Akzo Nobel are a world leading supplier of coatings and inks for the protection and decoration of beverage, food, aerosol and general line cans, metal closures and collapsible tubes. It’s a business highly dependent on water, as WB+AD Morgan found out.
At their production site in Birmingham, Akzo Nobel manufacture a protective resin for beer and beverage cans for a global market in which they hold a market leading position.
“The production process is water based,” comments Scott Love, the U.K Engineering Manager. “We use various chemicals and water to manufacture the resin which acts as a protective barrier between the metal can and the contents of the can. The site produces 60,000 tonnes of liquid resin a year which is shipped out across the globe.
“During 2012 we used 57 million litres of water in the production process, 75% of those litres came from a borehole which we installed in 2010,” explains Scott, he adds, “At the time of installation the borehole and pump were suitable for our consumption needs. However, shortly afterwards we experienced an unexpected increase in production demand, which obviously had a knock on effect on our water consumption.”
Within 12 months the water demand at the site had increased by 20%. “In order to supply more water from the borehole we went back to the installation company, WB+AD Morgan, and set about investigating if we could increase the water supply from the existing source,” explains Scott
“With the help of Envireau Water and WB+AD Morgan we applied to the Environment Agency to increase our abstraction rates and Morgan’s installed a pump capable of pumping 50 million litres a year.” The work was completed in February 2013.
“The installation of the new pump and increased abstraction licence now enables our private borehole water supply to cater for 88% of our needs,” comments Scott.
He goes on to explain his original motivations for installing a borehole, “We’ve been established for 100 years and with such a high demand for water, the related bills were soaring.” However cost saving wasn’t the only reason to seek an alternative, with long-term sustainability a key motivation, as detailed in the Akzo Nobel company policy.
“The borehole will save us £65,000 this year alone in water bills – a considerable saving,” comments Scott. “Not only is it cost effective, but it also very low maintenance. Our production process is 90% reliant on the borehole and I think that speaks volumes about the confidence we have in the installation from WB+AD Morgan,” concludes Scott.