Through the looking glassSince 1826, Pilkington has been at the cutting edge of glass manufacture, constantly innovating to create a huge range of glass products – from the first energy-efficient glass, to touchscreen technologies. They’re always looking to get better, in both manufacture and product lines. And this is where we came in.
The impact of rising energy costs
Glass production traditionally requires considerable energy consumption. Like many manufacturers, Pilkington is traditionally a very high energy user and faces the ongoing challenge of managing its increasing energy costs. With substantial annual energy bills, the company wanted to reduce these costs and, at the same time, find additional opportunities to improve efficiency and support its drive towards a low-carbon and sustainable future.
The Siemens and Pilkington engineering teams carried out a series of in-depth energy audits and due diligence across the company's UK-wide manufacturing sites. An initial list of ten energy management projects was identified. These projects included the installation of new drive technologies and automation controls at a Scottish production site, new pump system upgrades and a major programme to install an intelligent lighting solution at one of the company's prime warehousing locations.
Using an innovative tailored investment funding package and sharing the risk, the strategic partnership with Siemens allowed Pilkington to support investment strategies in critical areas such as energy management, without having to tap into existing cash reserves, impair day-to-day cash flow health or even resort to traditional bank funding.
Crucially, we have not had to make any upfront capital expenditure investment to benefit from the installed technical solutions, but pay for them once we see tangible savings over time. Such flexibility is a key factor and means it is a risk-free option for us.Gary Charlton, Pilkington’s UK Operations Director