If you are looking to better control climate and contamination, a finishing space separate from the rest of the facility can make all the difference in your production.
Environmental rooms can be the answer for industrial and aerospace businesses looking to better control the environment around their equipment. An enclosure for housing paint booths, powder booths and other finishing application equipment, environmental rooms resemble a sophisticated encasement around a booth. With high-efficiency air filtration and recirculation, environmental rooms enable businesses to meet coating specifications within a smaller, more easily controlled setting.
Here are five reasons why an environmental room is needed for an industrial or aerospace manufacturer or business:
1. Temperature & Humidity Control
Environmental rooms provide an additional layer of climate control, helping ensure the temperature and humidity in the room are at the desired level for a particular application. For instance, if the manufacturing environment is 80 degrees with 80 percent humidity, the environmental room can be controlled to 72 degrees with 50 percent humidity. It is inherently easier to control the environment within a smaller room than an entire facility, where the environment can be impacted by factors such as dust contamination from adjacent processes or overhead door openings, workers entering and exiting, outside temperatures and poor insulation.
For powder coating applications, a controlled environment room can be used to store powder. This allows the powder to adapt to the environment before it is used. Controlling the climate in an environmental room also offers extra protection for the booth’s control system, keeping it cool and ventilated.
2. Contamination Control
Most manufacturers opting for an environmental room do so because of the increased contamination control. Powder booths are typically negatively pressurized to contain the powder; however, environmental rooms are positively pressurized to keep contaminants from entering.
If a manufacturing facility is not properly laid out to accommodate a finishing application or if a high-dust area exists near where paint or powder is being sprayed, that can be problematic. Isolation is necessary to ensure a high-quality finish.
“The goal is to keep dirty air out of the booth,” said Brian Schadrie, a technical advisor for Global Finishing Solutions (GFS). “An environmental room provides double protection. You have your paint booth and then another enclosure around it to keep the environment clean around the booth.”
3. Energy Savings
Since environmental rooms separate the finishing space from the rest of the facility, only the air in the environmental room must be conditioned, as opposed to the entire facility. This saves businesses a significant amount of money on energy, increasing their ROI and shortening the payback period on their capital equipment investment.
Nearly all environmental room manufacturers build them to a custom size, depending on the size of the equipment that is going into the room and whether conveyor openings and powder storage are needed. A custom-sized environmental room allows engineers to design the booth based on the size of the required openings and the ventilation needed to keep the room positively pressurized. The room must be large enough so that there is adequate clearance above the finishing equipment and so any process-related air does not create turbulence that could disrupt the application.
4. Air Quality Improvements
Environmental room manufacturers usually design them with semi-downdraft airflow and pressurized ceilings. The air diffuses as it enters the room, then exits out the openings or is returned near the base of the wall, keeping dust away from the product being sprayed.
In GFS Environmental Rooms, which meet International Fire Code (IFC) and NFPA 30 regulations, the return air is then cleaned with a custom-designed filtration system before returning to the air handling unit, where it mixes with ventilation air and is conditioned. This design helps maintain a consistently clean and comfortable working environment for your process.
5. Production Monitoring
Environmental rooms have been used by production managers as a remote workspace that allows for finishing system monitoring. Rooms can be centralized within the finishing system and come equipped with custom observation windows, lighting and doors to meet various production and inspection needs. This helps ensure production is running on schedule and products are being finished up to standards, reducing defects and eliminating costly rework.
Environmental rooms are an ideal solution for all powder coating applications but are most commonly used by high-production manufacturers that have conveyorized finishing systems for powder or liquid coatings. If climate and contamination control are priorities for your production, or if you need a finishing space separated from your other operations, an environmental room may be an ideal solution. Contact GFS to explore how a custom-designed environmental room best fits your business’ needs.