Broadstock Office Furniture, a major manufacturer of workplace, educational and catering furniture, has dramatically cut its dust extraction running costs by retrofitting Ecogate energy-saving technology.

At Broadstock’s 53,000ft2 manufacturing facility in Macclesfield, Cheshire, 90 plus people contribute their expertise to the design, manufacture, supply, delivery and installation of high quality furniture, with all aspects of production being carried out on-site. Operating for more than 30 years, Broadstock has grown into one of the UK’s most respected workplace and contract furnishers, trusted by architects, designers and specifiers alike. Above all, the company ethos is to deliver world class service – from first contact to final fit.

Last year, Broadstock management decided that they would explore the potential for energy savings by taking advantage of the free ‘energy saving appraisal’ offered by approved Ecogate installer, Dust Control Systems Ltd (DCS).

Andrew Gill, facilities manager at Broadstock, explains: “DCS, together with Ecogate, came in and were able to determine the total extraction demand for all of our high performance machines in the workshop as well as for two clean-up hoses. They then were able to identify how the individual systems could be adjusted for volume and duty cycle, with the aim of lowering the average total volume and, therefore, our power usage.”

The existing dust extraction installation at Broadstock employed two main extraction fans with a total power rating of 59kW. And, as is the case with most workshops, the fans were installed to run continuously, at full load – in this case, for around 2000 hours per year.

DCS put forward a proposal which involved retro-fitting the innovative Ecogate optimisation system to the existing dust plant. The DCS proposal predicted that installing Ecogate would result in power savings approaching 60% against previous usage.

Broadstock commissioned DCS to install the Ecogate system which comprises two Ecogate Power MASTER variable speed drive units, each with an Ecogate greenBOX 12+ central controller, together with Ecogate motorised damper gates and sensors which were fitted to each of the six production machines. The damper gates automatically open and close as machines come on or off line, and the Power MASTER variable speed drive units respond ‘on-demand’ to the variations in machine usage; continually regulating the speed of the fans and optimising energy usage. Furthermore, the system also detects when all machines on either fan line are inactive, and will automatically shut down that particular fan.

Ian Rayner, sales manager of Ecogate says: “We confidently predicted that the Ecogate system would achieve power savings of 60% and six months on from the installation, analysis of the system, confirmed that savings had in fact exceeded our initial forecast.”