Steel foundry Norton Cast Products Ltd. has put its NAMTEC grant funding to good use using E9 Limited to deliver a programme of support measures with wide rangeing benefits.
Work undertaken at Norton Cast Products by E9 Limited includes:
- Energy surveys
- Ultrasonic Leakage testing
- Ultrasonic Motor assessment
- Design and specification of changes to the company compressed air system and procurement of plant.
The compressed air systems was identified during survey work as a mission critical risk to production with a number of energy efficiency and environmental improvement options. E9 Limited identified the company was exposed to a high risk of plant failure and needed to put a strategy in place to reduce the risk and to make improvements in the system.
The strategy proposed covered issues including reduction of waste through preventive maintenance of the plant and system, improvement of air quality, reduction of plant risk and improvement in the overall equipment effectiveness. The solution designed was one that took future factory demands into place and was sympathetic to the need to cost effective solutions.
The proposals are now being put into effect at the site where air consumption has been reduced significantly following an air leakage survey which allowed maintenance staff to have a campaign of repairing air leaks. Factors in the distribution of the air have been taken into account and pressure limitations within the system addressed.
During the project implementation phase the factory had the event that E9 had predicted: loss of one of the two compressors. Simon Alexander (Managing Director of Norton Cast Products ) said “Without the advice of E9 we would have lost production, but the timely nature of intervention meant we had prepared ourselves. The air demand on the site had been lowered through fixing leaks to within the capacity of a single machine and we had a budgeted capital plan ready on the shelf for implementation”.
The company is now moving forward with the installation of a 90kW Variable Speed Drive compressor offering the optimum energy efficiency. This solution will also reduce site noise, provide passive heating in the fettling shop, provide improved oil management and improve the air quality on site. Over the longer period the site will further reduce the compressed air waste by connecting plant usage to automatic control valves allowing sections of pipework to be shut off when plant is not in use..
Dr. John R. Trainor MD of E9 said “In these types of project the management needs reliable information for decision making. All companies have their blind spots and its our job make these areas visible to the key decision makers. Norton Cast is a solid business with visionary management and good products. Like all companies they need help in integrating apparently non-core issues such as services back to the impact on the delivery of their business plan”
Paul Braithwaite (Financial Director of Norton Cast Products) said “The BAT assistance provided by NAMTEC and E9 has made it easy for us to call on advice and expertise that has helped us in making critical decisions, changing work practices and planning for the future. I'd recommend any company to join the NAMTEC scheme”
NAMTEC is a not for profit organisation established to increase the competitiveness of the UK metals industry. Services include a technical helpline, signposting to the science base and project management. NAMTEC is financed by the Department of Trade and Industry, Yorkshire Forward and the European Union’s Objective One Programme.
E9 Limited operates from bases in Coventry and Sheffield, offering a range of industrial consultancy products and services. E9 supports industrial and manufacturing companies through development and change by implementing continuous improvements to company operations through a range of management and technical products and services.