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Award winning INVC fan noise control project cuts Corus noise by 94%

19 May 2009

The Industrial Noise and Vibration Centre (INVC) has recently celebrated a hugely successful project for leading steel maker Corus.

The project, which earned the company a Noise Abatement Award at the recent Rushlight Environmental Awards Presentation, has resulted in cost savings running into seven figures for Corus.

The prestigious Rushlight Noise Abatement Award is presented annually for the most significant development in noise abatement technology over the previous year. The new fan noise control technology that INVC developed for Corus has not only reduced noise, but has also saved record-breaking amounts in capital, power and carbon costs compared to conventional techniques. The figures speak for themselves: around £200,000 annual savings on power and carbon and £800,000 capital cost savings plus a staggering 94% reduction in tonal noise from three steelworks fans.

Low-frequency hums from the OG centrifugal fans at the Corus plant in Scunthorpe had contributed to a number of noise complaints. Conventional reactive silencers had been ruled out by the variability of the fan speeds and the only other option seemed to be large, expensive traditional silencers. However, these would have reduced efficiency, increased power consumption and led to a significant carbon footprint penalty. Unhappy with this option, Corus contacted INVC for a second opinion.

INVC’s solution was to develop innovative new fan casing modifications, avoiding the need to modify either the existing ductwork or the exhaust stacks thereby minimising downtime. These modifications have eliminated the noise at source for the lifetime of the fan without ongoing maintenance and, significantly, without affecting the efficiency of the fans.

“INVC’s modifications have brought about a huge reduction in fan noise, improving the environmental conditions across a wide area around the Plant,” says Grahame Wallace of Corus. “They’ve also saved us a large amount of money by negating the requirement for a major capital expenditure, so it’s been a remarkably successful project.”

“This approach is applicable to a wide variety of noise control projects and is the new best practice for many fan noise problems” comments Peter Wilson of INVC. “The substantial cost savings are an added bonus – the noise control techniques we developed for Corus can be used across a wide range of environmental or occupational noise applications to reduce typical project costs by 50% - 80%.”

Founded in 1985, INVC specialises in developing engineering techniques to reduce noise and vibration at source as an alternative to conventional solutions such as acoustic enclosures. The company has an expanding portfolio of blue-chip clients from the food and pharmaceutical industries, engineering organisations and the construction industry, as well as many public and regulatory bodies. The INVC is also the major provider of noise and vibration competency training in the UK.

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