Dust extraction specialist Dust Control Systems (DCS) has recently completed a major installation at Starbank Panel Products’ new manufacturing facility at Newton-le-Willows on Merseyside.

After almost two years of planning and construction, Starbank Panel Products is now fully operational at its new 16-acre site on the Sankey Valley Industrial Estate, just a short distance from the premises occupied by the company for the past 26 years.

Starbank’s managing director, Phil Darbyshire, explains: “This move provides us with a platform to further grow the company and, just as importantly, ensures that the services we provide will meet our customers’ changing demands in the future. Since acquiring the site we have comprehensively redeveloped the existing 116,000ft2 building – doubling our manufacturing space, and allowing the opportunity for increased production capacity and flexibility.”

Investment in production machinery for the new site includes the introduction of a second Homag BAZ 723 CNC processing centre, complete with bespoke 3D acrylic edgebanding facilities and automated loading gantry. The company has also installed a customised Homag VFL 610 through-feed postforming line which is configured for fabrication of wrapped fire doors and frames.

For dust extraction at the new site, Starbank’s requirement was for a single, externally-sited, high-efficiency filter that would serve the whole factory, as well as efficiently feeding woodwaste to a new state-of-the-art biomass heating system.

Melvyn Bathgate, sales director at DCS, says: “Having worked with Phil and his team for many years we are aware of the company’s commitment to a green manufacturing strategy, and DCS were able to propose an energy-efficient dust extraction scheme which featured an Ecogate energy-saving extraction optimisation system, together with the latest Ecovar Validus filter from Schuko.”

The Validus 2330 filter, sized at an air volume of 115,000m3/hr, extracts from a total of 16 machines. Waste collected by the filter is discharged, pressure-free, into a screw conveyor which feeds a bucket elevator. The waste material, via a second screw, is then discharged into a large storage silo. The new generation Schuko filter features a five 37kW fan cascade system whereby fans are brought on-line or taken off-line according to extraction demand. Cleaning cycles are also tailored to specific needs by employing a cleaning train regeneration system.

Extraction ductwork throughout the new factory is designed to ensure optimum extraction velocities, and pneumatic dampers strategically located in the ducting runs enable plastic waste and wood waste to be extracted separately. Furthermore, the ductwork between the fan outlet and filter inlet incorporates ATEX-approved CARZ back-pressure flap valves which prevents the effects of a dust explosion travelling from the filter, back along ductwork, and into the factory.

All production machines are fitted with Ecogate automatic dampers which open and close as machines come on-line or shut down – the end result is a highly-efficient, optimised system that only uses energy when required.

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