Sometimes doing the responsible thing is also the smart thing to do. For Hitherbest, investing in a new conveyorised track, oven and paint system for powder coating was definitely one of those things. The new equipment has led to a welcome reduction in the company’s carbon emissions, as well as significantly reducing the company’s gas bill.
With over a month’s gas consumption data now available, it’s clear that Hitherbest’s new powder coating plant is considerably more energy-efficient than its predecessor. Gas consumption has reduced by over 20%, saving the company around £1100 per month. CO2 emissions are also down by 3,654 kgC02e per month – the same amount of carbon as that emitted by a family car driving from London to Manchester 3 times.
Such is the efficiency of the new system, that the powder coating line is also running for fewer hours each day. This brings significant benefits – it reduces lead times for powder coating and adds capacity into the system, allowing Hitherbest to offer a high quality, standalone powder coating service to more businesses. It also allows staff to be redeployed within the business. Training and upskilling is a key part of Hitherbest’s strategy for growth and some members of the powder coating team are now learning how to operate other equipment within the business’ extensive production facility. Not only is this good for staff morale, but Hitherbest’s management team believes it builds resilience within the business – allowing unexpected staff absences in other departments to be covered more easily.
Hitherbest’s new 19m tunnel oven and conveyorised track system was supplied by Midlands-based company TD Finishing, while the powder-coating spray booth, guns and powder-reclaim system were supplied by the Swiss company Gema Switzerland GmbH. Dataloggers, which enable Hitherbest to track the amount of gas and electricity consumed by key pieces of equipment in real-time, were supplied and fitted by energy engineering specialists ProEnviro, with whom Hitherbest has a long-standing relationship.
The Climate Change Committee has suggested that UK manufacturing will need to reduce its carbon emissions by 90% by 2040 (compared with 2018 levels) if the country is to reach Net Zero by 2050, which is seen as critical to addressing global warming. Investment in state-of-the-art, energy-efficient equipment is one small way in which manufacturers like Hitherbest can begin to meet this challenge.