the welding process used, power requirements of the torch and the required hose length, the VacuFil 125i, 150i and 250i versions are available with different maximum extraction capacities. The W3 certification from the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health certifies that the systems comply with occupational safety standards.
Data for around 100 torch models available in the KEMPER cloud
For the use of the VacuFil i series, data for around 100 torch models are already available – all on the basis of measurements by KEMPER. “In the wake of the increasing demand for extraction torches, we have built up our know-how for the determination of the optimum extraction capacity,” explains Könning. “Extraction torch manufacturers recognise the value of our solution, because we are providing them with support in terms of the optimisation of their systems.” Some 15 manufacturers are already collaborating with KEMPER.
And the database is growing as a consequence of the increasing range of extraction torch models available. Although they were long considered unwieldy, the benefits of the systems are convincing more and more welders. After all, torch extraction eliminates the need for the readjustment of an extraction hood and the welding fumes are captured completely automatically parallel to the welding process.
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