Multiple Novus Airtower units in use at Schachtbau Nordhausen Stahlbau GmbH – The SCHACHTBAU Group, based in Nordhausen, in the German region of Thuringia, looks back on a long tradition. The company has operated for over 110 years in the fields of mining, mechanical engineering, steel-girder construction, plant engineering and construction. It has developed from a supplier of specialist mining technologies to a globally operating company which today employs more than 900 staff and runs several branches.
Focal point of the company
The business activities of Schachtbau Nordhausen Stahlbau GmbH focus on the construction of road and railway bridges, dams, sewage treatment plants and halls. The company has now successfully completed more than 200 projects building and maintaining structures in the field of road and rail traffic, such as pre-stressed concrete bridges, steel bridges or composite bridges.
Image: Main section of the arch bridge for a traffic project on the North Cape
Thousands of tonnes of steel
Every day, 60 welders and ten welding engineers work simultaneously on different projects, always putting the welding quality first. Accordingly, every welder has to deliver high-quality work while using the standard MIG, MAG and GTAW welding procedures. Not only the standard S235 to S460 steels, but also S690, S960 and CrNi steels are processed every year.
The work takes place in large halls up to 100 x 25 metres in size. To process the components in an optimal manner, they are brought into appropriate positions to ensure that workers have barrier-free access and can work in an ideal position. To this end, large steel constructions are, for example, turned using a crane. With this large number of processes, of course, large amounts of welding fumes are produced, which are well known to be extremely detrimental to workers’ health.
Image: building a steel bridge
Until recently, a fixed pipe extraction system was installed beneath the hall ceiling. However, after 25 years, this was no longer in line with the state of the art, and regulatory requirements on pollutant limits could no longer be complied with. While, in the past, extraction systems were used over large areas – but were not very effective – today, modern air cleaning solutions are used.
Using filter towers as the ideal solution
Retrofitting the existing ventilation systems would have made no sense in terms either of money or ventilation technology. Following the introduction of the new general threshold limit value of 1.25 mg/m³ for biopersistent granular dusts, respirable fraction (in the Technical Rules for Hazardous Substances, TRGS), a solution needed to be found to clean polluted air effectively.
„Our calculations showed that investing in filter towers was several times cheaper than retrofitting the old hall and the old system“. Frank Malchau, production manager at SCHACHTBAU NORDHAUSEN Stahlbau GmbH.
The most efficient solution
The system selection process determined that the NOVUS Airtower was the most efficient of all the filter tower solutions. On the one hand, the six units generate the lowest cost per cubic metre of purified air, thanks to the NOVUS energy efficiency package. On the other hand, the filter towers provide a high degree of flexibility. They can be installed at different locations in the production hall, depending on the focus and necessity.
With a filtration rate of more than 99.6%, the system not only ensures that the air is extremely clean; upon its return to the working area, the air is also used to heat the production halls.
Individual planning and consulting
In cooperation with our client we take into account the work processes and material flows. In this way, we not only determine the number and size of the units required, but also the ideal spot in which to install. The aim is always to constantly undershoot the new thresholds.
Frank Malchau comments: „Our staff's health is very important to us. Since the filter towers were put into operation, the sick rate has dropped noticeably. The investment was absolutely worth it. We're very satisfied – without reservation“.
FRANK MALCHAU, production manager
„Our calculations showed that investing in filter towers was several times cheaper than retrofitting the old hall and the old system.“
FRANK MALCHAU, production manager
„Our staff's health is very important to us. Since the filter towers were put into operation, the sick rate has dropped noticeably.“
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