Auto Marine Cables has been supported on-site by an ENWORKS funded adviser from the Groundwork trust in Manchester, to improve its environmental credentials and to retain a competitive edge in bidding for contract renewals.
Thanks to the support, Auto Marine Cables has been able to safeguard 63 jobs and create two more, whilst reducing its operating costs and cutting its annual carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions by more than 240 tonnes.
As a result of the adviser’s free review, an old cable making machine was replaced with a model that features a shorter cable run and variable speed drives to reduce material wastage and optimise energy efficiency.
This has significantly improved the efficiency of the manufacturing process, particularly during product changeovers.
It has saved 22 tonnes of PVC plastic, 32 tonnes of copper metal and 246 tonnes of CO2e per year, and despite relatively high purchase and installation costs it paid back on the investment within the company's standard payback period.
The project has also reduced the amount of plastic packaging from incoming raw materials that goes to waste each year, by about 20 per cent.
A further 26 tonnes of CO2e were saved after Groundwork carried out electrical data logging exercises on three wiring machines and found that one needed rewiring to optimise its power consumption over weekends and in the evenings, to save energy.
Meanwhile, water consumption was also addressed by fitting save-a-flush devices into toilet cisterns, saving more than 40m3 of mains water per year.
Commenting on the process efficiency measures, operations manager, Alan Ainscough said: “Through the ENWORKS programme, Groundwork helped us to identify the opportunity to replace one of the main process lines… A carbon footprint exercise was subsequently done on a new extrusion process machine, assessing waste, downtime and potential cost savings.
“Through the subsequent introduction of this new process line we saw an increase in capacity, as well as reduced waste and energy savings through process improvements and equipment."
A number of further recommendations from Groundwork’s review are still in the pipeline. These include replacing factory light fittings with energy efficient alternatives such as LEDs, and potentially replacing more of the production equipment, to reduce wastage and emissions.
These new opportunities could help Auto Marine Cables to save another 258 tonnes of CO2e, 57 tonnes of raw materials and 144 tonnes of waste from going to landfill, each year.
‘Assistance and support’
Mr Ainscough added: “We would like to thank Groundwork and ENWORKS for all their assistance and support throughout this project.”
Case study published on 28 November 2012