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Aluminum Structural Framing for Manufacturing Sound Enclosures


A large manufacturer of home circuit breakers and breaker boxes was having noise issues with a large sheet metal punch press.  This press punches the rectangular holes in the face plate, where the breakers are installed, at a high rate of speed and with tremendous force.  The resulting noise was comparable to machine gun fire and was measured at approximately 115 dB.  In addition to being extremely distracting and tiring to employees working nearby, the noise well exceeded OSHA regulations.


The customer called on AluFab to design a solution out of structural aluminum framing and sound panels.  However, the noise was not the only challenge in this application‐ an elaborate conveyor system feeds raw sheet steel in one side of the machine and carries away the finished product from the other side.  There are also numerous small conveyors removing metal scrap, chips and coolant, as well as a large chimney discharging the heat from the machine control cabinets.  All of this had to be considered in the enclosure design.  Because the aluminum framing system AluFab uses is so modular and design‐flexible a large room, complete with fluorescent lighting, outlets, access doors and even several inspection windows, was easily conceived and constructed.  The interior walls and ceiling were paneled in 4” thick sound barrier foam. Access openings for the various conveyors, conduit and chimney were framed in and sealed.  The t‐slot design of the aluminum structural framing allowed for on the spot adjustments during installation to fine tune the fit and finish ‐ something a welded or pre‐fab frame could not do.  The whole enclosure was built and installed on site in less than 3 weeks.  Noise levels were recorded at 87dB after installation.