Ecopare works with Harlow Group to improve energy usage

Ecopare, a practical energy management company, has delivered a project for Harlow Group, a leading precision sheet metalwork manufacturer, to analyse its energy consumption to help identify energy reduction opportunities.

Fully accredited to the AS9100 aerospace standard, Harlow Group offers a complete range of fabrication services from laser cutting and CNC punching through to welding, fabrication, finishing and assembly. It also offers services for new products from initial concept through design and development to final production. It operates across sectors including aerospace and defence, construction, consumer and industrial electronics, medical, retail, transport, telecommunications and vending.

Using Ecopare’s Lean Energy Management solution, Harlow Group was able to identify electricity and gas usage per manufacturing workstation and individual pieces of capital equipment. These included the laser cutters, nitrogen production plant, air compressors, welding bays, presses and the powder coat plant.

Ecopare’s report provided information such as energy profiles across the day, week and month; the energy personalities of each asset to provide key insight as to when energy consumption was adding value or potentially wasting energy.

The projects outcomes were:

  • Energy savings: electricity costs have been reduced by £25,000 a year. This has been achieved by installing a new heating system and low-energy lighting, reducing the weekend energy base load and implementing a formalised ‘shut down’ policy for a number of the capital assets

  • Effective maintenance: Harlow Group is implementing a preventative maintenance plan, focused on the most expensive and newest equipment

  • Measuring return on investment: Harlow Group installed a new system to monitor and optimise the performance of existing equipment

  • Major investment in new technology. The firm assessed two options and found the routine energy running costs of one technology were about 10% of the other. It assessed the whole life costs and, as a result, invested more than £500,000 in an Amada fibre laser and automatic sheet loader

  • Increased capacity: the new Armada fibre laser machine is three times more efficient than the previous one, and its higher processing speeds will increase capacity and the range of materials that can be cut to include copper, brass and titanium.

Harlow Group

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