Rosy future for furniture maker thanks to new dust extraction system

West Yorkshire-based woodwaste extraction specialist Dust Control Systems Ltd, now part of Filtermist Systems Limited, came to the rescue of Red Rose Furnishings following an incident where an inattentive delivery driver reversed a large furniture van into the company’s filter unit.

Red Rose Furnishings is a family-run business that embraces a long history of furniture manufacturing in the former Lancashire mill town of Blackburn, and has established an extensive clientele across the UK and Ireland. The company has gained a reputation for quality craftsmanship and, as well as manufacturing frames for some well-known names in the upholstery industry, offers its own range of both traditional and modern designs.

Although Red Rose’s sofas are handmade, the factory houses several saws and other high-speed machine tools which are in constant use and create a significant volume of dust and woodwaste. “The old filter had been working at capacity, but was still doing its job very effectively”, said managing director Arif Kola. “It was quite a blow when the old filter got damaged – our insurance company wanted the unit to be repaired, but I wasn’t convinced that a patched-up, 20-year old filter unit would be able to provide the extraction capacity we needed, and I was concerned that it wouldn’t be too long before we had to cover the cost of a new replacement.”

Ray Townley, area sales manager for Dust Control Systems Ltd (DCS) continues the story: “Following the incident with the lorry, Mr. Kola contacted DCS for advice and so I arranged to visit the factory to assess the damage. It was obvious to me on first sight that the aged unit was beyond safe repair and I advised Arif that DCS would only be able to provide a quotation for supply and installation of a like for like replacement. With Arif’s permission, I contacted the loss adjuster directly to explain how the impact with the overhanging fan enclosures had warped the filter body, causing many of the sealed joints to open up, and that any attempt at repair would be futile; rendering the filter ineffectual, unsafe and a potential fire hazard.”

Ray also provided the insurers with supporting documentary evidence, including information on European ATEX directives regarding the safety of equipment intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres and, thankfully for Red Rose Furnishings, the insurers reversed their decision and the company was given the go ahead to place an order with DCS. The replacement unit is an NFSZ3000 2HJLR Rotary Valve Filter – virtually the same footprint as the old filter but, to avoid the possibility of similar damage occurring in the future, it’s configured with the regeneration fans and access gantry at the end of the unit.

Also, instead of filtered woodwaste being transferred to a large skip for disposal, it’s now stored in a large silo which in turn feeds a waste-to-energy boiler. “We purchased the silo and boiler at auction,” says Arif Kola, “but, although we were filling a large container with waste every week, we hadn’t got round to connecting them to the extraction system. However, with DCS engineers on-site to replace the filter unit we had the perfect opportunity to get everything connected and working – we’re now getting free heat for the factory and no longer need to pay for waste disposal.”

Although the new filter unit is the same physical size as the old one, and the existing 22kW main extraction fan has been retained, the new unit is capable of filtering over 2,000 cubic metres more dust-laden air per hour than the old one. The increase in extraction volume is simply down to improvements in filter technology and filer media over the last 20 years, but this upgrade gives Red Rose some spare extraction capacity; providing the opportunity to add or replace machinery in the future with no worries about the extraction system’s capacity.

“I can’t thank Ray Townley enough for going the extra mile for us”, says Arif Kola. “Despite a few sleepless nights following the accident, the effort put in by Ray, and the efficiency of the DCS installation team, has given us peace of mind for the foreseeable future.”

Contact our team on 01952 290500 to discuss your dust extraction requirements.