Energy efficient dust extraction system earns its keep during COVID crisis

Filtermist Systems Limited recently caught up with long-standing customer Crystal Doors to find out how the dust extraction system installed by DCS Ltd, which became part of Filtermist last year, was performing.

Rochdale based Crystal Doors manufactures vinyl wrapped doors and furniture for domestic, commercial, and public sector interiors. The company had worked with DCS Ltd for more than 20 years when it decided the time was right for a new dust extraction system.

The replacement system which was installed back in 2017 included Ecogate control technology to minimise unnecessary energy consumption. This aspect was a key factor in the project; Crystal Doors has a hugely ambitious target of achieving Carbon Neutral status by 2022 and thanks to the tenacity and total dedication of Managing Director Richard Hagan, the company is well on the way to making this dream a reality as Richard explains, “The developed world’s current economic model is not sustainable. The amount of resources we consume has quadrupled in the last 50 years to over 100 billion tonnes annually, but less than 9% is being reused. Climate change and biodiversity loss threaten our future and the future of following generations. 

“We’re setting out to prove that even the smallest company can make an incredible contribution to environmental issues. We’re doing this by looking at all aspects of our business to identify every single improvement that can be made – even tiny changes will help us achieve our goal. Having this unwavering purpose also makes it easier for us to decide on where to focus our energy and resources.”

The dust extraction system installed by DCS doesn’t just ensure clean air in the workshop and no pollution into the neighbouring Rochdale canal, it is actively reducing Crystal Doors’ energy consumption. This is achieved through a combination of using the latest extraction and filtration technology, details of which can be found in the original case study on this installation, and Ecogate. The Ecogate system, which includes a greenBOX MASTER SRL 200, auto-starts when the first machine is powered up and constantly optimises fan speeds throughout a 3-shift production schedule. It automatically stops when all the machines are shut down – meaning energy is only used when it’s needed. 

March 2020 Ecogate data showed a 68% saving over the baseline power consumption - this is even taking into account the fact that the company was running at full speed due to a large order required for the Nightingale field hospitals: “We were on the verge of temporarily closing the factory due to the COVID-19 crisis and I was doing one final ring around to inform customers, when one of them advised they had just landed a contract from the Government and they urgently needed our support,” continued Richard. “We pulled out all the stops and manufactured 6000 over bedtops during the course of the next few weeks. The dust extraction system was busy 24/7 for a month and it just kept on going, maximising energy efficiency. Brilliant.”

Data for months preceding the recent period showed savings of as much as 76% over the baseline figure. “I look at the data from Ecogate each month and think of the savings over a single cyclone motor running at 150kw, or even a modern alternative extraction system,” says Richard. “The initial cost was quite high as it was all new technology, but with help from the team the dream has been realised. It’s the best and will last 20 years+. Sorry to say, but once installed you can just forget the dust extractor!  Yes, occasionally bits need attention due to wear and tear, but once again we’re very impressed with the support we receive.”

A 3D tour of the Crystal Doors installation can be viewed on Filtermist brand Gallito’s website. “We are delighted that Crystal Doors is one of our customers,” comments Filtermist’s Director of UK Sales Andy Hives. “Richard is a superb example of a forward-thinking business leader who is not afraid to put his money where his mouth is and effect real change - not just for his business and employees, but for the greater good. We wish him all the best in his endeavour to achieve carbon neutrality by 2022.”

As the UK distributor for Moldow and Schuko filters, Filtermist works with many of the UK’s leading woodworking companies to ensure the air in their workshops is clean and safe to breathe, and they are compliant with internal and external air quality regulations. “The workplace exposure limit (WEL) for hardwood dust changed from an 8-hour time-weighted average of 5mg/m³ to 3mg/m³ earlier this year,” continues Andy. “Exposure to wood dust can cause a number of health issues - according to the HSE, carpenters and joiners are four times more likely to develop asthma compared with other UK workers. Installing effective extraction is vital anywhere woodworking takes place, but it needn’t incur huge running costs as Richard has testified.”

HSE advice on wood dust and recommended control measures can be found here:

More details about wood dust extraction from Filtermist can be found by visiting the woodworking section on our website. If you want to discuss your requirements with a member of our team please call 01952 290500 or email