Machined Component Systems plc (MCS) is a precision engineering company specialising in the supply and manufacture of machined components using advanced CNC machinery. It supplies a wide range of industry sectors such as automotive, petrochemical, marine and healthcare. Established in 1986, the company has 37 employees and is located in a 1970s building occupying 25,000 sq ft.

MCS were prompted to start making radical improvements to their energy efficiency when the roof needed replacing on one part of their factory building. Managing Director Warren Gray takes up the story “As the building owners, we realised we needed a new roof on the middle factory building, but we put it off until it became urgent. I needed to act quickly, so got various quotes and approached Redditch

Borough Council to see if there was any capital grant assistance available for this type of work.” Although this was not something Redditch BC could help with, they passed Warren onto the Resource Efficient Worcestershire (REW) project, as they believed the company might be eligible for other types of assistance from a CO2 emissions reduction angle. “It was first class signposting from Redditch BC to put me onto REW and although they couldn’t help with the roof replacement costs, it led to alternative support which has been extremely beneficial to us.”

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The night shift staff have also been very positive about the better quality of the light strobing which makes them feel less tired.” Wider commercial benefits have also become apparent as a direct consequence of being more energy efficient.

Customers visiting the premises have noticed the changes and some clients are committed to improving the environmental impact of their supply chains. MCS has won more work as a result of ‘ticking the box’ on energy reduction measures. “We had been falling behind on this kind of thing,” says Warren, “but we are now top of the supplier list with some of our customers.”

Having invested in the roof replacement from its own funds, the company was keen to see what other improvements could be made through the REW project. A thorough technical assessment of MCS’s use of utilities showed that the age of the lighting system was the main area for attention. The company applied for a grant through REW and received 45% of £35,000, which was used to install new LED lighting and sensors throughout the building.

“We received a thorough report from Pro Enviro Ltd, the chosen provider from Worcestershire County Council, which estimated how much our CO2 emissions would be reduced and predicted a 10% saving in our electricity bill. The experience of working with them was superb and the advice they gave on the best type of lighting to use was invaluable.”

In reality, it is difficult to measure how much progress has been made on reducing energy bills, says Warren: “In many ways, we have to take it on trust that these reductions will be realised with the new lighting in place. A business like ours doesn’t stand still. For example, we have installed some new machine tools, which will be consuming energy that wasn’t the case before. So looking at our recent energy bills, it is impossible to say what the offset is between the increase from the new machinery and any reduction from our improved lighting.”

It is proving easier to get a handle on the more qualitative benefits from the changes. “I hadn’t anticipated the positive impact this would have on the building overall and on the working environment” says Warren. “By transforming the quality of the lighting, we have noticed some of the other jobs that needed doing such as painting for example. It has prompted us to take greater pride in the look of our premises.”

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