Ecogate case study: Teknion, North York, Ontario, Canada
Teknion was founded in Toronto in 1983, and has grown into a leader in the contract furniture design and manufacturing space. The company has a strong commitment to sustainability, developing a charter each year that outlines steps to be taken that year towards reducing the organization's environmental footprint.
With this in mind, Tekwood, Teknion's wood division, began looking for a better solution for dust collection system controls. Says Olaf Boehm, Teknion Manufacturing Engineer: "During production, the system was constantly running at full power. It would not modulate based on actual dust generation and, in turn, was consuming enormous amounts of energy."
Each machine in the Tekwood facility is equipped with a motorized Ecogate
blast gate (damper).
"We are witnessing drastic savings in electricity."
Director of Operations, Tekwood
At this point Tekwood invited SyEnergy Integrated Energy Solutions to evaluate Tekwood's 6,225-square-meter facility in North York, Ontario. SyEnergy specializes in energy-efficiency projects for industrial facilities, and after analyzing the Tekwood facility recommended the Ecogate Intelligent Ventilation system.
The Ecogate system works by continually monitoring all workstations in the factory, and adjusting fan power to match the machines' needs in real-time. Because of the proven energy efficiency of the Ecogate system, Teknion received a $75,840 incentive towards the cost of the project from saveONenergy .
The system at Teknion is now controlled by a single greenBOX MASTER unit, which manages all 26 Ecogate automated blast gates as well as the Power Master Variable Frequency Drives for both dust collectors (350HP & 50HP).
After commissioning, the average fan load for the dust collectors combined dropped from 280kW to 114kW. "We are witnessing drastic savings in electricity," says John Martinovic, Director of Operations at Tekwood. "We continue to project energy savings of around 60% on dust collection, which translates into $90,000 per year."
The chart above shows actual electricity use over the course of a day at the Tekwood facility. The Ecogate system is fully automated, even stopping automatically during shift breaks. This can be seen in the chart above at 9:30am, 4:30pm, and 7:00pm.
By reducing the speed of the fan, the Ecogate system also reduces the noise level on the factory floor, which makes for a more pleasant work environment. Tom Ryan, President of SyEnergy, points out another benefit: "Once we have continuous machine center status information from our sensors, we can then provide useful additional tools beyond energy management such as workcenter uptime and performance tracking over time using Ecogate's analytics platform.
"At Teknion, we take a long-term approach with our corporate responsibility efforts, as they empower us to invest in programs and processes that raise the bar and further sustainability," said David Feldberg, Teknion President & CEO. "Seeking new technologies and implementing devices such as Ecogate is part of Teknion's corporate culture to attain a more sustainable outcome."