Custom dust collector I&C for wood manufacturer

July 6th, 2021

Last month I was contacted by Don, the Process Improvement Engineer at a company that manufactures custom wood photo boxes and more. They do direct sales online sales and through physical retail outlets that have photo-processing capabilities.

Custom dust collector unitDon had been a happy customer of mine with the company in which he previously worked. (We won a contract to do an installation in 2011). We were not the lowest bidder, but we won the contract due to their confidence in our work and because they knew that we would not leave the job until it was completed to satisfaction.

Don’s new company was operating out of 3 buildings and each CNC machine had its own rudimentary “wood shop” dust collector. This type of dust collector was inadequate and it left dust all over the shop floor. Luckily an opportunity arose to consolidate their operations into another larger building, which involved switching to large-scale central dust collection, and which then led to him to contact us for our onsite installation and commissioning services.

When I arrived at their facility, I performed a survey and then designed a collection system based on the number of machines and their shop layout. Don had also requested to have one central exhaust for the 8 large vacuum pumps that were to be installed, each of which were 15 HP, utilized 3″ pipe, and exhausted up to 300 CFM at up to 185°F.

Ducting for custom dust collectorFor the ducting, I chose to go with slip-fit ducts since both the time and labor cost to install it were significantly less than that of traditional ducting. Also, slip-fit ducting provides for a cleaner look and allows for quick and simple additions or modifications. This is how we made a streamlined connection to the main duct, and at a substantially lower cost to Don’s company.

For the actual dust collector unit, we configured it to be located outside of the building, in order to ensure the least amount of indoor particulate. This configuration also placed the collection in close proximity to the waste disposal unit, for ease of particulate disposal. I designed the internal duct system with the least amount of components while at the same time allowing for future additions or changes. We also added two floor sweeps to ease any required shop floor cleanup.

Onsite team installing ducts for dust collector

For the 8 vacuum pumps, I looked into both iron pipe and CPVC pipe, but either option was expensive, especially the labor required to install them properly. The same slip-fit duct was a convenient and obvious choice for this installation, but required a custom connection to go from 3″ FPT on the vacuum pump. The simple solution was a 3″ NPT x 3″ barbed fitting and a high temperature flex hose since the fittings were readily available at our local industrial supplier and automotive turbocharger intercooler hose connections were sourced through an auto parts supplier for much less than any industrial supplier. Simply adapting the same duct system used for the dust collector made for an easier and less expensive installation, and provides ease for future changes or additions.

In the end, we provided a premium product at a competitive price with professional installation that will be maintenance-free for years to come. Compared to before, the cleanliness of the new plant versus the old plant is like night and day. Don and his team are very happy with the results.


Do you have any questions? Feel free to contact us and ask to speak with me directly

— Chris, Engineering & Technical Sales


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