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PPMA Show 2021

NEC, Birmingham(B40 1NT)

28/09/2021 - 30/09/2021

PPMA Show 2021 will be the UK’s largest ever event dedicated to state-of-the-art processing and (more)

Southern Manufacturing

Farnborough, Hants(GU14 6TQ)

06/10/2021 - 07/10/2021

Southern Manufacturing and Electronics is the most comprehensive annual industrial exhibition in the (more)

Advanced Engineering 2021

NEC Birmingham(B40 1NT)

03/11/2021 - 04/11/2021

Join us in our 12th and most important edition to date, as we invite engineers and management from all (more)

Controlling energy use in plastic bearing manufacture

Controlling energy use in plastic bearing manufacture

By controlling energy usage, BNL contributes to both the sustainability of the environment and the longevity of the company’s business. Energy utilisation in manufacturing is a significant and rising cost in the production of goods. In a typical injection moulding company, over 65% of the energy purchased is consumed directly by injection moulding machines, with a further 25% consumed by supporting systems.

A key initiative for BNL in 2020 is to improve energy utilisation in its manufacturing operations. Operations manager James Severn attended the British Plastics Federation’s sustainability-focused seminar, ‘Controlling Energy Use in Plastics Processing’, led by Dr Robin Kent of Tangram Technology. The seminar provided a roadmap of workstreams to follow with tools to understand energy usage with data and tackle it objectively.

James and his team are using these tools to develop a sustainability plan covering all aspects of energy utilisation across BNL. “As a member of the BPF, we have access to excellent resources that support plastics companies to develop their businesses. This seminar has supported our earlier energy efficiency plans by helping us to realise significant savings from things that are cost free and can be done immediately, giving us line of sight to making meaningful improvements.”

So far BNL has invested in a new intelligent, energy-efficient compressed air dryer and have started to install barrel insulation to the injection moulding machines. Alongside this, other activities that BNL are undertaking to improve energy utilisation are:

  • Communicating and encouraging employee involvement and via a ‘Sustainability at BNL’ board
  • Reinforcing the importance of turning off equipment not in use and auditing it
  • Fixing air leaks found during factory surveys
  • Studying the potential benefits of installing variable speed motor controls to machines with continuously running drives
  • Reviewing working practices around activities such as start-up and shutdown and tool to machine compatibility, to use the minimum energy required to run processes
  • Analysing the impact of these improvements on BNL’s energy consumption, measured as kWh/kg of processed material

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