The VEKA UK Group Impresses at Annual Energy Management Meeting
January 9, 2016
VEKA colleagues from sites around the world gathered to attend this meeting, in order to set targets for improved energy consumption and to share best practice suggestions with each other. Attendees included representatives from Germany, Russia, Poland, France, Spain, USA and GEALAN (which was acquired by the Worldwide VEKA Group in 2014).
Discussing innovative ideas and gaining insights from companies that have the same goals can be incredibly valuable when you consider that The VEKA UK Group foots energy bills of £1.4m!
The main focus of this year’s meeting was how to work towards the requirements of EN5001.
Sales and Marketing Director of The VEKA UK Group, Colin Torley, explains: “The EN5001 legislation was introduced to encourage large energy users to make steps to reduce energy usage by 2019. We aim to be compliant by 2018, a full year before it becomes compulsory.
“Here at The VEKA UK Group, we are incredibly proud of our energy efficiency measures and the many ways in which we’ve led the industry in this area.
“We were the first PVC-U manufacturer to create a window system able to achieve an ‘A’ rating for energy efficiency, but we don’t simply focus our attention on our products. Our own working practices and services are under constant scrutiny to see if they can be made more efficient.
“We’ve halved the amount of electricity we use since 2002 and, since 2008, we’ve also halved the amount of gas consumed.
“With a view to reducing energy use, we have already installed heat reclamation systems on our air compressors. This means that we are able to use the hot oil that has been warmed by the compressors to heat a whole block of offices at our Burnley base!
“We’ve gone from two boilers down to one energy-efficient boiler which is used simply as a ‘back up’ during the Christmas period when oil from the compressors is not being heated.
“We are phasing all our lights over to LED lighting which uses 32 watts, rather than the 54 watts used by tube lights.
“We monitor the compressed air and water used across the factory, as well as measuring the energy usage on each individual extrusion line. In this way, we are able to tweak the machinery used in the extrusion process to save energy. Our engineers regularly change the pumps on the lines to optimise performance by reducing the vacuum created during the extrusion process.
“The next project in the pipeline is to refurbish the crane in the high bay warehouse to further increase its energy efficiency.
“So… all in all, I think it’s fair to say we’re doing our bit!
“The visitors from our worldwide VEKA sites were very impressed when they were given a tour of the plant, and I think we have all shared some great ideas to put into practice across the Group.”