Water efficiency case study: Nottingham Zinc Group Ltd

April 2014

Nottingham Zinc Group Ltd specialises in leading-edge coating solutions. It is one of the largest independent alkaline zinc plating business in the UK providing expertise to the automotive, construction and manufacturing sectors. Its purpose-built factory in Nottinghamshire has three separate hi-tech continuous plating lines, one powder coating plant and workshop facilities for product refurbishment.

The company keeps a close eye on water use across its production facilities and registered for free support from WRAP through the Rippleffect, an online training tool, to help identify further water-saving opportunities.  For example, it has installed sub-meters on each of the incoming supplies to the plating lines and on the effluent streams. Water consumption is monitored by recording and analysing monthly meter readings to ensure each of the plants is operating efficiently. 

Nottingham Zinc Group has also installed a semi-closed-loop system that re-uses around 50% of the rinse water from the coating plants prior to its final disposal. The system has reduced annual water consumption by 2,000m3 and saved around £3,000/year. The capital investment for the installation of new pumps, holding tanks and associated pipework is expected to be paid back in around five years. 

The potential for further savings has encouraged the company to develop a new on-site facility to collect and filter rainwater. This will be used as process rinse water and is designed to reduce the company’s requirement for mains water by 70%, with a payback period of just four years.

“We continually aim to improve our water efficiency and drive down costs. The Rippleffect has helped us to see the benefit of quantifying what savings can be achieved to help build a case for further investment and reduce our reliance on the mains water supply.” 
Ian Brazenall, Technical Manager, Nottingham Zinc Group Ltd

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