How a Rochdale manufacturer is using technology to save pounds and the planet
Date published: 23 April 2021
Ben Horn, Digital Transformation Programme Manager at Crystal Doors
Crystal Doors, a manufacturer of bespoke vinyl wrapped furniture components based in Rochdale, is finding economic and environmental success through the Made Smarter technology adoption programme.
Businesses working with the technology adoption programme are investing in new machinery and digital tools to make their buildings, equipment, manufacturing and transport processes more efficient, use less energy, and produce less waste.
Crystal Doors has engaged with Made Smarter’s digital transformation workshop process to identify the opportunities for technology to overcome the business challenges.
The fully-funded bespoke process involved working with an impartial adviser to analyse the business’s product, services, processes and people, and develop a digital transformation plan tailored to the needs of the business.
Crystal Doors also tapped into Made Smarter’s digital technology internship programme, which links tech savvy students and postgraduates with SME manufacturers. The company is using the three-month funded intern to implement a network of sensors that will give the business full visualisation to gain insights into how its machines are performing and identify potential efficiencies.
Ben Horn, Digital Transformation Programme Manager at Crystal Doors, said: “We have been on a journey towards carbon neutrality since 2015 and are on course to achieve that ambition by 2022. We want to prove that becoming carbon neutral is possible for SMEs not just for the big companies, and that it is an approach that can be cash flow positive.
“By capturing data from all your operations, you can create a full picture that is not just estimation or guesswork, but cold hard facts that allows you to make informed decisions that enable a more efficient factory and positive for the environment.
“Working with Made Smarter has really given us the confidence that we can make these advancements and still have a profitable future.”
The 187 technology projects supported by Made Smarter are forecast to deliver an additional £147.8M in gross value added (GVA) for the North West economy over the next three years.
And the drive towards a more sustainable approach to manufacturing is reducing the businesses' carbon footprint and impact on the environment, helping the UK achieve its ambitious net zero target by 2050.
Donna Edwards, North West Adoption Programme Director at Made Smarter, said: “Climate change can no longer be ignored. The manufacturing industry, together with the transport and storage industries, produce 15% of the UK's greenhouse gases.
“Manufacturers are facing pressure to become more sustainable from their own employees, customers, the government, investors, and wider communities.
“Technology has played an incredibly important part in enabling businesses to navigate the pandemic and recover. There is no doubt that digital tools are also key to addressing the challenge of decarbonisation and help the UK achieve its net-zero aim.
“Digitalisation offers a huge opportunity for manufacturers to deliver operational efficiencies, decarbonise heat and power, optimise design and materials, and improve logistics and transport, benefitting their business, their bottom line and the environment.
“It is encouraging that so many Made Smarter supported manufacturers have started this journey and found the sustainability sweet spot between these economic, social, and environmental goals.”
Made Smarter has produced a free guide to help SME manufacturers take their first steps in reducing carbon emissions and become more sustainable.
For more information visit madesmarter.uk
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