“With over 20 years of experience behind us, we had a clear understanding of what we needed our new wood waste extraction system to do and what it needed to help us achieve,” begins Ian Stevens, Managing Director of Stevens Washrooms. “The new extraction system had to be capable of working with nine woodworking machines, including multiple edgebanders, a CNC and a vertical panel saw, and be able to work efficiently if all machines were running at the same time. The design also needed to accommodate 25% extra capacity and be easily modified and extended if we were to expand our premises in the future. Noise levels and running costs were also key areas of consideration for us.”

Following discussions with three extraction companies, it was Dustraction’s unique Dustrax No 27 BB Series tubular sock type filtering system complete with automatic shaker cleaning mechanism that ticked the box for the Portsmouth-based manufacturer. “Not only did the system seem like the most comprehensive solution on paper, Dustraction’s customer service, clear understanding of our requirements and speedy response to our questions made for a winning formula. Within three days, the team had drawn up detailed plans of our new 8,000 square foot premises, calculated the air volume required and offered us a competitively-priced solution that matched our brief perfectly.”

Designed and manufactured around Stevens Washrooms’ production requirements, Dustracton’s Dustrax No 27 BB Modular wood waste filter is capable of working effectively with the total air volume required by the nine machines on site (approx 11,470m³/hr – 6,750 cfm) and offers a filtration velocity of approx 2.36m/min. Its modular, bolted construction also allows for the addition of further filter chambers, bagging base extensions and increased fan power if needed in the future.

In addition, its automatic shaker cleaning mechanism, which sees waste transferred into an enclosed bagging hopper via the main floor-mounted extraction fan set, and fully-sequenced control panel designed for simple operation, the new Dustrax extraction system offers high-performance, innovative technology and user-friendly functionality.

Following the completion of socially distanced on-site surveys, the installation began on schedule. “We were fortunate enough to be able to carry on working from our existing premises while the new extraction system was being fitted,” explains Ian. “This not only reduced our downtime but gave the engineers more space and flexibility during the build. However, it also meant that they needed to be accurate when it came to the machine’s positioning. We couldn’t afford for our machines to be moved into their new home and not be up and running quickly. Dustraction’s engineers visited the site several times before the build began. Their due diligence paid off and each stage of the fit-out went to plan.”

Eight weeks on and the company is expecting to see significantly reduced running costs in the next quarter. “In our old premises, we had five smaller extraction units placed around the factory floor instead of all our machines running off a singular unit. Each ran at 35 amps on three-phase. On start-up, our new Dustrax fan goes from 200 amps to just 37 amps in a matter of seconds. That’s how powerful and energy efficient this system is. The near-silent running fan has also reduced noise levels. Even the shaker box is really quiet.”

Ian adds, “Now settled into our new premises, we are running at 60% capacity. The unit is capable of growing with us and so too is the new wood waste extraction system. Investing in key pieces of equipment like a new extraction system is never going to be an easy task – especially when you’re in the process of moving your entire manufacturing plant at the same time – but Dustraction was always on hand to help us. I found them to be extremely up-front and open throughout our journey and because of this, we’ve build a lasting relationship with them. We plan on working together going forward and we have an annual service plan in place with them. I would wholeheartedly recommend them to others looking to install a new extraction system or those looking to improve an existing system. The whole team really has offered a great service.”