Steam and humidity are by-products of many industrial production processes. But they can have an extremely negative effect on working conditions.
Humidity is an important factor in people’s perception of comfort. Excessive levels on the shop floor can result in a significant drop in productivity. It can also lead to a build-up of condensation, mist or mould, which will damage product quality, the factory’s equipment and the building itself.
Humidity releasing production processes
Every facility where the production process releases humidity needs answers to questions such as:
- What are the effects of humidity?
- How can moisture emissions be reduced?
- Which mitigating measures should be taken?
- How will this affect the factory’s energy consumption?
Every facility is different and will require a specific solution to resolve the issue of excessive humidity.
Creating the optimal solution
The optimal solution achieves a perfect energy balance, and will focus on the following aspects:
- Level of humidity released by the production process
- Temperature inside the building
- Maximum relative humidity in every season
- Heat transfer
- Air extraction
The control of humidity levels is particularly critical in the food industry. Moisture is a bacteria carrier: it brings the risk of contamination and can lower the durability and shelf life of a product.
Ventilate or heat?
There are a number of different approaches to controlling humidity levels in manufacturing facilities. Local extract ventilation, preventing moisture from reaching the general environment, is more cost effective than general dilution ventilation, but for either method a controlled introduction of warm replacement air is often key to a successful solution.
To find out how a climate control system could imrpove the levels of humidity inside your factory, a survey of your building is best. At Colt, our engineers have been working with building owners and operators solving their problems related to the indoor environment and helping improve their business for over 50 years.
Paul Langford is an Engineering Director experienced in product development, manufacturing & testing for HVAC, louvre and smoke control systems.