One of the UK’s largest independent food packaging specialists, PFF Group are innovators in packaging solutions for supermarkets and multinational food manufacturers.  Sustainability is a core company value and, to help drive forward a sustainable energy management strategy, they approached Powerstar, leaders in behind-the-meter energy storage and power resilience technology.

Following a comprehensive review at PFF’s Keighley plant, Powerstar recommended an upgrade of the company’s existing transformer fleet, replacing the ageing transformer with a new low-loss amorphous core alternative, integrated with its patented voltage regulation technology.  The first stage of the phased installationwill reduce energy costs, increase efficiency and contribute to PFF’s sustainability strategy through a 5% reduction in the firm’s carbon footprint.

Transformers are a critical part of the energy infrastructure for manufacturers and for the UK as a whole as they enable electricity to be transferred from one circuit to another at changing voltage levels, to improve the safety and efficiency of power systems.  However, three quarters of the transformers in the UK have been in operation for 25 years or more, a lifespan far exceeding the intended design-life.  For food packaging and manufacturing this presents a significant productivity risk.  Replacing outdated transformers mitigates the risk of production process disruption, while also contributing to carbon emission reduction.  

Alastair Morris, Chief Commercial Officer at Powerstar, comments: As they age, transformers become less efficient and can be operating at 85% as compared to larger, modern transformers whose efficiency can be as high as 99.75%.  With many transformers operating at high loads, these losses are both significant and costly.  High efficiency, low-loss transformers can make a huge difference, enhancing power resilience, lowering costs and offering an effective route to reducing carbon emissions, helping companies such as PFF work towards achieving net zero.  Integrating Powerstar’s patented voltage regulation technology also provides additional benefits to efficiency, further reducing electricity consumption, costs, and carbon footprint of a manufacturing facility.

PFF is a member of two environmental global initiatives, NEXTLOOPP and Operation Clean Sweep.  NEXTLOOPP aims to produce the first commercially available high quality food grade polypropylene (FGrPP), while Operation Clean Sweep seeks to ensure that plastic does not end up in waterways.  As such, the Group prides itself on being at the forefront of the latest manufacturing technologies and cutting-edge processes.  PFF General Manager, Lee Brydon, explains the rationale behind the company’s investment in Powerstar’s new transformer technology,

“As a producer of sustainable packaging, PFF places great importance on using resources efficiently and this latest investment demonstrates that we take our carbon reduction commitments very seriously.  Plastics continue to have a vital role to play in food production and our objective is to produce packaging that delivers the most sustainable solution when accounting for whole life costs – from production to transportation emissions, food waste and recyclability.  Carbon footprinting offers the most accurate assessment of the way our products impact on our planet.  Therefore, reducing our carbon footprint is the biggest thing we can do to protect the environment.”

Powerstar works with food manufacturing and packaging customers across the UK, reducing carbon emissions, increasing efficiency and productivity, while helping companies to achieve their net zero targets.