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High Seat Ltd. (HSL) is an award-winning manufacturer of ergonomically-designed furniture with a heritage dating back over half a century. This family-owned business now employs over 500 people, with stores all over the UK and a modern manufacturing plant on a 10,000 m2 site in Batley, West Yorkshire. Only a short distance from when the company began operation in 1968.
“HSL’s business and reputation has been built on the quality of the handcrafted chairs, sofas and beds that we continue to manufacture here in West Yorkshire,” says Rob Spurr, who is responsible for the company’s woodworking machinery and CNC equipment. “It’s fair to say that our high-speed CNC machines now handle a great deal of the cutting and profiling work with used to be carried out using more traditional machinery, but there are still numerous operations necessary for the production of our traditional furniture that are regularly undertaken using machinery we have maintained here for many years.”
Although still in regular use, these ‘vintage’ machines generally operate intermittently during the working day and in relatively short bursts of activity depending on production requirements. “Extractly look after LEV testing for HSL,” Rob explains, “as well as all the ongoing service and maintenance of our extraction system, and their engineers have often commented on how beneficial an Ecogate installation could be for our factory.”
Sales Engineer Tom Firth comments: “To exert some control over extraction usage, ductwork connections to each of the traditional machines had previously been fitted with individual, manually-operated dampers but, with the best will in the world, manual operation could never match the efficiency of Ecogate’s computer-controlled, on-demand extraction system.”
The system also collects waste dust from the company’s four CNC machines. The surging cost of electricity required to power the three 30kW extraction fans ultimately accelerated the decision to go ahead with the capital investment.
To maintain clean air in the factory, the main extraction fans were previously required to operate on full power, throughout the working day – even when machines were stopped for loading and offloading, or during operations’ break times. Now, with Ecogate installed, the system operates using only the minimum power required to exactly match the demand for extraction at any given time. Effectively, whenever an individual machine is stopped, and not creating dust, the relevant fan will be slowed automatically reducing electricity consumption..
The system also recognises when there is no production taking place on one or more of the three extraction lines; the appropriate fan is then either slowed or shut down completely. To ensure employees’ safety, minimal air flow is managed across the entire ductwork system to reduce the risk of fire or explosion.
Ecogate is proud to claim that it has the only system in the world that continuously monitors pressure, air velocity and air volume both in the main duct and at each individual gate. The Ecogate greenBOX controller uses this data to regulate the system and ensure correct transport velocities are always maintained throughout the ductwork system.
The Ecogate installation at HSL is the first in the UK to feature the latest “greenBOX NXT” controller. As well as controlling the extraction system, a large colour touchscreen displays real-time performance data, showing how much energy the fan motor is consuming and providing an insight to machine utilisation and energy savings being achieved across the factory.
The highly-intelligent, user-friendly Ecogate greenBOX NXT has the capacity to efficiently control the operation of an extraction system with multiple main fans and up to 72 individual workstations. The NXT can also be programmed to stop and start your extraction system automatically at both ends of the working day. System performance is checked at start-up and confirmed by text or email. At the end of the day the greenBOX will message again to confirm successful system shutdown.
Ben Waters, Group Operations Director at HSL comments: “Although our furniture has been handcrafted in Yorkshire for 55 years, using traditional skills and time-proven machinery, we still embrace change and innovation at HSL, and we are delighted to be the first manufacturer in the UK to benefit from Ecogate’s latest advances in energy-saving technology.”
The Ecogate installation at HSL is predicted to achieve cost savings of over 45% and is expected to pay for itself through savings realised over the next 12 to 24 months – and after that, it will effectively be using half price electricity.
To update your system to the energy-saving Ecogate system get in touch with our team today.