Choc firm cuts energy bills
12 December 2012
Thorntons turns to EnerSys to help cut energy costs and lower carbon footprint as part of a wider push to improve materials handling efficiency Thorntons has substantially reduced energy consumption and costs at its ma
Thorntons has substantially reduced energy consumption and costs at its main chocolate production site in Derbyshire by standardising on Hawker LifeTech high frequency battery chargers from EnerSys across its entire materials handling fleet. The company predicts that it will achieve a twoto- one return on its investment over the lifetime of the contract.
"This is part of a wider programme to reduce our carbon footprint," says Dan Crow, facilities manager at Thorntons. "We wanted to reduce our materials handling energy bills and lift truck downtime and the EnerSys chargers have helped us." The decision to adopt Hawker LifeTech high frequency chargers from EnerSys was taken during 2007 when Thorntons appointed Linde Material Handling UK as its new lift truck supplier. The project was overseen by Linde corporate accounts manager Paul Grady. Thorntons wanted to reduce energy costs and improve overall materials handling efficiency by reducing downtime related to battery charging.
The first batch of 30 trucks supplied by Linde on contract hire included narrow aisle combination stacker/pickers, low level order pickers, reach trucks, electric counterbalance trucks and powered pallet transporters, all with EnerSys batteries.
"We didn't specify batteries but took the EnerSys chargers because Linde recommended them," says Dan Crow. "Battery choice is left to Linde as part of the overall package." As part of the contract transition EnerSys and Linde completed a full site survey including a calculation of the potential energy savings that could be achieved by switching the entire fleet to high frequency charging. This compared the performance of the existing chargers with the new units.
The survey concluded that a significant saving would be made in energy consumption and topping up frequency which would be reduced from once a week to once a month. All 100 trucks on site are now using EnerSys chargers although many still have their original batteries.
"We ended up projecting a £14,000 saving on a £7000 investment," says Crow. "For the wider business this is a relatively small figure but it roughly equates to the cost of renting two lift trucks for a year so in the materials handling context it's significant.
"The initial cost of the truck is only around 10 per cent of the whole life cost so operational savings are important."