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A ducting success story

ducting

Manufacturers’ Monthly speaks with Nordfab branch manager David Inifer about why installing the correct dust collector is vital to a manufacturer’s operations.

As the world’s largest manufacturer of clamp-together ducting for dust collection and process ventilation, Nordfab’s presence in the Asia Pacific region has given Australian manufacturers access to industrial ventilation that is locally made.

According to Nordfab branch manager David Inifer, there are huge advantages to this.

“One big advantage for customers is we build our own dust collectors,” so there’s a great advantage if something goes wrong as customers can easily get spare parts”, he said.

Nordfab’s recent acquisition of Ezi-Duct, an Australian company specialising in dust collection and fume extraction equipment, has positioned the company well in bringing its solutions to the local market.

Renovators Paradise

Renovators Paradise, which supplies recycled building materials in Keysborough in Victoria, were impressed with the eCono 15000 they had seen employed at Bucci’s Cabinets nearby and contacted Nordfab.

“They said, ‘That’s exactly what we’re after, come and help us out,’” Inifer said. “I went and had a look at what machinery they had. The client had proposed different layouts to start with and had a new moulder coming in. I put the dust collector at the back of their building and revamped the layout for them, making it around half the price.”

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The eCono 15000 is for workshops with medium sized dust loads.

After the dust collector was installed in December 2021, Renovators Paradise received the moulding machine in early 2022 and Nordfab was able to complete the ducting to create the best solution for the company’s needs.

“The moulding machine had six inputs of varying sizes, so we had to wait until they got the machine so we could work out the final part of the ducting and size that correctly,” Inifer said.

Inifer, who has been with Ezi-Duct for over five years, has a background in compressors and pneumatics and has been responsible for the installation of around 120 systems in his time at the company.

Ascertaining air flow

When Nordfab takes on a project, its team conducts a site visit to evaluate the machines on-site and the dust outlet size of each machine. This ascertains the air flow rate that is required for the machines, determining the size of the dust collector needed.

“Every machine has a dust outlet where you hook on a piece of ducting and take it away for dust extraction,” Inifer said. “We have a chart that we work by, which gives you a certain flow rate depending on what the dust outlet size is on the machine.

“For example, for a 100mm dust outlet on the machine the required flow rate is 565 cubic metres an hour. So, if you have five machines with 100mm outlets, that gives you a total of around about 2800 cubic metres an hour, which is what your dust collecting machine should be capable of at a minimum.”

A dust collector that is the incorrect size for the site can be detrimental to a company’s ducting system, which can have a major impact on occupational health and safety.

Inifer explained, “the biggest thing that can go wrong is to incorrectly size a dust collector machine. While ducting can always be changed and fixed up, it’s very hard to swap over the size of a machine because its capabilities are only a particular flow of air.”

“I’ve been to some sites where a competitor has installed a ducting system incorrectly and I’ve had to explain to the customer why they are having problems.”

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Correctly sizing a dust collector machine is imperative.

Why is ducting important for manufacturers?

According to Safe Work Australia, breathing in dusts, gases, fumes and vapours can damage the lungs and potentially lead to conditions like asthma, lung cancer and hard metal pneumoconiosis. Manufacturing workers could be exposed to a range of hazardous material, including:

  • airborne flour dusts from mixing ingredients in food manufacturing;
  • dusts created from wood and textile manufacturing;
  • welding fumes from metal and machinery manufacturing, and
  • chemical vapours in rubber and chemical manufacturing.

This means that installing the right ventilation in the manufacturing industry is of the utmost importance, to ensure the health and safety of employees.

Nordfab’s range of eCono Dust Collectors meet Australia’s strict OHS and clear air environmental regulations. Made with corrosion resistant and robust galvanised steel, they are fitted with high quality snap lock, quick fit, no leakage filter bags that are manufactured from polyester anti-static needle felt. These filter bags are automatically cleaned each time the unit is turned off, saving energy and securing optimal efficiency levels when operating.

The eCono Dust Collectors come in a variety of sizes, from the smaller eCono 1500 to the powerful eCono 15000, which uses a 18.5 kW industrial fan.

“The eCono 15000 is probably the largest machine in their smaller range of dust collectors,” Inifer said.

“It’s an optimum size for a standard cabinet maker or kitchen maker workshop. The standard machines they would have in those sorts of workshops would be a CNC, panel saw and edge-bander. The 15000 would give them great suction and they have the option to incorporate extra connections, like a vacuum wand or a floor sweep.”

Although powerful, the eCono 15000 is not an oversized machine, ensuring it can fit into many workshop spaces. And there are a great many options that customers can add on.

“It also has options for dust collection in the way that you can put either eight bags underneath, or you can put it over the top of three cubic metre bins, or over the top of two wheelie bins,” Inifer said.

The range of dust collectors have been in circulation for around 20 years and gradually improved on, culminating in the range that is available for manufacturers today.

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