Ranheat’s stand at the recent exhibition


Chris Franklin, MD at Ranheat Engineering Ltd, – a leading UK manufacturer of wood combustion equipment-continues his series of articles exclusively for Furniture and Joinery Production. This issue he looks back at the Materials & Finishes Show 2024 at the NEC in Birmingham 19th-22nd May.

The photo shows Chris and Barbara Franklin, founders of Ranheat Engineering Ltd, along with their son, Alexander, and youngest daughter, Charlotte, who attended the show at the NEC.

Alex has a Masters in Physics and Charlotte has a BSc in Product design. Between them, they designed the stand and Charlotte has completely “overhauled” Ranheat’s literature and marketing focus. More and more social media is being used to get the message across to potential customers.

So was the exhibition worthwhile? The answer is a resounding yes from Alex, who now leads the sales for Ranheat. “I grew up surrounded by Ranheat,” he says. “Chris has been in the industry for 40 years so has seen a lot of changes in that time. There was no internet or social media, so other ways to get the message across were needed.

“The industry still has a need for an exhibition, and yes, the show was much smaller than the old W series and its predecessor Woodmex. But I was delighted with the quality and quantity of enquiries we had on the stand. It was a shame that it clashed with the Milan exhibition. Charlotte and I thought it important to go back to having a machine on the stand so potential customers could see the build quality and compare it with other equipment at the show.”

Ranheat’s story

Ranheat was originally founded in the city of Randers in Denmark and worked mainly in the agricultural market. Ranheat Denmark ceased trading in 1990 and Ranheat Engineering started to manufacture in the UK. The trend was away from agricultural use and more towards Industrial wood-waste.

The EPA was introduced at the same time and this “new material”, MDF, was making it’s mark on the wood-working industry. Ranheat developed equipment that could burn the MDF dust cleanly and efficiently. The range was extended and warm air variants were developed specifically for the requirements of the UK market.

The most recent incentive by the UK government was the Renewable Heat Incentive, but it applied only to boilers not to warm air variants. The scheme is now closed for new applicants. Before that was the Carbon Trust interest-free loan scheme. With the upcoming election, we have to wait and see if another scheme is introduced by the new government in July.

The use of wood-waste as a means of heating and re-cycling waste to energy has always stood up with fast returns on investment. With savings on conventional fuels, savings on disposal of wood-waste, landfill tax and high energy costs there has never been a better case for using your waste as a fuel. Alex, as a Physics graduate, is also looking at making cooling from wood waste for use in hot countries and also at the ORC (Organic Rankine Cycle) to produce electricity.

I’ve seen many changes over my career in Industrial Wood-waste boilers. Prior to the EPA, as long as dark smoke wasn’t coming from the chimney, that was all OK. Then various guidance notes like PG1/12 started to look at the quality of the emissions in terms of Carbon Monoxide and Carbon Dioxide, Limits on particulate and also Oxides of Nitrogen were introduced in 2013. This led Ranheat to develop flue gas re-circulation and ceramic filters to address these two limits. 40 years ago you needed to be an engineer to design boilers and heaters, now with the flue gas emissions you need to be a physicist and a chemist.

For further information on all types and sizes of Industrial Woodburning equipment from 75kW upwards, contact Ranheat. Ranheat also make spares and services and repairs other makes of wood-burning boilers and heaters.

01604 750005