United Springs Ltd, Rochdale - SME (Manufacturing)

Rochdale spring designer and manufacturer, United Springs Limited, has saved £49,200 a year and safeguarded a contract worth £300,000, after receiving free ENWORKS support.

The company supplies international clients, including businesses in the automotive and aeronautical sectors.

It has been supported by an ENWORKS adviser from Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale, to reduce its energy, fuel and water consumption whilst boosting productivity and profitability.

In the process, it has saved more than 630 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per year.

Energy efficiency

Energy is a key input for the company and an energy monitoring survey identified unusually high levels of night-time consumption, outside of normal production hours.

By switching off gas heaters that were left on overnight and at weekends, and adjusting the controls to match up-to-date work shift patterns, gas bills have been reduced by £15,200 a year and 390 tonnes of CO2e have been saved annually.

Electricity useage has been reduced by switching off additional items of equipment that were left on overnight, saving £14,400 and 147 tonnes of CO2e, annually.

At the same time, work has been undertaken to reduce the available electricity supply capacity for the site, to suit its production levels and business growth forecasts, bringing savings of £9,300 a year.

A separate survey to identify and repair leaks in the compressed air system has saved another £2,050 a year, from an investment of just £1,000, and £490 has been saved by fitting light sensors to outdoor lamps, so that they are only used when necessary.

Further savings

Fuel efficiency has also been addressed, and a car sharing policy for staff travelling between different sites has reduced petrol consumption by 2,600 litres a year, generating £2,000 worth of savings on annual travel expense payments.

Water consumption is being tackled, and £120 a year has so far been saved by fitting low-flush devices to 15 toilet cisterns. These have reduced mains water consumption on site by 60 m3 a year.

In the pipeline

Other efficiency improvement projects in the pipeline include fitting more energy-efficient lighting and installing variable speed drives to compressors. Rainwater harvesting, on-demand waste collection contracts and voltage power optimisation technology are also being investigated.

Together, these could save £112,700 a year, with annual environmental savings of 492 tonnes of CO2e, almost two million kiloWatt-hours (kWh) of electricity and natural gas, 5,360 m3 of mains water, and 12 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill.

Sales safeguarded

ENWORKS has also helped the company to develop a new environmental policy, with commitments to improving environmental performance, by minimising environmental impact, energy consumption and waste production.

This has helped United Springs to retain a contract worth £300,000 a year, and opened up opportunities for a potential increase in sales.

Case study published on 16 May 2012