Sandvik Coromant in Gimo handle the hazardous substance cobalt. To make the indoor air safe, they turned to Dustcontrol. The goal was to get below 0.005 milligrams of cobalt per cubic metre of air.
“We’ve worked with Dustcontrol since 2015. They’ve installed things like fixed extraction systems and helped us with our technical solutions and procedures,”explains Roger Tornéus, senior technical specialist in house media and process-related media
at Sandvik Coromant. The company’s primary focus is tools and tool systems for metal processing that involves cutting. Cobalt is used in the production of steel. The cobalt governs the toughness and resistance of the steel against plastic deformation. The disadvantage is that cobalt is classified as harmful to health.
As a technical specialist, a lot of Roger’s work involves general ventilation, extraction, and ventilation. In 2015, a global cobalt group, which included Roger, was established within Sandvik Coromant. The goal of the group was to meet the management’s demands for reduced cobalt dust emissions. “I started our partnership with Dustcontrol in 2015 through my development of guidelines for the design of high-performance, energy-efficient extraction facilities. Our goal was to come down to 0.005 milligrams of cobalt per cubic metre of air and to keep at this level at our production facilities in the longer term. We’re well on the way to achieving this, and we’re probably among the first in the world to do so.”
Together with Dustcontrol, Roger also worked on cobalt-handling directives for the staff. “The staff have guidelines to follow for the handling of cobalt. It’s important these are followed,” Roger points out. These guidelines include always wearing gloves when working, not taking snus while on the workshop floor, and washing hands before eating. Dustcontrol has extensive experience in the development of systems for large facilities, something which Roger would like to highlight as a key benefit of their partnership. “There aren’t many companies in the extraction industry that can supply really large facilities. But Dustcontrol has both the experience and wellproven solutions. Just like in smaller facilities, it’s incredibly important that extraction volumes and air speeds are precise. Yet Dustcontrol doesn’t need the wealth of figures and statistics that we’d need to give to another supplier. They can quickly develop a basic solution and from this we can continue to discuss how to tackle things.”
Roger also works with Dustcontrol’s branches in the US. “When we went through one of our facilities in the US together with the site staff and Dustcontrol, we found that it didn’t meet current requirements. So we looked at how we could upgrade the equipment so as not to spread the cobalt dust, and we also looked at the equipment from an energy perspective. The solution is a mix of Dustcontrol’s and our own ideas, which we hope will ultimately turn into something very good.” There are now plans for Sandvik Coromant to use Dustcontrol’s solutions at more of its production facilities around the world. “Working with Dustcontrol is always effortless. We’ve developed many good solutions over the years. Dustcontrol is easy to deal with and always very accommodating when it comes to our specific wishes and requirements.”
Senior technical specialist in house media and process-related media at Sandvik Coromant.