When a standard Fume Cupboard isn’t sophisticated enough for an extremely specialist material processing or product handling containment application, Hosokawa Micron Ltd is ideally placed to provide the perfect bespoke clean air solution – unique to you and tailored in minute detail specifically to safely perform potentially hazardous tasks, including handling radioactive and explosive materials.
Offering trusted, world-leading innovation in powder, particulate, solvent and vapour containment equipment, process systems and processing methodology, our dedicated containment team has wide-ranging expertise and is adept at addressing challenging, complex processing and material handling projects for well-known global clients from sectors including pharmaceuticals, healthcare, chemicals, nuclear, defence, aerospace and forensics.
From cGMP drug manufacture, to Class I nuclear systems, adhering to the latest ATEX, COSHH and BS EN 14175 standards, every piece of equipment we design and manufacture is created in close collaboration with each customer – following a deep-dive understanding of the project’s ultimate goals – and considers a range of operator safety and product protection requirements, along with factors such as the materials to be processed or handled, ergonomics, ease of maintenance, energy-efficiency, performance and longevity.
We provide a complete, professional service and can precision engineer and build your Fume Cupboard from scratch to whatever size, format and configuration you need – including walk-in, laminar flow, ducted or ductless – integrating an almost unlimited number of elements, if required.
Hosokawa Micron’s Fume Cupboards are entirely unique and are not available ‘off the shelf’ or as a standard design or range. Our customers come to us for unique solutions to very specific processing challenges that cannot be met by a standard Fume Cupboard available from other suppliers.
As a result, our Fume Cupboards can vary widely in their size, complexity, specification and functionality. Our team of containment experts is here to offer advice and guidance about the best processing or handling solution for your needs and to create high-performance Fume Cupboards that are safe, robust and will provide decades of reliable service.
Standard to all our Fume Cupboards are features such as toughened safety glass for sash windows and the latest technology used for controls, safety functionality and filtration, including the use of HEPA or carbon filters, depending on the application. We only use the best quality materials for construction and design our Fume Cupboards to ensure they are ergonomic and easy to clean and maintain.
Fume Cupboards by Hosokawa Micron are typically constructed from high grade stainless-steel and are designed to be aesthetically pleasing – with the highest levels of functionality and smooth, flush joints – as well as being easy to clean and maintain.
We will build your Fume Cupboard to safely surround your process and can integrate any number of features. Highlighted below are a selection of typical features and accessories that may be required when working with a standalone Fume Cupboard or process system.
Hosokawa Micron Ltd Fume Cupboards are a specialist, high-end solution to a variety of processing challenges, including the containment of potentially hazardous or potent materials. They also function to protect operators while performing processing tasks via the cupboard’s integrated, partially open, sash window to create a safe and healthy working environment. Typically, this mid-level containment equipment is used by the nuclear, defence, forensics, pharmaceutical, aerospace and chemical industries, but is also suitable for emerging markets such as battery materials, advanced materials, medical devices, communications and electronics, renewables and bio engineering.
Thomas Edison – pioneer of mass communication, sound recording and electric power generation – is credited with inventing the Fume Cupboard, which was based on an original idea by the USA’s founding father and former president Thomas Jefferson at the University of Virginia in the 1800s. Jefferson was a scientist and inventor and needed to find a way of ventilating his laboratory. He made a hearth with sand at the bottom and specially designed flues to vent the toxic fumes his experimentation was creating. The world’s first ducted fume hood with a moveable sash window was installed at the University of Leeds in England in 1923 (following the invention of the first blower motors), while the invention of HEPA filters in the 1950s paved the way for ductless Fume Cupboards. Enhanced Filtration Technology followed in 2010, which utilised activated carbon as its filtration material and widened the processing opportunities for the chemicals industry.
Primarily, a Fume Cupboard serves to provide containment opportunities and protect operators during hazardous powder and solvent handling processing operations, which may include sampling, filling, weighing etc.
Functionally, unfiltered air from the room is drawn into the cupboard via an opened sash window located at the front of the cupboard, which allows easy access for processing tasks. Alternatively, the air could enter the cupboard via a bypass grill if the sash window is in the closed position.
This allows the air to be purged inside the operating area, preventing a build-up of potentially toxic or dangerous dusts and/or vapour in the area. Typically, an air velocity of >0.5 metres a second is maintained across the opened sash window. If the velocity drops to below 0.4m/sec, audible and visual safety alarms will be triggered to alert the operator.
Heavy duty sash windows made from toughened glass are used to allow access for operators to perform tasks but may be opened further to allow for maintenance and cleaning operations, as well as to load and unload material. Hosokawa Micron Fume Cupboards feature additional safety features that alert the operator when the sash window has been opened too far to maintain optimal air flow and filtration levels while processing operations are conducted.
Filtration components or spark arrestor filters are chosen based on the material to be processed or handled, but are commonly HEPA filters or carbon filters, which may be ATEX rated, if necessary. The filter housing is designed to be as easily accessible to the operator as possible, allowing for the effortless change of filters and for maintenance and cleaning tasks to be performed.
The filtered air typically exits the operating chamber via a rear, perforated plenum and system of high integrity stainless-steel ducts and is sucked out by a variable speed centrifugal extract fan. The filtered air can safely flow back into the room or be expelled outside of the room or building, if required, with a bespoke design that reflects the customer’s preferences.
Air flow is consistently monitored by an airflow sensor, which in turn allows for the regulation of the fan’s speed to maintain the optimal inward air flow and maintain a healthy, safe working environment.
A series of safety features will be integrated into the design, such as automatic lighting inside the chamber (including ATEX-standard LED lighting for explosive atmospheres), which comes on whenever the Fume Cupboard is switched on, flow and air quality monitoring instrumentation, visual and audible warning alarms and so on. Additional options can also include anti-static work surfaces with low friction machined finishes.
Every containment project involving the design and manufacture of a Fume Cupboard is unique and complex and is based on each customer’s particular requirements. The initial phase of the design will involve discussions with our team of engineers and process experts to establish the detailed operational requirements for the equipment and learn whether it needs to be part of a wider process system or is to be supplied as a standalone piece of equipment.
An important aspect is to understand the customer’s current processes and preferred methods for handling and transferring materials and products into and out of the Fume Cupboard or system. This in-depth understanding is vital to the success of the design and functionality of the equipment or process system and is what makes each piece of Hosokawa Micron Ltd containment equipment unique.
Attention is paid to ensure the system is creatively designed for the best possible ergonomics. The design process typically includes ergonomic operation verification using a combination of 3D CAD modelling, full-scale wooden mock-ups and virtual/augmented reality technology.
Hosokawa Micron Ltd is a pioneer of processing techniques, with extensive engineering and manufacturing expertise across a huge array of industries. Our bespoke Fume Cupboards may be used as standalone pieces of equipment or may have other processes integrated into them (such as filling and weighing functionality) to create a self-contained process system. They can also be designed to perform as an entry chamber into a Glovebox or Isolator, for example. There are multitude opportunities to integrate a high-performance Fume Cupboard into a containment system.
Our extensive experience includes turnkey containment and processing systems for Hosokawa-brand drying, mixing, air classification, size reduction, agglomeration and compaction equipment. We also create containment systems which are designed to house third party equipment and are happy to work with third party suppliers on containment projects.
Complex containment and process systems can be designed, engineered, manufactured, installed and commissioned in-house by our team of highly experienced and knowledgeable product designers and engineers, project managed by a professional team boasting decades of first-hand engineering and containment expertise.
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