Mach Aire Ltd, Horwich - SME (Manufacturing)

A Horwich-based manufacturer, Mach Aire Ltd, has saved 52 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) and over £9,100 a year, by making simple energy efficiency improvements, with support from ENWORKS.

The SME employs about 55 people at its factory on Bridge Street. Founded just over 20 years ago, it designs and manufacturers fume cupboards, containment systems and clean rooms, and it has an annual turnover of £18 million.

Mach Aire has benefited from free support from advisers at Groundwork Oldham and Rochdale, whose work is funded by the ENWORKS resource efficiency programme.
 
Efficiency upgrades
 
After an on-site review of resource saving opportunities, a key priority was to help the company find a cost-effective way of upgrading its factory lighting.
 
The old lights were quite dim and energy-intensive, so they were replaced with newer, more energy efficient tubes, with integral reflectors to maximise their output.
 
Simple adaptors were used to mount them in the existing fittings, so the cost of the project was only £3,700 (at £30 per tube). The outlay will pay back in just over six months, and the project will have saved Mach Aire £6,200 a year in annual energy bills, and 35 tonnes of CO2e per year.
 
Meanwhile, a survey was carried out to identify leaks in the factory’s compressed air system, which is used to power the large machinery and hand tools. Seven leaks of varying sizes were identified and repaired and the resulting savings have been £2,800 and 17 tonnes of CO2e per year.
 
In the pipeline
 
In addition to these projects, Groundwork Oldham and Rochdale also identified eight further opportunities for improvement.
 
These included installing water-saving devices such as ‘save-a-flush’ bags and tap aerators in the bathrooms on site, which could save 275 cubic metres (m3) of mains water a year.
 
Other, energy-related savings included launching an out of hours ‘switch off’ campaign for computers and other office equipment, installing light and motion sensors to make sure lights are only on when they are needed, upgrading lighting in the offices with LED lights and energy efficient fluorescent tubes, and installing low-energy LEDs in the reception area.
 
Altogether, these improvements would save another £5,000 in annual energy and water bills, as well as 27 tonnes of CO2e per year.
 
‘Really pleased’
 
Mach Aire’s systems manager, Mike Swanson, said: “The resource efficiency review has been very helpful and it has given us some focus on where to improve.
 
“Not having to replace all the light fittings to make the improvement was a big plus for us, and as well as the environmental and financial savings we’ve made the staff are really pleased with the better quality of light throughout the factory.”
 

Case study published on 21 March 2013.