Frequently Asked Questions

About Us

What are some Ecogate success stories?


Ecogate has been modernizing industrial filtration since 1997. We support hundreds of customers around the world with many of their toughest filtration problems. A snapshot of some of these testimonials and success stories can be found here on our website.




How long has Ecogate been in business?


Ecogate was started in 1997 by the Litomisky family who had the vision to help home-based workshops with their industrial filtration requirements through the usage of smart controls. The business has then expanded to every level of manufacturing and applies well beyond exclusively woodworking. The family still controls the business and one of the original founders, Ales Litomisky, is our current President and Chief Engineer.




Is there an Ecogate Dealer near me?


Ecogate dealers support much of North America as well as the United Kingdom and portions of Europe and Australasia. Where we do not have a dealer, Ecogate is able to sell and support directly in most cases. Ask us for a referral here to learn how we can support your requirements.





Billing & Pricing

Where can I purchase Ecogate products?


You may contact us by filling out our Contact Us form here.




What's the cost to recommission my system?


Commissioning is an important step in ensuring that the system is properly operating and will generate the financial and safety returns that the client expects. There are many things that an Ecogate Engineer can do remotely to ensure full optimization of your system. For those cases where in-person commissioning is appropriate, please consult with your Ecogate sales rep, and all details and costs associated will be provided and reviewed.




Can I get an incentive from my utility? Typically how much is my incentive?


Ecogate has experience in dealing with North American Utility companies and is ready to assist you with this. Ecogate can provide all necessary measurements and calculations and can work with your utility to maximize your incentive. Most utilities offer Custom Incentive Programs which pay a combination peak kW savings and annual kWh savings. Some utilities will "buy down" the return on investment (ROI) to a certain number of months. Incentives are generally capped at 50% of the project cost but some utilities will pay up to 75% of the cost.




What is the cost of Ecogate products?


Ecogate solutions are customized to the customer application so a one size fits all price list is not possible. Some Ecogate parts are available a la carte basis while others are part of a system. To request a price list, contact us.




How much does an automatic blast gate cost?


Ecogate gates are the lowest cost automatic gates on the market. The costs vary between sizes, finish (zinc plated or stainless steel) and the motor technology (standard or smart motor). To request a price list compatible with your system, contact us.




What is the typical payback on an Ecogate system?


Savings, and hence payback, are driven by operating hours, electricity cost, total dust collection fan horsepower, workstation utilization and utility incentives. Your payback will be about one year with a three-shift operation, two years with a two-shift operation and three years with a one-shift operation. If your operation is using air conditioning, the ROI will be much shorter.





Dust Collection Systems

Have you ever had any problems with an installation?


Changes and modifications are to be expected during the installation of an industrial filtration system. Ecogate personnel and dealers are all committed to satisfying the customer's requirements and we have never left a job incomplete.




Is my system too small to work with Ecogate?


Ecogate has an excellent and cost-effective solution for smaller shops - the greenBOX® 12 control unit. It can handle up to twelve workstations. Users of small shops love Ecogate systems: they can concentrate on their work while dust collecting is fully automated. The fan can be modulated optimally via our Power MASTER Variable Frequency Drive or if you prefer just start and stop automatically via magnetic starter (contactor). If a user starts a workstation, the greenBOX® will leave the workstation gate open, start the ventilation fan via the Power MASTER VFD, start the dust collector, and close most of the other workstation gates. Gates at non-active workstations (or bleed gates if used) may remain open to maintain minimum required airflow in the duct system and in the ventilation fan. Turning ON more workstations will open the corresponding workstation gates, and at the same time close some gates previously used for maintaining minimum airflow to compensate for the additional air volume. Turning workstations OFF will similarly close the appropriate gates (each gate can close with a programmable delay of up to 999 seconds) while opening other gates for minimum airflow if necessary. Closing gates at workstations that are not in use reduces noise in the shop, ventilation fan consumption and makeup air volume (if used).




Does Ecogate work with existing dust collection systems?


Ecogate solutions are able to work with any dust/mist/fume collection systems (generally with any industrial exhaust ventilation system). We apply smart controls to both existing and new installations of many types of dust collection around the world.




How should blast gates be properly installed in a duct system?


For long term, trouble-free operation, the gates must be installed 3-5 duct diameters away from hoods or elbows to avoid turbulent airflow inside the gate. The turbulent flow can cause sawdust to migrate inside the gate. The gate will need to be cleaned on a regular basis by compressed air. The gate should be supported on both sides to avoid pinching: if the rotating blade is pinched it cannot move freely to the point that the gate cannot be fully open or fully closed.




Are there any restrictions to using Ecogate with my current dust collection system?


Generally, there are no restrictions - Ecogate can be used with any dust/mist/fume collecting system. As always, the devil is in the details: is your fan motor insulation class F or better? (if not it can be replaced), is your duct system, fan, and dust collector a good fit for your system? Summary: if your dust/mist/fume collecting system is performing well, it can be easily upgraded with Ecogate. If there are any issues, they can be addressed at the same time your system is upgraded to the Ecogate system.




Is design drop air velocity the same as branch/main duct air velocity?


Optimum drop air velocity at the workstation is dictated by optimal speed to capture dust (typically 4,500 FPM for general dust or higher for paper trim, larger and wet sawdust, etc). The branch and main duct air velocity must be higher than minimum transport air velocity for the particular material that is transported. Recommended minimum transport air velocities are published by Industrial Ventilation, by The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, 17th Edition, and republished by FM Global industrial insurance company.




What determines the system consumption baseline?


The system consumption baseline is power consumption of the fan motor before installation of the Ecogate system. It is used to calculate electricity savings of the Ecogate system. For example before installation of the Ecogate system fan was operated at full speed and measured power was 100 HP; after installation the system is currently running by using 50 HP. Based on 100 HP, the baseline system is running at 50% savings. We are using a 3-phase power analyzer to measure consumption without an Ecogate system, after Ecogate system installation we are reading the fan motor power as provided by the Variable Frequency Drive because that measurement is very precise.




Can Ecogate help modify current ducting?


In most cases, we are able to make it work depending on mechanical and resource limitations. The first step is to submit a survey form to an Ecogate Engineer which outlines your current system configuration as well as any improvements you wish to achieve or operational bottlenecks you want to remove. Contact Us.




Is my dust collection system too large to work with Ecogate?


There are Ecogate solutions installed for as few as one gate and as many as 180 gates across four dust collection systems per one control unit. For controlling larger systems, additional control units can be added. Since Ecogate is a custom engineered solution, there is no size requirement that we cannot scale up or down to. Case studies can be found here and industries supported can be found here.





Product Info

Does Ecogate sell ducting, dust collectors, filters?


Yes. While our main product is our industry-leading Ecogate intelligent dust collection controls, we also partner with top dust collection and ducting suppliers to offer you turnkey dust collection services. This includes offering collectors, filters, ducting, installation. You name it and we can do it.




Can I upgrade my greenBOX 12?


Yes, upgrading your system requires just a few changes but the bulk of the equipment you already purchased is compatible with any of our controllers. Please reach out to your Sales rep for more details on how to get started!




Can I upgrade my greenBOX 8?


Yes, we have our Upgrade Program designed for greenBOX® 8 users to easily upgrade to a greenBOX® 12.
For more information on our Upgrade Program, click here.




Can I buy individual gates to control single workstations instead of buying a full system?


Yes, we offer automatic stand alone gates if you just need a few to get you started.




Is Ecogate easy to use?


Ecogate systems are designed with the user in mind. We offer fully detailed installation and user manuals, we train your employees on-site during the commissioning process and offer remote support and training as well.




Does Ecogate offer turnkey systems?


Yes, we offer full turnkey dust collection services not only for wood dust but for fume extraction, welding, automotive/aerospace, schools, food processing, fracking (any system where fumes/material are conveyed using ducting and fans)....if you need any type of ventilation extraction, we can offer a turnkey system to you.




Does Ecogate work on smaller systems?


Yes, we have three levels of controllers. Our greenBOX® 12 was designed with the smaller shops in mind. Our most affordable option includes being able to control up to 12 gates on a single dust collection system... if your system grows beyond 12 in the future, you can link two greenBOX® 12s to manage up to 24 gates for that same dust collection system.




Is Ecogate cost effective on smaller systems?


Absolutely and we'll definitely work for you to figure out if Ecogate makes sense for you. One of the first steps in our process is determining the viability of our system for your specific needs. Beyond just energy savings, our controls also optimize undersized systems and prevent you from needing to purchase a new larger dust collector by installing our controls to manage your needs instead.




What are key benefits of having an Ecogate system?


Besides energy savings, there are a number of benefits you will enjoy from your Ecogate system, including a safer and quieter work environment, a fully automated system that requires less maintenance, longer filter bag life, data analytics on how your machines are being used and how your dust collection systems are performing (smart systems only) and potential incentives from your local utility company! For more info on our key benefits, click here.




Can I use my existing fan with an Ecogate system?


If your fan was properly selected for your dust collecting system, you can use it with an Ecogate system. We will check the fan curve before to ensure that your fan can handle the required design air volume, and if the fan can provide the necessary pressure to overcome all system pressure losses. We will also check if the fan motor is compatible with the variable frequency drive (the motor must have insulation class F or better; all motors produced in the last 25 years are insulation class F).




Can I use a third party VFD with an Ecogate system?


Yes, a third party VFD can be used with Ecogate via analog output signal from one of our controllers - greenBOX® 12. Since most general VFDs on the market have the speed reference controlled by an analog input from 4-20 mA, this application will work with an Ecogate system. However, keep in mind that the greenBOX® 12 has limited functionality compared to other controllers like our greenBOX® NXT and greenBOX® Master. These products communicate with the VFD through Modbus communication, which can only be applied and used with custom an Ecogate Power Master VFD.




Do I need to use an Ecogate Volt Sensor, or can I use a dry contact from workstation?


If the workstation has dry normally open (NO) contact that is closed a few seconds before the workstation needs ventilation you can connect it directly to the sensor input of the gate. You can request such output when ordering a new machine, or your maintenance personnel can add it to your workstations. However, workstations typically do not have such output. If this isn't possible, we can help: our chief electrician will create with you a "sensor plan" - he will ask how each workstation works, which circuit is active before cutting, and he will recommend a proper sensor for each machine. Optionally we can use a light beam or laser sensor to detect when material is entering the machine. With over twenty years of experience installing sensors, you can be sure this is done properly.




Does the system ever break down?


Like anything, mechanical things break...eventually. However, one thing we are proud of, is that after generations of testing and engineering design, we've been able to improve our products to be more durable in harsh industrial environments. In the case that something does break, we have systems in place for an expeditious replacement. Also, any software issues can be immediately addressed remotely and in a timely manner.




Why do I have to use an Ecogate VFD? Why can't I use my own VFD?


The Ecogate Power Master is much more than a VFD: The main difference is that we can communicate with the variable frequency drive remotely, adjust, and program all parameters remotely - to help you. Some details: • The Power MASTER VFD processor communicates with the greenBOX® via Modbus even if the main power supply for the VFD is disconnected or has failed. Therefore we can program the drive parameters when main power is off, read warnings, errors, etc. – this makes the life of an installer easier and customer service better • The Power MASTER can control on-demand start/stop of the dust collector by utilizing the Power MASTER “Dust collector Start” free contact (NO) and “Dust collector Stop” free contact (NC); the benefit is reduced power consumption and reduced wear & tear of the dust collector • Delayed (masked) system enable input – allows to the main fan to start and waits until the enable signal is confirmed by the dust collector control panel • Another advantage is significantly reduced wiring: the fan pressure transmitter and the filter pressure transmitter are connected to the Power MASTER analog inputs, the pressure values are transmitted to the greenBOX® via Modbus; also the “VFD is in Manual Mode” signal is transmitted from the Power MASTER via Modbus further reducing wiring. This allows a “remote” system to be connected via a single Ecogate MASTER Cable – a significant saving in cable and installation costs. To read more, click here.




How can the dust collector be automatically started and stopped?


The traditional dust collecting system is started by operator 15 +/- minutes before the shift and stopped 15 +/- minutes after shift. With an Ecogate system, the dust collector can be started automatically on demand. You will save labor, decrease wear & tear of the dust collector, and save electricity by not operating dust collector motors. The start and stop are still done by proper sequence as required by the manufacturer of the dust collector - the Ecogate system will just "press" start and stop buttons as if it is done by a real person. If any error is detected by the dust collector PLC, the Ecogate system will know it. The error signal is connected to the Ecogate Power MASTER variable frequency drive. The proper startup, stop logic is handled by virtual PLC inside the Power MASTER (we are using Adaptive Programming of the variable frequency drive).




Is Ecogate made in the USA? Where is Ecogate manufactured?


Ecogate is a Nevada corporation with its head office in North Hollywood California. We provide light assembly and some fabrication at our head office but the primary manufacturing and fabrication of Ecogate branded products happen internationally. Ecogate partner providers like ABB manufacture wholly in the USA.




Does Ecogate offer blast gates in stainless steel?


Yes. Please contact your Ecogate sales rep for details, or send us a message here.




How does the Ecogate system work?


In short, we install workstation activity sensors at each machine, connect them to their respective gate, connect all gates back to our greenBOX® controller, wire the greenBOX® and VFD Power Master and take control of your dust collector to give you a fully automated, on-demand, and safer system. If you would like to learn about our system in more details, please fill out a Contact Us Form and one of our sales representatives will get back to you within 24 hours! You can also watch our video!




Will Ecogate work with oil mist systems?


Yes - Ecogate will work with any industrial exhaust ventilation system, including mist oil systems. There are specifics related to the mist oil systems - for example duct systems must be sealed, etc. We recommend using butterfly-style gates for this application because they are sealed (no leakage outside the gate, and also the butterfly itself is sealed). These gates are using the same motor like all other gates, and they are available zinc plated or in stainless steel. For more info on the industries we serve, click here.





Technology

What is the difference between a Standard and a Smart System?


A smart system has additional features and access to our data analytics platform. Our smart systems are also built to manage larger dust collection systems (up to 180 gates across 4 dust collection systems). If you have more machines or are interested in analytics, a smart system may be a better option for you. If you have a small shop or are interested in a basic control system, our greenBOX® 12 is perfect for you. Please Contact Us to learn more about all three of our controllers and systems. We'd be happy to answer all of your questions.




How is an Ecogate Smart System better than a Standard System?


A smart system has additional features and access to our data analytics platform. Our smart systems are also built to manage larger dust collection systems (up to 180 gates across 4 dust collection systems). Our analytics provide you details such as volume, velocity, and pressure at each gate, branch, and in the main duct. We also offer workstation utilization numbers which can help you manage production or change your floor's workflow.




Why do filter bags last longer with Ecogate?


How well the filter bags can be cleaned depends mainly on the air velocity through the filter bags. The lower the air velocity, the better the cleaning. Because the Ecogate system is closing gates at unused workstations, it is reducing system air volume, and thus air velocity through the filter bags. One side effect is that that is increasing the life of the filters, which is a nice additional saving for Ecogate system users. The air velocity is typically specified in the "Air to Cloth ratio", but units are FPM, i.e. air velocity.




Can Ecogate maintain fan pressure while slowing down the fan RPM?


This is correct - by slowing the fan speed (RPMs) the fan pressure is dropping too. We need to maintain the fan pressure to be able to overcome all system pressure losses (hood losses, duct losses, filter losses, return air losses etc). What is helping us is while we are closing gates we are actually modifying the system curve (this is the relationship between duct system air volume and pressure). The result is that we are actually moving to the left side of the fan curve where pressure is higher. At the same time, we are reducing the fan speed which is reducing the pressure. The result is that we reduce air volume and fan pressure remains the same. There are other factors that are helping us: at reduced air volume, the air velocity at the duct system is reduced, and thus pressure losses are reduced. The same applies to the dust collector filter bags: with lower air velocity through the filter bags, the pressure losses are reduced (and the side effect is that lower air velocity through the filter bags is increasing the life of the filters, additional nice savings for users). Summary: as we are reducing the system air volume by closing gates we are moving to the portion of the fan curve with higher pressure while reducing fan RPM we maintain the same pressure at lower air volume. But fan power drops significantly at a lower volume, resulting in nice electricity savings for the owner.




Is there a PLC in the box?


Ecogate control units do not use a PLC. For small systems a PLC will be too expensive, we like that even small shops can afford to use the Ecogate system. Also: maintaining minimum transport air velocities is "rocket science", it requires considerable processing power and use high-level programming language. The PLC will be too limiting for this task. Developing software for our greenBOX® units is more expensive (compared to simple PLC programming), but our control units are less expensive and more powerful.




How does an Ecogate duct system design help save money?


The operating cost of an industrial ventilation system is mainly determined by the fan's electricity cost. The fan motor power is generally used for generating fan pressure and for air movement. The air movement is the effect that is collecting sawdust (or any other dust), but there is no air movement without pressure. The air volume is defined by the design air volume of all workstations connected to the system - it cannot be changed (unless you use an Ecogate system to close gates at unused workstations), but we can reduce the pressure losses by better duct system design. Because fan power is divided between air volume and pressure (that relationship is defined by fan curve), by reducing the pressure losses the same fan can either use less power (and therefore savings for the owner) or the same power to move more air. How we are reducing the pressure losses? By simplifying duct layout, using the shortest possible run, reducing the number of elbows, by installing the fan without system errors. We can easily achieve 15% savings over traditional design. Even if the owner of the system will not use Ecogate he or she will save 15% of the electricity month after month.




How can Ecogate slow a fan motor down and maintain minimum transport velocity?


People usually expect that their system is running at design air velocity 4,000 FPM in the main duct and it cannot be slowed down. After measuring airflow in thousands of ducts during Ecogate engineering, we can assure you that unless your system was commissioned by a very professional dust collecting company a month ago, air velocity in the main duct will be not 4,000 FPM. It can be any air velocity in range 2,000 to 9,000 FPM based on changes to your ducting system, workstations relocation, and replacement. What we will do is to measure the air velocity as it is today and we will calculate maximum slowdown and saving possible based on minimum transport air velocity for the type of material you are ventilating (sawdust, metal dust, etc.). We are typically using minimum transport air velocities as recommended by industrial insurance company FM Global. A few examples: measured air velocity is 3,500 FPM, and minimum transport air velocity for this system is 3,500 FPM. In this case, we cannot slow down the system. In this case, we will evaluate if we can recommend to change a portion of the duct system to increase air velocity in the main duct to allow slowdown while the system will be used with gates. Another example: we will measure air velocity 4,983 FPM in the main duct and minimum transport air velocity is 3,500 FPM. Based on this result we will use the fan law to calculate possible electricity savings: 66%. At 66% savings, the return on investment will be good, it will make sense to invest in an Ecogate system. This is how we will evaluate a system if we can slow it down, and what will be possible savings. If the slowdown is not possible we will propose cost-effective system changes that will allow you to install the Ecogate system and significantly reduce system operating costs.




Is Ecogate's duct design worth it?


Ecogate uses a proprietary process to design ducting to minimize pressure losses and maximize energy savings. Systems are designed for average factory utilization (regulated by Ecogate) versus being designed for maximum utilization (classical unregulated system). A system based on Ecogate design will be able to operate with all gates open (per our data mining this is happening only a very small percentage of the time), but it will run optimally in average operating point (average use of machines).




What data can I use from Ecogate's Data Analytics platform?


Data gives people information in many different ways. As the system accumulates more data over time, trends start to develop as well as other data links together to give a better prediction. For example, dust collection maintenance always said that they change the filter bags once a year. Yes, that is a good maintenance procedure. However, it is an action that is done routinely without data support. Ecogate system monitors and records the filter pressure every 5 minutes and these data are stored in our server. Thus, we change the baghouse when we notice a rising in filter pressure. Secondly, we could also monitor the data to see how long our new filter lasts. And over time, we can eventually have a better prediction on how frequently we should change the filter bags. This is just one example. There are other applications where our data analytics could prove to help in different ways. Check out our blog post on using our data analytics.




How does the system know which gates to open and close in order to maintain minimum transport velocity?


There are several strategies built into the system. The most sophisticated one is used on the greenBOX® MASTER control system: all gates are assigned to the duct zones in order to how they are connected. The branch duct diameter is entered to the greenBOX® and minimum airflow for each branch is set. If one gate is open in this branch, greenBOX® will keep opening gates in this duct zone until minimum transport air velocity is reached. Contact us if you would like to know more!




How can Ecogate save energy when all machines are on?


Traditional dust collection systems provide ventilation to every workstation 100% of the time. The average workstation utilization, defined by the percentage of time a given workstation is actually making dust, is about 50%. This is based on measurement by hundreds of installed Ecogate Systems - we are monitoring how much of shift time the workstation activity sensors are active. Even at highly automated factories where the entire production line is operated by a central control system, dust-producing average utilization is about 85%. Even at this utilization, savings will be in the 30% to 40% range. Summary: at average factory dust/mist/fume producing utilization is typically 50% or below; based on the fan law this allows an Ecogate system to save 2/3 of the electricity used for fan operation.




How can Ecogate achieve such high electricity savings?


The laws of physic are on our side! The fan law says that as we are reducing fan air volume (by closing gates at inactive machinery) the fan power is reduced by the cubic function of air volume - meaning the fan power is dropping really fast. A few examples: if we will close just 20% of gates (this is possible everywhere, average utilization as we continuously evaluating on all installed systems if 50% or less) based on fan law electricity savings is 49%. If we can close 30% of gates then based on the fan law electricity savings is 66%. Keep in mind that ventilation fan motors are usually largest motors in the factory and they are running all shift time. No wonder that by using Ecogate system owner can reduce entire factory consumption by 15% to 25%. Check out our blog post on the Fan Curve.




What operating system do you use?


We have three levels of control systems: cost-effective greenBOX® 12 for smaller shops is using an embedded industrial 16-bit processor from Freescale; greenBOX® NXT for medium factories are using two ARM processors (the same type like in your smartphone), and the greenBOX® MASTER is using Intel industrial processor with Windows 10 IoT Enterprise operating system.




How does Ecogate calculate savings?


We perform a detailed engineering process of analyzing the dust/mist/fume system. On an existing system we use a 3-phase power analyzer to measure what power the collection fan is using today (so-called baseline power). We calculate design air volume (at what air volume system should be operated), we will measure existing real air volume and evaluate what will be the air volume if we use gates to close drops at non-active workstations. Then based on modified fan law (version preferred by utilities) we will calculate electricity savings. For a new system, we will calculate pressure losses and fan power. That will be the baseline power for a traditional ventilation system. The rest of the calculations are the same as for the existing system. A detailed engineering report is provided to the customer and to the utility company (most utilities offer cash incentives for the installation of energy-efficient systems).




How do you avoid filter bags freezing during winter?


We offer an optional add-on, the "Winter Mode kit" for greenBOX® MASTER: it uses ambient and inside duct temperature probes and when the temperature drops to value set by the user the main fan will run at slow speed (speed can be set by user) to avoid filter bag freezing (freezing will render them unusable, only option is to replace them). Some companies are simply running the fans during winter at full speed - if they use the Ecogate system with Winter Mode kit they will achieve 90% electricity savings (compared to running fans at full speed).




If something breaks down in my Ecogate system, will that cause my entire dust collection system to be non-functional?


Even if the greenBOX® control system is not working for whatever reason (for example power supply is lost) you can use MANUAL MODE selector on Power MASTER VFD: in this mode all gates are open, and the fan is operated at full speed as if Ecogate system is not installed. For systems where high availability is necessary, we offer options with two fans, two VFDs (Lead & Backup). If one fan will stop working, the Ecogate system will start automatically as a BACKUP fan.




If the greenBOX Master breaks, does that cause production to stop?


Even if the greenBOX® control system is not working for whatever reason (for example power supply is lost) you can use MANUAL MODE selector on Power MASTER VFD: in this mode all gates are open, and the fan is operated at full speed as if Ecogate system is not installed. For systems where high availability is necessary, we offer options with two fans, two VFDs (Lead & Backup). If one fan will stop working, the Ecogate system will start automatically as a BACKUP fan.





Sales

How is the lifetime dust collecting system cost lowest with Ecogate?


By far the biggest expense of any dust/mist/fume collection system is electricity to operate the fan. It is similar to the lifetime cost to operate an industrial electrical motor. According to the US Department of Energy, a typical 20-horsepower continuously running motor uses almost $6,000 worth of electricity annually, which is about six times its initial purchase price. This is similar if you compare the lifetime cost of a traditional ventilation system and one equip[ed with Ecogate. The initial cost of an industrial ventilation system with Ecogate is higher, but the operating cost is reduced by 2/3. The lifetime cost to operate the ventilation system with the Ecogate system is reduced by 30% to 40%. Another benefit is that ventilation system operating cost is significantly reduced during economic slowdown (when you need to reduce your expenses), but it is running at full speed when your production levels are high (and operating expenses are less critical).




Where can I purchase Ecogate products?


Ecogate sells direct to business and also through a robust and worldwide dealer network. Send us your contact and location information here and we will ensure that the correct arm of Ecogate takes care of your requirements.




How long do installation and commissioning take after purchase order?


Ecocate sells custom solutions that often require specially designed manufacturing. As a result, it is not uncommon for a custom solution to require 8-12 weeks from initial Purchase Order to final commissioning signoff by an Ecogate Engineer. It really depends on the size of your system, if it's a custom solution we designed or a retrofitted solution and what equipment you are purchasing from us.




Does Ecogate sell outside of the US?


Yes, we have a worldwide dealer network and have currently have installations in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. We are confident we can take care of your needs no matter where you are. Contact Us to get started!




Why do I need Ecogate?


With electricity costs going up every year, pollution being more of an issue, the safety of our employees being a top priority and data driving everything nowadays, Ecogate may indeed be exactly what you need. Our system is the most energy-efficient industrial ventilation controls system on the market today. We deliver on-demand suction when and where you need it and save you energy along the way. On top of that, we make the work environment safer and quieter and report on performance through our data cloud server and through daily and monthly analytic emails sent to you. We check all the boxes and allow you to save on spending your entire capital budget on a new, bigger, unnecessary dust collection system and work with your local utility to secure an incentive on your Ecogate project as well. See our Key Benefits.




Does Ecogat guarantee savings?


Ecogate savings calculations are derived from measurements and other input from management regarding workstation utilization. These calculations are accepted by utilities across the nation for purposes of granting incentives. The higher the overall workstation, the lower your savings will be. Since we have no control over how and when machines are used, which dictates the required CFM, fan speed and savings, we cannot guarantee the savings Once we perform our on-site engineering study and write a full Engineered Proposal and Report for you, we stand by our savings calculations 100% as long as you don't make any major changes to the factory after engineering and before installing and commissioning our system.




Can I get an incentive from my utility company for installing Ecogate?


Most utility companies offer incentives for energy efficiency upgrade projects and Ecogate checks that box. We'll research what incentives are available in your area and work with you and your providers throughout the application process to ensure you get the maximum incentive available to you.




What's the oldest Ecogate system installed?


There's a system that's about 17 years old still functioning at Kolbe Window and Doors - first-generation greenBox® Master still running strong.




How is Ecogate better than other systems?


Ecogate can maintain minimum transport velocities throughout the system unlike other competing products. We also offer a sophisticated analytics platform to track workstation utilization, energy savings and much more. If you'd like to learn about all of our added features and benefits, please reach out to us here!





Safety

How does Ecogate comply with NFPA 664?


The main reason to fulfill NFPA 664 (and future NFPA 660 standard) is to avoid danger from fire or blast. To avoid this issue, minimum transport air velocity must be maintained in the entire duct system. The NFPA 664 requirements state that in 8.2.2.3 the volume and velocity resulting from the operation of such dampers or gates must not reduce the system velocity below the design minimum. The velocity has been determined to avoid dust settlement and accumulation that can lead to explosion and fire on the job site. There are more requirements which the system must fulfill in NFPA 664 such as 8.2.2.2.2 system Startup, 8.2.2.2.3 system shutdown, 8.2.2.3.1 capacity of the system, etc. NFPA 664 is a very complex standard that addresses all parts of the dust collecting system and the Ecogate system is only part of this.




Is it guaranteed that my factory will be safer with Ecogate?


If our control system is properly designed, installed and commissioned, we fulfill all of NFPA 664 which requires the dust collection system to maintain minimum transport velocities at all times. There is no other control system that can say that. We not only maintain it but also monitor it and report performance back to you and to us.




Does Ecogate have surge protection?


greenBOX® control units and Power MASTER VFDs have appropriate protection for equipment level surges. We are using industry best power supplies with surge protection built-in. Our Modbus communication ports are using best industry level surge protection. Please contact us for details.




Can Ecogate withstand a lightning strike?


No, our equipment cannot withstand direct lighting hit - lighting discharge can have a voltage of one billion volts and a current up to 500,000 Amper. Protection against lightning strikes should be designed as a cascading method: combining several levels of surge protection from building level up to the connected equipment. greenBOX® control units and the Power MASTER have appropriate protection for equipment level surges. Our Modbus communication ports are using the best industry level surge protection. Contact us for details.




Will you still use touchscreens after COVID-19?


No, we are planning to use HAL 9000 (Heuristically Programmed Algorithmic Computer); Fine print: HAL 9000 is a fictional artificial intelligence character and the main antagonist in Arthur C. Clarke's Space Odyssey series. First appearing in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey. See HAL 9000 in action at Netflix.com or Amazon.com.




Is fire protection wired through your control panel?


The Power MASTER VFD has several Enable inputs that can be used to connect "customer security" - one of them can be an output of the fire alarm system. If a fire alarm detects a fire, it will open the dry contact wired to the Power MASTER enable input, and the Power MASTER VFD will stop the main fan. This function works both in Automatic Mode (where the fan is controlled by the greenBOX® control system, and also in the Manual Mode).




If the greenBOX stops working, what stops all blast gates from closing and collapsing the ducting?


There are multiple protection levels built-in: the system is set to maintain minimum transport air velocity in the entire duct system - this requires that multiple gates are open at any time. The greenBOX® control system monitors the fan pressure and if the pressure is over a set level it will stop the fan to protect the duct system. But what if greenBOX® is not working, for example, if power is lost? You are still protected, do not worry: the Power MASTER VFD has a built-in pressure transmitter connected to read fan pressure, wired to the VFD input, and programmed out of the factory to stop the fan if fan pressure is higher than set pressure. But what if a technician will override VFD controls and start the fan manually from the VFD control panel? Do not worry, the pressure protection is still working even if the VFD is operated manually.




Why is Minimum Transport Velocity, as required by NFPA, important?


NFPA rules are there for your safety: if sawdust will settle in the duct system your facility is in danger of fire or blast. To avoid this issue minimum transport air velocity must be maintained in the entire duct system. The NFPA 664 requirements state that in 8.2.2.3 the volume and velocity resulting from the operation of such dampers or gates must not reduce the system velocity below the design minimum. The velocity has been determined to avoid dust settlement and accumulation that can lead to explosion and fire on the job site. More information on NFPA requirements can be found here. More information on the hazards of dust fires can be found here. They are more requirements what system must fulfill in NFPA 664 standard like: 8.2.2.2.2 system Startup, 8.2.2.2.3 system shutdown, 8.2.2.3.1 capacity of the system etc.





Getting Started

How can I get my team trained to use Ecogate?


If you have a plus or platinum level service agreement with us, it comes with an annual service visit by one of our engineers. During this visit, one of their goals is to train any new employees on how to use the system. If you do not have an active service agreement with us or do not want to wait for the annual visit, we are also available by telephone which is answered live Monday - Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm PST. Additionally, we offer fully remote video conferencing training sessions. Please reach out to your sales representative to set something up!




If you're going to sensor a machine that starts producing dust immediately, how can you open a gate to 'anticipate' the cutting to be opened from the start of the cut?


On a CNC saw for example we will connect the sensor to the circuit that is holding material in place (holding arm). The holding arm is active before the saw starts cutting therefore we have enough time to open the gate. If possible we recommend ordering each workstation with dry contact output for Ecogate - the manufacturer of the workstation knows the timing and the computer (PLC) will close contact several seconds ahead of cutting time. If this isn't possible we will help: our chief electrician will create together with you a "sensor plan" - he will ask how each workstation works, which circuit is active before cutting, and he will recommend a proper sensor for each machine. Optionally we can use a light beam or laser sensor to detect when material is entering the machine. With over twenty years of experience installing sensors, we will help you to do it properly.




How do your cleaning cycles work?


Our controllers have built-in cleaning functions which we can set as specifically as you'd like. We call this function an "insurance policy" - the system and ducting are designed to maintain minimum transport air velocity in the entire duct system, but the cleaning (or sweeping) function will open all gates and run the fan at full power to sweep the duct system. Say you want your system to be swept clean at certain times, at the end of the shift before the dust collector shuts off and in one-hour intervals throughout the shift, well we can do it. The interval and duration of each sweep are fully customizable. Also so-called "Deep Cleaning" is available - this will run cleaning duct zone by duct zone - with increased fan power.




How do I test if the sensor is working or not, when I turn on the machine?


There are several ways to check whether the sensor is working. For greenBOX® 12, please check the input signal light inside the greenBOX®. For greenBOX® NXT and Master, the easiest way is to use the remote access function to see all the sensors behavior on the system's display.




How do I login to see the data analytics of our system?


The data analytics dust collection platform is called "gbmbase". As a greenBOX® Master or NXT user, you will receive a link to register an account on the analytics platform. After successful login, you will be able to view and export data. Screenshots of what the platform looks like are shown here.




Can we adjust how much airflow gets delivered to specific locations?


The Ecogate system is completely user friendly and dynamic. If additional airflow is required or desired in certain places, our controllers are completely programmable to do so. Fine-tuning the system is part of our on-site commissioning process. All air-flow is measured and tracked so changes can always be made with certainty and clarity of information.




How easy is it to install an Ecogate system? Can I install it myself?


The system is easy to install and user friendly. We also offer full installation and user manuals after an order has been placed. Our manuals are very detailed and offer numerous best practices on how to install all of our components, with mechanical and electrical diagrams as well. Any licensed mechanical and electrical contractors in good standing should be able to install our systems for you. We generally recommend that users install their smaller greenBOX® 12 systems while the greenBOX® NXT and MASTER systems for larger factories should be installed by our team to guarantee the best installation. If you are not skilled in an air velocity & pressure measurements system setup and calibration, our technician is available to help.




Is it difficult to manage an Ecogate system?


During the commissioning process, an Ecogate engineer will train your team on how to manage the system. We also advise purchasing a Service Agreement which comes with unlimited technical support during regular business hours.




How do you determine where to install a workstation activity sensor?


On a CNC saw, for example, we will connect the sensor to the circuit that is holding material in place (holding arm). The holding arm is active before the saw starts cutting therefore we have enough time to open the gate. If possible we recommend ordering each workstation with a dry contact output for Ecogate - the manufacturer of the workstation knows the timing and the computer (PLC) will close contact several seconds ahead of cutting time. If this isn't possible we will help: our chief electrician will create together with you a "sensor plan" - he will ask how each workstation works, which circuit is active before cutting, and he will recommend a proper sensor for each machine. Optionally we can use a light beam or laser sensor to detect when material is entering the machine. With over twenty years of experience installing sensors, we will help you to do it properly.





Troubleshooting


Upgrading & Expanding

If my system breaks after reconfiguration, can Ecogate assist?


Business requirements change. We get that. As a result, Ecogate provides multiple levels of support to our broad and evolving client base. It's best if you contact us before you start making changes so we can help you do changes optimally. By using the Ecogate system you can connect more workstations to the same size of the system based on their utilization. It is also much easier to properly adjust system performance if your system is controlled by Ecogate. Information about expansion and analytic support can be found on our website here.




What does capital avoidance mean?


Ecogate controls not only save energy that you don't need to be using if you have a properly designed or oversized system... but our controls can also optimize undersized dust collection systems and help you maintain proper transport velocities in your existing ducting system. In our experience, only a subset of a factory's entire machine line actually needs dust collection at any given time. With a conventional system, you need to ensure you have enough capacity and suction capabilities with everything open 100% of the time. With Ecogate controls, we can redirect more airflow to machines that are actually in-use by closing off gates at unused workstations and managing the fan's power to ensure proper airflow is being delivered at all times. In many cases, installing our controls have saved customers from buying a brand new larger, or second dust collector by managing their current capacity more efficiently. More on Key Benefits here.




Can I upgrade my existing system to an energy-efficient Ecogate system?


Generally, there are no restrictions - Ecogate can be used with any dust/mist/fume collecting system. As always, the devil is in detail: is your fan motor insulation class F or better (if not it can be replaced), is your duct system, fan and dust collector a good fit for your system? Summary: if your dust/mist/fume collecting system is performing well, it can be easily upgraded to the Ecogate system. If there are some issues, they can be addressed at the same time when your system will be upgraded to the Ecogate system.




If I change/add/remove a piece of machinery in my system, does the Ecogate system need to be recalibrated?


Yes, our greenBOX® Master has a built-in Calibration Wizard that can recalibrate the system after machine moves/changes in about an hour. We also offer remote or on-site support to fine-tune the system for you!




If I move my machines around a lot, does this affect my Ecogate system?


This is probably the best feature of Ecogate systems: traditional systems are not easily adjustable, to adapt traditional systems to ever-changing business environments (introducing new products that need different workstations, different workflows, different system layout) is nearly impossible. The result is that after a few changes traditional systems are in bad shape - the air velocities are too low or too high, systems are unbalanced). Adjusting performance with Ecogate systems is as simple as entering a few numbers. greenBOX® NXT and greenBOX® MASTER are displaying air velocities at gates, the main duct, showing what should be current air volume and at the same time displaying measured air volume - adjusting performance and balance is easy and fast based on measured values. The greenBOX® MASTER has a built-in Calibration wizard that will precisely measure fan curves, system curves, and automatically maps the system to the fan curve. We recommend system optimization after every change of the system and once per year. We are happy to show you how to do it, or we can do it for you as a part of a service agreement.





Remote Support

Can I get additional training after commissioning?


Yes, we absolutely can! In addition to the on-site training during commissioning and our user manuals, we can also provide additional support and training remotely. If you have a Service Agreement with us, we offer a remote training session every six months for exactly this reason...to train new employees, retrain functions or teach new functions to your entire team. Don't worry if you don't have a Service Agreement either... we'll still help, just reach out!




Can I get remote access to my Ecogate system?


Remote access and analytics is a premium feature available with our Service Agreement. Once set up, you can have several users access all data about your dust collection and Ecogate system. Contact us for more info on how to get started.




Who do I speak to if something breaks down?


The best way to reach out to a support team is to submit an email to support@ecogate.com. This will automatically generate a ticket and alert one of the Ecogate technicians to take a look at the ticket. Please provide as much information, pictures as needed since it will help our team to come up with a solution prior to contacting you back. If this is an emergency and needs an immediate solution, please call us at (818) 506-6016 and we'll work on getting back to you as soon as possible.





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