Torbay firm's energy drive makes every penny count as expansion plans approach fruition
By rondyson | Thursday, July 12, 2012, 10:16
Faced with difficult trading conditions, many firms are looking to cut energy costs to protect their bottom line. But for one progressive South Devon-based manufacturing company it's business growth that has prompted radical steps to reduce both energy consumption and the amount of waste it sends to landfill.
Hymid' Systems Engineer, Steve Raymond
In advance of moving to a new production facility in Torquay that's nearly three times the size of its current premises in Brixham, Hymid Multi-Shot has taken full advantage of a free and impartial advice service to identify and address areas where it can reduce energy costs and maximise waste recycling.
"It may be obvious, but our electricity bill was increasing in direct proportion to our increase in business, which compromises both our profitability and ability to reinvest in our business," explains the company's Chief Executive, Colin Spencer Halsey.
"Knowing that the problems would probably be exacerbated in larger premises, it was important we addressed the issues before our move so that we could be sure our new home delivered maximum operational efficiencies from Day 1. This is what prompted us to contact the Improving Your Resource Efficiency (IYRE) service delivered by Peninsula Enterprise.
"By identifying more energy-efficient ways of working, introducing more efficient lighting, upgrading our compressed air network and investing in new granulators to improve our waste management procedures, we are already making significant savings and have greatly improved the working environment for staff. Of course, such financial benefits will be even more substantial in our new facility and I'm sure this will help us in no small measure to fulfil our aspirations to double in size over the next three or four years."
Hymid Multi-Shot specialises in low volume and high value 'two shot' plastic injection moulding for customers throughout the medical, health and safety and electronic instrumentation industries. The move to a new production facility has take many months of careful planning and will increase the company's production capabilities, which will see a corresponding 20% increase in staff numbers. As part of the planning process, Hymid's Systems Engineer Steve Raymond attended an IYRE compressed air workshop and met with IYRE Adviser Liz Rushton to discuss the steps that could be taken to improve the company's resource efficiency. After undertaking an on-site survey and assessing the various options open to the company, a full IYRE action plan was prepared and presented.
"We plan to implement every recommendation made by Liz and her colleagues," says Steve. "We've already changed a lot of things and the difference has been astonishing. The improvements to our archaic compressed air network are really making a difference and the new lighting not only uses less electricity, it also creates a much better quality of light for our staff which greatly helps our stringent quality control procedures. And, by investing in new granulators we are tackling the complexities of different polymer waste in a very emphatic way - which is not only saving us money, but is also giving us a competitive edge in an increasingly eco-conscious market place."
The upgrading of the company's existing lighting and air compressor network is already delivering carbon savings of 20 tonnes per annum and, because of the financial savings being made, the total investment pay back for the new equipment is just 15 months. Indeed, despite a 15% increase in production output over the previous year, the company has seen a 25% reduction in energy costs and waste management costs have been cut by more than 80% over the same period.
"It's been a pleasure working with a company that is so committed to monitoring and reducing its energy consumption and I'm delighted to have played a part in helping Colin, Steve and their colleagues achieve their goals," says IYRE's Liz Rushton. "But, I'm particularly impressed with the company's commitment to maximising the amount of recycling it undertakes, as I appreciate fully the complexities facing a specialist manufacturer when it has to manage a wide range of different polymer waste. Once the company has moved into its premises, I believe the steps that Hymid has already taken will lead to the company becoming a role model for other manufacturers who use many different types of polymers in their production processes."