Proactive energy management reduces waste at Pincroft
Harnessing Panoramic Power technology from Centrica Business Solutions, Pincroft can proactively manage energy consumption across their plant – enabling them to reduce energy waste and improve their environmental impact.
Pincroft is one of Europe’s largest commission textile finishers, finishing a diverse range of fabrics that are exported to more than 80 countries worldwide. Their 376,000 sq. ft textile finishing plant houses state-of-the-art machinery to ensure the highest quality and performance of their fabrics.
Their operations are very energy intensive, requiring large amounts of hot water and steam alongside a substantial amount of electricity. They believed that energy was being wasted across their operations, however they did not have the visibility required across their energy-consuming assets to prove this and take corrective actions.
Recognising both the environmental and economic benefits of minimising energy waste, they began to explore options to gain this visibility. This led to Pincroft partnering with Centrica Business Solutions to implement an energy insights solution. Non-intrusive Panoramic PowerTM sensors were deployed, collecting real-time energy data from over 100 sources across their critical energy-consuming assets. In addition, they also leveraged Panoramic Power communication bridges to capture third party meters monitoring their hot and cold water, steam and gas, alongside their production lines output. Through PowerRadarTM, Pincroft can extract the data to carry out further in-depth analysis in their in-house Power BI platform.
Through the energy insights solution, Pincroft now has complete visibility into how much energy each piece of equipment consumes on a minute-by-minute basis, enabling them to identify opportunities to improve efficiencies and reduce waste in real time.
Daily reports are generated and circulated throughout the team, which break down the performance of each machine and enables them to take corrective action should an unexpected increase in energy consumption occur anywhere in the plant.
For example, they have been able to identify when operators used cold water in machines that require hot water, and they have been able to take steps to ensure their operators use hot water from the heat recovery system in the future – a far more energy-efficient approach.
The solution has also helped Pincroft to maximise the productivity of their operations. Since they now have a clear understanding of the energy consumption of their assets by visualising and analysing their collected energy data in Power BI, they’re able to more effectively balance the flow of work through the plant every week. This means they can reduce peaks and troughs in their operations from an energy perspective, while ensuring that their equipment are used in the most efficient way – for instance, avoiding firing up a second boiler, when work can be redistributed to ensure the first boiler can meet demand on its own.
A cultural shift in interpreting energy
With a payback period of just three months, the energy insights solution has transformed how Pincroft manages energy across their operations. To date, Pincroft has reduced their weekend energy spend by 94% and weekday energy spend by 29%. This has put them on track to achieve CO2 savings of 648 tonnes compared to 2019 (pro rata for similar production levels), which is the equivalent of removing 140 vehicles from the road for one year.
What’s more, Pincroft is saving 0.84 kWh per metre of fabric produced – a significant achievement, for a company that produces 20 million metres of fabric each year.
The solution has also helped to create a cultural shift, with the business moving away from seeing energy as a fixed cost towards viewing it as a variable cost that can be proactively managed and improved. This was critical during the COVID-19 lockdown where they were able to use the data collected by their Panoramic Power sensors to make their operations as efficient as possible.