An interview with Kevin East, vice president of sales and marketing, Fumex Inc.

Q: What are some of the bad effects that untreated fumes from laser coding and printing can have on packaging, the product inside or the plant environment?


An interview with Kevin East, vice president of sales and marketing, Fumex Inc.

Q: What are some of the bad effects that untreated fumes from laser coding and printing can have on packaging, the product inside or the plant environment?

A: Untreated laser fumes can impact three key areas: personnel, product quality and packaging equipment. Laser generated airborne contaminants (LGACs) can range from “nuisance” dust (paper, corrugated, ink) to potentially hazardous dusts (plastics, PVC, metals, some inks), depending on the chemical composition of the material being marked or coded.

Coding and marking quality can deteriorate quickly if the LGAC is not effectively captured and transported away from the marking area. It should also be noted that depending on the location of the coding equipment, raw material/product can become contaminated if allowed to come in contact with LGACs. Finally, if the plume is not captured it can lead to damage of the laser optics and, unfortunately, this is typically one of the most expensive parts of the laser system.

Q: How can Fumex equipment help neutralize or remove these bad effects?

A: Fumex laser extraction equipment has been specifically designed to alleviate these concerns. As the pioneer in the extraction of LGACs, we have more than 20 years of experience. Our experience has taught us that the application is not always as simple as it looks. Lasers interact with substrates in varying ways, producing fairly unique plume characteristics such as the size and distribution of the particulate as well as the potential gas/odor emissions.

To be effective, our systems must capture both very small (sub-micron) and large (1- to 50-micron) particles and a variety of off-gases-all cost-effectively. To do this, we utilize a multi-filter system consisting of pre-filters, HEPA filters and gas/odor filters, effectively removing the particulates while allowing for independent filter changes when each “particle-sized” filter becomes loaded, which minimizes operational costs.

Q: What are the features of Fumex equipment that make it especially effective or easy to use?

A: Most Fumex systems can be installed into virtually any production environment in 15 to 30 minutes. Variable-speed high-efficiency blowers and flexible, small diameter (2- or 3-inch) hoses minimize space requirements while optimizing the capture envelope and transport velocity required for the application. Our systems utilize high-visibility displays to constantly monitor and potentially alert operators of any required maintenance.

Q: Is Fumex equipment usually ordered through the coding equipment supplier? What role can the end user play in making sure it gets used on his line?

A: Yes, our equipment is often ordered and specified very effectively through coding equipment suppliers. However, it is recommended that the end user inquire about the need for fume extraction early in the specifying process to classify the type of LGACs generated and to insure proper sizing of the extraction equipment. Government regulation is increasing in this area and any potential problems can be determined and dealt with at any early stage. Our equipment can also be installed as a standalone system.

For more information

Fumex Inc.
770-514-7907;
www.fumexinc.com