Slash Energy Costs: How Mitsubishi Electric helped a UK Iron Foundry

In today’s competitive industrial landscape, reducing energy consumption is not just about cutting costs – it’s about forging a sustainable future. Wanting to slash energy costs, Brockmoor Foundry – one of the UK’s top five largest iron foundries, faced this challenge head-on with the help of Mitsubishi Electric’s innovative automation solutions.

The result? Slashed energy costs – a significant drop in energy usage per tonne of cast iron produced. This customer success story demonstrates how digital technologies can revolutionise traditional industries, paving the way for a more efficient and environmentally friendly manufacturing sector.

The Energy Conundrum in Metal Casting

Foundries are notorious energy guzzlers. With processes that demand high temperatures and powerful machinery, managing energy efficiency can seem like trying to cool molten metal with a paper fan. Brockmoor Foundry’s main site alone required up to 6,500 kWh, with a staggering 4,500 kWh devoured by induction melting furnaces.

But what if there was a way to map out energy usage in real-time, identifying inefficiencies as they happen? This question led Brockmoor Foundry on a quest for a solution that could provide unprecedented visibility into their energy consumption patterns.

A Unique Challenge: Sustainability Meets Circular Economy

Brockmoor Foundry isn’t just any manufacturing plant. It’s one of the few facilities in the UK capable of casting, machining, and painting products all under one roof. This versatility allows them to produce ductile iron in various grades, catering to a wide range of applications. Moreover, the foundry plays a crucial role in the national recycling of iron, contributing to the circular economy.

However, this commendable commitment to recycling comes with its own set of energy-related challenges. The very nature of transforming scrap metal into new, usable products demands significant power. The key was to find a way to maintain productivity while reining in energy consumption.

Casting a Digital Net: Mitsubishi Electric’s Automation Magic

Enter Mitsubishi Electric and their local innovation partner, BPX. With a 30-year working relationship already in place, Brockmoor Foundry knew exactly where to turn. Together, they proposed a solution that would transform Brockmoor’s energy monitoring from basic to brilliant:

ME96This powerhouse combination promised unprecedented visibility into energy consumption patterns across the foundry. The goal was not just to measure, but to empower staff with actionable insights, enabling them to make informed decisions in real-time.

From Installation to Illumination in Three Months Flat

Speed was of the essence, and the team delivered. In just three months, the new system was up and running, offering granular insights into power usage. This rapid deployment was a testament to the expertise of Mitsubishi Electric and BPX, as well as the modularity and ease of integration of the chosen components.

Staff could now monitor energy performance in real-time, spotting and squashing inefficiencies as they arose. The system went beyond simple energy metering; it also tracked the runtime of critical equipment such as extraction fans and compressors, and even monitored airflow to machines using compressed air. This comprehensive approach ensured that no stone was left unturned in the quest for energy optimisation.

The Proof is in the Casting: Concrete Energy Savings

Before the upgrade, Brockmoor Foundry required 1,450 kWh to process a tonne of iron. After implementing Mitsubishi Electric’s solution, that figure plummeted to 1,200 kWh—a cast-iron testimony to the power of smart automation. This 17% reduction in energy consumption per tonne not only significantly lowered operational costs but also substantially reduced the foundry’s carbon footprint.

“We are very happy with the products, support and resulting solutions delivered by Mitsubishi Electric. Thanks to this new setup we have been able to truly step-up our capabilities, reaching a completely new level in effective energy management.”

– Gary Hinson, Chief Electrical Engineer at Brockmoor Foundry

An Iron Foundry Fit for the Future

The journey doesn’t end here. Buoyed by their success, Brockmoor Foundry is already working with Mitsubishi Electric to roll out a similar system across their second site. It’s a scalable solution for a scaling ambition: to lead the charge in sustainable metal casting.

This expansion plan highlights another crucial aspect of the implemented solution—its modularity. Designed with growth in mind, the system can easily accommodate new meters and equipment as the foundry evolves, ensuring that today’s investment continues to pay dividends well into the future.

Lessons for Industry: Partnering for Progress

As industries worldwide grapple with the dual challenges of profitability and sustainability, Brockmoor Foundry’s story shines like polished cast iron—a beacon of what’s possible when innovative companies join forces. It underscores the importance of choosing the right technology partners, those who don’t just sell products but provide comprehensive solutions tailored to specific needs.

Mitsubishi Electric’s approach, focusing on delivering value rather than just hardware, proved instrumental in achieving these remarkable results. Their commitment to understanding the client’s unique challenges and crafting a bespoke solution sets a standard for supplier-client relationships in the industrial sector.

Conclusion: Moulding a Greener Future & Slashed Energy Costs

In the end, it’s not just about making metal; it’s about moulding a greener, more efficient future. Brockmoor Foundry’s transformation serves as an inspiring example of how traditional, energy-intensive industries can embrace digital technologies to dramatically improve their environmental performance without compromising productivity.

As we look towards a future where sustainability is non-negotiable, stories like this offer hope and a practical roadmap. They remind us that with the right tools, expertise, and partnerships, even the most challenging industrial processes can be optimised for the better.

And with allies like Mitsubishi Electric lighting the way, that future is looking brighter – and greener – than ever.

Looking to purchase an ME96 measuring instrument or another piece of Mitsubishi equipment to help slash energy costs? Visit our ecommerce site or fill in the form below and one of our experts will get back to you promptly.

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