The Functions of Fans in Industrial Plants
An industrial plant’s machines and employees all come together to manufacture, produce, process, and supply various items and goods for the consumer in a linear, time-efficient manner.
Industrial plants are vital in today’s society, so it’s also very important to make sure industrial plants are built well, safe, and sturdy from the very beginning, and then maintained regularly with utmost care. There are many factors that come into play here; each important piece of equipment that goes in every industrial plant has to be top-notch, both for the benefit of the worker and the quality of the goods involved. An example of this is an industrial plant’s industrial fans.
What are industrial fans?
We already know what an industrial plant is – but what is an industrial fan, exactly?
These big pieces of equipment are built like most home fans we’re familiar with, carrying a certain number of blades of different sizes and lengths, built from varying non-corrosive material. When the power is on, these blades rotate at its specified speed while connected to a shaft and a hub. This quick, circular motion is powered either by a motor, turbine, or electricity.
As it rotates, it completes its primary and most important task – to produce a large but controlled gust or flow of air and transfer it inside a structure or room. This flow of air is usually continuous and steady.
In general, industrial fans are used for cooling, exhaust, material handling, air conditioning, chemical processing, combustion, agricultural, and ventilation purposes, among many others, depending on the location it’s being used in. With its many uses, it is safe to say that the right industrial fans are crucial – and even mandatory – for the foundation of any industrial process.
Kinds of industrial fans
The primary purpose of an industrial fan in any industrial plant is clear, however, there are different kinds of industrial fans to choose from when building the plant of your choice.
Without going into much detail, a few popular industrial fans include the mixed flow fan, cross flow fan, axial flow fan, and centrifugal fan, with the last two being the most commonly used. These fans separate themselves from one another by their purpose, each one with their own design and material, based on what kind of pressure and airflow is needed for their specific industrial task. Even the way they are mounted plays a big part.
Functions of industrial fans
As mentioned, industrial fans are used for varying but equally important purposes in every industrial plant, regardless of the nature of that plant’s industry. Be it in food processing, electrical power, chemical, manufacturing, engineering, cement production, heating and ventilation, mining, and many other industries, these fans are needed to keep each plant’s working environment safe, secure, comfortable, and productive enough to work in for long hours and days on end.
These fans also make sure the standards of goods produced are achieved at its highest level, by being reliable, sturdy, and premium pieces of equipment, manufactured and installed by reputable companies. This is why a lot of importance is placed in choosing the right types of industrial fans in plants at the get-go.
These are a few of the most important functions industrial fans are known for in majority of industrial plants around the world:
1. They provide a comfortable and optimum working environment for the staff.
Working inside a manufacturing facility for eight or more hours a day consecutively, without breaks and standing up, is a recipe for fatigue, especially if done in work conditions that are less than ideal – hot, sticky, humid, constricting, filled with dusty air that could harm workers’ eyesight and breathing, which in turn, would hamper on welfare and productivity. The heat comes from the machines used, so this is unavoidable.
This is where fans come in – they do their job by blowing out this dust-filled, hot air, providing much-needed ventilation within the structure by blowing out the inside air and bringing in cleaner, fresh outdoor air, maintaining proper moisture levels within the facility. They can even expel any nasty odors, thanks to the constant circulation they provide.
These can greatly increase the comfort of working conditions, providing optimum temperature and cooling to make working within the plant more comfortable, safer, and healthier for the staffs.
2. They release any hazardous gases and toxins from the air.
Aside from providing comfort, industrial fans do a much greater job – keeping the environment safe from any harmful toxins, life-threatening chemicals, and explosive gases. These can usually be found in the air of manufacturing plants, due to the delicate and hazardous chemicals and gases emanated and used by the machines. Fans help eradicate this risk by providing ventilation within a very enclosed space, exhausting out all the harmful toxins from the air, filtering them out well, and then replacing the dangerous air with cleaner air, keeping everyone’s health at bay.
The regular usage of this industrial fan also helps to prevent any build-up of fumes, chemicals, and dust that can prove lethal if stored for a long time.
3. They dry certain materials needed during the manufacturing process.
In specific industries, like in food or printing, drying of goods is a necessary step in creating the finished products that are ready for shipping. Fans do this job very well – the air they expel can instantly dry a product in a matter of seconds, especially if the flow or pressure used by that fan is of the highest level. This also allows less time, effort, and manual labor spent for the process, which is key in increasing productivity.
4. They’re used for material handling.
When it comes to transportation or the manufacturing process of certain industries like agricultural, cement, building, engineering, or manufacturing, fans or blowers can do the job of safely moving debris such as sand, gravel, sawdust, and other materials from one station to another, across a conveyer belt, or from the plant to a truck outside, or vice versa.
These materials are not very safe for human hands to handle, so they can take care of handling these corrosive or flammable materials to wherever they need to be placed next.
5. They can increase efficiency and savings.
If an industrial plant is more reliable on high-quality industrial fans, the need for an extensive and expensive HVAC system (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) will no longer be as dire as expected.
Some high-tech industrial fans on the market are already built with energy-conserving technology that enables the fan to work twice as much, but on less energy, using special blades. Not only they get the temperature-regulating and cooling job done, but they also get it done with half the effort an HVAC system would take, thus saving on energy and cost spent on running the HVAC system on max. Generally, fans do use up less power than an air conditioning unit, making it an even more environmentally-friendly option than relying on HVACs for your plant.