In a manufacturing setting, a worker’s overall noise exposure may come directly from an individual machine, but noise from other machinery or processes elsewhere in the workshop may also contribute to the overall noise level. This means that as well as a machine operator, people at risk include those working nearby, for example, maintenance fitters, cleaners, fork lift drivers and shop floor supervisors. And it’s not just the potential liability for hearing loss and or OSHA fines, but also the effects loud noise can have on production output and possible safety issues when one is distracted by constant loud noise.
Typical everyday noise levels in industrial and manufacturing where no steps have been taken to reduce noise range between 85-105 dBs. OSHA hearing protection starts at 85 dB, and at 105 dB there is a risk of hearing damage in one hour. Industrial machinery and processes are composed of various noise sources that include:
Grinding on a pedestal grinder 90-95 dB
General noise level in fabrication shop 85-95 dB
Hammering steel 95-100 dB
Guillotining 95-100 dB
Circular sawing metal 95-105 dB
Punch pressing 110-120 dB
Riveting 100-110 dB
Industrial gas jets up to 105 dB
“A lot of work goes into finding the best solution to different noise issues. Our engineering department takes full advantage of the state-of-the-art acoustical prediction software for indoor and outdoor noise prediction mapping along the use of a state-of-the-art acoustical video camera, which actually allows one to see sound in real time. This provides a fast accurate video picture for determining precisely where the noise comes from including frequencies and reflections. This precise information allows us to select the correct abatement products to reduce those specific frequencies of noise. Without question, it can eliminate the potential for extremely expensive mistakes.
Choosing the best soundproofing products for the problems is important and each environment tends to be unique. Understanding the principles of acoustics and knowledge of the surrounding construction and or machinery is necessary,” Lahnie Johnson, President and Founder of Acoustiblok, Inc., said.
Acoustiblok’s Solution to Manufacturer’s Noise Problems On this particular project, Acoustiblok’s IAWSP’s were used inside the manufacturer’s testing room to mitigate noise stemming from heavy equipment noise, thus making it more comfortable and safer for test engineers working inside it.
“IAWSP’s worked very well for this area because they are not just ordinary barriers; the Industrial All Weather Sound Panel is a unique hybrid containing layers of Acoustiblok® and Quiet-Fiber®. It not only stops sound (STC 32), but also absorbs sound (NRC 1.00), the highest absorption),” said Johnson.
Johnson originally designed the patented All Weather Sound Panel to withstand the harsh environments of offshore drilling rigs. The panels are typically 4’ x 8’ and 4’ x 10’, and are considered to be the strongest sound panels anywhere, tested to withstand wind loads of over 270 mph (more than a category 4 tornado). They are entirely welded aluminum, washable, hydrophobic, UL STD 723 tested, and 0 smoke/flame. Easily stored, 50 panels can be stacked within a ten foot height. And as all of Acoustiblok’s products, they are entirely made in the USA with all US materials.
In the production area of the manufacturing plant, Quiet-Cloud® Panels were hung over some of industrial machinery to mitigate noise in those specific areas and were also used in the receiving area where steel is worked into usable sizes.
“Quiet-Cloud® Panels worked very well in both of these situations because they are a light-weight, easily movable panel that when properly staggered can increase the perimeter-to-surface absorption area up to five-fold. Each Quiet-Cloud panel consists of a heavy gauge perforated aluminum casing over a hydrophobic, non-fiberglass sound absorbing material (Quiet-Fiber®) that can withstand operating temperatures up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. These acoustical panels can hang from a chain or cable either horizontally resembling a cloud or vertically from side edges resembling a banner or can also be easily put into standard ceiling tile grid system,” said Johnson.
“The manufacturer was very pleased with the results on this project. The manufacturing industry as a whole is starting to see the importance of utilizing sound abatement products to protect their workers from hearing loss and other health related issues caused by excessive noise levels, and to meet current OSHA requirements. It’s a win-win situation,” he added.
Other Manufacturing Noise Issues Solved with IAWSP’s
Acoustiblok IAWSP’s are also frequently utilized in industrial settings when outside noise is also an issue. They can dampen or eliminate noise emanating from chillers, motors, pumps, HVACs, generators, engines and more. These panels are rigid and self-supporting. They can be used like building blocks to permanently or temporarily enclose a noise source, i.e., chillers and machinery. They are easily movable, and may be stored in harsh environments without harm from the elements.
Acoustiblok’s award winning QuietFiber® is also one of the top selling sound abatement product utilized in many industrial settings. Engineered specifically for maximum noise absorbency, QuietFiber® is a simple and versatile solution to many noise issues. Non-fiberglass QuietFiber® is rated at the highest noise reduction level of NRC 1.00. Areas of high noise levels including sound reverberation can be resolved easily and economically by introducing QuietFiber® into as much of the area as is possible. The amount of noise reduction in highly reflective rooms will be directly relative to how much of the QuietFiber® material can be installed into the room.
Ceiling tiles may also be replaced with QuietFiber®. Unlike other fibrous materials or fiberglass which does not have the high NRC ratings that QuietFiber® has, QuietFiber® is “hydrophobic,” meaning it will not absorb nor combine with water. This is an important characteristic should the material become wet, humid or need steam cleaning.
Acoustiblok’s Line of Products
Acoustiblok has been quieting all types of noise for many years and has created a wide variety of sound abatement products for almost every kind of noise problem. Primary products include barium-free Acoustiblok® viscoelastic polymer based soundproofing material, Acoustifence® outdoor noise barrier, Industrial AllWeather Sound Panels®, QuietFiber® sound insulating material, Quiet-Cloud® industrial sound absorption panels, Acoustiblok-Wallcover®, and Thermablok® aerogel (the highest insulation known) as a thin 1/4 inch flexible insulation strip for stopping thermal bridging.
Considered green products, Acoustiblok’s products (all made in the USA) have proven benefits in health and medicine, transportation, public safety, consumer goods, energy and the environment, and industrial productivity. Fore more information on Acoustiblok and their products, please visit their website or call 813-980-1400.
“R.A.I.” the Reliability.aiTMChatbot
You can ask "R.A.I." anything about maintenance, reliability, and asset management.