New Functionality for Machines with Precise Air Velocity Requirements

Ecogate was recently approached by a large manufacturer of automobile components with a very specific problem.

This company uses shot blast machines to clean the surface of metal parts for automobile engines prior to further processing. Dust collection in this scenario must be strong enough to pick up the metal dust, but not strong enough to suck up the shot material, which is expensive.

Is there a way to thread the needle?

With Ecogate, there is.

Ecogate smart blast gates monitor the air pressure, velocity, and volume at their drops in real-time.


Our smart gates monitor the air pressure, velocity, and volume at their drops in real-time. This provides us with an unprecedented level of insight into the dust collection system, and lets us fine-tune system performance to a great level of precision.

Together with our state-of-the-art greenBOX Master and NXT controllers, these readings can be used to indicate to the shot blast machines when air velocity is in the optimal range for them to operate, such that dust collection is excellent, but shot material is not needlessly exhausted.

Ecogate blast gates come in sizes from 4″ in diameter to 18″ in diameter.


How It Works

Ecogate System Overview


For each machine, the end user can define an air velocity (or, alternatively, pressure) range during which the machine should ideally operate. For the shot blast machine, this is the range in which metal dust is removed reliably while the abrasive material remains.

When a machine is ready to run, its sensor relays this information to the greenBOX unit, which opens the corresponding Ecogate blast gate.

When the air velocity reaches the desired range for that machine, a relay contact on the gate is closed. This information is then fed back to the machine’s control unit, which instructs the machine to work.

The beauty of this approach is in its independence on other factors – it will work correctly regardless of the dust collector condition, how clean (or not!) the filters are, and anything else.

This is the ultimate approach from a safety perspective: what’s measured, and what controls dust production, is whether dust collection is actually performing exactly as needed. This is contrast to detecting secondary signals (such as “fan is running”), which relay incomplete information and do not help in scenarios such as a particularly dirty filter, or a new leak in the ducting system.

With this new optional functionality available from Ecogate, you can rest easily knowing that if your machine is running, and producing dust, it has precisely the suction it should have.

Curious what Ecogate can do for you? Get in touch!

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