Ecogate case study: Brentwood Corp., Molalla, Oregon, USA
Energy Trust of Oregon
Brentwood Corp., a division of Woodcraft Industries, was founded in 1988 with the dream of producing quality cabinet doors and components. Today, Brentwood's Hardwood and Rigid Thermal Foil (RTF) products are produced at their 98,000 square foot facility in Molalla, Oregon, and sold throughout the Pacific Rim. The corporation remains committed to continued growth while maintaining its original attention to craftsmanship and quality.
By 2014, Brentwood's success and continued growth had started pushing the limits of their existing dust extraction system: some machines were experiencing poor suction, and there was no capacity for adding new machines. Says Plant Engineer Dan Wagner, "We had looked at going the classic way to address our poor dust collection by adding a new dust collector. We estimated the dust collector to cost over $200,000 for the complete installation."
This 250 HP Western Pneumatics dust collector serves the manufacturing part of Brentwood's facility.
When Ecogate performed on-site engineering, the calculations showed that with Ecogate the existing dust collectors would provide excellent suction at all connected machines and provide the capacity to connect new ones. The numbers also showed that the Ecogate intelligent ventilation system would reduce Brentwood's electricity bill for dust collection by more than 50%.
Brentwood's facility has 101 Ecogate-equipped workstations.
"The Ecogate software and systems are very robust and user-friendly,
and the equipment is easy to install."
Plant Engineer, Brentwood Corp.
The facility has three dust collectors (250 HP, 150 HP, and 100 HP), and currently 101 workstations. As a result, a single Ecogate greenBOX MASTER controller would be enough for the entire factory. In addition to providing outstanding energy efficiency, the greenBOX MASTER also uploads a number of data about each dust collection system and the workstations connected to it to Ecogate's analytics platform, providing useful insight into the factory's operation.
Once the analysis was done, Ecogate became the obvious choice. "In our payback analysis, we calculated that we would not only save over $100,000 per year on electricity, but also eliminate a $35,000 increase in electrical cost by not running a fourth dust collector," says Dan Wagner.
Because of the impressive energy efficiency of this solution compared to the alternative, the Brentwood project was of great interest to the Oregon Energy Trust, Brentwood Corp's utility. Brentwood Corp. ultimately received an incentive of $257,679 towards the project, based on the measured kWh savings.
The Ecogate system was commissioned in June 2015, and dust extraction improved immediately. Dan continues, " The Ecogate software and systems are very robust and user-friendly, and the equipment is easy to install."
The Ecogate system reduced both demand (kW) and electricity use (kWh), resulting in a reduction of 58% for Brentwood Corp.'s electricity bill for dust collection.
The chart above shows electricity use over the course of a day for one of Brentwood's three fans, showing a massive 64% reduction in energy use. This data is easily accessible to Brentwood Corp. through Ecogate's online analytics platform.
Dan Wagner says, "Ecogate did a great job of introducing the system to us. After commissioning, they've worked with us on monitoring the system performance to make sure that everything was working at top efficiency."
Dan really appreciates the Master system's secure remote access, which lets him monitor the system from the comfort of his home or office.
"Our overall experience with Ecogate has been very positive," he concludes.
For diligent work and impressive success, Dan was awarded the Wrench of the Year award by the Association of Energy Engineers' Columbia River Chapter. The award is given each year to "personnel working in facility management where their work contributed significantly to energy efficiency improvement during the award year". Congrats, Dan!
Plant Engineer Dan Wagner with Brentwood's greenBOX MASTER.
This greenBOX controls all three of Brentwood's dust collection systems.