Routec, based in Beverley, East Yorkshire, focuses on the development and manufacture of products for three diverse industry sectors. Working closely with many of the leading shopfitting design agencies, it produces high quality Point-of-Sale retail display systems, many of which feature in internationally recognised outlets.

For major producers of caravan and holiday homes, Routec manufactures a wide range of components such as worktops and frontals. And, under the Minster Doors brand, the firm manufactures a unique and popular style of three-piece, melamine-faced kitchen doors and carcasses.

Employing 50 people and operating from a 93,000 sq ft factory site, the company has a policy of constantly looking at new technologies and methods to improve efficiency. Paul Moxon, operations manager, says: “With the recent addition of a high-performance Biesse CNC Beam

Saw, and with further new machinery planned, it was decided to replace the various individual dust extraction bag units which serve our beam saw, CNCs, edgebanders and panel saws with an externally-sited energy efficient plant, capable of extracting to a single point from all our current and future machines.”

The solution provided by DCS was for a dust extraction system comprising an externally-sited Schuko EcoVar 2030 modular chain filter, controlled by an Ecogate energy saving system. The EcoVar filter has a total airflow volume of 52,000m3/hour, with filter cleaning carried out by a dual system which employs a cleaning fan housed at the top of the filter, and mechanical shaker system at the base. Collected waste is discharged into a 15kW fan-powered closed-loop waste transfer system, which delivers directly into a large capacity boxcart.

The energy-efficient system employs a 75kW direct-drive main fan unit, extracting from a total of eight processing machines, and the main ducting system incorporates an ATEX-approved CARZ back-pressure flap valve which is designed to prevent the effect of a pressure wave and flames caused by an explosion from travelling upstream in the ductwork in which it is mounted.

Installing an Ecogate system meant that the overall dust extraction system could be designed much smaller than with conventional technology; resulting in an average volume reduction of at least 22%, and providing power savings of more than 50%. The Ecogate system installed for Routec comprises a series of Ecogate motorised damper gates and sensors, which are fitted to each of the eight machines in the workshop. A greenBOX 12 controller detects changes in extraction load as machines come on or off line, and the speed of the main fan is continually adjusted via an Ecogate Power MASTER variable speed drive inverter unit.

Paul Moxon adds: “We now have an extraction system which operates extremely efficiently, will save us around £7000 per year on electricity costs, and has provided a much quieter and dust-free working environment. Additionally, the plant is designed to return warm filtered air back into the factory in the winter.”