Unlocking Savings from the Start
On-Demand Dust Collection boasts many benefits, with some of the most significant advantages emerging during the design process of a new duct system. When planning for an On-Demand system, understanding your factory's unique demands and projected growth is key. It's during this planning phase that the potential for substantial savings can be identified.
On-Demand Dust Collection can offer opportunities to size your collector based on your factory's Active Workstation Utilization, potentially saving on initial investments and future expansion costs. In summary: If the peak utilization of your workstations is under 100%, you could use a smaller dust collector, smaller fan, and smaller duct system to save on the initial system cost and operating cost simultaneously. Another option is to use a normal size dust collector and fan, and set it to meet the demand of the actual active utilization of workstations, affording you the option to connect more workstations to the system in future.
What is On-Demand Dust Collection?
First, we can understand what On-Demand Dust Collection is using an analogy. Let’s imagine that your factory was a hotel, and each workstation was a guest room. A Traditional Dust Collection System would have one controller managing the HVAC of all rooms. This means that in the morning when you go in, you turn on the switch and the HVAC activates for all guest rooms. This sounds illogical, right? This is because not all rooms have guests, so the electricity used on empty rooms is simply wasted. Traditional Dust Collection Systems operate like this, and they waste even more electricity which totals to thousands of dollars for many facilities.
An “On-Demand System” gives you automatic HVAC controls at each guest room, allowing you to only use the electricity in rooms with guests, while saving energy from the empty ones. For this analogy, it makes perfect sense to not operate the entire HVAC with one controller. We would argue that it makes equal sense in dust collection, so it baffles us to learn that many factories keep wasting money.
How Does On-Demand Dust Collection Work?
Ecogate is the pioneer in On-Demand Dust Collection and our technology is the industry standard. Here’s a brief explanation on how we transform traditional dust collection systems into on-demand.
Sensors are installed at each workstation to detect when that workstation will produce dust, therefore needing dust extraction.
Gates, installed at each workstation or drop, open and close to provide suction only at workstations that need it.
In real-time, the VFD adjusts the fan to meet the exact demand of all open gates.
This is all possible through a greenBOX Control Unit - which is the brain of the system constantly communicating with the gates and VFD to ensure efficient, safe operation.
Improved Performance Equals Improved Capacity
It’s essential to understand that not all workstations need suction concurrently. Just because machines are on and running doesn’t always signify a high demand for dust collection.
For things like loading/unloading, programming, cleaning, or maintenance there’s no need for dust extraction. Really, you only require dust collection when your workstation is actually producing dust particulates. We call this Active Workstation Utilization or just Active Utilization. It always wows users to learn how low their Active Utilization truly is, you can read more about that here. We’re willing to bet that your Active Utilization is less than 50%, which means your savings potential is only bigger than you imagine!
Plan and Design On-Demand Dust Collection
If you're planning for a new system or considering an upgrade, take into account your factory's current and anticipated demands. The right system depends on your unique situation. Some factories, due to their operational patterns, may truly benefit from a smaller collector, leading to initial cost savings.
Others, anticipating growth, might choose a standard-sized collector, avoiding future costs as they expand. This means that they can integrate new machines without significant additional infrastructure investments, effectively future-proofing their operations.
If you’re in the planning phase, we recommend consulting one of our engineers. We have decades of experience in designing efficient systems and our method does account for On-Demand functionality and Active Workstation Utilization so you can rest assured that your system will be efficient and remain that way.
Expanding Capacity of Your Dust Collection System
Picture this, your business begins to grow and sales go up. Business is going so well that now you find yourself having to add a couple more machines to keep up. This is typically a good problem, except that it requires additional capital investment. Not only would you need to buy more machines, but you’ll also need to size up your collector to accommodate the new machines.
On the other hand, if you have an on-demand system, you’d typically be able to add a couple of new machines without having to spend on a new expensive collector. This has been possible for many of our customers who find themselves in this situation, covered in the next section.
Success Stories: Scaling with Ecogate
This was the case with Synsor Retail Innovation, who was overloading their existing 200 HP dust collection system with new machines. Fortunately, they installed Ecogate, allowing them to expand, increase system performance, and save electricity without needing to buy a new collector. You may read more about it here.
This was also the case with Brentwood Corp. As Brentwood's production requirements expanded, their existing dust collection system struggled to keep up with demand, resulting in poor suction on some machines. Ecogate's On-Demand System not only improved their system's performance, it also yielded annual savings of around $100,000 per year plus eliminated a $35,000 increase in electrical costs by not adding another collector. Read the case study here.
Other Benefits of On-Demand Dust Collection
Avoiding unnecessary expansion capital costs by increasing the system’s capacity is a golden benefit that some factories could really capitalize on. If your factory isn’t able to realize this benefit, because your system requires 100% utilization capacity, we have a list of our favorite benefits to switch to On-Demand Dust Collection below:
Generates You Savings
On-Demand Dust Collection cuts electricity costs by an average of 68%, saving thousands of dollars monthly. It further reduces wear and tear on equipment, minimizing maintenance costs and extending filter lifespans.
Improves Safety For Everyone
The system properly captures particulates at the source, improving air quality and ensuring long-term health benefits for employees. It also prevents dangerous dust buildup in the ducting, protecting against potential fire hazards.
Makes You Environmentally Responsible
By consuming less energy, On-Demand Dust Collection shrinks your carbon footprint, fortifying your status as an environmentally conscious organization. In some regions, this might even qualify you for tax benefits or subsidies.
Improves Work Conditions
Reduction in air particulates and noise levels enhances the working environment, boosting morale and productivity. Automation permits workers to concentrate solely on their primary tasks.
Provides Insightful Data
The intelligent system, with sensors and smart gates, provides invaluable insights into your system’s performance. This data can be employed to optimize production, predict maintenance schedules, and implement preventive measures.
On-Demand Dust Collection can aid in adhering to health, safety, environmental, and energy efficiency regulations, ensuring your operations are in line with legal standards.
By maintaining a cleaner workspace, the system supports better product quality. Reduced dust and particulates means a lower chance of them affecting the finish or integrity of your manufactured items.
Listening to the Customer
The cornerstone of an efficient system lies in understanding the unique needs of each customer. It's never a one-size-fits-all solution. Our experienced engineers prioritize listening to and comprehending the intricacies of each setup, ensuring that every system we design or recommend aligns perfectly with our clients' requirements.
Feel free to connect with us, we’ll be glad to assess your system to discover the potential savings and benefits it can unlock by adopting On-Demand Dust Collection.
Author, David Vera