The future of manufacturing must be sustainable, says Fabweld Steel Products
Fabweld Steel Products is flying the flag for sustainable production for this year’s National Manufacturing Day.
FSP, which designs and makes standard and bespoke access (manhole) covers for the construction and built environment industries, is embracing a cleaner, more intelligent future for manufacturing and the company has already invested £0.5 million in capital expenditure projects to bring its plans to life.
The latest addition to Fabweld’s facility is a nitrogen generator, run predominantly using solar energy generated by the PV panels fitted to the factory roof, which Managing Director Wayne Carter says is important for both sustainability and self sufficiency:
He says: “Large amounts of nitrogen are used in the precision laser cutting of steel products and in the past, our Telford site received bulk gas deliveries up to three times a week from a supplier in Banbury. With an onsite solar-powered nitrogen generator in place, over 40 gas deliveries a year have been eliminated, while also controlling the cost of making our products.”
What Wayne and his team are doing in terms of sustainability goes above and beyond what businesses of comparable size are doing in the industry.
Wayne continues: “Steel is a very energy intensive to make so we are supporting the steel industry’s transition to a more sustainable future by switching the majority of our steel supply to a stockholder that sources material from Scandinavia where the carbon footprint associated with steel production is much lower than India, China and Eastern Europe.
“We are also actively trying to use less steel in our products, but without compromising on quality or performance. This year, our R&D team has focused on creating more intelligent, sustainable products looking at what material content can be removed from new and existing product designs to reduce the steel content while maintaining load capability.”
Over the next five years, Fabweld has ambitions to grow 70% by maximising efficiencies and utilising new technologies and renewable energy.
Wayne adds: “Working with an external partner - Involved Social Impact Projects - we are developing our Net Zero Road Map to address our current and future sustainability challenges, including implementing effective, practical solutions and metrics to reduce our scope 1 & 2 emissions. Our customers want to do business with sustainable suppliers, and our ultimate ambition is to continue to expand our operations while reducing our impact on the environment.”