Seeking out a smart factory solution

Superior Wellness is the largest supplier of hot tubs throughout Europe. Hot tubs are delivered from manufacturers in China and the US, and then sold in Europe to other distributors.

Why did they engage with DE-Carbonise

Superior Wellness were receiving electricity bills which were higher than expected (around £5,000-£8000 per month). Moreover, the company did not know what the main sources of electricity consumption were, and this could have resulted in financial risks for the company in the long-term.  

The company approached the ERDF DE-Carbonise Project looking for a smart factory solution. Following several site visits and independent assessments, it was established that the items to be monitored initially would be:  

 The aim was to enhance manufacturing efficiency (as it produces cost savings, whilst radically improving the environmental performance of the business) and to find any areas for future optimization.  

What has been the impact of working with DE-Carbonise?

Our project partner, Devtank Ltd, deployed a LoRaWAN network at Superior Wellness. LoRaWAN is a low power, long range wireless network designed for high latency, low bandwidth applications, making it ideal for sensors.

The benefits are numerous but include long penetration for wireless signals, secure links, low power, and vendor agnostic solutions. This means that the company can purchase a range of sensors and modules from many different suppliers, and they can all co-exist on a common IoT network. The smart factory sensors were installed to monitor the primary areas of concern (overhead crane & main work area) and the data can be viewed through an interactive dashboard and used for plant/site monitoring and building automation. 

Superior Wellness now have real-time energy data at their fingertips via the dashboard provided. A holistic overview of the environmental performance of the business, including the cost to the business and the tonnes of CO2 produced, because of business activity, is now clearly visible. The information can be used to find improvements in operational efficiency and energy savings. Potential faults and sources of energy wastage can easily be spotted in the data trends including machine idle time versus utilization.   

So far, the company has already identified inefficiencies in the gas usage and initial findings suggest that the company could save up to 30% on gas usage. 

Next Steps

It was recommended that Superior Wellness fit an electricity smart meter to their three-phase incoming supply using an approved electrical contractor. With this meter, several useful measurement parameters can be extracted including power factor, voltage, current, reactive, and active power. 

About DE-Carbonise

DE-Carbonise is a three year collaboration between the University of Derby, Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council, which started in November 2019. The collaboration is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and follows on from the successful D2 Energy Efficiency/Low Carbon project.

Logo's for European Union Regional Development Fun, Derby City Council, Derbyshire County Council and Midlands Engine.

Get in contact with us

To find out about current support available for your business in reducing your environmental impact, or your journey to net-zero. Please get in contact with our business gateway team.

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