Crystal Cabinet’s search for a better dust collection system finally began in earnest in 2014. More
than two years later, in December 2016, Crystal Cabinet fully commissioned a pair of Höcker Polytechnik
dust collection systems acquired from O2 Filtration.
In a North American first, each of the dust collectors
incorporates a conveyor that streamlines dust collection hook ups to individual machines. In addition,
each machine has its own dedicated blast gate that
only opens when the machine is in operation. These
features combined with other efficiencies to dramatically reduce energy consumption as exemplified by
a $71,000 energy efficiency rebate Crystal Cabinet
recently received from Connexus Energy.
Crystal Cabinet employs about 450 people and operates 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. five days a week supplemented
by a skeleton second-shift crew. The regular weekly
output is 1,500 to 1,800 cabinets.
The company’s 270,000-square-foot plant has
three main sections. Production machinery occupies
the north and south sides of the building, with the
finishing department sandwiched in between. The
facility’s size and layout necessitated Crystal Cabinet
to install separate dust collection systems in each of
the production departments.
The north side of the building is home to the
Biesse Winstore that feeds panels to three Biesse
CNC nesting routers, as well as most of the plant’s
heavy-duty panel processing and sanding equipment.
Included are multiple stations for orbital hand sanding of cabinet doors, the number one generator of
dust in the plant, Nierengarten said.
The dust collector servicing the north hall has
eight independent 50-hp motors. While it is capable
of achieving a total airflow velocity of more than
120,000 cubic feet per minute (cfm), it is rare that
enough blast gates are open to require more than
half of the motors’ output at any time. The south side
dust collector has three 30-hp motors and a capacity
A new filter system serves the dust collection system,
with most heavy dust particles transported to the silo by
conveyor rather than airstream.
The elaborate network controlling the dust control system
ensures that collection is only provided to the machines
that need it when they need it, and if the machine layout
changes, the network adapts.