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  • Writer's pictureAir Dynamics Industrial Systems Corporation

Case Study | Wood Dust

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

Wood Dust Vacuum


Matthews International approached Air Dynamics Industrial Corporation with a wood dust dilemma. Through careful calculation and technical know-how, Air Dynamics successfully installed three PLECO Industrial HEPA Vacuum systems at Matthews solving their problem with the best solution, by providing the best product.


Matthews International produces ornate wooden caskets supplied throughout the world. These containers are constructed entirely in-house. As such, the entire process at the facility produces a massive quantity of wood dust and particulates. To maintain a safe and functional work environment, Matthews had instilled a housekeeping standard to remove the wood dust. However, the system was not capable of producing the cleaning results that Matthews needed to adhere to OSHA standards, as well as their own personal policies of safety and cleanliness.

After reviewing different options available, Matthews International decided to enlist the engineering and technical skills of Air Dynamics Industrial Systems Corporation.


The wood dust issue at Matthews was extensive. Four separate lines of production were spreading large quantities of fine wood dust in the air. The quantity of wood being cut and sawed would produce several semi-truck loads of wood dust daily. The current method of compressed air blowing, or “herding”, and then a vacuuming sweep via a shop vacuum was not sufficient to collect the fine wood dust. The collecting dust was accumulating in high layers around the facility’s ceiling and ledges. Furthermore, the cleaning process currently underway was hazardous in itself. The shop vacuums used were not suited for the task at hand. Wood dust would quickly fill and clog the bulky shop vacuums causing longer maintenance time. The issue became so severe that a shop vacuum even caught on fire from overheating due to the clogged wood dust.

Realizing the extensive issue required a permanent solution, Matthews began searching for quotes on central vacuum systems that could handle the workload required. Upon contacting Air Dynamics Industrial Systems, the personnel at Matthews found a solution that exceeded their expectations and reduced their expected cost for the system by 70%.


After consulting with Air Dynamics’ engineers, Matthews decided on an initial purchase of one PLECO Portable Industrial HEPA Vacuum System. The PLECO is an adaptable and versatile system ranging in different sizes and energy consumption depending on the challenge at hand.

The engineers at Air Dynamics began with an analysis of the workstations in need of a wood dust solution. After carefully calculating the dust produced and the scale of the space in question Air Dynamics’ team decided on using the PLECO portable model PPR22.

The PPR22 model contains an 11.5 horsepower regenerative blower and was paired with a Drum Top Cyclonic Separator mounted on a 55 vacuum-rated drum with a wheeled drum cart. The Cyclonic Separator was specifically designed for Matthew's dust issue. This design met the PFPA rule 654 regarding combustible dusts. These units were connected with Cam-lock fittings to facilitate quick and easy separation for either piece of the system. This PLECO

unit was attached to the outlet side of the separator via a 3” section of flexible hose. The inlet side of the portable drum unit was attached to another 3” flexible hose that transferred the wood dust via a metal tubing system designed and installed by Air Dynamics. Working closely with Matthews International’s employees, as well as the manufacturers of the sanding units, Air Dynamics was able to engineer the tubing system for precise configuration with the sanding systems.

The PLECO PPR22 model was selected due to the specific needs of Matthews International. The vacuum system required had to perform a high volume of suction at an extremely high rate to remove wood dust from the sandpaper that was spinning concurrently. To ensure a complete system, 1½” utility vacuum outlets were placed adjacent to each workstation so that workers could have access to a vacuum for cleaning dust out of and on the surface of the product. Six-piece industrial quality tools kits were made available to workers with 25' of flexible 1½” vacuum hose to clean any residual dust in the production area. Application tests conducted revealed that the PPR22 with the 11.5 HP motor would handle up to seven workstations simultaneously.

After this initial installation and the refinement process conducted by Air Dynamics’ engineers, Matthews International was so pleased with the results they purchased two more PLECO central units and their drum separator counterparts.


Matthews International was faced with a large challenge regarding the proper maintenance of their facility. The significant quantity of wood dust produced required a system that would rise above the standards of most companies’ central vacuum products. Air Dynamics Industrial Systems Corporation was able to meet and exceed the expectations of Matthews International. The PLECO Industrial HEPA Vacuum System PPR22 provided extensive coverage of the facility coupled with an efficiency that no other system could provide.

In addition, budgetary estimates by Matthews International anticipated a price of a vacuum system fully 70% higher than the final price of the PLECO system. This is due to the portable PLECO unit maintaining a better efficiency than a standard, large-scale, and expensive central vacuum system.

Quality, affordability, and precision. The PLECO can do it all and more.


Founded in 1991, Air Dynamics Industrial Systems Corporation designs and manufactures Turn-key industrial air cleaning systems. Call us today to discuss your possible housekeeping or maintenance needs with an experienced engineer today.

Phone: (717) 854-4050

Matthews Case Study
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