Dutch filter installation builder Modesta was looking for a local partner to help them with UK-based projects. They found the right fit with Extraction Solutions in Sheffield. Together, they successfully installed a cascading fan system at the Images Kitchen and Bedroom factory in Chester.
With many projects in the UK and Ireland, Wyboud Kloppenburg, director at Modesta Filters in the Netherlands, (pictured) found himself traveling back and forth regularly. In order to reduce the number of trips for both himself and his team of engineers, and to enable a faster service to clients on the other side of the sea, he was looking for an alternative solution. “That’s how one day in 2016, when I was in the neighbourhood, I decided to give Extraction Solutions a call,” he explains.
Wyboud picked up the phone to ask Neil Parkes, founder of Extraction Solutions Ltd (ESL), if he could come in. Half an hour later, he was having a coffee in Neil’s office. “His phone call came out of the blue, but I was very happy to hear from him because I’d seen Modesta equipment at work and was particularly impressed by how much energy they saved,” recalls Neil.
Two family businesses
Coming from over 50 years of combined experience, ESL founders Neil Parkes and Nick Wright had worked on over 100 installations together in their previous jobs. That’s why they decided to join forces in 2012. Utilising Nick’s installation expertise and Neil’s extraction knowledge, they design and implement some of the best extraction and handling solutions available.
ESL founders Neil Parkes and Nick Wright
ESL is a family business: both of the founder’s sons are active in the company as well. “I started on-site, then I moved up into contracting and designing,” says James Parkes, design engineer.
“Our biggest challenge at this moment is staying on top of the workload: despite all of the uncertainty around the pandemic, we have a lot of clients coming in. That’s why working together with the right partners is very important.”
Neil adds: “We work for companies that deal with both high waste and low waste loads. In our portfolio, we didn’t have a clever solution yet for low waste environments such as woodworking factories, so Wyboud’s call came at exactly the right moment.”
Like ESL, Modesta is a family company: Wyboud is the third generation working in the business. Having over 70 years of experience in the industry, Modesta designs and builds all of their installations in-house at their Dutch factory site. “Wyboud’s knowledge exceeds his age: he’s not just a salesperson, he really knows what he’s talking about,” says James.
Wyboud, in turn, likes ESL’s knowledge of the market and their hands-on approach: “They’re able to do their own engineering and maintenance, so they can really take the lead on a project.” After that first meeting, it was clear to both parties they were the right fit for each other.
The first joint project
Not long after that, the first opportunity for Modesta and ESL to join forces presented itself. Images, a kitchen and bedroom factory, was looking for a new filter unit. Neil: “When I came back from my first meeting with Images, I said: I think this is prime Modesta territory.”
Images Kitchens and Bedrooms started out as a small made-to-measure mirror wardrobes factory in 1984. In over 35 years, the company has installed thousands of bedrooms and kitchens and has grown into one of the largest independent manufacturers and retailers of fitted bedrooms and kitchens in the North West and North Wales. With a split-level showroom in Chester and a large factory, ESL now employs over 20 staff.
When Images contacted ESL over two years ago, they were ready for a new extraction solution for their factory. Their old filter was consuming large amounts of energy and required a lot of maintenance.
“It would drain a lot of power and blow the fuses. I was willing to invest in a new solution that would guarantee longevity and save us money in the long run,” explains Images director Stephen Eyre.
Reducing energy consumption
Images’ old filter installation had only one fan, resulting in little flexibility and energy loss. Neil: “That’s why I advised a Modesta Airlock filter with multiple cascading fans, that enables a factory to use only the capacity they need.” Images only uses the filter’s full capacity for a few weeks a year, so thanks to the multiple fans, they can turn on just a part of the installation in less busy times. It also protects them against downtime, because if one fan has a defect, the other keeps working.
“As it was our first project together, one of our engineers was on-site in case ESL had any questions, but James, Nick, and Neil have done the lion’s share of the work,” says Wyboud. ESL did the installation over a bank holiday and managed to get everything up and running within a week. Stephen is happy with the end result: “I come in in the morning, I turn it on, and it always works.
Honestly, as a factory owner, that’s all I’m interested in at the end of the day.” He’s been using the new installation for over two years now and hasn’t experienced any downtime. “It was a big investment for a small company like mine, but I’ve been saving a lot of money on electricity and my factory is cleaner. I’d recommend it.”
For Modesta and ESL, this is only the start of a fruitful working relationship. Neil: “We’re looking to grow our business in the next years. We actually just hired a new contract engineer to keep up with the workload, so we only see the collaboration with Modesta growing in the future.”