Leading timber merchant, West Midlands Merchant Trading, has recently installed the latest dust extraction technology at its four acre site in Walsall. The company, which is a division of GE Robinson and part of the Haldane Fisher Group of Northern Ireland, stocks both timber and sheet material.

From its Walsall base, and strategically-located quays around the country, West Midlands Merchant Trading can effect prompt deliveries to customers using its own transport fleet. Stocks range from pallet wood and rough sawn timber, through to decking and specialist machined products – all of which can be supplied with a variety of different timber treatments and preservatives.

Following its acquisition by GE Robinson in 2014, the company has seen upwards of £500,000 of investment in new plant and equipment, including the recent installation of a state-of-the-art dust extraction plant complete with Ecogate energy-saving technology.

Supplied by dust extraction specialist Dust Control Systems (DCS), the new plant has been designed to extract wood dust and chips from high-performance planer-moulders and other woodworking machines in the firm’s machining shops.

Paul Kavanagh, operations director at GE Robinson, says: “It was decided that the existing dust plant was no longer fit for purpose and we called in DCS to discuss our needs – DCS installed and maintain our dust plants at our Salford and Garstang sites, and we have been pleased with all aspects of the service they provide.

After carrying out a full appraisal of our requirements, DCS recommended a modern extraction plant controlled by their Ecogate system. This system would satisfy our extraction needs and cut electricity bills by providing the optimum amount of power to meet demand.” 
An externally-sited modular filter unit, capable of handling large air flows with heavy material content, was installed. The filter incorporates screw and rotary valve discharge to a woodwaste transfer system which feeds waste to either one of two 13 tonne capacity container trailers. Designed to handle a total airflow capacity of 65,000m³/hr, the system employs two 55kW, low-noise, main fan-sets and a 15kW waste transfer fan.

System control is provided by two Ecogate Power MASTER variable speed drive units, complete with integral Ecogate greenBOX 12+ controllers. Each woodworking machine is fitted with a motorised Ecogate damper gate which automatically opens and closes as machines come on or off line. Responding on-demand to variations in machine usage, the Power MASTER units continually adjust the speed of the fans, and optimise energy consumption.

“DCS completed a highly professional installation over a time-contingent four day period and everyone at our Walsall branch is pleased with the performance of the new system,” says Paul Kavanagh.