Noise reduction in the industry

Noise is omnipresent in today’s industrial world. Machines and systems often work around the clock, producing not only goods but also considerable amounts of noise. This noise can be problematic for both employees and the environment. Noise reduction, i.e. the reduction of noise levels using special techniques and technologies, is therefore an important topic in industry.

What is noise attenuation?

Noise attenuation refers to the use of methods and technologies to reduce or eliminate unwanted noise, especially in industrial environments. These noises can come from machines, production processes, vehicles or even human activity. Noise attenuation can be achieved through various methods, including sound insulation, sound absorption and active noise suppression.

Sound insulation is achieved through the use of materials that reflect or block sound to prevent it from propagating. Sound absorption, on the other hand, uses materials that absorb sound waves and convert them into other forms of energy, such as heat. Active noise cancellation is a more advanced method that uses electronic systems to neutralize interfering sound waves with waves in phase opposition.

Why is noise attenuation important?

Noise attenuation plays a crucial role in industry for a number of reasons, particularly in relation to employee health and productivity and compliance with legal requirements and regulations.

Impact of noise on employee health and productivity

Prolonged exposure to high noise levels can have serious health consequences, including hearing loss, tinnitus (a constant ringing in the ears) and even cardiovascular disease. In addition, noise can also have psychological effects, such as stress, sleep disturbances and reduced cognitive performance.

High noise levels in the workplace can also affect employee productivity. Noise is distracting and makes it difficult to concentrate, which can lead to errors and accidents. It can also make communication between employees more difficult, which can lead to misunderstandings and reduced team performance.

Legal requirements and regulations to combat noise

Many countries have introduced legal requirements and regulations for noise control in the workplace to protect the health and safety of workers. These regulations often set limits on acceptable noise levels in the workplace and require companies to take appropriate noise abatement measures if these limits are exceeded.

Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to significant fines, legal problems and even the closure of business premises. Therefore, noise attenuation is not only important for health and productivity reasons, but also to ensure compliance with legal requirements.

Different types of industrial noise

There are many different types of industrial noise, depending on the type of activity that generates it. Some of the most common are:

  1. Industrial noise: This is the noise generated by industrial processes, such as the operation of machinery in a factory. This can also include noise from construction sites where heavy machinery and equipment are used.
  2. Commercial noise: This refers to the noise generated by commercial activities, such as the operation of a retail store or restaurant. It can include music, voices of customers or the sound of deliveries.
  3. Noise from service businesses: This can include noise from offices, schools, hospitals or other service facilities. It can include a wide range of sounds, from voices and ringing telephones to air conditioning and computer noise.

Each of these types of commercial noise can have different effects and require different approaches to noise reduction.

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But how exactly does noise reduction work?

Noise attenuation can be achieved in various ways, depending on the type of noise, its origin and the specific requirements of the workplace. The three most common methods of noise attenuation are absorption, damping and isolation.


Absorption is a method of noise attenuation that uses materials that absorb sound waves and convert them into other forms of energy, usually heat. These materials, often referred to as acoustic insulation materials, have a porous structure that allows them to “trap” sound waves and absorb their energy.

Absorption is particularly effective in reducing reverberation and echo indoors, but can also be used to dampen noise from machinery and equipment. It is often used in combination with other methods of noise attenuation to provide an effective overall solution.


Attenuation refers to the reduction of the intensity of sound waves through the use of special materials or technologies. A common method of attenuation is the use of heavy, dense materials that reflect or block sound waves, such as lead or concrete.

A more advanced form of attenuation is active noise cancellation, which uses electronic systems to neutralize interfering sound waves with counter-phased waves. This is particularly effective in reducing noise with a constant frequency, such as the hum of motors or fans.


Isolation is a method of noise reduction in which physical barriers are used to block the path of sound waves and prevent their propagation. These barriers can be walls, floors or ceilings, but also special enclosures or booths built around noisy machines or work areas.

Isolation can be very effective in preventing the spread of noise from one area to another, but it can also be expensive and complex to implement, especially in existing premises. It is often used in combination with absorption and damping to provide a comprehensive noise attenuation solution.

Tips for implementing noise attenuation solutions

Implementing sound attenuation solutions requires careful planning and selection to ensure that the measures chosen are effective and meet the specific requirements of the workplace. Here are some tips to make this process easier:

Understand the noise level and source

Before implementing a noise attenuation solution, it is important to measure the current noise level in your facility and identify the source of the noise. This can be done using sound level meters, which measure the sound pressure level in decibels (dB).

Choose the right solution

There are many different types of noise reduction solutions, from simple absorption materials to complex active noise reduction systems. Choosing the right solution depends on many factors, including the type and intensity of the noise, local conditions and budget.

Effects of commercial noise on residents

The effects of commercial noise on residents can be manifold. In addition to the obvious nuisance, persistent noise can also lead to stress, sleep disorders and even serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease.

Consider the impact on productivity

Implementing noise reduction solutions can affect workflows and temporarily reduce productivity. It is important to consider these effects and create a plan for implementing the measures that causes as little disruption as possible.

Get professional help

Noise attenuation can be a complex issue and it can be useful to seek professional help. Acoustic engineers can help select the right solution and implement it effectively. We at sta are always available to answer your questions.

Noise reduction technologies and solutions in the industry

There are a variety of industrial noise reduction technologies and solutions based on the specific requirements and conditions of each facility.

Air compressors with improved noise reduction system

One innovative noise reduction technology is the use of special air compressors that are designed to both reduce energy consumption and improve noise attenuation. These compressors use a novel design that provides an improved seal, resulting in more effective noise attenuation.

Elastomers for noise reduction

Synthetic and natural elastomers also play an important role in industrial noise attenuation. They are used for various applications, including vibration damping, noise attenuation and insulation.

AV technologies to improve room acoustics

Audiovisual (AV) technologies can be used in office and conference rooms to improve noise attenuation and optimize room acoustics. These technologies can help to improve sightlines and create more personalized room acoustics.

NRC pipe clamps for noise attenuation

Another solution for noise attenuation is the use of NRC pipe clips. These special pipe clamps are designed to reduce the vibrations and therefore the noise level of hydraulic systems.

Anti-squeak coatings for noise reduction

In certain applications, anti-squeak coatings can be used to improve noise damping. These coatings can be applied to various materials and help to reduce unwanted noise.

High-performance lubricants for noise damping in gearboxes

Finally, special high-performance lubricants can be used to improve noise damping in mechanical systems such as gearboxes. These lubricants not only provide good lubricity in sliding friction under high pressure, but also contribute to noise reduction.

Our conclusion on industrial noise attenuation

Noise attenuation in industry is an essential aspect of improving the working environment and meeting legal requirements. By using noise attenuation technologies, companies can not only increase the comfort and satisfaction of their employees, but also increase their productivity and reduce potential health risks.

Overall, noise attenuation is an important aspect of industrial management that should not be overlooked. With proper planning and implementation, effective sound attenuation can help create a safe, comfortable and productive work environment.

Challenges and conflict situations

Conflicts can arise in mixed-use areas if the noise generated by commercial enterprises impairs the well-being and quality of life of local residents. This can be the case in particular if commercial enterprises are in operation at times of high noise sensitivity (e.g. at night) or if they carry out particularly loud activities, such as construction work.

Commercial noise and quiet hours

Commercial enterprises are obliged to comply with the statutory rest periods and to run their operations in such a way that the permissible noise limits are not exceeded. This can be achieved, for example, by using low-noise machines, limiting operating hours or using noise protection measures.

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Statutory rest periods in Germany and the impact on commercial noise

In Germany, statutory rest periods and protection against noise pollution, including industrial noise, are regulated by various laws and ordinances.

Statutory rest periods in Germany

The general night-time rest period in Germany is from Monday to Friday between 10 pm and 6 am. At weekends, on Sundays and public holidays, there is usually a whole-day quiet period. In addition, some apartment buildings also have a midday quiet period, which is usually between 1 and 3 pm.

Special immission guide values apply to commercial enterprises, which must be complied with for the loudest hour of the night. These guide values vary depending on the type of area (residential, mixed, commercial or industrial area) and the time of day.

In Germany, the Technical Instructions on Noise Abatement (TA Lärm) regulate the permissible immission guide values for commercial enterprises. The TA Lärm specifies the maximum noise levels permitted in the various types of areas (residential, mixed, commercial or industrial areas) and at what times of day.

The following values are examples for the loudest hour between 22:00 and 06:00, also known as night time:

  • In pure and general residential areas, 35 decibels must not be exceeded.
  • In mixed areas, small residential areas and special residential areas, the limit is 40 decibels.
  • In core, village and mixed areas that are not primarily residential, the limit is 45 decibels.
  • In commercial areas, the limit is 50 decibels and in industrial areas 55 decibels.

Sanctions and penalties for non-compliance

Various sanctions and penalties can be imposed for non-compliance with the statutory rest periods and noise limits. These range from fines and the ordering of noise protection measures to the closure of the business in serious cases. In addition, affected residents can also take civil action and claim damages.

Overall, compliance with the statutory rest periods and noise limits is an essential obligation for commercial enterprises in order to protect the quality of life and well-being of local residents.

Legal regulations on commercial noise in Germany

In Germany, there are several legal regulations that limit and regulate commercial noise. The most important of these are the Federal Immission Control Act (BImSchG) and the Technical Instructions on Noise Abatement (TA Lärm).

The Federal Immission Control Act aims to protect people, animals and plants, the soil, water, the atmosphere as well as cultural and other material assets from harmful environmental impacts and to prevent the occurrence of harmful environmental impacts. Among other things, it regulates the noise emitted by commercial and industrial facilities.

The Technical Instructions on Noise Abatement (TA Lärm) is an administrative regulation that specifies detailed technical requirements for the operation of systems that can cause noise. It specifies immission guide values that must not be exceeded in different types of areas (residential, mixed, commercial and industrial areas) and at different times of day.

In addition, there are other legal regulations at state level, such as the Berlin State Immission Control Act (LImSchG Bln), which also contains regulations on noise prevention.

Conclusion on the topic of commercial noise

The future of commercial noise in Germany is an issue that is becoming increasingly important. There is a growing awareness of the negative effects of noise on people’s health and well-being, particularly in urban areas.

The densification of cities and residential areas is leading to an increase in commercial noise. There is a need to take effective measures to reduce noise while allowing commercial and industrial development.

There are proposals to adapt the requirements for commercial noise to traffic noise protection and to allow more flexibility in urban planning decisions. In addition, noise reduction technologies and practices are constantly being developed and improved to reduce noise levels in commercial and industrial areas.

Overall, it can be predicted that the issue of commercial noise in Germany will become an even greater focus in the future. It is to be expected that further progress in noise reduction will be made at both a legal and technical level.

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