Doncasters is a leading international engineering group, specialising in the manufacture of precision components and assemblies for the aerospace, industrial gas turbines, specialist automotive fasteners and petrochemical markets. Doncasters excels at working with alloys and metals that are difficult to shape and form.

With an energy invoice of £1.4 million at Doncasters’s Blaenavon site, npower Business Solutions (nBS) was asked to look at ways of reducing energy consumption and improving profits. The main focus of this was to design and install an automatic monitoring and targeting system (aM&T) to better track consumption.

The method

nBS installed an aM&T system which provided Doncasters with Half-Hourly (HH) data in order to identify areas where savings could be made. To ensure everyone was able to understand how the system worked and where the plant was using excess energy, nBS worked closely with the incumbent Energy Team, in order to identify how electricity and gas were being distributed and the key areas in which they were being used.

The results

By evaluating opportunities for savings within the thermal efficiency field, and optimising ‘waste heat’ to minimise temperature dissipation, nBS was able to bring energy consumption down by 27%, giving the Blaenavon plant a saving of £1 million over 2 years, against a 40% increase in sales.

This success contributed to Doncasters receiving an Energy Management Award. Such was the success of the work in Blaenavon, Doncasters also asked nBS to install its energy management solution at four other plants in the UK. Since installation, a total of more than £3.6 million has been saved in energy consumption costs, equating to 11,800 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Why it worked

Using nBS’s technology and energy management expertise allowed Doncasters to clearly identify the areas of high energy consumption and focus its efforts in order to set specific objectives that reduced energy consumption. As well as looking at existing manufacturing methods, the company was able to test - prior to installation - proposed new systems to evaluate future energy consumption.

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