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Thread: Oneida "Smart" Dust Collector

  1. #1
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    Oneida "Smart" Dust Collector

    I am looking to upgrade my dust collector to a 3 hp cyclone type. As others have commented, there are a lot of different options. I also found that there is a lack of believable data that the mfg post on their machines.

    I plan on running 6" duct to my larger machines and close to the machines reduce down to the 4" machine ports. Also, I have some equipment that has 2.5" ports.

    I was impressed with the information on the Oneida Smart Dust Collectors. They run on a 3 phase motor with a VFD. This allows a variable speed dust collector. As the air flow decreases when using a smaller port, the motor compensates and the static pressure goes up giving greater vacuum. It sounds like a pretty good design but not cheap.

    Does anyone have one of these Smart Dust Collectors and how has it worked for you?

  2. #2
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    I don't have one of these newer "smart" cyclones but the premise is pretty nice considering the prevalence of CNC and other "different" collection loads in so many shops now that are totally at odds from the collection needs of "more traditional" tools. Being able to sense collection characteristics and adjust for optimal performance is a pretty kewel thing. Historically, using a typical DC system, including a cyclone, for collection from smaller tools/ports wasn't recommended because of the nature of dust collection (large volume of air moving the "stuff") and that forced folks with both large and small tools to have multiple collection systems. That said, I'm an Oneida system owner (my second...and the first is still working in a friend's shop) and they have treated me well. It's all they do and I like that specialization as well as "born in Syracuse" for the systems.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Frank View Post

    I was impressed with the information on the Oneida Smart Dust Collectors. They run on a 3 phase motor with a VFD. This allows a variable speed dust collector. As the air flow decreases when using a smaller port, the motor compensates and the static pressure goes up giving greater vacuum. It sounds like a pretty good design but not cheap.
    It speeds up when the airflow goes down?

  4. #4
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    The Smart collector adjusts impeller speed to keep CFM within a set range. The impeller design is different so it performs better under higher pressure but the downside is that it will produce less cfm at low pressure than a traditionally designed collector. The Smart will deliver more cfm when a machine has a small port or internal restrictions but larger ports will see less than an equal sized regular system. The benefit really depends on your application and the range of machine sizes. I run a similar impeller design with a 7.5 hp motor and would suggest you look hard at the 5 hp smart if you go that route given the trade offs. A radial impeller , three phase motor, and vfd will give you the same results if you are willing to adjust speed manually when you need it. Dave

  5. #5
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    We just got two of the Smart DC's for the Guild Shop. Haven't put them through all the paces but I will say this. Man they really SUCK and they are quieter that our other DC's.
    Chuck

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Kumm View Post
    .... A radial impeller , three phase motor, and vfd will give you the same results if you are willing to adjust speed manually when you need it...
    If you're willing to do a bit of programming of the VFD I think you could make it automatic, like the SMART. For a given blower, motor and load the most CFM you can get is at the RPM that causes the motor to draw it's rated full load current. A control loop that adjusts frequency (up to a safe maximum) to maintain full rated current would then get the most CFM out of the system over a variety of load conditions.

    There's no need to measure CFM. It wouldn't be useful even if you did because you always have to keep the motor current within it's rated limit. I suspect that's exactly what the SMART system is doing. Take a look at it's performance curve, it's not constant CFM at all.
    Beranek's Law:

    It has been remarked that if one selects his own components, builds his own enclosure, and is convinced he has made a wise choice of design, then his own loudspeaker sounds better to him than does anyone else's loudspeaker. In this case, the frequency response of the loudspeaker seems to play only a minor part in forming a person's opinion.
    L.L. Beranek, Acoustics (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1954), p.208.

  7. #7
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    I really have no idea how to program a VFD. I want to get the right dust collector for me. For some, figuring out how to make their own "Smart" Dust Collector would be interesting. I just want it to come on when I push a switch and do a great job sucking chips and fines.

    It sounds like there are not too many using this dust collector.

  8. #8
    I'm looking at getting a few of them for dust collection on the benches since they will work on the chop boxes and with a da. Also to relieve some load on the main dust collector.

  9. #9
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    I'll be the naysayer about the "Smart DC." Frankly, what a dumb idea!!! Tell me what you gain by not running that the motor at design RPM (full capacity)? True, with a VFD you can overspeed a three phase motor but you risk damaging it if it overheats and you reduce bearing life, and you also risk stalling the impeller (airflow stall like with a jet engine compressor, not stalling the motor). But why would you spend nearly $3000 to be able to increase the airspeed so you can draw a max of only 20" of H2O through a 2-1/2 pipe when you can buy a shopvac for a fraction of that price that will pull the same CFM but at 80 to 100" H2O? Let a DC do the large duct DC high CFM work, but let a shopvac handle the high SP tasks! By running it slower than rated RPM, you gain absolutely nothing, except possibly saving a penny every now and then. Since that thing has pretty much a material handling blower with fixed pitch/size, non-airfoil impeller, if you slow it down you reduce CFM and static pressure. When would you ever want to do that???? When you are talking dust collection, there is no such thing as too much CFM (or SP).
    Last edited by Alan Schaffter; 03-11-2016 at 1:55 AM.

  10. #10
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    Alan, you have to consider that the reason for this type of DC system is to accomodate the characteristics of CNC/CAM machinery which typically has smaller collection ports and requires higher SP/lower volume. For the average Joe with traditional equipment, they are not likely the best choice, however.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #11
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    What characteristics of a CNC machine are you trying to accommodate? If the dust pickup is small, so be it- the DC will just be operating at a different point on the fan curve where the SP and velocity is higher. The dust and chip removal at the CNC should be fine. Again, I see absolutely no reason to ever slow down a DC motor. This whole idea is a gimmick with no purpose other than marketing to the uninformed!

  12. #12
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    It's not a "gimmick", IMHO. It's an optimization effort. That said, I have not looked at the fan curves from Oneida which undoubtedly would be useful to understand the performance of the system.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
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    Rather than slow the motor down, what if you speed it up?

    Assume a DC is designed to operate at FLA with a typical duct design and a 6” port, and then you swap that 6” port for a 2.5” port. The result is an impeller starved for air. Let’s also assume just for a moment that the impeller isn’t stalled. So the motor unloads (current drops below FLA). You could now increase the motor speed until you’re back at FLA – again assuming that the impeller doesn’t stall, start to buffet the neighbor’s house, or turn into a tornado siren.

    If anyone can accept the above, then using a ‘large’ impeller on a ‘small’ motor, protected from OL by the VFD, can achieve the same thing. Just slow it down when the full-flow port is open.

    Is it cost effective? Probably not.

    Is it a design compromise? Absolutely. ALL design is.

    A gimmick? Nearly everything has a bit of this DNA these days. (I’m a registered cynic.)

    Uninformed? Not if you hang out here!

    Let’s test it’s efficiency and effectiveness. Everybody send me $20, I’ll buy one and report back. ...Hello? Anybody here?! HELLO!!?
    Molann an obair an saor.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Schaffter View Post
    But why would you spend nearly $3000 to be able to increase the airspeed so you can draw a max of only 20" of H2O through a 2-1/2 pipe when you can buy a shopvac for a fraction of that price that will pull the same CFM but at 80 to 100" H2O?

    For me it's a cost thing. A good vacuum is going to be $600+. It won't handle being on for 1000 hours a year, and they don't work on a chop box very well. The small vacuum has its place, and will work better on a sander, but the bigger unit has a exponentially longer life, can serve two applications, has a higher waste capacity, and easier to service.

  15. #15
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    you want to compare the fan curves for curved vs straight blades to understand the Smart type system. While I'm not advocating it or even would pay for the upcharge, a vfd driven and controlled radial impeller does have its benefits when maxing cfm with small ports while still getting decent flow on larger ones. Speeding up a curved impeller doesn't gain you much cfm so just using a larger diameter impeller when restricted doesn't accomplish as much in comparison to a radial of smaller diameter. A 15.5" BC will pull about 700 cfm at 14"sp while a 15.5" radial pulls close to 1500. Takes more hp of course. Dave

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