Ecogate Power MASTER variable speed drive units adjust fan speed
The rise and rise of Extractly Ltd appears to continue unabated as the California-based technology manufacturer, Ecogate, Inc., confirms the company’s appointment as sole UK distributor for the Ecogate range of energy-saving extraction control products.
First introduced over here by Dust Control Systems (DCS), back in 2010, Ecogate technology has had a major impact on the UK woodworking industry, with a multitude of joinery and furniture manufacturing companies now benefiting significantly from the huge reductions in power consumption the system can deliver – typically returning savings of between 50% and 75% on dust extraction costs with an average return on investment period of just two years for the majority of installations.
Extractly’s technical director, William Kenyon, who has been involved with Ecogate from day one, is keen to stress that Extractly will continue to offer service and technical support for all UK customers with existing installations, and that any current warranty agreements will be unaffected by the changes. “Our focus is on customer satisfaction and long-lasting customer relationships,” says Mr Kenyon, “and our aim is to ensure our customers’ extraction systems are operating to their full potential, at lowest cost; allowing factory owners to concentrate on the business of manufacturing.”
Ales Litomisky, co-founder, president and chief engineer at Ecogate, Inc., commented: “We’re delighted to be renewing our relationship with the team at Extractly, and I’m personally looking forward to following this next stage of Ecogate’s development in the UK. William and the entire Extractly team have demonstrated a keen understanding of Ecogate technology and are proven to be very customer oriented.”
Ecogate motorised dampers are fitted into ductwork serving each machine and open and close automatically as equipment comes on or off-line
“The successful application of Ecogate® technology and controls has been proven worldwide, across multiple industries, to improve the efficiency of dust and fume extraction systems. Installations of the patented system not only generate direct savings in electricity usage, but also benefit the working environment for employees, help improve business performance and, ultimately, make a contribution to the health of our planet.”
Before Ales, along with uncle Petr Litomisky, patented Ecogate energy-saving extraction control technology, manufacturers’ dust and fume extraction systems had basically worked on the same principle for decades – install a fan that’s powerful enough to extract all the air, from all the places in the factory where dust or fumes are being produced, all day, every day. The difference with Ecogate® technology installed on a dust-producing production line is that the system is custom-programmed to extract only when individual machines are running, and to extract only the minimum volumes required to transfer dust-laden air from each machine to the filter unit for collection.
Potential financial gains are ruled by the laws of physics, but just a 20% reduction in fan speed will reduce power consumption by 50% and in many factories, where it’s estimated that less than half of the machines are in use at any one time, even bigger savings can be achieved. Extractly Ltd offer a free site-survey to ascertain the possible savings that Ecogate technology could make but, as a general rule, electricity costs will be at least halved and, whether you have just one machine or a whole factory-full – the Ecogate greenBOX MASTER SRL can control up to four extraction fans and as many as 180 workstations – the same principles apply.
Ecogate greenBOX 12, greenBOX NXT and greenBOX MASTER control units sit at the heart of the extraction system
“The technology is just as effective when retrofitted to an existing extraction system as it on a new installation,” says Will Kenyon. “The automated, motorised dampers are simply fitted into the ductwork serving each machine, and sensors report when machines come on or off-line. Ecogate control technology continuously adjusts fan speed accordingly, and the system also ensures sufficient airflow volumes to maintain minimum air transport velocity so dust and chippings don’t settle in the ductwork and reduce LEV control effectiveness.”
With ‘real-time’ intelligent control providing exact extraction volume requirement, only when and where it’s needed, extraction systems with Ecogate technology installed use around one-third of the power consumed by conventional extraction systems. In addition to saving money on electricity bills, every other part of the system performs more effectively and efficiently: reduced fan speeds mean less wear and tear on bearings, motors and filter media, and factory noise levels are noticeably reduced.
The fully-automated, intelligent system provides accurate analytical data to keep operators fully informed of the system’s efficiency, and the lower energy consumption will also contribute to a reduction in a company’s carbon footprint. In addition, the ‘spare’ extraction capacity made available by reducing the fan speed gives business owners a margin for production line expansions without the need to invest in more powerful fans and larger filters.