I’m up to my elbows in alligators lately overseeing a sizeable project for our Wood Department at work, where we manufacture crates an pallets.
After shutting down our 10,000 s.f. architectural millwork operation last fall, we decided to expand our existing 20,000 s.f. crating shop into that space. We underwent a complete shop re-organization, utilizing a manufacturing engineering process called Systematic Plant Layout. It was a 7 month adventure and greatly reduced the inefficient movement of men, tools and materials. We ditched four large, under-utilized capital assets and replaced three of them with smaller machines that better fit our high mix job shop environment. This freed up a lot of floor space in the main shop area for point of use material storage and a new assembly area for “jumbo” projects (think small house sized crates). But the entire reorganization also created a much larger demand on our existing 10,000 cfm dust collection system.
So now, after looking at options to upgrade, augment and replace the current system, we concluded that a complete system replacement was the only viable option for us.
I thought blogging about this project might be of interest to my fellow Lumberjocks, as it affords a sneak peak into one niche arena of industrial scale woodworking…. industrial packaging, and it will detail what’s entailed in larger industrial scale dust collection.
Here’s the old 10,000 cfm Torit cartridge system, which my old boss bought second hand on the cheap some 10 years ago, but which was never really quite right for our type of wood waste.
It uses a 30 HP direct drive blower that is mounted high on the tower.
We’ve had pretty good luck with a home brew material transport loop that takes the debris from the bottom of the hopper via a rotary air lock and blows it directly into a customized tractor trailer. But when we added a pallet notcher, which produces 3” shards of jagged wood chips, these 8” air locks started plugging up daily…. PITA to clear the jambs.
As you can see in the last trailer, I have an excavation contractor on site in preparation for an expanded concrete pad for the new DC tower, and a retaining wall to make the trailer area more stable and safe.
Hope you enjoy following along with this project. The design work is 90% complete, the new (refurbished) DC system has been purchased and is scheduled for delivery this week, and the Tin Knocker bids are in, with final details for the ductwork transition pieces to be hammered out when we can take dims off of the new collector.
-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!