In March 2012 Smurfit Kappa Northampton and I (Christopher Sims) started a project to reduce our Energy demand and Carbon footprint. We invited a 3rd party to access our energy use, possible savings, bad practise, how to monitor our usage and recommend the best companies in the different energy saving fields to deliver us a fast and a cost effective way to reduce our Energy use.
3rd party advice
The areas we were advised on were Lighting, Boilers, Compressed Air and Motor control.
After hitting the quickest and cheapest fixes, by repairing our 170 plus air leaks, we invited IDS to visit our site and do an audit on were they believed we could make good and quick pay backs. Our first delight was that they recognise the areas our 3rd party had pointed out immediately and then went on to discover even more. Smurfit Kappa Northampton is a corrugated cardboard manufactory, we have a Corrugator, Airmat system which has eight fan motors, three shredders, two balers and eight conversion machines, our conversion machines will make card board cartons, drinks trays, layer pads and various other products.
Validations and actions
IDS presented the areas that they would like to monitor to establish what savings would be achieved – our three shredders with fan motors were left running continually, IDS installed an Invertor drive that detects when not in operation; this switches the shredder, conveyor belts off and slows the fan down to 25%. This gave us a £40k plus savings. The next project was to install an Invertor drive to our Balers Hydraulic motor; this allows the motor to ramp down 80% of the time, with savings of £2900 savings per year. The latest area we visited was our four other Airmat fans, although we already had invertors installed Smurfit staff had ramped them back up to full load. IDS presented us with other industries that used similar waste extraction systems were running their fans at a much lower speed even though they had heavy waste. IDS installed sensors onto our Airmat that detect any blockages and ramp the fans up and down accordingly. This has given us a £6.8k savings.
I found IDS to be extremely helpful and patience, what with the majority of our staff being long team employees and not experiencing much change and no real energy saving projects before, IDS had to deal with a lot of negative response. The likes of Blaise Ford, Andy Crocker, Dan Dove and Mark Elston went that extra mile to help ease the concerns of the staff that feared change. The sensors on the Airmat system was an IDS idea to give the maintenance department confidence in reducing the speed of the fans, they changed the cut out time on the Shredders to suit the operators, install boost buttons for various reasons and worked around operators work schedules. All these were only necessary to help Smurfit Kappa staff deal with change; IDS went the extra mile in customer service.
IDS are professional, honest, helpful, patience and versatile… Blaise Ford has great vision and was very quick to get an understanding of our technical side of a business. Andy Crocker had a great understanding of Smurfit Kappa staff fears and concerns. Dan Dove and Mark Elston worked in a safe and professional manner with great patience. I am looking forward to working with all of them on more projects in the future.’