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Advanced Functionality in Ecogate's Smart Gates

Introduction to Advanced Gate Functions

For over 25 years, Ecogate has been refining its on-demand industrial ventilation systems, driven by insights from our customer experiences. This article highlights enhancements added to our gates, as requested by customers, complementing functionalities we’ve described in previous articles about automatic gate discovery and Modbus address assignment on a Modbus daisy-chain.

Ecogate Smart Gates' user interface: Gate Settings
Ecogate Smart Gates' user interface: Gate Settings

Let's explore nine advanced functionalities our Smart Gates offer...

Ecogate Smart Gates' user interface: Advanced Gate Functions
Ecogate Smart Gates' user interface: Advanced Gate Functions

1. Open Only with Sensor & Bleed Gate 

In scenarios where only a few machines are active, the greenBOX control unit strategically opens additional gates to maintain minimal air velocities in the duct system. However, certain stations, like a wide-belt sander, should not be used for this purpose to prevent damage to equipment or products.

The "Open Only with Sensor" feature ensures that specific gates will only open when their associated workstation sensors signal activity. This prevents issues like a wide-belt sander's gate opening while the belt is stationary, which could cause damage.

Additionally, in settings like pharmaceutical factories where gates at inactive workstations must remain closed, "bleed gates" can be installed on duct branches. These specialized gates help maintain minimal airflow throughout the duct system.

2. Keep Gate Open 

In the event of a workstation activity sensor failure, the "Keep Open" function provides a temporary workaround. This feature ensures the gate remains open, adding its airflow requirements to the overall system calculation so the workstation remains operational until the sensor is repaired.

3. Disable/Enable Gate

The "Disable Gate" feature provides flexibility as your factory evolves. It allows you to temporarily disconnect a gate from the greenBOX communication network without physically removing it. This is useful when workstations are relocated or removed. The gate can easily be re-enabled when the workstation is reintroduced or repurposed.

4. Gate Off Delay

This feature lets you control how long a gate remains open after a workstation becomes inactive. This ensures complete dust clearing, reduces wear on the gate by minimizing opening/closing cycles, and accommodates applications with longer clearing times (like paint booths) with delays up to 1,500 seconds (25 minutes). Customize the delay time for each gate to match your exact needs.

5. Gate Open by Workstation Sensor

This feature optimizes sensor use and saves you installation costs. By default, a single sensor can trigger multiple gates at a workstation, reducing the need for redundant sensors. For workstations requiring independent gate control, enable the "One to One" mode, which links each gate to its own dedicated sensor.

A single Workstation with three Smart Gates
A single Workstation with three Smart Gates

6. Invert Signal (from normally open, NO, to normally closed, NC)

For maximum flexibility, our gates can be configured to work with both standard and specialized equipment. The default is a normally open (NO) signal, which activates the gate when the signal circuit is completed (connected). This aligns with industry protocols used in PLCs and VFDs (24V DC, 10mA). The gate accepts input from both VOLT workstation activity sensors and dry contact closures often used by modern dust collection machinery. However, if your machine outputs a normally closed (NC) signal (which opens upon activation), the 'Invert Signal' option in the advanced gate settings ensures compatibility.

7. Modbus Communication Loss Protocol

To ensure system functionality and safety even in the event of unexpected disruptions, you can customize how gates behave if communication with the greenBOX control unit is lost. Here are the available options and when to use them:

  • Open Gate if Communication with greenBOX is lost: This default setting is a safeguard that prevents damage to the duct system if the fan is activated while gates are closed.

  • Link Gate Operation to Workstation Sensor: Use this option when gate operation should directly mirror the workstation activity, regardless of communication with the main control unit.

  • Maintain Last Position: Select this if you want the gate to stay in its current state (open or closed) until communication is restored.

8. User & Control System Visible Limit Switches

Unlike typical HVAC or other dust collection systems, Ecogate provides real-time gate position status via magnetic limit switches. This information is clearly displayed on the greenBOX touchscreen, enhancing system monitoring and troubleshooting. In contrast, pneumatically operated gates without limit switches leave you guessing about their status – are they working properly, or is there a potential malfunction?

9. Gate Health Monitoring

Ecogate goes beyond simple position monitoring to ensure long-term reliability. Gates are continually analyzed for communication quality, power supply, motor current, temperature, opening/closing times, and energy usage. This proactive monitoring allows you to quickly identify potential issues, prevent unexpected downtime, and log data for analysis and system optimization.

Support and Help Functionality

Navigate the our user interface (via greenBOX) with confidence! Our built-in Help feature, accessible via the information icon, puts answers at your fingertips. Get instant assistance in plain language to understand specific gate functionalities and explore the system with ease.

Help option is accessible via an information icon for every single gate functionality
Help option accessible via an information icon for every single gate functionality


The advanced functionalities in our gates may seem complex at first glance, but their purpose is simple: to make your dust collection system work better for you. These features weren't developed in a vacuum; they were created in direct response to the needs of our customers. We're committed to continuous improvement, ensuring our gates provide exceptional user experience and operational efficiency. Ecogate remains dedicated to innovation, always striving to address the evolving challenges of our diverse clientele.

Bonus: Smart Gate Settings Demo

See how our Smart Gates UI puts you in control – explore settings configurations and easily monitor gate health data.


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