April 9, 2020 / John Sofra

The Importance of Cooperation in Workplace Sound Reduction

Sponsored by Kinetics Noise Control

A wood products manufacturer introduced a corporate noise initiative inside their manufacturing facilities. The goal was to reduce sound levels to 85 dBA in the walkways and forklift traffic areas. The solution required noise reduction from 105 dBA to 85 dBA at 19 feet from the tongue and groove machine, and from 101 dBA to 85 dBA at 5 feet from the sander machine. Any noise control solution could not interfere with normal traffic of workers and process flow.

Although the noise control initiative was set in place, there were timelines and strict budgets that needed to be met. To meet budget, composite solutions were required involving a combination of lower cost to higher cost products for various aspects of the design, maximizing the noise reduction and balancing the return on investment resulting in the most economical, effective solution.

In order to achieve the best noise control design, which would avoid interfering with normal personnel traffic, process flow, and routine and major overhaul maintenance, it was important to gather input from all parties. The perfect design must at a minimum consult the plant or facility manager, plant engineer, industrial hygienist, area product supervisor, and maintenance personnel. Sales, structural, and engineering teams, as well as local representatives from my company, Kinetics Noise Control, met with the client’s team to discuss a noise control solution from the client’s viewpoint. Important questions we asked included: what were the client team’s most important concerns, and what ideas did they envision in a successful solution? Working with the client helps them to accept the solution to be installed in their production area, because when the client is involved with design, they feel a sense of ownership over it.

After gaining knowledge from the client’s team of how production processes operated, along with a thorough review of a plant-wide, independent sound study, the system design commenced. Such a system often involves not just noise control products, but also a support structure designed by a licensed structural engineer. It is important that the heavy-duty support structure be designed in compliance with the locally adopted international building code (IBC). Factory safety is of utmost importance.

Learn about the Kinetics Noise Control solution.

John Sofra

John Sofra is market manager for Kinetics Noise Control.


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