Steel work

Supporting CHK plc with Energy Efficiency

Delivered as part of the ENWORKS programme the Sustainable Business Service consultants supported CHK plc in Crewe with their resource and energy efficiency.

CHK in Crewe manufactures bespoke, heavy steel components for use in articulated vehicles and agricultural machinery. It has been working with Groundwork Cheshire on ways to improve resource efficiency.

Energy efficiency measures taken

Initiatives have included re-scheduling production runs to minimise the operating time of the large oven in its
paint curing and degreasing plant. This has had no detrimental impact on end-to-end manufacturing times, required no capital cost, and saved £14,000 a year in electricity.

Further energy savings of £300 a year have been made by surveying for leaks in the compressed air system. The £250 cost of fixing the leaks paid back in six months and the annual savings are now accruing, year-on-year. Reducing compressed air pressure by one bar, supplying cooler air to the compressor inlets and installing valves to eliminate leakage could save another £660 a year.

CHK is now looking into further improvements, such as optimising the way steel plate and welding gas are used in production, to make annual savings of £17,300, and fitting low-energy lighting to save £290 a year.

Total efficiency savings

CHK is already benefiting from savings of over £14,300 a year, with £17,600 accrued to date. Ongoing work to implement recommendations could save a further £23,800 in annual costs. The total cost savings come with environmental savings of 205 tonnes of CO2e and 35 tonnes of materials per year.

“The Sustainable Business Services team at Groundwork helped us to improve our profitability during some very tough times. Our adviser has provided us with solid, practical advice and support.”

Alan Pinkney, Managing Director, CHK plc