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Technical school satisfied with effective downdraft & backdraft workbenches


Classes are held in several different locations and different levels. It teaches the Preparatory Vocational (VMBO) education in practical classes, including the Technical Programme. Students can also qualify for a Higher General Secondary Education (HAVO) diploma, Intermediate General Secondary Education (MAVO) diploma and a gymnasium (University Preparatory Secondary Education) diploma.

The challenge

Scholen aan Zee (‘Schools at the Sea’) is an occupational training institution in the Dutch navy town of Den Helder. Its programme includes the Technical Programme, a practical education path within the Preparatory Intermediate Vocational Programme and Intermediate Vocational Programme (VMBO/MBO). Welding is one of the subjects taught. Several years ago, the technical department moved to a new location. As a result of the move, the practical room had to be furnished from scratch. New welding equipment, welding machines and welding fume extraction systems were purchased in consultation with Plymovent.

The objective, of course, was to create a clean working environment for the students and teachers. The welding equipment had to be user-friendly and (absolutely) compliant with Dutch legislation.

The solution

Designing a new practical classroom is a great job for both the technical subjects teacher and the supplier. The classroom has to be set up as practically as possible. Every square metre of floor space has to be used optimally. In consultation with Plymovent, the school looked at the different kinds of metalworking. The Technology Programme includes, welding, oxy-fuel welding, plasma cutting, MIG, MAG, TIG and electrode welding.

Downdraft and backdraft workbenches are ideal for those applications. They combine a workbench and extraction system in a single unit. An extraction hood was also selected. The extraction hood, FlexHood, is mounted to the ceiling above the plasma cutting machine. That hood and two DraftMax Eco workbenches are connected to the same ductwork. A central extraction system diverts the welding and other fumes outside. Those three workstations can be turned on and off easily by means of a single switch.

The other workstations have DraftMax Advance plug & play workbenches. They are standalone units where students learn MIG/MAG, TIG and electrode welding. One of the workbenches has a work grill that can be used for plasma cutting. The downdraft and backdraft workbench is a practical solution, especially for welding schools.

Main benefits

  • Clean, safe and healthy working environment (classroom).
  • Students learn during practical work what effective welding fume extraction is and does.
  • Easy to use, the students can turn the downdraft and backdraft workbenches on and off themselves by means of an ON/OFF switch.
  • Multiple extraction products connected to a single central, extraction system.
  • Optimal use of the floor area: - the extraction systems are workbenches and vice versa; - the extraction hood is suspended from the ceiling (rather than standing on legs).


“As a teacher, it is up to me to teach our students to weld professionally. Using both the welding equipment and the welding fume extraction systems safety is part of what I need to teach them. We explain the hazards and explain that welding fumes must never get into the welder’s breathing zone. Professional extraction equipment and personal protection are very important in this respect!” 

“Our students speak very positively about the different kinds of Plymovent extraction equipment. The welding classroom remains free of welding fumes and you can see that the air is clean. That is important. Especially for me, as a teacher, I spend several hours a day there.” 

Quote by: Ed de Jonge, Teacher at Scholen aan Zee

Product list


Extraction hoods




Welders of the future have to learn from an early age just how important it is for welding fumes to be removed professionally.

Ed de Jonge
Teacher at Scholen aan Zee

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