Most noise levels in laboratories are below the thresh-hold level that can damage hearing, however lab noise can still be fairly loud and obstructive.
Operation of the following equipment can contribute to excessive noise pollution in your lab:
Outdated vacuum pumps
The rotary vane vacuum pumps of the past are no doubt loud, hard to move pieces of machinery. If you've worked with these pumps before, you know that removing their oil smell and loud noises (which only get worse with age) is a major concern for your lab. However, by removing them, you may inhibit your process from obtaining the vacuum it requires. By moving the pump to an equipment room or even just meters away, you'll increase the time it takes to reach the pressure that you need for your experiments or instruments. It's important to understand that a vacuum pump's effective pumping speed can be inhibited by distance, bends, and valves, resulting in longer pump down times or the inability to meet your pressure requirements. In addition, the more connections there are, the more risks there are of leaks in a system.
To maximize the efficiency of the pump, researchers might want this pump closer to them and their process, as opposed to having a much larger or more expensive pump located in an equipment room several meters away. Modern vacuum pumps allow researchers to bring vacuum even closer to where it’s needed, by using variable frequency drive and non-contacting vacuum generators. These two technologies vastly improve the lab technicians’ ability to work and communicate even with the pump right next to them, compared to older rotary vane technology, which is loud and obnoxious. With products like the Ecodry Plus operating no louder than at 52dBA, Leybold is allowing researchers and lab managers to turn workplaces into quieter spaces.