The joinery workshop at Rosebirch Ltd is now cleaner and quieter thanks to a new dust extraction filter unit and energy-saving Ecogate system supplied and installed by Dust Control Systems Ltd.

Rosebirch is a second generation family-run business, operating from a modern 12,000ft2 manufacturing facility at High Spen – a former mining village in Tyne & Wear. Utilising materials as diverse as hardwood and glass, metals, veneers and solid surfaces, Rosebirch specialises in bespoke fabrication for the fit-out of retail and commercial spaces, and has established a reputation for its work on projects throughout the UK and Europe. 

The joinery workshop at Rosebirch is well equipped with a wide range of wood and panel processing machinery, including an array of saws, sanders, planers and a high-speed CNC router. However, the ageing filter unit was no longer capable of dealing effectively with the extraction volumes being demanded by the company’s high speed production machinery and, inevitably, a replacement was necessary.

15,000m3/hr capacity ATEX-approved NFSZ3000 2HJLR filter unit delivers waste pressure-free via rotary valve

Dust Control Systems (DCS), on personal recommendation, had been invited to review the company’s extraction requirements and Ray Townley, area sales manager for DCS, visited Rosebirch to discuss the project with managing director, Stephen Flynn. “Due to the varied and bespoke items being manufactured at Rosebirch,” says Ray, “the factory is kitted out with a wide range of dust-producing machines but, for most of the time, only a handful of those machines are actually in use. On occasions, however, around half the machines could be in operation at the same time. 

“Building in a wide margin of safety, and future-proofing the system to accommodate additional or more powerful machinery, DCS proposed the installation of a filter unit that was sized to handle around 75% of the total combined extraction requirement of all the machines in the factory.”

To achieve this 25% reduction in extraction requirement, and the obvious cost savings this could realise, the system design proposed by DCS would employ Ecogate energy-saving technology, with Ecogate automatic dampers retrofitted into the existing ductwork system. Accompanied by Ian Rayner, Ecogate’s sales manager, Ray and Stephen visited another DCS customer in the North east to observe an Ecogate system in action, and to get first hand feedback from an end user on the potential benefits.

Ecogate greenBOX12, PowerMASTER variable speed drive unit, and DCS control cabinet

“With Ecogate technology, the extraction system is optimised to provide the exact extraction volume required, at any given point in time, depending on the number of machines in use,” explains Ian. “Extraction fan speed is adjusted automatically, in real-time, to match the changing requirements as different machines come on- or off-line.” 

“The savings calculations, based on the predicted reductions in electricity costs derived from optimising the fan speed, compared with the cost of electricity needed to run the fan continuously, at full power, throughout Rosebirch’s working day, convinced Stephen that the initial outlay on Ecogate would be a sound investment.”

At Rosebirch, DCS installed a greenBOX12 controller and PowerMASTER variable speed drive unit, along with a total of 12 Ecogate automatic dampers, which were all installed into the existing ductwork system. 

Externally, DCS supplied and installed an NFSZ3000 2HJLR Rotary Valve Filter, powered by a 22kW direct drive main fan, providing an air volume capacity of 15,000m3/hr. Filtered dust is delivered pressure-free from the filter unit, via a rotary valve, to a waste collection skip.

22kW main fan and CARZ explosion isolation valve

The filter unit employs patented antistatic Superbag filter media, and a reverse air regeneration fan provides effective cleaning of the filter bags. Inspection and maintenance of the filter media is facilitated by side doors, which are accessed via an elevated steel walkway, and cleaned, warm air is recycled to keep the factory warm in winter, or dispersed to atmosphere in the summer.

“As soon as the new filter came on-line the increased strength of the suction was immediately apparent,” says Stephen, “but, because the extraction fan was only running when needed, and only extracting from machines that were being used, the overall sound levels on the factory floor have been significantly reduced.”

Rosebirch’s upgraded extraction system complies fully with ATEX regulations, and also includes 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 back along ductwork, and into the factory. The return air ductwork has been retained from the previous installation and Gallito’s FastClip ducting has been used to complete external connections.

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