Important Key Factors for Fume extraction/filter systems

In today's world the working environment becomes more and more important. This is especially a reality when talking about solutions offered for the removal and purification of soldering fumes which arise when using solder in the electronics industry. However, when choosing the fume extraction/filter system that solves your unique fume problem, there are some important factors that have to be considered to be able to have an optimal function of the filter system. The main factors to be considered are the following:


Q 1. Choose a central system or a small filter system for recirculation?

The main advantage with a central system is that it is more inexpensive to purchase if you count the cost divided by the number of working stations.

However, the central system has some disadvantages:

Lack of flexibility
When you like to change your production lay-out, the tube system has to be rebuilt which is time consuming and gives you additional costs.

A failure of the central system effects all working stations
If the system is not working properly due to e.g. a break down of the motor, all working stations are effected. If you choose mobile solutions a failure in suction would only effect one of the working stations.

Today's purchase of a central system has to be designed for tomorrow's use
When investing in a central system you have to know your need for several years i.e. amount of working stations. If you do not design the central system for a larger volume of soldering stations the system might have to be replaced in the future. A choice of a mobile solution allows you to buy a fume extraction system for today's use as you can easily add more separate units in the future.


Q 2. Choose a high vacuum or high airflow system?

A high vacuum system usually allows you to extract the fumes very close to the source of the fume problem as you use the technique of tip extraction. When you move your soldering iron, suction will follow, as you have the tube mounted on the iron.

A high airflow system has the advantage of being more flexible as you usually do not need special tools (tubes) attached to the iron. You will also cover a larger suction area and therefore the high airflow system is common when soldering SMD-components.


Q 3. Is the fume extraction system designed for continuous operation?

This is something that you may take for granted but there are systems on the market that for example use motors with brushes which imply that the brushes have to be replaced after appr. every 800 hours running.


Q 4. Is the separation degree guaranteed for both particles and gases?

In general, most fume extraction systems today have a good purification of the particles in the fume. However, do not forget the importance of having a filter that purifies also the gases, such as aldehydes, with a high separation degree. You should demand to receive a certificate for the function of the filter and we believe that the test of the filter should be done by a third party, i.e. an authorized test institute.


Q 5. Can the fume extraction system handle the extracted volume of air at every working station?

When using a high vacuum system, our experience is that you need an air flow at the tube of 20-23 liters per minute for a proper suction of the fumes. When using a high airflow system we recommend an air flow of at least 0,3 m/sec at the suction area. If you reach the above air flow figures you have security in that you also extract the gases created when soldering.


Q 6. Is the fume extraction system ESD-safe in design and function?

The ESD matter is more and more important in today's electronic industry. Therefore we recommend that the fume extraction system should be ESD-safe and that you should ask your supplier for certificates of ESD-approvals by an impartial test institute.


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