The Solihull Paint Shop makes up around 55% of Solihull’s total energy consumption, which means reducing the energy used in Paint can have a huge impact on the plant’s usage overall.
Throughout 2021, the team in Paint have been carrying out a wide variety of projects to minimise the amount of energy they use across the shop – whether during busy week of production or over a weekend shutdown.
One of these projects involves working to get the amount of energy used over a weekend of non-production as low as possible. Paul Gozzard, Paint Lead Facilities Engineer and Thomas Bick, Paint Facilities Engineer, have been driving the project forward, with some fantastic results.
Paul explained, “The Paint Shop naturally uses a lot of energy during production. There are there are tonnes of projects we are working on to reduce that consumption, but it also made sense to try and keep the energy we consume out of hours to an absolute minimum.”
The team set about developing a ‘weekend impact calculator’ to understand what work was taking place across the weekend - and how long for. By analysing how much energy each job used, the team could work out how much it cost. The calculator was put into practice and adopted by the wider team and baked into the work planned meeting, which takes place every Thursday.
Paul continued, “What we found was that there were activities taking place that we could concentrate into a shorter period, or in some circumstances not at all.
“For example, we used to turn the primer booths on at 5am for cleaning and turn them off again at midnight, even though the job had been finished much earlier. It was just what we’d always done.
“Giving people sight of how much things cost and how much energy it uses has been key. Now there’s a much more questioning attitude – what do we need to do and how long do we need to do it for? Everyone is more engaged and attuned to energy reduction – from production to maintenance to our Leadec colleagues.”
The project has seen a huge reduction in energy consumption over the weekend from 90,000kWh to 60,000kWh. As well as being fantastic for the environment, the reduction is great news for Solihull’s energy bills – saving the business around £6,000 per weekend.
But Paul and Thomas are keen to go even further. Paul said, “No way are we stopping there. Our average consumption sits at about 1,800kWh an hour. Getting that average hourly figure down to 1350 kWh would save us £262,000 a year at Solihull alone. It’s a difficult target, but it’s one worth aiming for!”
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Giving people sight of how much things cost and how much energy it uses has been key. Now there’s a much more questioning attitude – what do we need to do and how long do we need to do it for?
Paul GozzardPaint Lead Facilities Engineer - Solihull