Plymovent meets customer demands with new supply chain

Plymovent has been working on improving its supply chain for almost six quarters. The main reason being faster delivery times, to meet the customer demands of today.

One European supply chain centre
All European assembly activities of the business unit Industrial Products moved to the main manufacturing facility of Plymovent in Alkmaar, the Netherlands. Handling all products in one place contributes not only to our quality process, it also enables us to work more efficient. As Plymovent is a dedicated certified ISO partner, quality control processes are a very important part of our daily working activities.

One European distribution centre
To ensure faster delivery times in Europe we opened a distribution centre in Doesburg, the Netherlands. This distribution centre keeps the core products of Plymovent’s Industrial Products in stock. Supplying from stock gives Plymovent the opportunity to deliver its source extraction –mainly plug & play products– quickly to authorised distributors and end-users.

Satisfied customers
With these faster delivery times, the improved quality control process and a more flexible way of working Plymovent is looking forward to coming fall/winter. Huib van den Berg, Vice President Business Unit Industrial Products explains: “The restructuring project of our supply chain came with many challenges. Unfortunately some resulted in longer delivery times, which is extremely unpleasant for our distributors and customers. We are very glad that this is all behind us now, and are therefore looking forward to guarantee faster delivery times –thus meeting the demands of our customers– as we should!”

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Plymovent gains foothold in automotive industry

Plymovent is breaking into the automotive industry with a wide range of extraction systems for the removal of welding and cutting fumes.

Plymovent has been one of the market leaders in the metal industry for many years with its advanced welding fume extraction systems. Plymovent introduced its SHIELD fire safety solutions last year. This system solution is ideal for oil-laden welding and cutting applications in the automotive industry.

Oil-based welding and cutting operations generate oily fumes which increase the fire risk through chemical and mechanical combustion. Plymovent SHIELD fire safety solutions were developed to overcome this particular problem. SHIELD minimises the possibility of extraction and filtration systems catching fire in oily environments. Many operations in the automotive industry in particular, are conducted in an environment involving combinations of different types of oil. In the event that fire occurs, SHIELD reduces the consequential damage to a minimum.

SHIELD fire safety solutions offer a combination of various products. In fact, the system comprises three components:

■ Prevention: fire is prevented by effectively capturing sparks (spark arrester) and absorbing oil fumes (limestone feeder).
■ Detection: various detectors detect fires through smoke, heat and sparks.
■ Suppression: in case of fire, the filter system is automatically isolated from all the air flows, and a built-in fire extinguishing system extinguishes the fire within a few seconds.
All these functions are controlled via an advanced control panel.

Apart from the fact that oil increases the risk of fire in extraction and filtration systems, oil can also be disastrous for filter cartridges. Oil quickly clogs filter cartridges. The limestone feeder offers a solution to this problem!

The benefits of the well-designed SHIELD programme were recognised quickly and the system produces concrete results all over the world. Plymovent has already installed and commissioned several systems for car manufacturers and sub-contractors such as Ford, Johnson Controls, ThyssenKrupp, Kirchhoff and Gestamp, among others.

In 2013, Plymovent aims to extend its profile within the automotive industry with SHIELD fire safety solutions to OEMs as well as Tier-1 and Tier-2 companies.

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FumeSimulator visualises the background concentration of welding fumes

Plymovent developed the FumeSimulator to visualise the background concentration of welding fumes in production facilities.

This design/simulation program confirms the effective operation of the general ventilation and filtration systems of Plymovent controlling welding fumes.

Purchasing high-quality general ventilation and filtration systems, such as the Push-Pull and Diluter system of Plymovent, is a long-term investment. Therefore, it is important for Plymovent that the customer stands behind the chosen solution for 100%. The FumeSimulator calculates and visualises the concentration of welding fumes of a customised system solution. The simulation shows whether the welding fumes, in the concerning system solution, stay within the desired (legal) limits. Hereby the FumeSimulator offers certainty regarding the effectiveness of this investment.

The reliability of the simulation is related to the input of the customer. The customer must, for an accurate simulation, indicate which welding activities take place, how many welders and/or welding machines are present, how many hours per day welding is performed, etc. The Project Engineering team of Plymovent verifies that data. The data, together with the chosen system solution, are the input for the FumeSimulator.

For the simulation, the FumeSimulator uses CFD technology (Computational Fluid Dynamics). The FumeSimulator generates a report visualising the concentration of welding fumes in the production facility. The customer recognises his production facility and the chosen system solution and sees his specified input back in the report.

Eduard de Haan, CEO of Plymovent Group BV responses enthusiastically: “In these economically challenging times, we see that our customers have higher demands, especially concerning long-term investments. The limits of welding fumes are tightened worldwide. In former times we convinced customers during reference visits, nowadays the customer is demanding more. Certifications and filter classes are not sufficient anymore. As a supplier, we must show beforehand that problems with welding fumes, after installing our extraction system, will be solved. The simulation program, FumeSimulator, meets this expectation. The product is clarifying, realistic and reliable. In this way we can offer an even better service to our international market!”

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New MistEliminator removes oil mist in metalworking processes

Plymovent upgraded the MistEliminator programme for effective capturing, filtration and removal of oil mist. Plymovent’s knowledge, experience and state-of-the-art technology ensures optimal control of oil mist in the metalworking industry, offering clean air at work.

 Oil mist or oil smoke arises when metalworking fluids are used to either cool metal workpieces or lubricate parts and tools during the operation process. As a company, you are obliged to comply with the national or local occupational health and safety standards for oil mist. Oil mist needs to be captured in order to protect your staff’s health, create a safe work environment and extend the lifespan of your machinery and tools. Therefore, Plymovent supplies the high-quality filtration system ‘MistEliminator’ to reduce the background concentration of oil mist in CNC machineries and during other metalworking processes.

The new programme includes various models of the MistEliminator, all presented in Plymovent’s new product design. Depending on the type of oil mist, you can either choose the ME-3 or ME-4 series. All filter units and filter banks are modular and can be tailored to your needs in capacity, media and efficiency. For larger capacities Plymovent has added filter banks of up to 15,000 m3/h to the programme.

The filtration method, including self-draining coalescing filter cassettes, ensures effective filtration of oil mist with low operational costs. One of the new options is the maintenance-friendly OilPump. OilPump is an automatic pump that moves re-claimed oil from the MistEliminator to a basin, for example, without operator intervention.

In case of recirculation, Plymovent offers an additional HEPA filter. Recirculation ensures that expensively heated or cooled air stays within the workplace. Not only does this save energy, it also reduces your heating and ventilation costs.

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Official opening Plymovent Academy

On 16 December Plymovent officially opens its training centre under the name Plymovent Academy.

Knowledge is key in serving our customers so we consider it vital for our employees and distributors to stay up-to-date with our products, systems and services. We have many sources to provide them with the required information. Attending a training at the Plymovent Academy takes sharing information a step further. In group trainings our employees and distributors can extend their knowledge, practice job-specific skills and build on experience from their peers at the same time.

 In the last few months the training centre in Alkmaar (The Netherlands) has been extended. This gives Plymovent the possibility to present all product groups and recent product developments in a professional way. Our extended training facilities are well-equipped and give employees the opportunity to work with our products to the level that their job requires and beyond.

At the Plymovent Academy trainees learn more about the application and specific features of Plymovent products, systems and services. The training offer ranges from product- and application focused modules for sales staff to installation- and maintenance courses for service employees. With the renewed offer Plymovent expects to better meet the knowledge needs.

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Plymovent launches SHIELD fire safety solutions

Plymovent controls fire risks in welding fume extraction systems by launching a new range of fire safety products. The SHIELD products are developed to reduce the risk of fires in the metalworking industry to a minimum.

 In addition, the products are designed to minimise consequential damage. Early detection and suppression are initiated in the event of a starting fire, to limit system damage and avoid the risk of escalation and accumulation of smoke throughout a workshop.

As a specialist in the extraction of welding and cutting fumes, Plymovent fully understands the causes that lead to fires in filter cartridges and dustbins. In response, Plymovent has developed a fire safety programme to control that risk.

 The SHIELD products are divided into three categories: products to prevent, detect and suppress fire. All products are developed to meet the specific and challenging process conditions of the metalworking industry. For preventive maintenance reasons, the SHIELD products feature easy installation, inspection, dismantling and replacement. It all allows for a tailor-made solution.

Prevention
As prevention method Plymovent offers the patent pending products SparkShield and OilShield. SparkShield is an in-line spark arrester that prevents sparks, spatters and cigarette butts from entering the ductwork and reaching the combustible filter cartridge and debris in the dustbin. OilShield was developed especially for oily welding applications. It is highly recommended for applications using low flash point oils, such as punching oils. This limestone feeder mixes limestone with oil, decreasing the remains’ combustibility.

Detection
Detection takes place by detectors and ShieldControl. The ShieldControl fire detection panel is compliant with European and UL standards (EN 54-2, EN 54-4, EN 12094-1 and UL 864) and features an open or short-circuit monitoring of the connection cables to the detectors and the FlameShield extinguishing devices. If one of the detectors is activated ShieldControl responses adequately and stops the airflow immediately and activates the suppression methods.

Suppression
Plymovent offers two suppression methods: sliding valves and FlameShield. The sliding valves stop the supply of oxygen and isolate the fire, minimising consequential damage. FlameShield is an aerosol fire extinguishing generator that is released immediately after the sliding valves are closed, extinguishing the fire in the filter housing rapidly.

The SHIELD fire safety solutions of Plymovent reduce the risk of fire to a minimum, and in the event of fire, ensures that any consequential damages are minor. The consequences of almost all incidences of fire will be limited to no or minimal system damage and the replacement of the filter cartridges and aerosol fire extinguishing generators.

Not only will the SHIELD fire safety solutions of Plymovent control fire risk in welding fume extraction systems, it also increases the lifespan of the filter cartridges and the entire system. Several institutes already tested and certified the SHIELD fire safety solutions of Plymovent.

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Supply chain restructuring plans of Plymovent Group

In January of 2011 Plymovent has initiated an extensive review of its supply chain that has led to a proposed supply chain restructuring programme.

The desire to restructure our supply chain is based on customer needs and our ambition for growth which requires a clear focus on our core competences.

Today we informed our employees that we will initiate union negotiations regarding the proposed restructuring programme that will, as a consequence, lead to closing our production facilities in Lycksele, Sweden by July 2013. The proposed closure is the outcome of extensive and careful analysis.

Subject to negotiations with the unions of the proposed supply chain design, we are suggesting to consolidate our European assembly operations, at one location only, in Alkmaar (The Netherlands) and expand assembly operations in North America to support our growth ambitions for the coming years.

The suggested restructuring will not affect the continuity of the business relationship with our customers. Plymovent has informed its stakeholders about the proposed restructuring programme and is committed to continue to do so.

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