Industrial Noise & Vibration Centre

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Case Studies

An elegant engineering solution to your noise or vibration problem may already be available. Search below the largest database of source control case studies in the world for alternatives to conventional, high-cost palliatives such as acoustic enclosures, silencers, barriers etc.

Showing 16 to 30 out of 94
  • hygiene
  • noise control
  • buy quiet

Supermarket Food Tray Washing Line Noise Control

Tray wash noise control

Two newly installed automated lines had failed to meet the Christian Salvesen noise specification despite the efforts of the supplier. Our engineering audit predicted both the cost and the precise noise levels that could be achieved using best practice control techniques. Following implementation by the manufacturer, noise levels were reduced from typical levels of 85 – 91dB(A) down to the 82dB(A) target and with more efficient drying performance.

The manufacturer has adopted the more effective, lower cost and more practical INVC technology as standard practice, improving performance and margins.

  • hygiene
  • noise control

Die-Header / Tablet Machine Noise Reduction

Die header and tablet machine noise reduction

The noise from die header machines and tableting machines (tablet presses) used to manufacture hard sweets, tablets and other products in the food and pharmaceutical industries is often 95 – 101dB(A). The conventional approach is to fit them with high-cost acoustic enclosures that cause serious access problems and also makes cleaning difficult. Even where enclosures are fitted, noise levels are often still very high. There is a more effective and lower-cost alternative approach.

Accurate diagnosis often makes it possible to reduce the noise at source. In this case, our solution was based on a very precise analysis of the source of the noise energy. This allowed us to more than halve the noise by developing a re-designed cam that not only extended the life of the cam significantly but also reduced operating costs. Coupled with hygienic close shields, this reduced noise levels by 10dB or more at a fraction of the cost of conventional enclosure.

  • hygiene
  • noise control

Pharmaceutical – Food and Drink – Confectionery – new low noise materials

high hygiene and GMP noise control

Coupling new acoustic materials and systems with engineering source control technology is re-defining what constitutes noise control best practice in the food, drink and pharmaceutical industries. Whilst conventional acoustic materials (foam, fibreglass, rockwool) pose an unacceptable hygiene problem, we have invested heavily in the development of new techniques specifically for hygienic applications in clean industries that can be implemented quickly and painlessly – often as an extension to a maintenance schedule. The new generation of noise reducing materials includes…

  • laminated stainless steel from SoundDampedSteel. This highly damped replacement (or retro-fit upgrade) for existing guides, chutes, guards, hoppers etc is hygienic, rugged, low cost and yet can reduce radiated noise by 10dB – 20dB in conjunction with engineering techniques that cut noise at source
  • sound absorbent systems developed by Ecophon that are suitable for use in GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice), high care areas and clean rooms. These can withstand aggressive cleaning regimes, including pressure washing
  • all aluminium sound absorbent micro-mesh that is very efficient at absorbing sound with no hygiene implications

These noise control materials and techniques are ideal for the pharmaceutical, electronic and food and confectionery industries where hygiene is a key requirement.

  • hygiene
  • damping
  • noise control
  • weighing

Weighing Machine Noise Control

Weighing machine noise control

Weighing machines often generate noise levels of 90 – 100dB(A). The conventional approach is to fit partial or full enclosures round each machine. These often produce a noise reduction of only c 5dB(A) (and even an increase at the operator in some cases…) at a cost of the order of £8000 – £15000 per machine – and with the associated access and cleaning problems. We have developed source control techniques that reduce noise levels by 10 – 12dB(A) (typically) with no effect on normal operation, cleaning, hygiene or access – and at a small fraction of the cost of enclosures.

In this case, implementing our techniques reduced the 94dB(A) using the supplied acoustic enclosure down to 82dB(A) (PPE no longer mandatory) with the enclosure removed. This also reduced cleaning downtime from most of a day down to a couple of hours, improving productivity. Successful applications range from confectionery to pharmaceuticals to meat product processing.

  • hygiene
  • noise control
  • fan noise attenuation

Pick-and-Place Suction Fan Noise Reduction – a packet quieter…

Pick and place fan noise reduction

This suction fan used in a newly designed, automated pick-and-place system for food packets on a production line generated high levels of noise.

Conventional fan silencing would not only have posed a hygiene problem (attenuators make use of porous acoustic absorbent materials), but would also have required acoustic enclosure. We re-designed the fan mounting system (interestingly, the fan itself was designed for model aircraft engines) and modified the geometry slightly.

  • hygiene
  • noise control
  • fan noise attenuation

Reducing Noise from Air Transport Fans – higher efficiency…

Air transport fan noise control

Noise levels in a pharmaceutical manufacturing area were 95-100dB(A), dominated by the product air transport fan system. Whilst a traditional high-cost hygienic absorption system could be used to reduce the average area noise level by 5-10dB(A), it would still leave hot-spots of up to 95dB(A) near the air transport fans. As strict hygiene requirements ruled out conventional silencers, novel aerodynamic inserts were fitted inside the fan casings to reduce the tonal noise from these units by close to 20dB with no hygiene or performance implications over the life of the fans.

With the local fan noise eliminated, it was possible to reduce operator noise exposures to well below 85dB(A), reducing the hearing damage risk by around 95%, allowing PPE to be made advisory.

  • hygiene
  • damping
  • noise control

Noise Control for Vibratory Hoppers, Feeders, Graders, Conveyors, Separators…

Bottle vibratory feeder noise damping

The noise from dozens of vibratory feed hoppers and separators in a pharmaceutical plant generating 95 – 99dB(A) was reduced by 22dB via retro-fit modifications to the geometry and the introduction of sophisticated damping. As an additional benefit, the modifications substantially improved product feed and eliminated persistent fatigue cracking. The cost was not only a tiny fraction of the c £100000 required to fit conventional acoustic enclosures, but there was no effect on access/cleaning (unlike acoustic enclosures) and productivity was significantly improved.

A similar approach has also been successfully applied to control the noise from vibratory bottle feeders to give an 8dB(A) reduction at a cost of c£500 and with substantially improved performance and productivity.

  • vibration control
  • HAVS
  • product development

Grass Mowing Machine

dennis grass mower vibration control

Manufacturers are under increasing commercial pressure from their customers to develop low vibration plant. The innovative low vibration handle developed by the INVC for a Dennis Mowers lawn-mower reduced operator exposure from 6m/s^2 down to 2m/s^2 – without compromising mower control. This is a dramatic improvement that would allow operators to use the mower all day without reaching the 2.5m/s^2 Exposure Action Value.

  • vibration control
  • HAVS

Pedestal / Backstand Grinding

Flash removal from hand-held aluminium components generated 32m/s^2 – the Exposure Limit Value (ELV) would be reached in 12 minutes, severely limiting production. Detailed analysis revealed dominant vibration was caused by a pedestal grinder component rest resonance. It was replaced by a floor mounted version that improved the ergonomics and reduced the vibration to 1m/s^2, allowing unlimited use without risk of HAVs.

  • vibration control
  • HAVS

Concrete Mould Ramming Tool

concrete lintel rammer vibration.png

A hand-held Ingersoll Rand sand rammer packing concrete lintel moulds generated 28m/s^2 with a maximum trigger time of only 15 minutes/day before reaching the ramming tool vibration control Exposure Limit Value, seriously limiting production. We designed a mass / sprung balance system that reduced the vibration to 11.5m/s^2, extending the “safe” trigger time to 90 minutes/day. Combined with substantial ergonomic improvements, operator HAVS risk was virtually eliminated and there were large productivity gains. As the whole project was completed within days (no site visit) via information (data, video) forwarded by email, the total cost was a few £hundred, making it self-financing over a few days.

  • vibration control
  • HAVS

Riveting Aluminium Panels

Vibration from riveting on a bench jig posed a very high risk of HAVS. Our redesigned, stiffer jig reduced the riveting time by 50% and the vibration by 25%. This cut the overall operator dose by nearly 90% – improving productivity as a side effect.

  • vibration control
  • HAVS

Impact Wrench Bolt Tightening Vibration

The operator used a spanner on one side of conveyor frames and an impact wrench on the other, producing significant HAVS risk in both hands. We recommended a larger, more ergonomic spanner and a more powerful wrench. These measures halved the vibration dose and significantly improved productivity.

  • vibration control
  • HAVS

Die Grinder Vibration Reduction

High-speed bits were used to trim aluminium panels, but the tool speed was far too low. Changing the die grinder for a high speed unit to match the bit left the vibration unchanged, but the improved efficiency cut working time from 20 minutes to 2 minutes, reducing the risk by a factor of three. On a similar operation, simply ensuring the grinding bit was pushed fully into the chuck reduced the level of vibration by a factor of x4.

  • vibration control
  • HAVS

Paint Stirrer Vibration

Designing a shorter stirrer bar and reducing the speed  of a hand held paint stirrer reduced the 30m/s^2 vibration level to 8m/s^2 without affecting performance.

  • nuisance
  • noise control
  • environmental noise

Corrugator source noise control eliminates noise nuisance and PPE – and reduces costs by 80%…

corrugator noise reduction.jpg

The highly tonal noise from corrugators and slitters at Northern Packaging, the premiere packaging company in the north of England, had caused complaints from local residents and was subject to an abatement notice. The company was quoted £150,000 for conventional environmental noise control (building modifications) but with no guarantee it would solve the problem. An EHO who had been on one of our BAT courses suggested we might have an alternative approach.Following a best practice audit, we developed noise control at source engineering modifications to cut the noise generated by the corrugator and slitter machines inside the building. Installed by Sound Damped Steel, these not only reduced the problem tonal noise by up to 9dB, but also eliminated the requirement for mandatory PPE – a double benefit. In addition, the cost was only c£25,000, an 80% saving over the proposed conventional noise control methods.

This is a typical example of the success of our approach to environmental noise problems, re-defining noise control best practice by developing elegant engineering solutions in place of the high cost, conventional palliatives usually considered. Moreover, to the delight of the company, the project also satisfied their mandatory noise control requirements under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations – at no added cost. This approach should be standard practice for environmental noise pollution problems. Controlling noise at source is always the first step in the process of defining BAT or BPM.

Showing 16 to 30 out of 94