Articles & Case Studies

Investing In Latest Water Filtration Technology Reaps Rewards

Posted: Thursday 27th January 2011

In a volatile market many industries avoid investing in research and development. In fact, a sound investment will often give you a significant return whatever the economic outlook and not necessarily just in the places you would expect, as was the case for UK based Custom Extrusions.

As part of the Epwin Group, Gwent based Custom Extrusions produces 10,000 tonnes of profile per year, supplying PVC building products to some of the best known brands in new build, social housing and home improvements, all of which come under the Epwin Group brand.

Despite the recent economic downturn, Custom Extrusions was on a mission to be the best in the market. Part of the strategy was to invest in water filtration to clean up its process water in order to reduce customer complaints about surface scratching and reduce down time. As it turned out, the results of this investment actually far exceeded any of the company’s expectations.

Traditionally the company had had problems with surface scratching caused by biological matter in the process water. Although this was seen not to be a major issue it was something that the company felt they should address as part of its drive to be the best.

On closer scrutiny it was identified that in actual fact 80% of the problems were surface related with up to 20 minutes down time per incident being recorded.

A representative from the management team at Custom Extrusions, said: “As part of our quality drive we wanted to have the best quality process water. To do this we wanted to eradicate the bacteria present in the water rather than just treat it.

“For the past 15 years our SpinClean filter has been filtering down to 50 microns but our filtration specialists, Industrial Purification Systems (IPS), had developed more advanced filtration technology specifically to filter out microscopic contaminants. IPS was able to provide us with its new high efficiency CrossflowMF1.0 filter which had the ability to reliably filter to down to 0.45 micron.

“But there has been a lot more to this investment, far more. Not only did we see a dramatic 75% drop in customer complaints but since its installation we have had no issue with surface scratching whatsoever so the increase in production time has been phenomenal and process scrap has been reduced by 20%. Putting these factors together Custom Extrusions is seeing a staggering financial saving in excess of £100,000.00 per annum.

“We recognise that customer expectation on quality is greater than it used to be so we have invested to meet the expectations of these customers and the market. In so doing our company has seen a significant saving in our running costs and environmentally we are saving as well which has gone a long way to reducing our carbon footprint.

“For me IPS is a highly innovative company. Like us, it is customer focused and interested in the challenge of every project – not just for the sale. They always engage with all the other contractors involved and know the right questions to ask to help clients, like ourselves, understand the complexities of the project. IPS is happy take on such an advisory role between the client and other contractors to ensure everything runs smoothly which only works because of the personalities within IPS.”

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