James Jones upgrades extraction
Indusvent has upgraded dust extraction at James Jones’ Kirriemuir sawmill.

James Jones & Sons Ltd’s Kirriemuir sawmill has invested in new dust extraction technology, incorporating special features, from extraction specialist Indusvent.

Indusvent was selected to design, supply and install a new Super-Blower dust extraction and filtration system to serve the mill’s main sawmill process equipment featuring Primultini and Paul machines.

The Kirriemuir sawmill, near Forfar, produces agricultural purlins, landscape sleepers, heavy timber sections and ungraded, unseasoned carcassing.

Indusvent’s system was designed to extract wet sawdust residue from all the main band sawmills and various other sawing machinery.

The ductwork at each machine extract point was fitted with pressure sensing controls for early detection of any blockages in either the saw pits or machine hoppers.

The Super-Blower system was, as standard, arranged as a negative pressure system with the main exhaust fan set located on the clean air side, eliminating the possibility of any fan damage or wear from extracted particles.

Indusvent says this also provides a significant reduction in noise and minimum electricity consumption compared with a traditional positive pressure system.

The technology’s patented powerpulse filter cleaning system is designed to ensure continuous stable operation, while vertical flameless venting was also included to ensure compliance with ATEX requirements.

Indusvent also specified and installed a range of type PST shaftless spiral conveyors supplied by Söderhamn Eriksson. These were arranged to collect the extracted sawdust discharged from the Super-Blower system and transport it to the existing sawdust holding area.

Every motor was fitted with status control, which is displayed at the control panel HMI colour touch screen.

As the extraction system is generally handling wet material and because of the location of the mill, the system was specified with additional features to ensure trouble-free operation during winter, including auto frost start and anti-moisture filter bags fitted in the Super-Blower filter.

Intelligent solutions to dust control
Controlling airflow according to demand is being addressed by the Intellair solution.

Western Air Ducts’ (WAD) programmable logic controlled (PLC) intelligent air control system – Intellair – continually monitors demand and regulates the extraction or supply of air in accordance with demand.

An off-the-shelf solution designed to cut energy costs by in excess of 40% and have an investment payback of about two years, Intellair is being targeted at both new and existing extraction or ventilation systems.

Operations director Scott Lintern told TTJ that many woodworking companies either didn’t appreciate that inefficient extraction was costing them money, or the cost and complexity of sourcing/building a control system put them off.

"The Intellair control unit can handle 62 dampers at once," he said. "It’s as close to a plug and play system as you can get."

Intellair was recently installed at AJ Charlton & Sons Ltd’s gate manufacturing facility in Somerset.

Ducting was modified on the system, which has 27 points connecting to an existing cyclone filter, and Intellair was fitted. Charltons needed to increase material throughput, achieve higher productivity and reduce energy consumption.

The cost of energy usage can be ascertained by graph displays on Intellair’s user interface – accessed by computer system, laptop or remote access from WAD.

It is designed to operate automatically and can be configured to undertake scheduled clean operations and allocate booster points to maintain duct velocities.

When a machine is turned on or a room is occupied, a remote switch (either automatic or manual) signals Intellair to indicate the demand. The system then calculates the optimum motor speed required.

When a machine is turned off or a room is no longer occupied it reduces the motor speed accordingly.

Air "zoning" is also possible, allowing different sections of the system to receive more/less air.

New dust extraction improves productivity
English Woodlands Timber needed better dust extraction to boost productivity.

West Sussex sawmiller English Woodlands Timber has reported production and health and safety benefits after investing in a new dust extraction system.

The company, based near Midhurst, spent £150,000 as part of an investment programme that also involved the installation of PV roof panels to generate electricity.

Extraction contractor Air Plants was commissioned to install the dust extraction system.

English Woodlands managing director Tom Compton told TTJ that mill machinery had previously been serviced by a system which required regular manual emptying of filter bags.

"We have a Weinig six-head moulder but the extraction system was not powerful enough and stopped the machine working all the time," said Mr Compton. "It was also an unpleasant job emptying the bags."

The new system installed by Air Plants is connected to the Weinig, two planer/thicknessers, a straight line edger, and a cross-cut saw.

Dust empties into a hopper which is transferred direct to a new briquetter, capable of producing 50kg of wood briquettes an hour.

"The biggest saving is not having the downtime on the machine and not having the health and safety risk [from the dust]," Mr Compton added.

English Woodlands specialises in English hardwoods and supplies flooring, oak beams, boards, boules, cladding, plus joinery and furniture components.