Hampton Affiliates

In 2003, the Hampton Lumber Mills subsidiary of Hampton Affiliates Inc. replaced all of its mechanical steam traps at six sites in Washington State to a venturi condensate removal system. Hampton worked with Matrix Northwest, the parent company of MEI Resources. The venturi units were supplied by Enercon Systems, a supplier of venturis since 1989.

It was an aggressive move for one of the Northwest’s top lumber manufacturers. Hampton, headquartered in Portland, Ore., produces a billion BF of Douglas fir and Hemlock lumber annually at its Oregon and Washington mills. Below are the results . . .


Conversion Date: May 5, 2003

Initial reports: Traps had been rebuilt three months prior to the conversion. Hampton reported a 35 day payback. Charge times went from went from 67 hours to 52 hours

November 15 2004 Report: Improved pound per bd ft performance 200%; Improved gallons per bd ft performance by 50%; Decreased operating hrs by 67%

Reduction in charge time: 15%


Conversion Date: August 12, 2003

Initial reports: Drying consistency greatly improved. Initially had trouble reporting savings. Wayne Wiley reported significant reduction in redries. Angus Low reported after conversion putting out record loads.

Four new Wellons kilns installed with Matrix venturis: September 3, 2004


Conversion Date: September 11, 2003

Initial reports: Stabilized pressure. Increased capacity in winter allowed use of additional kiln.

November 15 2004 Report: Decreased BDT (bone dry time) per hr 28%; Cut outside hog fuel purchases 100%; Decreased diesel use 10%; Decreased use of boiler by 39%

Reduction in charge time: 18%



Conversion Date: September 24, 2003

Initial reports: Good drying.

November 15 2004 Report: Decreased steam flow by 27%; Average gain in steam header pressures of 7 lbs.; Decreased makeup waste usage by 59%; Annual water savings 1,863,458 gallons

Reduction in charge time: 13%

Four new Wellons kilns installed with Matrix venturis: January 12, 2007



Conversion Date: October 23, 2003

Initial reports: Good drying.

November 15 2004 Report: Decreased annual boiler output 3%; Decreased annual fuel use 7%; Increased kiln throughput 6%

Reduction in charge time: 13%



Conversion Date: February 25, 2004

Before conversion: Violent waterhammer in return.  Challenge keeping up with demand using both boilers: 800 HP natural gas boiler and 300 HP sawdust boiler.

After conversion: Waterhammer eliminated entirely.  They only needed the natural gas boiler and turned off the sawdust boiler.



Conversion Date: July 19, 2004

Before conversion: Matrix saw coil damage and a roaring return worse than all of the other plants (estimated at 5KPPH).

After conversion: Return went back to a low level. Hampton reported good drying, but drying schedules were hard to change.