C&S Equipment introduces High Vacuum Dust and Fume extraction equipment which complement and connect to their personnel lift platforms

Most readers involved with painting of rail carriages will be aware of C&S Equipment Limited, (C&S) which supplies and installs the WALL-MAN and the LIFTMAN pneumatic work platforms but may not be so familiar with its High Vacuum dust and fume extraction units. There is increasing awareness of welding fumes from all welding and paint preparation operations being harmful to health according to research referred to by the HSE. A search engine will quickly take you to their Safety Alert with a ‘Change in Enforcement Expectation’ notification due to proven links to lung and kidney cancer. Apart from reducing the carcinogenic risk, High Vacuum weld fume and dust extraction offers a number of advantages over Low Vacuum swing arm systems that tend to ‘get in the way’ of the welder and can’t follow the process.

C&S markets the ‘Effex’ range of extraction fans which can handle dust and fumes from a single welder/station to 52 simultaneous stations as might be used in a shipyard – the capability matches anything on the market today. C&S encourages users to mount a High Vacuum extract nozzle as near as possible to the welding point to remove the fumes. That means fewer fumes escape the extraction point rather than hoping a not-so-near hood or arm will capture them. Unlike low vacuum systems, high vacuum removes far less volume of air (which contains those fumes) so costly warmed air in the workshop isn’t exhausted to outside the building – surely a significantsaving with today’s energy bills? HEPA standard filters are optionally available, if required.

A further benefit often overlooked, C&S points out, is that the harmful emissions that would otherwise find their way into the workshop are in fact removed from the general air that other non-welding colleagues are obliged to breathe. If the welder uses a breathing mask; well that’s OK for him but what about everyone else passing through the area?

C&S offers the Effex single station, portable Model MB-190 as illustrated, weighing 16.5 kg. It has a current detector when the power to the electrode is sensed which automatically switches the fan on or off. A further energy saving device. The well-known WALL-MAN and LIFTMAN platforms have been designed specifically for prepping and painting at height. These access systems are particularly appropriate to the rail industry as carriages are long and high so painters and other workers need a safe, powered access system in order to be able to reach all parts quickly, efficiently, safely and with a minimum of effort. Moreover they are fully compliant with the regulations covering working in hazardous areas such as sanding, painting and cleaning.

The company has concentrated on this niche market, installing over 90 WALL-MAN and LIFTMAN access platforms in the rail industry in the U.K. alone. And there are more than 500 of these air operated personnel platforms in all industrial sectors in the British Isles.

The WALL-MAN system is normally installed inside a spraybooth or similar enclosed area with one or two platforms running on each side, but they can be suspended on their own purpose-designed steelwork such that they can be used in preparation areas, and similar open environments such as wash bays. The safety cage is powered in three axes, allowing the operator to get to the optimum position to work to best effect. This includes being able to move forwards across the width of the booth to gain access to the carriage ends.

As well as safety and time savings, the ability to paint from the optimum position results in improved paint transfer efficiencies, which in turn leads to cost savings on expensive paint materials.

WALL-MAN users are most all of the major railway stock manufacturers, maintenance and refurbishers in the British Isles.

The LIFTMAN platform is free-standing and can be used anywhere where there is a reasonably flat and smooth floor. That said, it will run on gridded floors and will cross rail tracks set into the floor with twin-wheel option. The operator controls and drives the platform from the cage at whatever height he needs to be. The tight turning circle and small plan area (only 800 x 1000 mm) means that he can manoeuvre effectively even in restricted spaces.

The WALL-MAN range has recently been expanded to include cages that will carry two persons and at heights up to 6 m above ground.

Both types are powered only by compressed air supplied by a single hose, and have no need for electrical or hydraulic supplies. They use only as much air as a small air tool and have an on board air supply point for the painter’s gun and equipment thus eliminating the requirement for hoses trailing from the cage.

Since WALL-MAN and Effex dust/fume units are designed and manufactured at the same source, these products are perfectly complemented. A dust extraction hose can be integrated in the WALL-MAN for connection to a sander with it eventually leading to a central dust extract system to the Effex unit and its 99.9 per cent efficient filters doing the ‘work’.

In order to keep personnel lifting equipment operational and within the law, C&S provide fully trained and certified technicians to carry out the necessary LOLER testing after a service. C&S comprises a dedicated team of sales, service and support personnel located near Milton Keynes.

Full details, specifications and quotations can be obtained from John Morrison via the contact information below.