Leigh manufacturer reaps rewards of new filling line
Ingredient blending specialist Romix Foods is saving energy, raw materials and even using less plastic packaging thanks to a new production line installed with support from GC Business Growth Hub.
Romix Foods blends and co-packs bakery and retail ingredient mixes from its purpose-built factory in Leigh. The company was founded in 2013 when the factory’s previous occupant, Victoria Foods, was acquired by a larger food manufacturer that moved production to another site.
This left owners Mick McGowan and Dan Ross with an ideal opportunity to bring much of the original workforce back to the factory to create a new and dynamic business, which has gone from strength to strength.
After being introduced to GC Business Growth Hub’s Resource Efficiency service in 2018, Mick and Dan worked with environmental business advisor Claire Scott to explore opportunities to expand production capacity by improving the efficiency of their sachet filling line.
They needed to double output to meet rising demand, but simply increasing running hours wasn’t an efficient solution. Together they calculated that a quicker, more modern sachet filling line would use around the same amount of electricity per hour while producing twice as many sachets per unit of electricity consumed. A new line would also improve the efficiency of the filling and measuring process.
Thanks to Claire’s support and the Energy Efficiency Grant from the GC Business Growth Hub, we were able to implement a new line much sooner than we anticipated, allowing us to meet our increased demand while also making energy savings, packaging eco-design efficiencies, reducing raw material losses and cutting product waste.Mick McGowan
Romix were successful in applying for grant funding of £12,500 from the Hub’s Energy Efficiency Grant to invest in the required equipment, and the new line was installed in January 2020.
The new machine fills at least twice as many sachets per minute as its predecessor and uses improved filling technology to dispense the product more efficiently and accurately, resulting in less product waste. It also means that smaller sachets can be used, so less plastic packaging is required.
In total the new line is expected to save 15 tonnes of raw material and 14 tonnes of plastic packaging per year. When combined with the electricity savings being made per unit produced, this equates to an annual CO2e saving of over 100 tonnes per year.
Mick commented: “Thanks to Claire’s support and the Energy Efficiency Grant from the GC Business Growth Hub, we were able to implement a new line much sooner than we anticipated, allowing us to meet our increased demand while also making energy savings, packaging eco-design efficiencies, reducing raw material losses and cutting product waste.
“As a result, we’ve been able to create four new jobs and deliver an additional £2.1 million in sales. This has freed up funds for other improvements we’d like to make to further improve the business.”
Claire added: “We often tend to think about waste as something to be dealt with at the end of a process, but it’s much more efficient to just design it out of the process in the first place. By replacing its sachet filling line, Romix is removing a huge amount of waste from its business before it can even be created, and is reaping the rewards as a result.”