7th September 2021
By: Wakefield Acoustics – Industrial Noise Control Specialists | Last Updated: April 2023
Specialist Solutions / Bespoke Designs
Wakefield Acoustics has been providing tailored noise control solutions for over 40 years. From our experience, out-of-the-box acoustic solutions don’t always work to resolve complex issues, especially in congested areas surrounded by plant and equipment, support steelwork etc. Additionally, complexity is always introduced when maintenance and operational access issues need to be considered in the design. Whilst acoustic enclosures provide an important function in reducing noise emissions in the workplace and to the environment, there’s not much point in enclosing a machine if you can’t access it.
Diagnosing a solution in these situations can often incorporate an extensive design and consultation period to ensure all potential issues and requirements are captured.
One such example installation is described below.
An acoustic enclosure was designed to house an industrial centrifuge for a chemical plant, where power packs and drive motors also needed to be housed. An integrated ventilation system was installed into the enclosure to extract warm air generated by the machine, which was discharged into the main factory area. In order to avoid warm air recirculation, the inlet and outlet ventilation openings were installed at opposing corners of the enclosure.
Maintenance and servicing access remained a major consideration during design and installation. In this instance, two double-leaf access doors were incorporated into the enclosure structure to allow personnel access for general maintenance. As the machine was serviced via an existing overhead maintenance beam, the acoustic enclosure was designed with a hinged end-wall panel section and two removable roof sections, permitting easy access to the main screw mechanism and other key components. All removable components were fabricated with lifting points and certified lifting eyes were supplied.
To support the routine cleaning process, which entailed equipment being regularly washed down, the enclosure was manufactured with a 304-grade stainless steel framework. The main acoustic panels were formed with a galvanised steel outer skin with a high-specification powder paint finish and were lined on the inside with a 304-grade stainless steel perforated sheet to prevent corrosion.
Whilst the enclosure was designed to offer a high level of noise reduction, one of the company’s concerns was the ability to view the machinery during normal operation when stood externally to the booth. To overcome this, a number of vision panels were installed into the side walls of the enclosure, all designed to ensure the resultant noise criterion was achieved.
Through careful diagnosis and the implementation of the acoustic enclosure, noise levels across the chemical plant were reduced to 80dBA or below, which is in line with the company’s objectives and negates the requirement for hearing protection to be worn by operatives. What’s more, the plant’s staff were able to maintain effective access and maintenance schedules following installation.
Every project brings its own unique requirements and challenges, which is why Wakefield Acoustics work to provide a tailored acoustic solution that fits the specific needs of the client.