The Draperstown, Northern Ireland-based joinery business previously left its three 15-37kW extraction and transfer fans on all day, partly as the control panel was some way from the equipment. They also had to be started in sequence to avoid a supply overload.

"A review of appliances showed the fans were using most electricity and operating inefficiently," said executive manager Damien O’Callaghan. "We asked Advantage Control to come up with a more efficient way of working."

The technology supplier, part of the ABB Drives Alliance, reviewed Heron’s power consumption and subsequently installed five ABB general purpose VSDs beside the main control panel.

These match fan motor speed to process demand, cutting the average daily electricity requirements of the fans from 103.3kW to 51.4 kW.

Besides the financial saving, which will give Heron’s investment a nine-month payback, Advantage Control says it will also reduce the company’s annual CO2 emissions by 59.79 tonnes.

The VSDs have also allowed installation of remote control stations, so operators can switch fans on their machines on and off as required, leading to further savings. They also put an end to the need for sequential start-up of the equipment.

According to Mr O’Callaghan, Advantage Control also advised Heron on the availability of grants to support the investment.