Ecogate, a manufacturer of electronic controls for dust collection systems, offers GreenBox control units for shops of all sizes that sense when machines are in use and delivers the required air flow.
“A sensor is attached to each individual machine or workstation in a shop,” Ecogate vice president of business development Matthew Rodriguez says. “Once a machine is in use, the sensor notifies the GreenBox, which opens blast gates to active workstations and closes inactive ones.
“As soon as a saw or other machine is activated to create dust, the system may open three or four gates for the time of the cut, exhaust the dust, then the fans slow back down for power consumption. The GreenBox does it all for you. It’s completely programmed to whatever time intervals you want for opening and closing. So if a machine makes a lot of chips, you can have it stay open longer.”
Electronic blast gates are another important component to the system, Rodriguez adds.
“Gates have evolved from that guillotine-looking apparatus in the duct that is physically pushed open and closed. The reality is someone is not going to open and close the gate throughout the day if they have a lot to do. Also, the opening and closing does more damage to the overall system because it can’t properly support the pressure,” he says.
Ecogate’s offerings include a package of five to eight gates with a basic controller. More advanced solutions include gates that can constantly measure air volume, velocity and pressure.
Other packages include GreenBox 12, which monitors up to 12 gates and sells for $1,499; GreenBox NXT, a 32-machine setup for $5,999, and the premium GreenBox Master.
“With the GreenBox NXT or GreenBox master, you can read their stats remotely on your smartphone and open and close gates and address issues if you’re out. You have total access of the system,” Rodriguez says.
For more, visit www.ecogate.com.
This article originally appeared in the December 2016 issue.