2020 saw Northern Developments, a well-established construction company, secure the bid to create a unique facility for the aspiring centre of excellence at M-Sport in Cumbria.

On completion of the project, M-Sport will provide a centre for motorsport and automotive leaders where they can follow projects from concept through to production.

Alongside the 2.5km test track now sits a self-contained workshop. Promoting engineering excellence, the aim is to provide the facilities to follow the entire process of test and building cars of the future on site.

When it came to implementing industrial ventilation, Northern Developments approached Fercell. There were a number of areas within the workshop that required various ventilation equipment. Working in partnership, Fercell were able to deliver a complete solution.

The Solution

Covering production areas from build through to testing, the requirements covered the need for fume, spray, dust and etching extraction.

Fercell engaged with Northern Developments to propose a fitting solution. Upon sign off, Fercell installed the local exhaust ventilation system in December 2020.

Within the large self-contained workshop is various shop areas, designed with the correct equipment for the design and production process.

Weld Fume Extraction

The application of welding takes place in both the shell shop for the welding of cars and fabrication shop benches. Exposure to welding fumes without the use of proper ventilation can have a devastating impact on your health

From the beginning fume extraction was a key area highlighted, where numerous equipment was required. Covering a large area, a whole range of equipment would need to be accessible to provide adequate protection and allow the flexibility to work at various areas within the workshop and simultaneously.

Following extensive discussions with Northern Developments and review of the layout by Fercell a defined solution was agreed. The answer, 3 MEF fans, 3 sound boxes, 6 W3 mobile extractors, 46 GEO filters, 22 compact arms, 24 ASA arms, 3 Inverter controllers and 3 multi-boxes.

With such a large work space it was essential that the extraction arms were available throughout. The ASA arms consist of 5 friction points, making it easy to move to the desired position. The wall bracket for the ASA arm can also rotate 270°. The extraction arm can be extended up to 8 metres, which offers great flexibility, removing any welding fumes and grinding dust through the extraction funnel.

With limited headroom the compact arm offers the perfect balance between the suction capacity of larger extraction arms and easy manoeuvring of a smaller arm. It can simply be pushed up, taking very little space. It is 360° rotatable, giving workers the freedom of placing the funnel where it suits them and not the other way around. Here, the compact arms have been placed throughout the inside of the workshop.

Connected to the extraction arms are the geo filters, which are used for the removal of oil/fume mists before the mist condenses in the central extraction system.

The brief clearly indicated that the local exhaust ventilation extraction system needed to provide the ability to work anywhere within the workshop. Whilst the extraction arms provide extraction from localised points, they do not provide complete freedom, which is where the W3 mobile extractor comes into play. The W3 mobile extractor is a complete plug and play unit, which includes a 3m ⌀160mm extraction arm, 4 step filter and 230V fan. The combination of equipment will allow ample ventilation for all working practices.

The W3 extractor will remove any polluted air into the filter unit via the extraction arm. Any particles or gases are extracted from the airflow during a filtering process consisting of several stages, with the cleaned air returning to the work space.

The MEF centrifugal fans are situated in the plant area. Equipped with backward blade impellers for optimum efficiency and design for mixed airflows up to 17,000 m³/h, they are well suited for the requirement of variable speed control from the various local exhaust equipment installed.

To reduce the sound pressure levels by approximately 15 dB the sound boxes were fitted to the MEF fans. Like the MEF fan, the sound box is made of full-galvanised steel, which offers effective protection against weather and wind to both the fan and motor. The sound box is easily serviceable through a lockable door.

The multi-box units and inverter controllers are located in the service area. The ventilation control units will send service messages and define the start-up time and output voltage. They will allow the facilities management to monitor pressure measurement, control and monitor alarm systems for the ventilation equipment for the pressure range from 10 to 5000 Pa.

Etching Extraction

A process used for many decades, etching VIN numbers on vehicles creates a unique identity for a vehicle. With a dedicated etching shop, it was a requirement for both dust and fume extraction in the dedicated area.

The W3 mobile extractor, with the addition of 2 PERMA arms, was the ideal set up. The W3 mobile extractor also used in the shell workshop is a complete plug and play solution, which delivers accessibility. The PERMA arms have been specifically developed for the capture and extraction of fumes, vapours or odours generated by metal work. Bracket mounted, this arm can also be used with a range of accessories. Manufactured from aluminium tubes, with a patented suspension system for spiral pipe, the PERMA arm also benefits from easy to clean extraction arm joints.

Spray Extraction

Activity within the spray shop includes the spraying of small car components. For this a spray booth was a fitting solution. Spray booths are great for extraction of paint fumes, with various options available, such as specific sizes and lighting allowing Fercell to configure the booth to fit Northern Development’s exacting requirements.

Any paint particles are filtered through a pleated paper filter and the fumes are removed via the central ducting system and exhausted above roof height in the plant well.

Dust Extraction

The panel preparation area is used for the sanding of car components. Here, two BAP series self-powered downdraft tables were the perfect fit, often used for finishing operations and other dust producing processes.

Constructed of galvanised sheet steel, they provide a durable base with a deep work surface, with the addition of scratch-resistant felt strips for added work piece protection.

The BAP Series tables are equipped with aluminised polyester filter cartridges and a pulse-jet compressed air cleaning system to provide maximum suction and extended filter life.

Dust is collected in removable steel drawers at the bottom of the table for easy disposal. The integrated suction fan ensures consistent face velocity and provides for convenient mobility when the optional casters are included.

Fume Extraction from Treatment Tanks

A fume extraction solution was also required for the degreasing and cleaning of car components.

In this case, the installation of 2 MEF fans, 2 sound boxes, 2 inverter controllers and 2 multi-boxes are ample to remove any fume created through the process of clearing any muck or grease off car components.

The control area for placement of all the multi-boxes will allow simpler management of the various systems throughout the building. It will also quickly flag up any service issues, allowing for less downtime.

Finishing Touches

Following successful installation of the ventilation systems, Fercell’s service engineers carried out LEV testing and provided systems user training.

LEV testing is important to ensure the equipment is in tip-top condition and not letting any gases, fumes or vapour escape. It is important to remember a LEV test should be carried out at least every 14 months. LEV indicators are also a great way of visually checking your equipment is running efficiently on a more regular basis.

Upon the completed installation of the equipment Fercell delivered user training, to ensure all the features of the system have been thoroughly explained, including demonstrations on how to carry out basic maintenance checks, for example emptying the dust filter on the BAP downdraft table.

Fercell has been successfully delivering complete industrial recycling and size reduction systems and industrial ventilation equipment for over four decades. Fercell can design a solution to meet customers’ exacting requirements.