Automated filter weighing system installed within a controlled environment enclosure
Jaguar Land Rover has upgraded its particulate emission testing capability in the UK with the installation of an automated filter weighing system installed within a Bigneat controlled environment enclosure.
Bigneat has supplied Jaguar Land Rover with a controlled environment enclosure at its Solihull Product Compliance Centre, Emission Test Laboratory following a major contract win at the end of last year. This is in the wake of the car manufacturer commencing plans to upgrade its particulate emission testing capability and wanting to obtain accurate, consistent results.
Jaguar Land Rover knows that, by controlling cleanliness, temperature and humidity, it would be assured of consistency in testing conditions and, therefore, accuracy of results whenever the measurements were made.
Bigneat, of Waterlooville, Hampshire, UK, offers a range of enclosures and cabinets that feature controlled atmospheres: Humidity (<1% to 85% RH); Steady Temperature (4°C to 40°C); Clean Air (ISO Class 5 to EN 14644 Standard); and Modified Atmospheres for aerobic, hypoxic or anaerobic conditions. These are used for experimentation, testing and production.
Jaguar Land Rover’s needs include not only a high quality controlled environment but also one to provide the operator with a high level of operator protection from potentially harmful exhaust particulates.
Bigneat, working with Jaguar Land Rover and robot supplier Mettler Toledo, was able to develop from an initial design proposal a totally custom-built enclosure. The special design of the enclosure, subsequently named the Tesla Automated Cleanroom 1000, included two controlled environment compartments.
The first compartment is fully accessible by operators and is used for preparation and storage. The second compartment contains the Mettler Toledo F-A747 robot and is where the finest control is kept of the conditions. Temperature is maintained at 23°C ± 0.5°C and humidity is controlled at 45% RH ± 3% (±1°C dewpoint).
An added feature of this project was provision of clean air into the surrounding room to help minimise contamination. This was made possible by the mixing of filtered air (unconditioned) from an external plant mixed with filtered, conditioned recirculating air, developed within the enclosure.
The conditioning unit includes a chilled water-cooling coil, which reduces temperature and dehumidifies the atmosphere.
A heating element raises the air temperature when it falls below 23°C ±0.5°C. Steam is then injected into the airflow from a separate humidifier unit to develop the correct humidity. The system is controlled and monitored by an LCD-based control system that manages the recirculating and make-up air velocities. An audible alarm warns of low airflow conditions.
Bigneat’s md, Robert Monks, said of the project: “Through our innovation and close customer focus we endeavoured to design and manufacture a system which would comply with the high level of standards required by Jaguar Land Rover.”
He explained that: “This is not only a requirement of the automotive industry but of the pharmaceutical industry as well, which is a large part of our business.”
Bigneat manufactures clean air and hazard containment equipment for hospitals, laboratories, schools and industry. Products include fume cabinets (ductless), fume cupboards, fume and dust arm extraction systems, biological safety cabinets, chemical storage systems, controlled atmosphere gloveboxes, PCR workstations, powderweighing cabinets, robotics and laboratory automation enclosures.