Shelbourne Reynolds Engineering Ltd is a well-known British company specializing in the design and manufacture of farm machinery. The company was established back in 1972 and now operates from a 90,000 square feet factory on a 5 acre site in rural Stanton near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England.
The facility currently employs 120 people and utilizes some of the most sophisticated manufacturing equipment including: CNC machine centers, laser steel cutting machines and one of the UK’s largest powder coat paint facilities.
Energy costs represent a significant financial overhead for Shelbourne Reynolds. So, in 2012 the directors of the company decided to investigate what could be done to minimise the effect of ever-increasing heating and electricity bills.
“We have a very large site comprising multiple buildings, so heating costs are high. That is why we wanted a system that would help us save fuel and cut bills.” Explained Garry Bloomfield, their Procurement and Contract manager.
“We also wanted a system that was smart enough to detect when people accidentally left doors open and then manage the heating accordingly. This can happen quite often and seriously affects the heating and cooling systems’ efficiency,” he added.
The most challenging part of the project was the complexity of the heating system installed across the company’s site. The main building uses an oil-fired boiler for hot water provision, accompanied by multiple industrial hot air blowers. The production facilities and the storage areas, on the other hand, rely on a combination of cooling fans and hot-air heaters to maintain a pre-set temperature.
Prior to HeatingSave, all of these systems had to be controlled and set manually – an inefficient method often leading to significant losses in terms of time, energy and money.
Following a comprehensive Energy Savings survey, the HeatingSave Energy Consultants and engineers designed the perfect HeatingSave configuration for the Shelbourne Reynolds site, capable of delivering superior control over the heating system, significant savings on energy bills and also at incredible value for money.
Due to the sheer size of the site, the HeatingSave system comprises a number of sub-controllers, each assigned to a separate zone and linked to the main controller. The system’s advanced heat-loss algorithm manages multiple heating/cooling zones applying energy at the last moment or switching off early to minimize energy usage.
One of Shelbourne Reynolds’s main requirements for the energy management system was to be able to mitigate the problem of shop doors being left open. To achieve this, HeatingSave uses magnetic switches mounted on all of the doors. Whenever the door is left open for a pre-defined amount of time, the HeatingSave system automatically turns down the heaters/coolers in the respective area, cutting energy usage and reducing fuel costs.
There were a few teething bugs when the system was first installed, but these were rapidly sorted out. The development of a collaborative relationship between the customer, the HeatingSave engineers and the heating system’s maintenance engineers was a key step in this process.
“Probably the best thing we ever did was to have a sit down with everyone, i.e ourselves, the heating engineers in charge of the air blowers’ maintenance and the HeatingSave engineers” said Garry. “This meeting helped every party learn a bit from the others, as it allowed the heating maintenance engineers to receive a comprehensive overview of HeatingSave technology, while also enabling HeatingSave to tweak the system in order to perfectly match the air blowers’ specific performance requirements.”he added.
Garry is charge of the system’s daily operation and he was trained by HeatingSave staff. “The engineers who installed and commissioned the system also provided the initial training. After a couple of months we had some more in-depth training” he explained.
Garry commented regarding the quality of the training the company received “The training process was extremely informative, especially since the trainer was able to work directly with our live system on-site. He provided some useful insights into its various features and also upgraded the firmware to a new version, which further enhanced its functionality and stability” he added.
When queried whether they’re using the HeatingSave Building Energy Management System at its full potential, Garry replied, “I’d say that we’re not yet using the system at its full potential, but that’s mostly because we haven’t had it in place for that long. However, I’m sure that we’ll get there, sooner, rather than later.”
Asked by the reporter whether HeatingSave has managed to cut energy bills for Shelbourne Reynolds Gary’s answer was: “We’ve checked our energy consumption for 2014 against the figures recorded in 2013 and we’re certainly using less.”
Gary’s favourite part of the system is, by far, the extensive level of control it delivers. To put it in Garry’s own words: “I love the fact that I can control and monitor the temperature for each separate heating zone on the site, setting different temperatures for different areas. I also find the heating/cooling diary function very useful, as I can now easily program in different patterns for bank holidays, weekends, etc.”
The HeatingSave rolling diary knows about weekends and holidays or changes in a daily routine, so this function is ideal for the production facility’s shift patterns. HeatingSave will warm up the building in time for when workers start their shifts in the morning, saving a big proportion from bills by itself.
“However, by far the best part of it is that I do all of the above while sitting at my desk, instead of going around the site, from one controller to another, in order to change and optimize settings” he added.
This time and money saving feature is available via the HeatingSave T3520LN Linux-based system, which hosts the control software right on the board. You can simply Wi-Fi into it locally, effectively removing the need for a PC and providing connection to the web and mobile devices!
Garry contacted the HeatingSave help desk analysts on a number of occasions and is happy with the level of support they provided. He said: “Initially, while we were still getting accustomed to using the HeatingSave system and needed more support, we did call the help desk line a few times. We had some very good, informative conversations.
“However, there were a few problems that HelpDesk couldn’t sort out over the phone or by remotely connecting to our network, so we had to call in the engineers, and they quickly fixed them” he added.
Would Shelbourne Reynolds recommend HeatingSave to other companies with air blower type heating systems? “Yes we would” was the reply, “The software is so easy to use, I would certainly recommend it to anyone.”
Asked to sum up HeatingSave in a few words, Garry concluded, “This goes back to what I’ve mentioned before, its ease of use. The HeatingSave system and especially the software makes the whole heating control process a lot faster, easier, more flexible.
We’re happy with the the system and we’re looking forward to see where it will take us in terms of savings over the next few years. We are also impressed that the company is quick to react whenever we encountered any sort of problem.”
Shelbourne Reynolds Engineering Ltd.
Bury St Edmunds
Phone: +44 (0) 1359 250415
Fax: +44 (0) 1359 250464