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Acoustic equipment enclosures for better work environment

30 July 2019

We all know that noisy workplace reduces productivity and contributes to fatigue. Noise levels emitted from office and industrial equipment can and should be controlled. 

At Vital Engineering, for example, we rely on our ability to iterate designs quickly. Tools that make it possible are situated in our design lab which is located in the same space as our office. To limit equipment noise, we've taken careful measures and designed custom acoustic enclosures for some items. Below we share some key points to consider to control noise in your environment:

1.Reduce noise at its source. Frequently it’s the motor or drive train in your custom equipment that is the source of most of the noise. Replacing a motor for a quieter one, or replacing a gear train with a belt-drive set-up are some examples of how to reduce your machine noise.

2.Locate your equipment strategically. Placing noisy equipment such an air compressor in a designated room may be all that’s necessary. In our case, the most practical location for our CNC milling machine turned out to be a small room adjacent to our main office area. With door to that room closed, the machine can work autonomously without bothering anyone.

3.Buy an off-the-shelf acoustic enclosure. Acoustic enclosures tend to be pricey and heavy (which makes high shipping cost further add to price). However, it’s often still more practical to buy an available acoustic enclosure of suitable size than making a custom one. We found server acoustic cabinets of 12U size to be a good fit for many small equipment applications.

4.Design a custom acoustic enclosure. For best fit and performance, a custom acoustic enclosure is in order. Custom enclosures are designed with appropriate access doors and openings and optimal sound suppression. In applications where limiting mass isn’t key, thick dense enclosure panels are desired. For example, for our vacuum pump custom enclosure we’ve used ¾” thick MDF boards for enclosure panels.

5.Don’t forget about ventilation. To prevent equipment over-heating and premature wear, it’s important to vent out excess heat from your equipment. Ventilation may be active (designated cooling fans) or passive (natural convection). Our dust collector enclosure, for example,  was built to utilize exhaust airflow to create ventilation.

Environmental factors such as allowable noise limits are considered for every piece of custom equipment that we design and build. Drop us a line if you need a custom noise control solution for your new or existing equipment.  

New location, new capabilities

05 March 2018

After a rigorous search for a new office location, we’re finally working from our new premises in Richmond, near Vancouver Airport’s South Terminal. The layout suits our needs perfectly. Plentiful daylight and views of the airside make our work enjoyable and productive. Being committed to augmenting our design work with comprehensive prototyping capabilities, our space is divided into 2 areas: office space and a prototyping studio. Within the prototyping studio, one can find an MDA Precision CNC machine for machining intricate parts, and a Carbide 3D CNC router for cutting flat panels. We regularly use both machines to make parts and alterations “on the spot” helping us shorten development cycles and achieve more refined designs for our customers. Autodesk Fusion 360 design suite is our recent addition to our CAD/CAM capabilities. Together with our existing SolidWorks Professional CAD package, our customers’ design needs are fully covered.

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