Dust and fume extraction specialist, Extractly Ltd, has recently completed the installation of a new extraction system, incorporating Ecogate® energy-saving technology, at Planova UK’s manufacturing facility in Leeds, West Yorkshire.

Founded in Denmark, in 1964, Planova has grown to be a world-leading provider of specialist shop fitting solutions and shelving systems, transforming retail spaces and reinforcing market branding for a host of blue-chip clients. Today the business is delivering turnkey project solutions to customers across four continents and, in 2020, Planova (UK) Ltd amalgamated with Leeds-based Bartuf Ltd; making it a part of the global Planova group.

Production capabilities at Planova’s production centre in Leeds, formerly Bartuf’s headquarters, have been enhanced over recent months with the company’s investment in a fully-equipped timber processing department, and Ian Rayner, Extractly’s National Sales Manager, was invited to submit proposals for appropriate dust extraction equipment to meet the expected demand. 

“With only a few machines requiring extraction, and a clear, modern factory space to work with, system design was by no means over-complicated,” says Ian, “but, what was obvious to me straight away was the potential energy and cost-savings we could provide for Planova by incorporating Ecogate® ‘on-demand’ energy-saving extraction technology.” 

By their very nature, the diverse joinery commissions undertaken at Planova require bespoke machining, and this new dust extraction installation provides a perfect illustration of how Ecogate® technology can offer significant benefits to any woodworking operation; however large or small.

As Ian Rayner explained: “There were a couple of key factors we had to take into consideration with the installation at Planova. The company was naturally keen to get underway with production as soon as possible, but not all of the new woodworking machines could be delivered on the same lead times, and delays with the provision of a new 415-volt 3-phase connection from the electricity grid, which was required to power the new 30kW main fan and associated electrical control gear, was also having a knock-on effect with a commissioning date for the new extraction system. 

However, Extractly was able to offer Planova a temporary extraction solution. “Ian Rayner arranged for a multi-filter bagging unit to be made available to us, on loan for several months, until we had everything in place and ready for the new system to be installed,” says Jonathan Richards, Operational Director at Planova. “Having the bagging unit in place allowed for machine utilisation, on a staggered basis, as the various pieces of equipment were installed and commissioned, and enabled us to commence production in the new workshop earlier than anticipated. 

“In a traditional system, a 30kW fan, running continually at full power would typically consume around 60,000kW of electricity per year – with Ecogate® installed, we predict the effective payback period for Planova’s investment will be less than three years” 

“Once we were in a position to give them the go-ahead, one of Extractly’s teams of installation engineers, along with the Ecogate technicians, had the new, permanent system up and running within a week.”

Planova’s workshop currently includes a Holzher beam saw and edgebander, along with a couple of CNC machines, and a second edgebander is due to be installed soon. With all five machines in operation at the same time, a filter unit capable of extracting around 20,000 cubic metres of dust-laden air per hour was going to be required. Extractly supplied and installed an LBR-B 2HJ SmartFilter unit; an advanced, modular, reverse air baghouse, externally-sited on a compact footprint of just 2.4m x 2.4m which, if additional capacity is ever required, can be easily extended by simply adding further modules.

Contaminated air enters the filter through an inlet where larger dust particles drop out of the airstream, and finer particles are captured by an array of highly efficient SUPERBAG filters which allow cleaned air to pass through and vent to atmosphere. As the captured dust accumulates on the filter bags, two 1.1kW regeneration fans blow air in the reverse direction to dislodge the dust; allowing it to drop into the lower hopper section from where it’s collected in steel dust bins located below the hopper.

“As this is a completely new extraction system, Planova have no previous electricity bills to compare and calculate the savings achieved with Ecogate® installed, but energy usage is continuously monitored, and data gathered by the Ecogate® greenBOX® Nxt controller automatically calculates the ongoing savings being made when compared to energy consumption with the fan running at full power, all day, every day,” says Ian Rayner. “In a traditional system, a 30kW fan, running continually at full power would typically consume around 60,000kW of electricity per year – with Ecogate® installed, we predict the effective payback period for Planova’s investment will be less than three years.” 

Since Ecogate® technology controls the extraction, the main fan will run ‘on-demand’, in real-time, at the exact speed necessary to maintain optimum extraction; for Planova, this also means that no excess energy will be consumed prior to installation of the second edgebander … but the system is ready to connect and deliver efficient extraction from day one.

In conclusion, Jonathan Richards had nothing but praise for the part Extractly played in getting the new department set up: “We couldn’t have got the joinery shop up and running as quickly as we did without the temporary extraction they provided and now, with everything working efficiently, I can definitely say that Ecogate® does exactly what it says on the tin!”

01924 520462