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The Remarkable Environmental and Financial Benefits of Upgrading Your Business’ Transformer

The Remarkable Environmental and Financial Benefits of Upgrading Your Business’ Transformer

Transformers are a vital piece of equipment for the likes of manufacturing businesses and in a range of other commercial sectors, and finding the right type to suit the individual needs of each business is crucial.

Using the wrong transformer can lead to higher energy consumption, meaning that over time, businesses with outdated, unsuitable or energy inefficient transformers could face significant financial losses, as well as an increased carbon footprint.

And with sustainability having become such a significant part of businesses’ strategies in recent years, more and more business owners want to reap the benefits of reduced energy consumption, which inevitably comes with equally appealing financial rewards.

adi Electrical, a division of multidisciplinary engineering firm adi Group focusing on the delivery of high quality and reliable electrical installation services, was approached by snack manufacturer giant Mondelēz International to complete a transformer replacement project for its biggest confectionary site in Europe, producing 40,000 tonnes of sweets and candy each year.

Having made sustainability its fourth pillar in its long-term growth strategy, the company is keen to look for ways to drive positive change within its operations, including using more energy efficient equipment across all its facilities.

Commenting on the project, Simon Concar, managing director of adi Electrical, said: “We are incredibly pleased with the outcome, particularly the substantial energy reduction benefits we were able to achieve for Mondelēz.

“The brief perfectly aligned with Mondelēz’s sustainability strategy, which includes a desire to reduce its energy consumption on its sites as well as minimise its overall environmental impact.”

The project began with discussions around the specification of the transformer to be replaced. The adi Electrical team had identified and was keen to highlight the energy and cost savings which could be achieved with one of the two transformer options they’d chosen for the site.

“One of the transformers we carefully selected for Mondelēz’s site had incredible potential, offering reduced load and no-load losses, leading to more substantial energy savings over its lifetime,” said Simon.

“Our recommendation was immediately taken onboard by the Mondelēz team, being in line with their commitment to sustainability.”

adi Electrical took on the job out of normal hours to reduce the impact to the facility, but still arranged the isolation in a way that allowed power to the site to continue, ensuring a smooth changeover process.

Obtaining access to the installation location, which was via a live production facility, proved to be challenging, as the work required the team to utilise a restrictive entry route with limited head height. However, the team arranged to minimise any civil works to accept the existing cables.

The whole work package was completed in under 24 hours by adi Electrical’s own in-house teams, with the team being ahead of programme every step of the way.

“The first significant benefit to Mondelēz was achieved by sourcing a transformer that removed the need to make any civil modifications to the existing sub-station,” said Simon.

“However, the longer-term benefits are much more substantial. The projected energy and cost savings are extraordinary, and though they were immediately plain to see after the completion of the project, they will continue to benefit the site for years to come.”

After initial install and power-up, Mondelēz monitored the energy usage of the transformer compared to its predecessor, and recorded a kilowatt hour base load reduction of 20.4%.  

Having continued to monitor the usage during normal production, the new transformer was able to achieve an overall reduction of 22%, which equates to an annual saving of just over £88,000 for the company, making payback possible in less than 12 months.

Further aligning with the company’s environmental credentials, the adi team ensured the previous transformer would be suitably recycled, as well as arranging for the transport for the new transformer to be carbon offset in conjunction with the global reforestation non-profit organisation One Tree Planted.

“We knew this project had incredible potential to benefit Mondelēz, and we take pride in ensuring we can extract as many financial and environmental benefits for our clients, finding the right opportunities wherever possible.

“Mondelēz’s case just goes to show how much businesses can benefit from taking steps in the right direction.”

Manufacturing & Engineering Magazine | The Home of Manufacturing Industry News

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