The newly installed Schuko EcoVar filter at Starbank Panel Products.
DCS ‘extraction-on-demand’ automatically adjusts extraction volumes as demand changes.
All smiles at Starbank – Paul Atkinson, Production Director, shows Phil Darbyshire real-time power levels.




Dust Control Systems has recently completed a major energy-saving dust extraction scheme for long-standing customer Starbank Panel Products Ltd ­– one of the most successful panel fabricators in the UK.

Based in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, Starbank employs around 100 people and operates from a modern 3-acre manufacturing site with over 70,000 sq. ft. of production floor space. The company supplies its products to a growing number of industry sectors requiring reliable and quality panel fabrication services, including high pressure laminate fabrication, postforming, CNC machining and solid surface fabrication.

The family-run company, headed up by managing director Phil Darbyshire whose parents first started the business over 35 years ago, continues to buck the trend with excellent growth and is consistently looking at ways to further improve the business. “We have recently embarked on an initiative to dramatically reduce our energy usage”, says Phil Darbyshire. “The ultimate aim is to reduce our electricity bills by around £80,000 per year, and investing in the DCS energy-saving dust extraction plant is a key element in phase one of a project that will also see the installation of a new Biomass Boiler. Already completed as part of the plan is the installation of 40% more efficient lighting throughout the facility, a centralised variable-speed vacuum pump system to replace individual machine pumps, and a much improved compressed air system which is perfectly balanced all the time. Total combined savings in energy, maintenance, and other related costs for the whole strategy, is estimated at £160,000 per year.”

Melvyn Bathgate, sales director at DCS, says: “The new installation included replacing an existing large chain filter, originally supplied by DCS 12 years ago, which had been extended over the years to keep pace with various expansion schemes. Two further smaller filters, housed at the back of the factory, were also decommissioned. The requirement was for a single, externally-sited, high-efficiency filter that would serve the whole factory, and allow centralised storage of all woodwaste to efficiently fuel the firm’s heating unit. And, in common with most new DCS installations, the plant would include an ‘extraction-on-demand’ energy-saving system.”

The plant features a high-efficiency Schuko EcoVar 04 series 2020 modular chain filter, with a filter surface area of 846m2, and total airflow capacity of 112,000m3/hr. The powerful filter is fitted with tubular, long-life, polyester needle-felt filter elements, and employs a dual cleaning arrangement; comprising a top cleaning fan and compressed air-driven mechanical shaker at the base. Collected dust waste is transferred, via a closed-loop waste fan system, into Starbank’s existing cyclone and rotary valve which is sited on top of a woodwaste storage silo and burning system. The filter has 10% spare capacity to accommodate further dust extraction, if required.

Phil Darbyshire adds: “DCS carried out a thorough appraisal of our requirements and were able to provide the best technology available and accurately demonstrate the levels of energy savings that would be made. Having worked with DCS for many years we knew that we could expect them to handle the contract professionally, and they didn’t disappoint – their installation team are a great bunch of lads and they managed every aspect of the installation perfectly to keep any disruption to production at an absolute minimum.”


Dust Control Systems Ltd., Horace Waller VC Parade, Shawcross Business Park, Dewsbury, WF12 7RF
Telephone: +44 (0)1924 482500   E-mail:
Freephone: 0800 0407116

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