The Patent Ferrule Company Ltd was established in Birmingham in 1872 by Josiah Shoebotham – great grandfather of current owners Steve and Jeremy Shoebotham. The 146-year-old firm moved its operation to Redditch in 1928, and to its present site in Palmers Road in 1976.
Patent Ferrule specialise in the precision cutting and manipulation of ferrous and non-ferrous materials. The works are in operation 24 hours a day cutting metals, tube end forming, and shot blasting. Steve and Jeremy eventually will pass ownership of the family-run company to the fifth generation – Daniel Shoebotham.
The Palmers Road site was state-of-the-art in 1976, but four decades on, there was room for improvement in terms of energy efficiency. Although the building is still more than adequate and fit-for-purpose, energy requirements and priorities have shifted with the times. A free energy assessment from the Business Energy Efficiency Programme (BEEP) highlighted the firm’s use of aging T12 fluorescent tubes, metal halide lighting (a type of high-intensity discharge gas lamp developed in the 1960s), an old heating system and an inefficient compressor.
Following the assessment, Steve Shoebotham turned to the Business Energy Efficiency Programme (BEEP), which is managed by Worcestershire County Council and funded by the European Regional Development Fund, once more to seek financial assistance with improving energy efficiency by initially installing LED lights.
BEEP provides energy efficiency assessments and grant to small and medium size enterprises enabling them to improve energy efficiency and profitability, while reducing carbon emissions.
BEEP’s contracted energy efficiency advisors – Pro Enviro Ltd, helped Patent Ferrule develop an action plan to reduce their energy bills.
A £13,270 grant replaced the old lighting system with new LED illumination, including motion sensors. Together with a heating system, the programme is expected to save the company about £6,600 a year, and reduce its output of greenhouse gases by 30 tonnes per year.
Also included in this funding package was a new variable speed drive compressor providing a further efficiency saving of £1,800 and an annual reduction of 6 tonnes of greenhouse gases.
The support, guidance and funding through BEEP – has given Patent Ferrule a significant boost in terms of driving the business forward as they look to expand the workforce.
“We are in a position of growth at the moment, and we’ve got some new contracts which will require more machinery and more workers,” added Steve.
“The help from BEEP has been extremely valuable, and the people we’ve dealt with at Worcestershire County Council have been great- they made the whole process go like clockwork.”
BEEP is a partnership between Worcestershire Councils, Herefordshire Council, Telford & Wrekin Council, Shropshire Chamber of Commerce and Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.
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