Industrial noise is nowadays just as important a problem as air pollution or waste management, but it seems to be less popular in media. Meanwhile it can equally affect our well-being or health! The Act of 27 April 2001 Environmental Protection Law treats noise as pollution, to which the same general principles of conduct should be adopted as 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, i.e. 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, 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 on a continuous basis, it may cause problems of employee health, but also being exposed to penalties due to the lack of proper working conditions. What if the noise is more than the allowable 85 dB, but throught 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, while work in noise up to 110 dB – no more than 10 minutes a day.
How do we fight it?
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 which are equipped e.g. with a noise reduction system and enable communication between employees without removing the device. However, this is not a specific solution that prevents the occurence of noise or vibration of working machines, but limiting 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 in relation to 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. In our company, the ANC system 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.
The system includes an algorithm of real-time adaptation to industrial noise changes. 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.
BFirst.Tech suggest you to choose…
Our solutions include the BFT Noise Control package, which comprehensively helps to solve the problem of excessive noise. The BFT.NC package contains three modules. Measurements & Analysis is a module that focuses on measuring noise and vibration where the problem occurs.
Our specialists go to the workplace where the problem occurs. Measurements are made using modern equipment and then analysis is created. The results obtained after analysis allow for optimal and effective design of the solution for the workplace.
The other two modules of the BFT.NC package are used in the design process – BFT.ActiveNoiseControl (active noise reduction solutions) and BFT.PassiveNoiseControl (passive noise reduction solutions).
Solutions that can be designed thanks to such analysis can be found in the other two packages BFT.PassiveNoiseControl (passive solutions) and BFT.ActiveNoiseControl (system). In places where the most disturbing noise occurs, we suggest installing the ANC system and supplementing them with various types of absorbers or mats, which will effectively reduce the noise generated.
If you want to read more about the functionalities of the BFT.NoiseControl system, click here.