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Downdraft tables provide a safe working environment for students


In January 2012 the new campus opened its doors. Now it is one of the finest and unique educational designs in the county. It provides its students with an educational environment where the experience of study is related to the ‘real world’. Furness College also offers a wide range of vocational education and training to adults. Many adult students work at BAE Systems* , trainees getting ready to work at the shipyard. 

* BAE Systems is a global defence, aerospace and security company employing around 93,500 people worldwide.

The challenge

Furness College is a college of Further Education (FE) in Barrow-in-Furness (United Kingdom). It provides a ‘dedicated university centre’ combining brand-new workshops, salons, restaurants, ‘dedicated university centres’ and the very latest in technology.

The college was looking for high-quality welding fume extraction equipment to install in its engineering workshops.

Plymovent was challenged to look for a solution that would extract welding fumes effectively. Additionally it had to have an educational purpose and of course suit the design of the building. Without saying, the products had to meet the legal requirements.

Furness College has 300 pupils that learn MIG and TIG welding. They have two workshops of about 1,750 m2.

The solution

Plymovent's solution removes welding fumes effectively

As welding and grinding are both part of the program at Furness College the solution needed to provide each pupil with enough room to carry out both these processes and extract all the fumes at the same time.

DraftMax, the downdraft and backdraft workbench of Plymovent, is a combination of a welding table, an extraction and filtration system. The compact unit can be placed everywhere, e.g. inside a welding booth or connected to ductwork. The DraftMax is suited for many applications, like welding, grinding and plasma cutting. Additionally you can use the downdraft table for mixing powders. The DraftMax units meet all educational regulations and solve all the extraction issues at Furness College. On top of that, the DraftMax units are modern and fit the design of the new building.

The tutors have years of experience with various extraction equipment and find Plymovent’s workbench a high-class sophisticated product which works extremely well as they have not spotted any fumes. The DraftMax units provide a large working area per welder supplying a better and safer working environment. It increases the quality of workpieces produced as well, helping the students excel in their field of study.

Main benefits

  • A clean, safe and healthy working environment 
  • Meets legal and educational regulations 
  • Ease of use 
  • Maintenance-friendly 
  • Cost effective 
  • Low noise level 
  • Takes up little floor space 
  • Suited for many metal fabrication processes 
  • Fits in perfectly with the modern designed building


Mr. Hughes
Mr. Hughes

“Plymovent has provided sophisticated technology which helps the students during their technical education and makes us compliant with safety regulations. At the same time we are compliant with the health and safety regulations. The attractive design of Plymovent’s workbenches has also contributed in the marketing of the Furness College Engineering department. The benches impress visitors by their clean and modern appearance and the downdraft tables are easy to maintain. This is a big advantage! After almost seven months of intensive usage by 300 students the filters still have a long way to go before they will need to be replaced. This proves that the downdraft tables have been a very cost-effective choice.” 

Quote by: Mr Hughes, Teacher at Furness College.

Product list



DraftMax downdraft tables at Furness College
DraftMax downdraft tables at Furness College
Furness College welding 2.jpg
furness college draftmax downdraft tables

"The downdraft tables have been a very cost-effective choice."

Mr. Hughes
Teacher at Furness College

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