Unfortunately production operations can be the source of all kinds of pollution.
One of the hardest to manage is noise. Studies show it can cause damage to hearing and is a real distraction that eats at productivity.
Friction Stir Link, Inc had to deal with that problem for a year and a half before finding Goff’s Acoustical Curtain Walls to make their facility quieter. But lower productivity wasn’t the only threat to their bottom line. The owner next door was bathed in the same disturbance and his employees were very unhappy.
Unlike other welding processes, friction stir welding doesn’t use thermal energy to join metals. This technology that is just ten years old uses mechanical energy to produce welds at lower cost with more uptime that minimizes poor weld penetration, weld cracking and excessive weld distortion.
The welding itself does not produce much of the noise. Other fabrication involved with their projects such as hole punching and sawing are the problem. According to Mark Bertieri, a consultant with Friction Stir Link, “we have large metal parts that we work on with a number of fabrication operations that can produce a lot of noise on the shop floor.”
Part of the Friction Stir Link office space consists of two construction trailers that were lifted to the mezzanine using forklift trucks. On the mezzanine Friction Stir Link made the 15 ft. area between the trailers and the wall into more office space and a conference room using partitions.
Bertieri notes, “the construction trailers seemed to be a good idea since they are insulated for outside use, including winter conditions.”
However the noise proved to be a major distraction. The office staff struggled to concentrate on paperwork and the racket drowned out phone calls. Shouting at a customer over the phone is not regarded as professional. Some of the office staff resorted to wearing headphones while the fabrication noise was at its highest level.
They tried to solve the problem by pushing as much of the fabricating work as possible into times of the day when the office staff was out such as during lunch hours or scheduling for a second shift. Since much of the Friction Stir Link work can come in waves, where some periods are busier than others, there were times when the fabricating operations had to run throughout the day and into the second shift. The trouble with the second shift was the questions that might arise about a project that could only be answered the next day when the customer or sales staff were around.
There were headaches both for those who had to work with the noise and the schedulers. However, for Friction Stir Link the idea of building a wall was too drastic, as it would contain their ability to shift work patterns on the floor.
Solving the problem meant containing the noise to the welding floor and protecting the office area. To find relief, company management jumped on the Internet and searched for a solution, coming up with the noise control curtains from Goff’s Enterprises. The Goff’s noise control curtains provide a flexible solution. Also, this is a leasehold improvement and at the end of their lease, if they decide to move, the sound curtains are transportable.
The 19-foot high Goff’s NCC-QQ noise control curtains run the 118-foot length of the shop area. For the office area the curtains hang from the ceiling and run the length of the mezzanine.
The curtains muffle the noise of the drills and saws, reducing levels by up to 10 dB. Built rugged for this type of industrial environment, the noise control curtains are made of barium-loaded vinyl sandwiched between two layers of fiberglass quilting.
The curtains suspend overhead on a track and roller system, which unlike a solid wall, enables Friction Stir Link to easily open them up to move large equipment or structures on or off the shop floor. An opening is cut into the curtains to accommodate a wire mesh door that separates two work areas on the shop floor. The curtains nicely envelop the mezzanine office section and reduce the noise level in the office area, yet allow easy access to the trailers if maintenance is needed.
As well as being noise absorbent, the curtains are fire safe and low smoke, meeting ASTM-E84 Class 1 regulations.
Bertieri states, “the owner next door is now happy, our office staff is productive and no one has to shout at each other or people on the phone. Plus at the rate we are growing if we have to expand into another building we can take the curtains with us because the noise will always be a problem.”
friction — long wall – to contain the noise a Friction Stir Link, the 19-foot high Goff’s NCC-QQ noise control curtains run the 118-foot length of the shop area.
friction – attachment – the curtains suspend overhead on a track and roller system, which unlike a solid wall, enables Friction Stir Link to easily open them up to move large equipment or structures on or off the shop floor.
friction – section – an opening is cut into the Noise Control Curtains to accommodate a wire mesh door that separates two work areas on the shop floor.
Please send inquires to:
Goff’s Enterprises, Inc.
1228 Hickory St.
Pewaukee, WI 53072
Telephone: (800) 234-0337
Fax: (262) 691-3255