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Superior Dust Collector Solves Laser Table Dust Problems

Industrial Air Filtration Product Location Photography

Starland's maintenance manager appreciates the compact size of the Torit® PowerCore® TG Series dust collector—about 50% smaller than the previous collector—as well as its quiet and effective performance.

Industry: Steel Fabricator

Problem: Existing (non-Donaldson® Torit®) collector leaked laser dust causing: dusty utility room and shop area, excess noise, and added expenses.

Solution: Donaldson® Torit®’s PowerCore® TG with a Delta P Plus airflow controller and variable frequency drive (VFD) resulted in a cleaner, quieter environment and savings that indicate the dust collection solution will quickly pay for itself.

Maintenance Manager Mel Waldner was frustrated by the amount of time and money he was spending tending to the leaky non-Donaldson Torit dust collector in Starland Metals manufacturing facility near rural Gibbon, Minnesota. He knew that Starland’s ability to continually produce the top quality metal manufacturing and parts fabrication it prided itself on since 1988 was dependent on the effective collection of dust generated by its laser tables. The sensitivity of optics on laser tables makes proper capture and removal of contaminant crucial in laser cutting applications.

And, yet, the existing dust collector was anything but effective. Once Mel realized that resolution was not to come from the old, vertically-hung cartridge collector’s manufacturer, he contacted Donaldson® Torit®. He reported the leaking collector had created a dusty environment in the utility room that necessitated the all-too-frequent replacement of not only the collector’s filters but of the compressor and chiller filters too (given the ambient air conditions). Starland was spending close to $4,000 every six months on replacement dust collector filters, and Mel needed to sweep the utility room daily. According to Mel, he didn’t know what kind of mess [he] would walk into each day. The leaking collector forced Mel to abandon the return air duct design and exhaust the dust collector outlet air to the outside of the building, which wasted warm air used to heat the facility during cold Minnesota winters. The continual pulsing of the collector and its top-mounted fan right next to the return air duct were also generating excessive noise that made work even outside the utility room unpleasant. 

After a thorough evaluation and a series of consultations from a Donaldson® Torit® representative, Mel ordered a Torit® PowerCore® TG dust collector and a Delta P Plus control with a variable frequency drive (VFD). The PowerCore® TG collector was designed specifically for thermally-generated dust and features a footprint up to 65% smaller than most cartridge collectors. These completely packaged and assembled units are available up to 10,000 cfm. The Delta P Plus is a solid-state product that provides pressure drop measurement, digital display, and pressure drop control with an alarm function. It’s designed to provide accurate and dependable control of a pulse-cleaning timer, starting and stopping the cleaning process at user-chosen limits.

Mel expresses great satisfaction with the Donaldson® Torit® solution since its installation in March 2012.  Beyond the clean work environment, which only requires cleaning every couple of weeks now instead of daily, the Starland Maintenance Manager also reports considerable energy savings from the now stable pressure drop of the collector and the performance of the VFD. With Torit® PowerCore®’s efficient filter packs working in conjunction with a VFD, the collector’s fan consumes less energy while maintaining dust control at the lasers. Mel confirmed a 10Amp power draw from the Donaldson® Torit® PowerCore® TG/VFD vs. an 18Amp draw from the previous non-Donaldson® Torit® collector. When comparing electric bills from March 2011 when the previous collector was operational to March 2012 when the PowerCore® TG collector was operational, Mel showed a decrease in cost of more than $800. According to Mel, "This reduction in energy consumption equates to the lighting [Starland’s] manufacturing facility for free." Additionally, with an efficient dust collector operating properly, Starland is now able to utilize the collector’s return air duct design to allow the filtered, warm air to return to the building during the winter months.

Mel is not the only Starland employee extremely happy with the Donaldson® Torit® solution. He says workers who were once bothered by the noise of the former collector can’t believe how quiet the [Donaldson Torit® PowerCore® TG] is.​

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