Bosch provide products and support to increase capacity at Bridgnorth Aluminium

Louise Smyth

As the UK’s only manufacturer of lithographic printing plate material – and one of only three producers in Europe – for Bridgnorth Aluminium, producing high-quality products efficiently and effectively is paramount. Based in Shropshire, the company has a purpose-built, state-of-the-art rolling mill and stretch levelling line, allowing it to specialise in hot and cold aluminium rolling, annealing and levelling.

Following a period of sustained growth for the business, an expansion of its facility led to the installation of two additional hot water boilers as part of its new lithographic finishing line, with a payback period of just two years.

For the company’s lithographic material, it is critical that the material’s surface remains unmarked and unblemished when a finishing chemical is applied. To achieve this, a hot degreassant that is heated using industrial hot water boilers is applied to the surface, giving the plates a flat surface for printing.

As with any new manufacturing process, efficiency in terms of both time and cost was a key consideration. However, coordination, trust and flexibility played a vital role in the successful installation and, following a competitive tender process, Bridgnorth Aluminium opted to work with Bosch Commercial and Industrial.

Providing efficiency

Following the tender process, it was agreed that Bosch would be able to provide not only the products necessary for the expansion but also the support structure needed to cope with the logistical and organisational demands of the project.

To increase capacity for the site while maintaining high efficiency standards, two Unimat UT-M 1,400kW hot water boilers were installed to heat a primary circuit that raises the temperature of both the chemical treatment and hot water rinse. Bosch’s innovative flue gas heat exchanger allows heat from the flue to be returned to the system, saving energy and increasing efficiency by 2% – an efficiency measure that equates to a saving of up to £18,000 a year. As a result of the flue gas economiser, the company is able to achieve a payback period of just two years.

Planning for success

One of the challenging aspects of this installation was the fact that the boilers had to be married up with the rest of the manufacturing line’s creation. For example, to reduce energy-losses, short pipelines were designed as part of the system, which made access to the site difficult. Additionally, the commissioning timings of the different components within the line had to align, to minimise the line’s downtime and test periods.

To combat these logistical challenges, Bosch took a flexible approach and worked closely with other site suppliers in order to achieve a joined-up installation within both time, space and budget constraints.

In a project that totalled 12 months to complete, the installation and commissioning of the boilers themselves took just two to three months.

The verdict

Simon Edwards, mechanical maintenance manager at Bridgnorth Aluminium, comments: “This was a complex project and we needed a hot water boiler supplier that we could discuss all our needs with, which would be on hand post-installation as well as pre.

“For us, Bosch was the ideal fit; offering excellent support and a total solution with a flexible product. The agreed service contract has proved invaluable to us as the line has become more established and we can be rest assured that any maintenance needs are covered.”

Rob Brown at Bosch Commercial says: “We are delighted we have been able to help a leading UK manufacturer continue to expand and develop. The Unimat UT-M hot water boiler was perfectly suited to the site due to its flexibility and energy efficient.

For more information visit Bosch Industrial

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