Factory Noise Control

 

Factory noise control is a major issue – many processes essential to manufacturing generate large volumes of noise, from the equipment and machinery used in the actual processes, to back-up generators and then industrial scale air conditioning units to keep machinery and employees at a comfortable productive temperature. Employers must manage this workplace noise exposure to protect their employees from possible noise-induced injuries whilst also reducing the impact on the external surrounding community.

 

In factory and industrial settings, the legislation and monitoring of noise is becoming ever more stringent. Noise at Work 2005 legislation protects workers and looks to mitigate any risk of potential hearing loss while Environmental planning and monitoring focuses on the impact of noise pollution on the wider community.

 

Whilst reducing noise in an inherently noisy environment sounds like a complicated process it is helped by the fact that any method to reduce noise essentially falls into variations across three basic strategies.

 

Options

 

Close-fitting noise control solutions provide the most effective way to control the noise by containing and absorbing the noise at source. Acoustic enclosures, screens and sound havens will protect employees. These solutions are usually combined with other acoustic products such as acoustic doors, windows, attenuators, louvres and sound absorption panels to create a successful packaged solution. These products allow for continued access where required for operation and maintenance whilst maintaining their impact on noise reduction.   

 

Building envelope solutions protects the wider community from noise breakout and is essential when complying with planning and environmental law. It can also maintain a company’s reputation within the local community by reducing a possible negative impact of the factory’s presence. Once more an effective combination of products throughout the building envelope including enclosures, barriers and screens integrated with attenuation, acoustic doors and windows, will provide the best noise control option if a close-fitting solution is not viable.   

 

Absorptive noise control solutions focus on reducing the reverberation. When sound is released into any enclosed space the sound waves will travel around until they are absorbed. Reducing the volume of reflective surfaces and replacing them with absorptive panels will greatly reduce the reverberation time, preventing a build up of acoustic energy which leads to an increase and build-up of noise levels.

 

Summary

 

The most efficient noise control solution always depends on the specifics of the industrial equipment, the setting in which it is located, and the required access that employees need to maintain production. In most situations, a combination of the options detailed above would be necessary.  The crucial element in resolving an existing issue or identifying one during the initial design phase is to pinpoint the dominant noise sources and rank them in order of significance. This then allows a focused approach to selecting the most effective combination of noise control solutions to tackle a unique set of requirements resulting in the most productive and efficient result.

 

John Wakefield
Sales Manager – Industrial Products
+44 (0) 1664 903000
+44 (0) 7938 889120
[email protected]

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