Dust Control Systems Ltd (DCS) has installed a complete dust extraction system, including external filter unit and energy-saving Ecogate system, for Lincolnshire fit-out specialist NH Shopfitting & Interiors.

Located on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds, officially an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, NH Shopfitting & Interiors provides a tailored service to clients across the retail, commercial and leisure sectors, but the company has become recognised for its specialist work in the fit-out of petrol forecourt shop interiors, food outlets and washrooms.

Established over 20 years ago by MD Nicholas Hunt, the company has enjoyed exceptional growth over recent years, and has partnered with key site operators to meet the growing demand for customer-focused convenience and food service outlets at UK filling stations.

Joinery manufacture is at the heart of the company’s activities, and the growth in sales has necessitated investment in both machinery and premises. NH Shopfitting now operates from a 4000m2 site, with workshops and offices, a generous parking and loading area, and a joinery production space that has increased by 50% since the business moved there in 2014.

Ray Townley, area sales manager for DCS, visited the site to discuss NH Shopfitting’s growing dust extraction requirements with project manager Stephen Jordan and, as Ray explains: “Dust extraction was previously provided by several stand-alone bag filter units located adjacent to production machinery but, as the production area expanded and new machines were installed, the ageing bag units had finally reached their limitations.”

The system design for NH Shopfitting was going to be relatively straightforward.

DCS installed an NFSZ3000 2HJLR rotary valve filter unit with 18,345m3/hr air volume capacity

The old bag units would be scrapped and replaced with a high-efficiency, externally-sited and ATEX-approved filter unit with a 30kW direct drive extraction fan, new FastClip ductwork system routed to all the machines and, as recommended by the ATEX regulations, a CARZ back-pressure isolation valve which, in the event of an explosion in the filter unit, prevents the effects of a pressure wave and flames travelling from the filter, back along ductwork, and into the factory. 

NH Shopfitting operates a typical range of high-powered machinery including a number of saws, an edgebander, a heavy-duty wide-belt sander, and a high-speed HolzHer CNC machine. However, and again typical of fit-out joinery manufacturing, constantly varying production demands dictate that all the machines are never in operation at the same time.


Ecogate PowerMASTER variable speed drive unit and greenBOX12 controller

“Having surveyed the premises and reviewed the extraction requirements with Stephen, this installation appeared to be a shoe-in for the inclusion of an Ecogate controller and automatic dampers,” says Ray Townley, “so I agreed with Stephen that I would visit again with Ian Rayner, Ecogate’s sales manager.

“As anticipated, Ian Rayner was able to demonstrate that incorporating Ecogate technology into the system would significantly reduce the amount of electricity consumed by the extraction fan; effectively halving the extraction system running costs.”

30kW main fan and CARZ valve, with waste dust delivered pressure-free via rotary valve

Ian’s calculations showed that including Ecogate in the system would generate sufficient savings to recover the additional capital expenditure in less than three years and, in addition, installing the Ecogate system negated the need to include Star-Delta starters; reducing the base cost of the extraction system. 

“Installing Ecogate technology optimises fan speed, in real-time, to exactly match extraction demand,” says Ian. “At NH Shopfitting, the maximum air volume capacity requirement is almost 15% less than the total air volume would be with the fan extracting continuously from all machines – as it would be without Ecogate – and the average volume requirement is reduced by a minimum of 22%.”

An elevated gangway gives access for maintenance, and clean warm air is returned to the factory in winter

DCS installed an NFSZ3000 2HJLR rotary valve filter, with patented antistatic Superbag filter media, and a reverse air regeneration fan provides efficient filter cleaning. Side access doors, reached via an elevated gangway, allow access to the filter media for inspection and maintenance, and the waste dust is delivered pressure-free from the filter unit, via rotary valve, into a covered skip. 

“We were impressed by the professional service DCS provided from start to finish”, says Stephen. “We’ve now got an efficient, cost-effective system that we can virtually forget about; we’ll be making savings on electricity costs for years to come and in winter we can heat the factory with clean, warm air from the filter unit.”

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