Fume extraction is part of the basic equipment of every welding workplace. There is a wide range of extraction systems on the market, and the requirements are just as individual. From stationary systems that regularly exchange air in a complete production hall to mobile fume extraction with the absorption of welding fume directly at its point of origin, the so-called source extraction, there are many variants. In a previous blog, we went into more detail about the benefits of the extraction at the source. Today we want to focus on the costs that you will face if you want to buy a fume extraction system.
Fume extraction systems – comparing function and costsThe following illustration shows the possibilities for extracting welding fumes.
Centrally located fume extraction system
Since welding fume extraction systems are mandatory for every welding workplace, production companies usually have a centrally located fume extraction and filter system that completely exchanges the ambient air within a very short time. Such a system also ensures that cold air is heated from the outside in winter and that warm air is cooled accordingly in summer. It goes without saying that this involves high operating costs. If you want to buy an extraction system, you have to consider that the prices for the purchase and installation of a centrally located fume extraction system are correspondingly high. Not to mention the welding fumes that, in such an installation, pass the people working in the production hall before they are extracted. This is anything but ideal and does not fully meet the regulations that have been tightened again since early 2020.
Low vacuum extraction system
For manual welding, a manual low vacuum extraction system is often used. Its mobile body has an extraction arm, its extraction hood or extraction funnel can be positioned directly above the process. In order to extract welding fumes with extraction hoods, a standard MIG/MAG torch can be used. Since the fume is not picked up directly at the point of origin, but only moves past the welder until the extraction funnel can absorb the gases, this solution is not ideal in terms of health. In addition, the funnel must always be moved manually, which means that the fumes cannot always be optimally absorbed. If you want to buy a mobile low vacuum extraction system, you have to consider this.
High vacuum extraction system
A mobile extraction device, in combination with a welding fume extraction torch, is a high vacuum extraction system that nothing can measure up to in terms of efficiency and health protection. The responsible committees, which tightened the regulations for health protection for welders at the beginning of 2020, expressly point out that source extraction is best suited to fully comply with the requirements. If you are thinking of buying a mobile high vacuum extraction system, you can do it with a renowned manufacturer of such machines.
Conversion to source extraction recommended
Of course, you can exchange all the air in the production hall with a centrally located fume extraction system. This means that other vapors and gases that occur during the production processes are also absorbed. The big disadvantage of these systems for welding, however, cannot be dismissed: The welding fume gets into the respiratory system! But not only in the lungs of the welder, the colleagues in his or her working environment are also exposed to the fumes. Additional extraction at the point of origin is the most effective and efficient solution in combination with a central, stationary fume extraction system.
It cannot be denied that converting to source extraction is associated with additional costs: Firstly, for a special fume extraction torch with extraction nozzle for a MIG/MAG manual welding workstation. On the other hand, for a robotic welding torch with extraction kit for a robot installation.
Perhaps you have been thinking about converting to source extraction for some time. Of course, you also want to find out what the costs will be before you buy an extraction system. Retrofitting to source extraction involves additional costs for the production operation, but you are definitely on the safe side.
What do you have to invest if you want to buy a fume extraction system?
Fume extraction system purchase – comparing costs and system types
The table shown here gives a rough overview for a cost comparison of a low vacuum extraction system, a high vacuum extraction system and a centrally located extraction system. First in pure acquisition, then in terms of costs for maintenance or replacing the filter and finally how efficient the welding fume extraction is. In addition, other items such as good or bad welding fume absorption and the use of a fume extraction torch plus the compressed air and energy required are recorded here. All these costs must be taken into account when choosing an extraction system.
|Low vacuum system||High vacuum system||
Centrally located extraction system
|Acquisition||approx. 1.900 €||
approx. 2,400 €
approx. 35,000 € [3,500,–/workplace]
5 pcs./yearappr. 300 €/pc.
3 pcs./yearapprox. 220 €/pc.
1 set = 3 yearsapprox. 600 €/pc.
|Filter costs in total within 3 years||approx. 4,500 €||approx. 1,980 €||approx. 5,400 € [540/workplace]|
|+ Fume extraction torch||Ø||√||√|
|+ Compressed air||−||√||√|
The total costs per system type per year cannot be shown exactly, since the devices cause different costs depending on their period of use.
And finally, a deciding factor is not to find the cheapest possible solution – the health of your employees should be at the top of your considerations. We hope that we could give you a good overview about fume extraction costs and help you in your decision-making.