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Cardboard manufacturer boxes up energy savings

Weedon Corrugated Products in Tameside has made multiple investments in new equipment to improve efficiency, boost productivity and reduce its impact on the environment.

The Business

Weedon Corrugated Products manufactures corrugated packaging for a variety of industries from its factory in Audenshaw, Tameside.

The company already ensures that its products are designed with the environment in mind by prioritising the use of post-consumer recycled material and materials from renewable sources, using natural printing inks and water-based coatings, and preventing over-packaging.

Everything the company manufactures is 100 per cent recyclable and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved if required.

With plans in place to increase production, the company recognised that it needed to focus its attention to the efficiency of its manufacturing operations, where older machinery was leading to rising energy costs and production failures.

Energy audit

Production director Paul McCormack met with environmental business advisor Laura Bramley from GC Business Growth Hub, who worked closely with Weedon to identify interventions which could boost productivity and save energy.

Laura explained: “Weedon Corrugated Products’ older machinery was essentially holding it back from expansion and leaving it vulnerable to rising energy prices. A thorough audit of the factory revealed a number of ways to increase efficiency, not only upgrading machinery but also other measures like insulating pipework and switching to LED lighting.”

The firm acted on several of the opportunities, starting by investing over half a million pounds to upgrade part of its corrugator. Since then, it has purchased a new steam boiler and LED lighting system, supported by nearly £12,000 of capital grant funding through the Business Growth Hub’s Energy Efficiency Grant.

The boiler and lighting upgrade will lead to cost savings of nearly £29,000 per year and carbon savings of more than 100 tonnes of CO2.

‘Win-win for us’

“As a company we are striving to be at the forefront of industry best practice with regard to environmental issues and improving our energy efficiency is a key part of that process,” Paul said.

“Laura’s support was invaluable. She helped us form the business case for investment and even helped to identify suppliers and review quotes so that we had the utmost confidence in the equipment we were investing in.”

“The investments we have made have built resilience into the company and increased productivity, so it’s a win-win for us.”

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