Assess, Test and Consult (ATC) Success Story
In November of 2007 ATC Associates, an environmental consulting and engineering firm, enlisted the services of Delweld Industries to design and manufacture a system to perform laboratory collection of weld fumes for analysis. The equipment needed to be easily transportable to testing locations at several Naval Shipyards across the country. Performance criteria were supplied from AWS specifications, ATC technicians, Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC) Environmental Technologies Department, and the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) of The Pennsylvania State University, which is funded by the US Navy.
The recommended procedures for sampling had been previously employed, but some of the systems utilized were primarily separate components not specifically dedicated to this task. Also, since portability was a concern, it was suggested that some method should be provided to easily maneuver the testing equipment within the facility where it was being used. A compact, rugged, yet mobile accumulation of mechanisms, monitoring devices, and instrumentation was the order at hand.
In January 2008, ATC Associates took delivery of the completed unit. An aluminum structure that housed the testing chamber, air pump, base metal manipulation equipment, air flow and pressure monitoring instruments, as well as all system controls, was loaded into the back of an SUV for a trip to the Bath Iron Works in Maine. A set of caster wheels installed on the bottom provided on-site mobility. A second phase of weld fume analysis was completed in February 2008 at Atlantic Marine in Mobile Alabama.
Another unit with some capacity upgrades and modifications has since been constructed, and delivered to Lockheed Martin Space Systems. It is currently being used at the Michoud Operations facility in New Orleans, Louisiana where the huge external fuel tanks for the Space Shuttle are built.