Noise control – facts and ways to handle it

noise control silencer package

Why do we need to control noise in our environment?

By Richard Flores

Handling noise control can be quite the challenge! The last thing a car wash owner and operator wants to deal with are complaints from people of their noisy car wash business. They have this issue because most modern dryers do not automatically come with sound suppression, as it is a costly upgrade to manufacture for each model of dryer. We strongly encourage these owners and operators to explore sound suppression technology and equipment for many reasons.

Dryers without some type of sound suppression are at risk with regulatory agencies in particular OSHA. OSHA has some of the strictest compliance regulations when it comes to protecting the employees that work near and/or around the system to protecting the neighbors around the environment. Failure to comply with these regulations will result in fines and fees and/or closing the facility until all noise ordinances are met.

That is why the Proto-Vest “Silencer Package” was developed to enable our dryers to meet OSHA, federal, state, and local noise reduction standards. Proto-Vest offers After Market Silencer Packages for all of our dryers both old and new. When purchasing new dryer equipment would be to request engineering specifications listing the decibel levels both before and after silencing equipment has been installed.

The OSHA permissible noise exposure is 85db for an 8 hour shift. By reducing noise levels into the 70db to 80db range, you can be assured of a more pleasant and safer environment for both your employees and customers. The Silencer Package reduces decibel levels on Proto-Vest on an average of 10 decibels making them approximately 10 times quitter than the un-silenced models! Proto-Vest and its engineering protocols allows our manufacturing process to minimize the cost to suppress our dryers as we are the only manufacturer in North America that has patents on our design/engineering whereas we are considered the ‘Quietest’ dryer in the industry without the added sound suppression silence models.

We know that being a car wash owner and/or operator is not an easy job but it is important to make sure that you have an ergonomic sound environment that meets OSHA standards ensuring for a better working conditions for the employees in and around the facility. Researching and planning your additional equipment purchases will maximize productivity and give everyone a more stress-free and safer environment. That is why we do our best to provide you the Proto-Vest silencer package to ensure that your dryer is not only as energy efficient as it can be, but also delivers the best experience in suppressing noise for your customers and surrounding community.


Winterize your car wash dryer today!

winterize your dryer

Winterize Your Dryer While There is Still Time

It is that time of the year again to winterize and prepare for the challenges of avoiding costly downtime during the winter season! Car wash owners should enter the cold months with a good sense of preparation and readiness for anything that could go wrong with their dryer system.  After all, the cold and icy weather can do some damage, whether it is from a huge drop in temperature or an icy snow storm that can slow down your business.  No matter what type of dryer system you own, car wash owners and operators should follow the best winterization practices that can help them prepare for the brutal winter weather.

Prepare a Checklist

Start a maintenance checklist while the weather is still in good condition.  You want to give yourself enough time to order any parts or equipment that you may need so that everything gets shipped on time.  When creating your checklist, keep in mind of the car wash drying system, equipment and area that needs to be cleaned, including the tunnel, floors, pits and walls.  The more you prepare yourself with a checklist, the better chance of ensuring a proper operation without any downtime or lost income due to paying high repair and replacement costs.

 

Follow Maintenance Procedures

Before attempting any of the following recommended maintenance procedures be sure you are wearing appropriate PPE (personal protection equipment).  To secure your safety, you may want to ensure that electrical power is disconnected (use lockout/tagout procedures) to the equipment you are handling.  There is nothing more important than following safety rules while working with electrical equipment.  It’s always good to turn the power off before plugging in or unplugging any piece of electrical equipment.

 

Mounting Inspection

While cleaning the floors, inspect the dryer’s mounting components.  Car wash floors slope toward the pit drains so most equipment has to be leveled when installed.  Inspect the mounting plates, shims, bolts and nuts for dirt and corrosion and tighten bolts to factory specs.  You should also look for welds and seams in the dryer’s air handling components for cracks.  Sometimes dark streaks will appear on the metal if air is leaking from a cracked weld or loosened component.

 

Internal Drying System Inspection

Inspect the air intake routes to your drying system.  With electrical power disconnected, inlet screens should be removed and any debris carefully cleaned out.  Inspect your impellers for missing balance weights, damage to the blades, corrosion, debris and grime build up as well.  These issues can cause balance issues with impellers.  Noise and vibration are indicators of an out-of-balance impeller.  If not addressed as soon as possible you will experience a catastrophic failure of the impeller, which may damage the associated motor, nearby equipment, possibly your customers’ vehicles. Ensure that inlet screens are securely replaced.  Use only manufacturer designed screens or covers; restricting the airflow to your dryer decreases efficiency, raises energy costs and can damage the motor.

 

Motor Inspection and Cleaning

Motors should be inspected, cleaned and greased.  If the motor is making a whining or grinding sound be sure to inspect the motor bearings.  Inspect the wiring connections for corrosion or loose wires.  Have repairs done by a qualified electrical contractor.  Inspect the motor’s cooling fan cover.  The inlet and cooling fan should be cleaned of wax and grime build up.  Use the manufacturer’s recommended amount and type of grease for lubrication.  Refer to the manufacturer’s maintenance manual for this information.

 

Check and Clean Other Components

If your drying system has cloth components, nozzles or any other feature that touches the car be sure that those are regularly cleaned of wax and soap build up per the manufacturer’s recommendations.  If your blower has any type of inlet flow control system the following components will need your attention.  Inspect air hoses and valve for cracks and leaks.  Moisture separators should be inspected and drained daily.  Oil reservoirs filled and any gates or other components in the airflow pathway should be cleaned.  Refer to your manufacturer’s maintenance manual for the required procedures.

 

Research Equipment that’s Beneficial for Cold Weather

Car wash operators may find it beneficial to add heat to their car wash operations during extreme cold conditions with equipment such as a tunnel heater. The primary advantage of a tunnel heater is preventing frozen water pipes and ice buildup on the car wash equipment.  Adding heat to air already moving through the drying system can reduce the need for secondary heating systems in the tunnel thus allowing for energy savings and less downtime.

Although winter time usually results in an increase in business it also brings additional challenges in the form of ice, salt-coated cars and increased energy consumption.  Why wait until the very last minute for proper maintenance and housekeeping procedures when you can minimize and prevent operational issues now?  A 20 degree day with cars lined up to the street is not the time you want to be replacing car wash components.  Now is the time to order replacement parts and get your equipment in tip top shape!

 


Troubleshooting Drying Systems

 

The drying system is considered by many people to be one of the most vital parts of any successful car wash business.  Despite these and other challenges, good maintenance and housekeeping procedures help operators minimize or prevent operational issues with their equipment.  Clean equipment in good repair is the key to avoiding costly downtime during the high volume winter car washing season.  Create a maintenance checklist to help you address all potential issues; while the weather is on your side.  After cleaning all those cars, the equipment in your car wash needs to be cleaned too.  If your tunnel and equipment are dirty, the air being drawn into your drying system will be dirty as well.  Keep the tunnel, floors, pit, walls and equipment cleaned.
While cleaning the floors, inspect the dryer’s mounting components.  Car wash floors slope toward the pit drains so most equipment has to be leveled when installed.  Inspect the mounting plates, shims, bolts and nuts for dirt and corrosion and tighten bolts to factory specs.  Inspect welds and seams in the dryer’s air handling components for cracks.  Sometimes dark streaks will appear on the metal if air is leaking from a cracked weld or loosened component.
Before attempting any of the following recommended maintenance procedures be sure you are wearing appropriate PPE (personal protection equipment) and ensure that electrical power is disconnected (use lockout/tag out procedures) to the equipment you are handling.  Inspect the air intake routes to your drying system.  With electrical power disconnected, inlet screens should be removed and any debris carefully cleaned out.  Inspect your impellors for missing balance weights, damage to the blades, corrosion, debris and grime build up as well.  These issues can cause balance issues with impellors.  Noise and vibration are indicators of an out-of-balance impellor.  If not addressed as soon as possible you will experience a catastrophic failure of the impellor which may damage the associated motor, nearby equipment, possibly your customer’s vehicles or your employees.  Ensure that inlet screens are securely replaced.  Use only manufacturer designed screens or covers; restricting the airflow to your dryer decreases efficiency, raises energy costs and can damage the motor.
Motors should be inspected, cleaned and greased.  If the motor is making a whining or grinding sound be sure to inspect the motor bearings.  Inspect the wiring connections for corrosion or loose wires.  Have repairs done by a qualified electrical contractor.  Inspect the motor’s cooling fan cover.  The inlet and cooling fan should be cleaned of wax and grime build up.  Use the manufacturer’s recommended amount and type of grease for lubrication.  Refer to the manufacturer’s maintenance manual for this information.
If your drying system has cloth components, nozzles or any other feature that touches the car be sure that those are regularly cleaned of wax and soap build up per the manufacturer’s recommendations.  If your blower has any type of inlet flow control system the following components will need your attention.  Inspect air hoses and valve for cracks and leaks.  Moisture separators should be inspected and drained daily.  Oil reservoirs filled and any gates or other components in the airflow pathway should be cleaned.  Refer to your manufacturer’s maintenance manual for the required procedures.
Also on the electrical side of troubleshooting dryers, there are some necessary steps we need to take to make sure your dryer operates smoothly and efficiently.  Before troubleshooting starts, have qualified employee familiar with the electrical/electronic equipment in service.  Qualified employee is the person who knows basic safety precautions while working with electrical equipment. They should have available multi-meter as electrical measurement tool, screw driver and electrical tape.  Also, they should wear grounding strap when touching electronic boards or other components while the power is off.

There are other useful habits to make troubleshooting a success, such as having an installation manual available and following maintenance schedule recommended by manufacturer.  It’s always good to learn and check what the equipment’s ‘normal’ performance is.  The best time for troubleshooting is when equipment still performs, but with less efficiency.  It also doesn’t hurt to memorize the location of circuit breakers, power switches and other disconnect devices.

When you are troubleshooting on the electrical side, there is nothing more important than following safety rules while working with electrical equipment.  Turn the power off before plugging in or unplugging any piece of electrical equipment.  Watch for a smoke or ‘burning’ smell.  If there is one, shut the power off immediately and research the cause of it.  When failure in performance happens, with no smoke or bad smell, reset can be done by turning the power off or pushing the ‘reset’ button.  The better way to find out if the fuse is blown (with no visible signs) is to measure the voltage on both metal terminals.  When full voltage reading is only on one of 2 fuse terminals, fuse is blown.  Don’t worry if you don’t know Ohm’s law.  Ohm himself didn’t know it for a while. Troubleshoot by yourself only when you are sure you know what to do or otherwise, call the manufacturer for assistance.

We at Proto-Vest recognize importance of helping the customer in troubleshooting as soon as possible.  The sooner the customer contacts us, the better results can be achieved.  Successful troubleshooting may only be as a result of mutual effort by customer and manufacturer (product developer).


Proto-Vest, Inc. Opens New Custom Design Division to the Public

custom design

Excited to Announce Custom Design Specialized Drying Units for Trains, Buses, Airplanes and More!

December 01, 2015 08:00 AM Eastern Standard Time
GLENDALE, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Proto-Vest, Inc., the newly developed drying manufacturing company, is excited to announce the launch of its new custom design division.

The new development team at Proto-Vest, Inc. will leverage its extensive marketing and sales experience to develop innovative, successful outcomes for organizations focused on improving the quality of their products in the U.S. and around the world.

With 45 years of experience in the car wash industry specializing in industrial drying equipment, Proto-Vest has become a leader in the industry! Setting the standard in noise reduction, energy efficiency, along with customization capabilities, Proto-Vest Inc., applications worldwide include designing and manufacturing systems for motor homes, commuter trains, aviation, ocean vessels, freight liners and buses. With their robust customization division, they are now expanding their services to specialty manufacturing industries such as pharmaceutical/medical device applications, agricultural, aerospace, and automobile manufacturing plants.

About Proto-Vest, Inc.

Proto-Vest’s globally known expertise in the specialty device drying industry, with over 40 patents in design and engineering and several more pending, enables them to offer unique, superior equipment that separates them from the others in exceeding expectations in the industry. Their systems offer fully automated drying applications utilizing integrated processing control devices, solely developed and patented by Proto-Vest Inc. For those end users looking to go green, Proto-Vest’s systems provide the lowest energy consumption and the lowest noise levels in the industry.

Their dedicated, diverse team and staff members’ goal is to maintain and exceed the industry standard by driving innovation, solutions and service for your business! Some of their top named clients include General Motors, Army Corp of Engineers, Mercedes Automotive and Sonny’s.