For some organisations these changes have involved moving equipment around in the factory to improve workflow, or simply to ensure effective social distancing, and some have invested in more efficient machinery to speed up production. Others have taken the decision to consolidate operations to achieve efficiencies, whilst some have taken the opportunity to move to alternative premises; taking their existing extraction system with them.
- Filtermist’s website (www.filtermist.co.uk) includes numerous case studies on installations for the woodworking industry including systems at Sampson Products (1), Cardinal Group (2), Seamers Specialist Joinery (3) and Crystal Doors (4)
As a long-standing Clean Air Partner to many of the UK’s leading manufacturers, Filtermist has undertaken a number of projects in recent times where the customer has required support to reconfigure their extraction system. This has often involved a straight forward addition of extraction ductwork to serve a new machine installation, or a refit of ductwork to meet the needs of a revised factory layout which, in some instances, has also included the reinstatement of stand-alone filter units to extract from specific machines. In some case, however, relocating the business to new premises has necessitated the de-commissioning and reinstallation of a large extraction system, including a centralised filter unit to treat contaminated air from multiple machines and extraction points.
Support provided by Filtermist’s experienced team of engineers ensures that dust or fume extraction is one element of a relocation that businesses don’t need to worry about. Filtermist’s Systems sales manager, Kevin Hood, elaborates: “We’ve worked with a wide range of customers, in industries from woodworking to automotive, and printing to food packaging, to ensure their extraction equipment is removed from the old premises and reinstalled safely and effectively at the new location. Projects have included a relocation of dust and fume extraction equipment for Federal-Mogul Motorparts’ Friction Products manufacturing plant, in Derbyshire, and installation of new ductwork for a Regenerative Thermal Oxidiser for TCL Packaging when the company relocated five miles away to its current site on Stafford Park Industrial Estate, Telford.
“As with the design and installation of any extraction system, a number of factors need to be considered when relocating equipment. The location of the plant, the physical size of the existing equipment, and its suitability to meet current performance requirements, as well as regulatory compliance, all have a bearing on system design to make sure extraction is at least as effective at the new site as it was at the old.”
Seamers Specialist Joinery
Relocating can also be the ideal time to invest in a more efficient and cost-effective extraction system to reduce running costs over the longer term, as Andy Hives, divisional sales director (dust), explains: “Extraction equipment today is far more efficient than in older installations, so it can often make sense to take the opportunity relocation presents and invest in a completely new system.
“Modern fans can achieve significant efficiencies, and improvements in filter media over the years have also had a noticeable effect on overall efficiency. Over time, additions to ducting runs can reduce overall performance; looking at it with a fresh pair of eyes, a re-design of the ductwork system will ensure extraction is operating as efficiently as possible. And, whether retrofitted as an upgrade or installed as part of a new system, incorporating Ecogate® control technology can reduce energy consumption by up to 75%. When you start looking at it from this perspective, it can often be more cost-effective to invest in a new system rather than persevering with inefficient old equipment in an effort to keep CAPEX costs down.”
Ecogate technology installed at Burbidge & Son in Coventry, and a screenshot from a short animation on Filtermist’s YouTube channel (https://youtu.be/kN6UGCLQq8I) which explains how the Ecogate system works
iltermist undertake energy audits on existing extraction systems in order to identify potential opportunities for improving efficiency and reducing running costs. “Even if the current economic situation means a move isn’t on the cards, many firms are still looking to increase efficiency and reduce overheads,” continues Andy, “and installing an Ecogate system can pay for itself in as little as two years through lower electricity bills – good for the balance sheet, and the significant reductions in energy usage are also great news for the environment.
“Ecogate reduces running costs by monitoring each individual machine, in real-time, and constantly adjusts extraction fan speeds to match demand – fans no longer need to run all day at full speed. Filtermist’s extraction experts will be only too happy to help if you are looking to reduce your running costs – whether you’re staying put or relocating your business.”
Relocation is often a key driver for investing in a new dust or fume extraction system, and the news page on Filtermist’s website includes links to numerous installation case studies of companies across the UK that have chosen this route.
Just one example is vinyl wrapped doors and furniture manufacturer Crystal Doors – still reaping the benefits of an installation completed in 2017 and obviously continuing to do so for the foreseeable future, as managing director, Richard Hagan, recently commented: “It’s the best and will last 20 years plus. Sorry to say, but once installed you can just forget the dust extractor!”