Dust Control Systems Ltd (DCS) has designed and installed a complete dust extraction system for renowned Nottinghamshire-based furniture manufacturer, Andrew Paul Furniture Ltd.
Andrew Paul Furniture is located at the heart of the UK’s furniture-manufacturing capital – Long Eaton – and the company’s directors bring together a combined experience of over 60 years in the industry to manufacture traditional, quality furniture with a contemporary twist. Situated between Nottingham and Derby, just north of the River Trent, Long Eaton was once a thriving industrial town, manufacturing much of the ‘Nottingham’ lace which was sold worldwide but, by the mid-1900s, the demand for lace had waned considerably.
Fortunately for the town’s workforce, this decline coincided with the rise of furniture and upholstery manufacturing in the town; an industry which has continued to thrive in Long Eaton to the point where it is recognised today as the centre for quality upholstery manufacture in the UK. More than 50 companies in the town are involved in furniture manufacture, employing over 2,700 people and generating sales in excess of £250 million through ‘high end’ retailers in the UK and around the world. The statement ‘Made in Long Eaton’ means a great deal when it comes to fine furniture, and the ‘Union Jack Sofa’ logo may only be used by companies manufacturing within the town’s boundaries.
From the frames manufactured using FSC accredited timber, through to the finished upholstered piece, virtually every element of the furniture created at Andrew Paul is produced in-house and, when the directors took the decision to bring two separate manufacturing units under the same roof, they called DCS in to assess their dust extraction requirements. As DCS’s Sales Manager, Ray Townley, explains: “The joinery and frame-building side of the business was already located in premises next to the new factory, but upholstery work was being completed in a separate building up the road.” Ray Townley carried out the free site survey and energy-efficiency appraisal that DCS always offer, and the proposed turnkey package included the supply and installation of an externally-sited, NFSZ3000 3HJLR screw filter unit to handle dust and waste from the company’s eclectic mix of classical saws and sanders, as well as a lathe, a thicknesser, and a surface planer. In total, extraction was required for 6 clean-up hoses and 19 different machines, including a new Schuko Hogger wood shredder, that DCS would also supply, which incorporates a magnetic trap at the outlet side to remove any metal waste; preventing potential damage to the filter unit, and reducing the risk of fire by minimising the possibility of a spark occurring.
The new system installed at Andrew Paul Furniture is enhanced by the inclusion of Ecogate® energy-saving technology. Two Ecogate® GreenBOX 12 units receive information on the operational status of each piece of equipment in the factory and, as machines are switched on and off, instruct a total of 21 Ecogate® automatic dampers to open or close according to the real-time demand for extraction. The system then automatically adjusts the speed of the 37kW extraction fan to optimise efficiency and maximise power savings. “The Ecogate® system is perfect for a joinery workshop such as this one,” says Ray Townley, “where multiple machines are required for the manufacturing process, but never required to be in operation at the same time.”
A conventional system would have the main fan and filter unit sized to accommodate the extraction requirement for all machines operating continuously throughout the working day. But, through analysis of machine usage, Kieran Redmond, Projects Engineer at DCS, determined the total maximum usage would only ever be around 85% of this total and, as Ray explains: “Ecogate technology takes advantage of this fact; firstly allowing the installation of a lower powered fan to instantly reduce the company’s power consumption, and then by creating the potential for further significant savings by continually adjusting fan speed throughout the day to exactly match the changing extraction requirements.”
“As well as ensuring the installation was economically efficient, we were keen to improve our green credentials,” says director Andrew Cooke, “and so we were also having a wood burner installed which would be fed with wood waste stored in the adjacent silo.” A rotary valve discharges collected waste, pressure-free, from the DCS filter unit and a 15kW transport fan directs the waste vertically into a cyclone separator; finally delivering the waste material efficiently and safely into the storage silo. DCS fitted heavy duty ductwork bends to enhance wear resistance, and return air ductwork is also included in the installation; manually-operated summer/winter dampers allow the filtered warm air to heat the workshop in winter, or divert it to atmosphere in summer.
The whole installation was planned to accommodate Andrew Paul Furniture’s perpetually busy production schedule and to achieve this with the minimum possible downtime. “The DCS engineering and installation team did an outstanding job”, commented Mr Cooke. “Somehow they managed to work around us for the most part and the whole project progressed very smoothly.”
For more information Tel: 0800 040 7116