Brooks Forgings Ltd has been looking at ways of reducing the consumption of natural gas in its manufacturing processes. By working closely with a company specialising in the design and manufacture of temperature controlled heating equipment we have been able to expand on the existing Brooks design, add new features, and explore new energy-efficient ways of using natural gas in the forging process, resulting in a vastly improved carbon footprint.
The newly designed and built furnaces, 4 in total for trial purposes, have been installed at our manufacturing plant situated in Lye, Stourbridge in the West Midlands. For research and development purposes, the furnaces will be closely monitored and improvements will be made in preparation for the next wave of upgrades. Each portable furnace is ergonomically designed allowing them to be fully integrated into our complete range of hot forming processes.
Capable of reaching temperatures of 1300°C, the furnaces have several features that help reduce the wastage of natural gas. These include a 7-day start-up and shutdown timer along with a separate idle and working temperature setting. These are digitally controlled and can be altered and set by the quality control department or by the central control room that monitors the status of each furnace.
For example, the production team can review the schedule and set the furnaces to reach an idle temperature as the workforce arrives on the premises or enter a break or lunchtime, switching to and maintaining a uniform working temperature as they step back onto the factory floor. This reduces the use of natural gas and also increases the overall efficiency of the manufacturing process.