Since the relocation of our manufacturing plant in 2011, we are constantly researching methods of reducing our overall carbon footprint.
One key area was to examine ways of improving process efficiency by reducing the number of operations and amount of energy required whilst at the same time maintaining component quality & reliability.
Automated & programmable forging
The implementation of more efficient forging procedures, for example Automated Horizontal Counterblow Forging, enable us to achieve higher volume production whilst using less energy through the use of programmable energy levels and blow patterns.
Energy efficient heating methods
Conventional forging heating methods rely on the use of brick furnaces, requiring a constant supply of fuel to maintain optimal working temperature. Working capacity is limited and prolonged heating times are needed to ensure material achieves forging temperature. At Brooks Forgings we have added automated Induction Heaters to many of our forging stations. Energy levels are kept to a minimum with the heaters only activating ‘on demand’ when the material triggers sensors on the feeding line. This improves cycle times and energy is only used when required, a crucial step in reducing carbon footprint.
Reducing costs, lead times and transportation footprint
Many manufacturers rely on the use of sub-contractors to complete different processes outside of their capability. This unfortunately increases cost, lead times, administration and the transportation footprint of the component. By offering an extensive range manufacturing processes in-house, we have reduced our transportation footprint for many of our supplied components by an estimated 70%.
Manufacturing efficiency through design & simulation
Brooks Forgings design engineers have access to the latest advancements in computer aided design and manufacturing. This enables them to perform pre-production forging simulations, estimate and evaluate thermal and mechanical properties throughout the manufacturing process and optimise results with minimal experimental trials. By actively reducing the risk of production errors we are able to keep material wastage to a minimum and improve overall process efficiency.
Dedicated warehousing for material stocks
Material stock is also considered valuable resource at Brooks Forgings. By having dedicated warehousing holding over 250 tonnes of stock, we have the capacity to purchase material in larger more economical volumes, minimising the requirement for multiple deliveries from suppliers. Lead times are again reduced by having the material available from stock. Wastage is kept to a minimum by internally marking, tracking and restocking material off-cuts.
The combination of manufacturing capability and efficiency is an integral part of reducing the carbon footprint for the company and its resulting supplied components.