Inscape Cubicles & Washrooms, one of the UK’s leading producers of toilet cubicles and washroom systems, has recently invested in an ECOGATE® dust extraction optimisation system from Dust Control Systems Ltd.
The energy-saving system, installed at Inscape’s manufacturing facility in Chorley, Lancashire, has been retrofitted to the company’s existing DCS extraction system, without the need to replace the existing filter, ducting or 37kW main fan. Firstly, an on-site energy survey was carried out to assess the specific demands of all machinery in the workshop; providing DCS engineers with key data on volume and duty cycle for individual machines. Subsequent optimisation of the system has achieved significant average reductions in volume, which directly equates to an overall reduction in absorbed power.
Employing CNC machining centres and other modern woodworking machines, Inscape processes and finishes panels and doors in a variety of materials, including 20mm high-pressure laminated panels with a moisture resistant core, and 13mm solid grade laminates. Previously, their dust extraction system was operating constantly, even though the nature of the manufacturing process meant that machines were not in operation all the time.
DCS were able to demonstrate to Inscape that significant power savings could be made by providing precise extraction volumes, only when needed. To achieve this, a variable speed drive was fitted to the fan, and all machines in the workshops were fitted with ECOGATE automatic motorised gates with sensors, which signal the controller to open or close gates as machines come on line or shut down. The system employs the ECOGATE greenBOX12+ controller which detects changes in extraction load and adjusts the variable speed fan drive accordingly.
Inscape managing director, Paul Mills, says: “DCS put forward a very convincing case for the ECOGATE system and it’s more than living up to expectations. In fact, the first couple of months’ savings far exceed those anticipated. At this rate, the savings on electricity will result in an investment payback of around 18 months. Add to this the interest free loan we received from the Carbon Trust, and the decision to green-up our dust extraction makes good business sense.”
Gary Wynne, production director at Inscape, comments: “It’s an amazing system – you can literally see the variation in real-time power levels on the VSD display. The greenBOX controls automatic gates on all machines, some of which have multi-extraction ports, and the controller, sensing what’s required, changes the fan’s speed automatically. DCS installed the complete system with little or no disruption to production and our manufacturing team love it because it has dramatically reduced noise levels in the workshop.”