The beginning of a new year is a good time to reflect on the year that has passed, as well as to think about the priorities for the year ahead. With that in mind, let’s ask – and answer – an important question today: “Why are we here?”
To avoid going too deep down too many rabbit holes, let’s ask more specifically, “Why is Ecogate here?”, and leave the rest of the broader question as an exercise for the reader.
Dust collection is needed in any manufacturing process where dust is produced as a byproduct, for reasons including health, safety, and product quality.
Inhaling dust particles has serious negative consequences on human respiratory health, up to and including death. For an overview of these and related issues, this is a good starting place.
Similar health hazards exist with other types of exhaust material in industries including welding, pharmaceuticals, metal manufacturing, food processing, plastics, and many others. Just this March, the United States Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) introduced new rules designed to protect workers from exposure to silica dust, which can scars the lungs and can cause diseases such as silicosis and cancer (learn more).
Another important reason to keep dust collection systems working well is to prevent fires and explosions, which can be deadly. For an overview of this side of the issue, including examples of explosions involving fugitive wood dust led that lead to human deaths, take a look at this OSHA bulletin.
Finally, capturing dust effectively is important to maintain good product finish quality.
OK, so dust collection is important. Why Ecogate? Why do I care if there are intelligent controls on my dust collection system?
Imagine if you could eliminate or reduce the presence of many safety hazards in your work setting improving your work environment, gather important production and utilization data to fine tune your processes and could do it all by saving an average of two thirds the energy you presently use to run your dust collection fans. With Ecogate you can do that and more.
Ecogate System Overview
Ecogate is the world’s most advanced dust collection control system. A sensor is attached to each workstation. When a workstation is in use, its sensor reports this to the Ecogate greenBOX control unit. The greenBOX opens blast gates to active workstations, and closes blast gates to inactive ones. The reduced air volume requirements let the Power Master Variable Frequency Driver slow down the system fan, which decreases the fan’s power consumption. To learn more about how Ecogate works, click here.
How does this help you? Let’s break it down across three categories: People, Planet, and Profit.
First and foremost, Ecogate controls help your dust collection system capture and convey dust more effectively and efficiently in order to keep the work environment cleaner and safer. By closing gates to non-operating machinery, more air volume is available for running machines, which improves suction there on systems that are working near their full capacity.
Our state-of-the-art greenBOX Master systems also monitor air velocity, pressure, and volume in real-time at all drops, to make sure that the air velocity is sufficient to capture all the dust generated at each machine. You can see this real-time air velocity information right on the home screen of our greenBOX Master controller. If you like, you can even access this information remotely from a computer, smart phone, or other device.
Ecogate greenBOX Master
Closing gates to non-operating machinery reduces the air volume the fan needs to move, which lets Ecogate slow the dust collection fan down while still maintaining appropriate air velocities at all working drops. By slowing down the fan, the noise level is significantly reduced inside of the factory. At our installation at Synsor Retail Innovation, we measured the noise level at 8 dB lower after the Ecogate system was installed (read the case study).