Nottinghamshire-based furniture manufacturer, Charles Yorke Ltd, is reaping the benefits from an Ecogate® extraction optimisation system installed by Dust Control Systems Ltd (DCS).

Established at the turn of the millennium, Charles Yorke creates luxury, bespoke furniture for the high-end residential market, and has enjoyed sustained growth over the last two decades. Operating from a modern 5,000 square metre facility, which houses an enviable range of high-tech woodworking equipment, the company combines the use of state-of-the-art technology with traditional cabinet making techniques and quality materials to achieve individually-designed and handcrafted pieces for the home; from the very traditional through to the most contemporary.

The existing extraction system at Charles Yorke employed three main fans which ran continuously, at fixed speed, and provided 145kW of combined power; extracting around 95,000m3 of dust-laden air per hour from three separate ductwork lines. However, with the company’s steadfast commitment to a policy of continuous investment in cutting-edge production equipment, the extraction system was operating at near maximum capacity. With another machine purchase imminent, managing director Mark Denman had been advised that an additional extraction fan, and potentially a second filter unit, would be required to accommodate the increased volume of woodwaste.

When DCS was invited to provide recommendations on the company’s future extraction requirements, however, it became clear that an alternative solution could be viable. Although Charles Yorke’s production team makes good and effective use of all the equipment that’s been installed, a full survey of machine use at the factory, carried out by Ecogate Ltd on behalf of DCS, revealed that there was never a time when all machines were operating simultaneously. In fact, it was demonstrated that installing Ecogate® technology, which allows fan speeds to be continuously adjusted and optimised to match extraction demand, would enable the introduction of further machines without the need for additional fan power or filtration capacity.

As well as postponing expenditure on a new fan and filter unit for the foreseeable future, the Ecogate® system installed at Charles Yorke significantly reduces the amount of power consumed by the three main fans. The energy survey carried out by Ecogate Ltd had conservatively estimated that average fan speed would be reduced by around 20% but, since a relatively small reduction in fan speed achieves a significant reduction in electricity consumption, it was predicted that the resulting energy savings could cover the cost of installation in under 4 years.

Following a visit to another manufacturing facility, and observing first-hand a comparable Ecogate® system in action, Mark Denman was convinced that this was the correct solution for Charles Yorke and contracted DCS to undertake the project. Commenting on the installation, Charles Yorke’s Service & Maintenance Supervisor, John White, said: “DCS engineers worked around our factory production schedules and completed the installation over a 2-week period, including working through two weekends to facilitate completion of electrical installations that required production machinery to be shut down.”

Ecogate® Automatic Dampers were installed into extraction ductwork throughout the factory and hard-wired to a series of Ecogate greenBOX® control units. When production machines come on-line or shut down a signal is received by the intelligent Ecogate greenBOX® units which, in real-time, instruct the Ecogate® PowerMASTER Variable Speed Drive units to adjust fan speeds to exactly match the current demand for extraction. DCS installed 3 separate PowerMASTER VSD units at Charles Yorke, with each unit individually-sized to match the power capacity of each of the three main fans.

Recent data recorded by the Ecogate® system confirms that the predicted reductions in energy consumption are being achieved, and DCS have subsequently completed an extension of the extraction system with FastClip ductwork connections to newly installed machines – installations that would not have been possible without the implementation of Ecogate® ‘extraction-on-demand’ technology.