Simpson Timber Mill 3
Shelton - Washington

Based in Washington State, SSA Acoustics has supported Simpson Timber and the  timber industry of the State with noise control engineering for many years.  Simpson's Mill 3, located in Shelton mills board lumber at a facility that has undergone improvements and modernization to equipment continually.  As changes have happen

Our process has been to be responsive to these changes with solutions that have each time lowered the noise levels further.

When we initially survey spaces within this facility the overall noise levels were high because of equipment  operation and a lack of absorption within the space.  Concern for dust collecting on the surfaces prevented the use of porous absorptive materials.  

This issue was resolved with perforated metal panels covering protected fiberglass.   By calculating the amount of necessary absorption, the material performance, and the correct surfaces, noise levels were reduced in multiple spaces without impacting operations.

Multiple space evaluations were completed to identify noise levels at operator locations.  These measurements were made using a Larson Davis 2900 Spectrum Analyzer which allowed us to collect specific data related to the tone of the noise.  In most cases equipment were identified as high frequency sources related to the speed of the blades cutting lumber.

 Upgraded equipment using lasers to show the planned board cuts allowed some personnel to be moved into enclosed operator stations.

These operator stations were then design to achieve move than 40 decibels of reduction from the source while still keeping good sight-lines of the lumber being processed.  Details of lighting, ventilation, doors and windows all needed be resolved and a single solution to make these enclosures work effectively.

Among the unusual conditions that need resolution was the entry point for logs entering the mill.  At this point they were off-loaded by conveyor into the building and allowed to roll down a steel chute to make impact the a steel barrier.  Noise levels from these impacts were measured at over 105 dB(A).  

Our solution was to install rubber pier guards used in marine industries at the bottom of the chute.  These reduced impact noise by more than 30 decibels.

In some areas sound isolation to existing spaces for office or lunch areas needed to be improved over existing conditions.  By adding an air space with batt insulation and a layer of gypsum wallboard an improvement of more than 20 decibels was achieved at frequencies above 1000 Hertz.  Details of entries to spaces were addressed by creating a lobby for hanging coats and hard hats.  The final project in some cases changed the use of the space, allowing for meetings and computers to be added to the spaces.

Simpson has been a continuing client for many years that we will continue to support at their different facilities.  Are goal will be to support their changes with lower noise levels.

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