Industrial noise

Industrial noise

Article contnet

Industrial noise is nowadays just as important a problem like air pollution or waste management. However, it seems to be less popular in the media. Meanwhile, it can equally affect our well-being or health. The Act of 27 April 2001 Environmental Protection Law treats noise as pollution. Therefore, the same general principles of conduct should be adopted for other environmental pollution, e.g. air or soil pollution.

Noise accompanies today’s life to a greater or lesser extent. Living in the vicinity of the airport we must accept the resulting inconvenience. For instance, the noise generated by taking off and landing planes, other devices operating at the airport, and increased traffic in its vicinity. We can write the same about large railway stations, shipyards, mines, and other heavy industry factories. Shopping centers and sports arenas will generate a lot of car traffic in their area. In this article, we will focus mainly on industrial noise.

The noise generated in industrial halls concerns the issue of noise in the workplace. Industrial halls are in the vast majority huge, often high spaces, through which noise generated by machines and people spreads. Depending on the size of the surface of such a hall, and the number of machines working on it, the noise problem can be large, but within certain standards. Unfortunately, in many cases, it exceeds acceptable norms, which has negative consequences.

Employee working conditions

The conditions in the workplace are precisely described in the act by which noise standards are defined. The Act sets the Maximum Permissible Intensity (pol. Najwyższe Dopuszczalne Natężenie). Maximum Permissible Intensity means the intensity of a physical factor harmful to health, whose impact during work should not cause negative changes in the employee’s state of health. For 8-hour or weekly operation it is 85 dB. If the noise exceeds this standard continuously, it may cause problems for employee health. Moreover, a company can be exposed to penalties due to the lack of proper working conditions.

What if the noise is more than the allowable 85 dB, but through the day’s work? In this case, appropriate recommendations are also adopted. Work in constant noise within 95-100 dB may not last more than 40-100 minutes a day. Working in noise up to 110 dB can’t exceed more than 10 minutes a day.

How can we handle industrial noise?

One of the most common ways to protect employees’ health against noise is to equip them with noise-absorbing earmuffs. There are many types of such devices on the market that are equipped e.g. with a noise reduction system. Often they even enable communication between employees without removing the device. However, this is not a specific solution that prevents the occurrence of noise or vibration of working machines. It just limits the effects of their impact on employees working in this place.

The appearance of the production halls is also an important issue. For new halls, at the design stage solutions that effectively reduce the spread of noise are taken into account. It is difficult to apply such solutions in halls that are outdated or have limited reconstruction possibilities. The costs of such modernizations are usually too high about the effects. Considering these issues, other noise reduction methods must be used including active and passive methods.

Active Noise Control

Active Noise Control (ANC) is a method of reducing unwanted sound by adding another sound specially designed to cancel the first one. Adding noise and anti-noise together allows you to achieve a more satisfactory result. BFirst.tech has its own ANC solution, which is equipped with an artificial intelligence algorithm that allows reduction of industrial noise to an acoustic background level in the range of 50-500 Hz.

Active Noise Control controller
Img 1 Active Noise Control device enclosure

The system includes an algorithm of real-time adaptation to industrial noise changes. For example, the advantage of such a solution is that it does not work rigidly after programming, but can react to changes in machine operation, e.g. a change in the rotational speed of the mechanical system. The system is designed for both open and closed rooms, which means that it is ideal for industrial halls.

Passive Noise Control

Noise problems can be solved in many ways. Another option is to use passive methods. Passive methods are e.g. systems of acoustic systems in the case of noise (absorbers, mats, acoustic panels) or Vibro-isolating systems. The key to properly designing passive solutions is to study the work environment, locate sources of noise and how it propagates, and tailor efficient solutions to it. These solutions are primarily the arrangement of individual elements in the work environment and the selection of materials with parameters that will effectively absorb the resulting noise.

What path to choose?

To fight effectively noise and vibrations in Industry and the environment we offer our innovative solution Intelligent Acoustics. If you want to read more about the functionalities of Intelligent Acoustics, click here.

Bibliography

[1] http://www.prawo.pl/kadry/halas-w-srodowisku-pracy,186770.html

[2] http://forbes.pl/kariera/dopuszczalny-poziom-halasu-w-miejscu-pracy-obowiazki-pracodawcy/kmvctgb

[3] http://acoustics.org.pl/

[4] https://aes2.org/

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