Knauf Insulation has invested in excess of £5m to upgrade its packaging equipment at its Cwmbran manufacturing plant in Wales, the latest phase of its planned investment programme.
The new equipment will allow Knauf Insulation to manufacture glass mineral wool slabs, alongside the plant’s current roll and blowing wool capability. This will help the company meet increased demand for its DriTherm Cavity Slab 32 following the changes to Approved Document L of the Building Regulations in England and Wales, which brought in much stricter energy efficiency standards. It will also enable the company to optimise its logistics operation taking around 1.5 million truck miles off the road each year and reducing transport CO2 emissions by 1,700 tonnes.
“This important investment means we can now produce our range of slabs in both glass mineral wool plants,” said Neil Hargreaves, managing director of Knauf Insulation Northern Europe. “This will help optimise our logistics, further enhance our proposition to customers and make our products even more sustainable.”
As well as improving product sustainability, Knauf Insulation’s new equipment is 40% more efficient than its existing machines, which means it can produce products faster and will help to save energy.
This is the second in a series of investments totalling in excess of £45 million being made by Knauf Insulation to boost its capacity in the UK, and improve the range, availability, and sustainability of its products.
In 2022, the company concluded the deal with NSG Group to purchase the 7 hectare Pilkington Architectural site adjacent to its St Helens manufacturing plant.
The final phase, taking place in 2024, will see Knauf Insulation build a new larger furnace to increase capacity at its St Helens plant by circa 30,000 tonnes per annum. This will also enable the company to improve its fiberising technology, allowing it to develop new, industry-leading lower lambda and thicker insulation products. And it will upgrade its downstream equipment to cure and package the additional output and to support further enhancement of its market-leading product compression.
As a result of the investment, Knauf Insulation expects to see a circa 20% improvement in the embodied carbon of products supplied from its St Helens plant, building further on its industry-leading position in terms of sustainability.