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SmartTech is keeping it fresh for machine operators

SmartTech is keeping it fresh by offering a complete solution for the provision of clean air with Freshfilter, its advanced cabin air filtration system….

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This article was originally published by Australian Mining

SmartTech is keeping it fresh by offering a complete solution for the provision of clean air with Freshfilter, its advanced cabin air filtration system.

For equipment and machinery operators working within a cabin, the risk of contamination from outside dirty air is very real. Site-specific solutions are required to mitigate this potential hazard.

The supply of clean air has become a priority for SmartTech, with the company quickly growing since 2017 to offer a wide range of advanced air filtration solutions, tailored advice, and extensive customer service.

Sitting comfortably at the forefront of providing the mining, quarrying, industrial and waste-management sectors with robust and reliable systems that target air pollution, SmartTech is the exclusive distributor of Freshfilter systems across Australia.

“Our approach came out of protecting operators from nasty, respirable dust, breathable dust, and other forms of air pollutants they experience on-site, particularly in the quarry, mining, and waste-management sectors, or in tunnel construction operations, where there’s a lot of silica dust in the atmosphere,” SmartTech sales manager, safety portfolio Brendan Villiers told Australian Mining.

“We import the main section of the air filtration unit and build the rest of the system at our facility, ensuring we meet end-users’ specific requirements, depending on the machines and the environments they are operating within.”

This new era of cabin air filtration has resulted in advanced technology that utilises high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, with digital instrumentation and controls able to monitor a range of environmental settings, including cabin pressure, CO2 and hydrocarbons.

Due to a difference in air pressure, the Freshfilter overpressure unit, often situated on top of the cabin, ensures contaminated air from outside flows into the cabin only after it has passed through the filtration unit.

The filtration units, often situated on the top of the machine, are designed to safeguard against toxic gasses and silica dusts.

“A pressurised filtration unit which has multiple layers of filters, including HEPA filters – which is the only product that prevents respirable dust, pressurises the operator’s cabin, be it a wheel loader, or excavator, or bulldozer, any environment surrounded by lots of dust – stops dust getting in, while at the same time ejecting dust out of any gaps that are left around door seals or other points around the cabin,” Villiers said.

“As soon as an operator turns on a machine, the Freshfilter unit is connected to ignition power, the cabin pressure will begin to ramp up, achieving 115 pascals, which is above the minimum requirement for Australian industry standards, including recognised standard 20 within the Queensland resources sector.

“The cabin is 90 per cent sealed, so that you do achieve airflow, and at the same time the positive pressure in the cabin stops the entry of dust.”

There are three Freshfilter units: F20 – a compact unit with high filtration capacity for use on machines from three to 100 tonnes F33-R – a universal unit designed to safeguard against toxic gasses and silica dusts FF Multibox XS – a robust unit designed for wheel loaders, excavators, bulldozers, and dump trucks operating in harsh mining environments.

The F20 is a compact unit with high filtration capacity.

Not all machines are prepared for the use of overpressure filter systems, so SmartTech also supplies self-developed fitting pieces for most machines.

The Freshfilter 3000 series control system is the standard choice in controllers for Freshfilter cabin air filtration systems. This system dynamically regulates air flow to maintain cabin air pressure, has audible and visual monitoring, and can be upgraded with a hydrocarbon sensor.

“You can add a myriad of sensors onto the controller in relation to the operating environment,” Villiers said.

“For instance, if you’re working on a site with a lot of sulphur dioxide you can create a custom sensor to monitor specifically for this gas.”

The Freshfilter 6000 series control system is the advanced option in controllers. As with the 3000, the 6000 series controller dynamically regulates air flow to maintain cabin air pressure. It has audible and visual monitoring, as well as an option to be upgraded with a CO2 monitor and hydrocarbon sensor.

Both controllers feature capacity for up to three filter types to be detected and displayed on the control panel, and can be operated with four sturdy buttons. They allow overpressure value to be read on the digital screen, and an optical and acoustic alarm is perceptible during an emergency. The housing of the control systems is made of stainless steel, and the signalling components are just as robust as the pressure systems.

All Freshfilter systems have been designed to comply with a number of international and local standards including, international standards ISO 10263 & ISO 23875, the Queensland mining safety recognised standard 20 (RS20), the HEPA filter international standards EN1822/29463, and the active carbon filters international standards EN14387.

They also meet all relevant standards for the quarry sector and Australian industry.

“Our Freshfilter units are being utilised on machinery across many sites Australia-wide, as companies realise that this technology not only adheres to the relevant standards, but in most instances exceeds the standards,” Villiers said.

SmartTech continues to make a strong commitment to providing tailored air filtration solutions across a range of potentially hazardous operating environments.

“It’s the dust you can’t see that’s the problem, and we have proven solutions to mitigate that risk, ensuring machinery operators are working in the safest possible way,” Villiers said.

Australian Mining.

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