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No trouble at t'mill

Money doesn’t grow on trees. If it did, an ERIKS customer in Dumfriesshire would be perfectly placed to make the most of it. Instead, they came to ERIKS to find savings which not only reduced their energy costs but also secured employment for local people.

No trouble at t'mill

Albie Forestry Ltd was established in 2010 by husband and wife team Michael and Donna Newton. The business began in timber harvesting: felling and hauling timber from local forestry sites.

Following thirteen years of very hard work and determination, Albie Forestry Ltd were given the opportunity to branch out, by purchasing a sawmill which could process the timber into high quality fencing materials and co-products. With their own equipment for felling the timber, their own lorries for haulage, and now their own mill for processing the wood, the business offers a full forest-to-finished-product service.

However, a year or so after the purchase of the mill, the rising cost of energy began to have an impact on profitability, and redundancies to cut costs were looking increasingly likely.

Fortunately, a walk-round of the site by an ERIKS Projects and Innovation Manager, with a follow-up site survey by an ERIKS Application Engineer, helped the customer to tell the wood from the trees.

Learning from a 1 year-old

To the trained eye of an engineer with ERIKS know-how, there are motors, and then there are motors. And at the customer’s sawmill, out of approximately thirty motors, only one met with the engineer’s approval.

That particular motor was an IE3-rated Premium Efficiency model, of around a year old. The other motors on the site were older, less efficient, more energy-hungry and therefore significantly more expensive to operate.

Also, and hardly less important for a business looking for ways to be more sustainable, the older motors created significantly higher levels of CO2 emissions.

Lorry being filled with cut tree trunks

Clearly the one year-old motor could teach the customer a thing or two about cost savings. But replacing thirty other motors wasn’t something to rush into on a hunch. So ERIKS put together a comprehensive energy-saving and payback report, to show the customer just how much they could save by taking the plunge and investing in new energy-efficient WEG motors.

An ill wind…

It’s not often that an increase in energy prices is good news. But in this particular case, the price rise that took effect between the initial project estimate and implementation grew drastically and the payback period shortened significantly.

Since ERIKS prepared the calculations for the customer, they witnessed a huge 150% rise in the initial energy costs, making it even more vital to work with ERIKS to deliver a long term benefit.

The 150% increase meant that the payback period – initially calculated at 3 years 5 months – would be reduced to just 1 year 4 months. At the same time, annual COemissions would be reduced by 18.1 tonnes – or 271.5 tonnes over the lifetime of the motors.

However the savings – and ERIKS’ support – don't end there.

Crane picking up and storing logs

A helping hand-out

Having locally-based engineers means ERIKS know and understand local conditions, opportunities and available support. So although the customer wasn’t aware of the small business funding available from the Scottish Government, ERIKS were.

With help from ERIKS in putting together a Total Cost of Ownership calculation and other information, the customer was able to secure Government funding of 30% of the value of the motors, together with a 12-month 0% finance loan for the remaining 70%.

This not only meant that the company could afford to invest in the motors, but also ensured that two potential redundancies were averted. So with the future secured, it looks as if this timber business will keep on growing.


ERIKS have stood out for their commitment to excellence in every aspect. The team’s dedication to quality and professionalism is evident in their seamless collaboration and efficient problem-solving.

This project has delivered significant business benefits by enhancing operational efficiency and driving revenue growth. Overall, the project has proven to be a strategic investment, contributing positively to the company’s long-term success.

For more information on Engineering solutions and to get in touch with one of our Engineering Specialists please contact your local ERIKS Service Centre, who will be happy to discuss your options.

#ERIKS #LetsMakeIndustryWorkBetter #RepairReplace #Motors #EnergySavings

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