Servosteel are the largest independent steel toll processor in the UK and provide a well-established and innovative processing service to the steel community. The company has an annual capacity of over 600,000 tonnes and this is processed and managed from a single 200,000 square foot facility based in the Black Country.
Current processing facilities include 3 Slitting lines, 2 Decoiling lines, a Coil Pickling line, a Blanking Line and a Coil Recovery Line. These facilities enable the company to provide the services of a “complete one stop steel shop".
In recent years the company has made a significant investment in the provision of laser cutting services and now operate two CO2 laser cutting machines and one fibre laser cutter.
The company operate continuous processes, 24 hours per day, 5 days per week and has an annual electricity consumption of 1.8m kWh and 4.8m kWh of gas for steam generation. The total energy costs are estimated at £290,000 per annum.
Servosteel have recently experienced significant increases in energy costs and pressure due to increased level of maximum demand (MD) for electricity supplies as the company grows. The business involves several different processes that can all run independently, and the company were aware that they needed to improve control of the patterns of energy usage to ensure that MD levels were not exceeding the Authorised Supply Capacity (ASC).
The management board decided that all manufacturing processes must be accurately monitored accurately to ensure plant run as energy efficiently as possible to reduce energy consumption and costs as well as closely monitor and control the level of ASC.
Servosteel had a rudimentary energy data collection system that had been installed approximately 15 years earlier and this provided data which was transferred into spreadsheets for a handful of the energy intensive equipment in the factory. The system did not cover all of the site and did not include any of the new energy intensive equipment such as the three lasers and their ancillary equipment.
This system provided raw data with no analysis and the data had to be downloaded manually and then manipulated to provide any meaningful management information. This process was time consuming and did not produce accurate data in time for any corrective measures to be put in place.
The company decided that data collection needed to be improved and cover all the site and provide near real time data that could be used to improve the production planning and monitor the operating times of energy intensive equipment to identify potential areas for process optimisation and energy and costs reduction.
The new SEE Change aM&T system was designed to utilise the electric, gas, water and steam meters that were already in place and installed a range of new electricity sub meters to collect data from the new pieces of energy consuming equipment.
All of the meters record half hourly consumption data from the equipment which is now transmitted to an offsite data base, using two data loggers and secure data transmission equipment. This information is then automatically processed and analysed to create tailored reports, charts and alarms.
Authorised managers and manufacturing personnel were given personal login accounts to analyse the charts and reports. A personalised dashboard was created for each member displaying the relevant information to optimise the use of the plant with pre-set limits and automatic alarms.
Overall, the project cost to the company was £16,420 followed by an annual £2,200 licensing and support fee. Using the enhanced system, Pro Enviro were able to assist the company in monitoring costs with a view to securing significant energy reduction in year 1 of the installation.
Energy costs are carefully controlled by calculating the kWh usage and the energy cost associated with each process in real time. This ensures that estimates of the cost of processing work are realistic, accurate and that every opportunity to reduce energy cost can be evaluated and where adopted, it can be accurately monitored.
Furthermore, the monitoring of the impact of each major piece of equipment enabled the company to plan the most effective production mix to avoid breaching their ASC. This has involved moving the use of several important but energy intensive element of the processing to the night shift to reduce the level of MD during the day shift.
Annual saving in electricity consumption of 190,000 kWh of electricity which is approximately £30,400. and estimated 37 tonnes of carbon dioxide has been achieved during the first year of installation.
Contact Name: Nersi Salehi
Position: Managing Director
Telephone: +44 1788 538150
Address: Pro Enviro Ltd.
8 Davy Court