When it comes to industrial environments, there’s no doubt within the industry that maintaining effective control of humidity is essential. It’s a key part of the operation of countless factories across the globe and can make the difference between success and failure in many areas of industrial production.
But why is that the case? After all, humidity has been a constant for as long as there’s been air and plenty of things have been produced in that time, right?
That may be true, but it doesn’t tell the whole story – a story of increasingly complex manufacturing and industrial processes that benefit greatly from tight humidity control. Here’s three huge reasons why industrial environments now live or die by their humidity control.
Staff health and wellbeing
You only need to spend a day outside on a humid day to know that high levels of RH (relative humidity) can have a debilitating effect on your ability to function properly. However, it’s low RH which industrial businesses are keen to avoid.
Low RH can lead to dry and itchy eyes and cause the respiratory system to dry out, leading to dehydration in staff. Additionally, it causes a dramatically increased spread rate of pathogens like the influenza virus, which survives best in low RH environments.
On top of these issues, low RH has been linked to conditions like Sick Building Syndrome and the intensity of chemical pollution, caused by gases from materials used inside industrial buildings.
Taken together, these issues lead to a poor working environment for staff, and can even violate health and safety guidelines within certain nations.
When water in the air interacts with cold surfaces, it creates condensation. Within industrial premises, which typically feature large amounts of exposed metalwork and very little by way of traditional insulation, this water can have a devastating effect on the health of your building.
By allowing condensation to develop, you encourage the build-up of both rust and mildew on surfaces which can in turn affect both the structural integrity and air quality of your building.
Industrial manufacturing businesses survive by what they output. Whether that’s car parts of pre-fab buildings, what a business outputs determines its success.
Humidity plays a crucial role in ensuring that products are manufactured to the highest possible standards by eliminating the role that high RH plays in spoilage. Consider, for a moment, that cardboard remains by far the most common material for packaging products of all kinds.
Cardboard, however, is extremely susceptible to high RH environments, absorbing the moisture in the air freely. That damp cardboard is extremely prone to failure and can develop mildew and become structurally weakened, causing damage and spoilage to products.