Date: 10 Nov 2023

Gilks at Swizzels

Swizzels the Iconic UK Confectionary, Investing in their Future

The Challenge

To accommodate the growth of their various brands of sweets, UK and internationally, and in particular to meet the demand of their latest brand ‘Squashies’, the iconic UK confectionary Swizzels invested in building a new manufacturing facility, based in Middlewich, Cheshire.

Working on a new facility has the benefit that everything can be planned and designed to suit the specific requirements of the business operational needs. Offices, manufacturing lines, storage, goods-in, etc., can be positioned to suit the needs of the business now, but also anticipated and planned future expansion.

However, a new build facility still has challenges. There are also the added challenges now to design new facilities that need to consider the environmental impact and future carbon neutral goals.

Responsible for the complete electrical design and installation of this facility Gilks needed to work with the various partners to understand where productions lines would be located, operators will need to work and gain access and specific usage of all spaces within the facility.

This project was to deliver electrical requirements from a Cat A to Cat B fit out.

On completion Swizzels wanted a modern facility that utilised automation processes where possible and provided them with energy efficiencies. This was to be in conjunction with creating a safe and productive workplace that was correctly lit to suit all the operational needs of the business

The Process

To undertake this mammoth investment, Swizzels wanted to ensure they had the appropriate partners to correctly manage and facilitate this project.

The initial stage of winning this project included several rounds of presentations, to demonstrate experience and expertise in managing and delivering on projects of this scale.

With over 60 years of experience, Gilks was able to substantiate their wealth of experience in electrical and mechanical engineering, working across a variety of industries providing design, installation, and management of projects of varying values and complexity.

On winning this contract we worked with Swizzels approved supply chain.

The complete project delivery was managed by Swizzels site team, with CDM acting as the external contractor to monitor and manage the overall project schedule and ensure health and safety was adhere to, at all times. With projects of this scale and deadline dates to meet, it is essential that all parties communicate.

Every professional contractor working on the project needed to understand the planned project schedule, including foundational works, delivery of machinery, installation of power, laying of trays and cables and lighting infrastructure, etc.

It is pleasing to say, as it’s not always the case that the coordination and professionalism of each of the contractors on this project was impeccable. This led to an extremely well managed and coordinated project.

Understanding the complete facility requirements and project schedule at the outset is, as always, extremely important.

This provided Gilks with the information to plan, schedule and design an electrical infrastructure that provided the power points to be positioned at the right places and a lighting system that would generate the optimum light across the various areas, whilst providing the best energy efficient lighting system.

The Solution

The electrical infrastructure system installed consisted of phased stages, to deliver the various elements to meet the project requirements.

The initial stage of the project was to design and install the ladder and cable tray system, to support the various cables to power supplies, manufacturing equipment and lighting system.

Heavy-duty cable ladder installed supporting plant machinery.

Heavy-duty cable ladder installed supporting plant machinery.

The innovative Gripple catenary system was chosen and used, as this not only reduced overall weight of traditional Uni-strut type systems but provided a reduction of the overall carbon footprint of the scheme.

This was installed prior to the delivery of the production line equipment.

With a commitment to improving the sustainability and reducing energy consumption, Gilks focused on energy saving lighting. This was achieved by installing modern energy efficient narrow-lens LED lighting.

Modern LED lights convert approx. 80-90% of energy to light, meaning only a small amount is wasted in heat, unlike traditional lighting systems.

Highly efficient LED lighting systems installed throughout the site

Highly efficient LED lighting systems installed throughout the site

To provide ultimate lighting control and benefit from optimum energy efficiencies, a state-of-the-art lighting control sensor system was installed and located within the manufacturing and storage area.

The cloud-based system enables all lighting to be centrally controlled. For example, each 300 Lux lighting can be individually dimmed, as required, or switched off to suit the operational needs of the business, providing energy and cost savings.

Each luminaire has a PIR (passive infrared sensor) fitted. The electronic sensors measure infrared light radiating from objects in its field of view. This acts as a movement sensor.  The system will detect movement and will automatically switch on the lights when movement is detected, i.e., when someone enters the area.

It is set to stay on for 20 minutes and if no further movement is detected after this, the lights will switch off automatically. Alternatively, lights can be dimmed to a specific level.

The ability to switch lights off, dim them individually, or set-up movement detectors delivers huge energy and cost savings for Swizzels, especially from the storage areas and corridors.

To maximise energy efficiencies, on completion of the lighting infrastructure installation, every area was checked and set to the specific lux level, in accordance with the design. This was to ensure no more energy was being used than needed, for each space within the facility.

Committed to Swizzels goal of reducing energy, electric forklift trucks will also be introduced to the new facility. To support this, Gilks fitted multiple Wi-Fi communications points across the factory floor to control the forklift trucks.

Powered by electric motors results in less emissions, helping to keep the factory air cleaner. This is a huge benefit for a confectionary manufacture.

The project also included the data communications Fire Alarm, Access Control & CCTV Systems.

In addition to the electrical infrastructure, we also facilitated the installation of the control infrastructure for the plant’s manufacturing production equipment, through our sister company Delta Rock Group.

The Added Value

The electrical and lighting infrastructure designed and installed provided substantial savings, in both energy and costs.

It also created an environment that delivered the appropriate lighting for each of the different areas, where and when is needed. Properly lit areas, has significant impact to the well-being of those working in the areas and productivity.

    • Energy efficient LED lighting provided significant savings.
    • Cloud-base light monitoring system provides savings of up to 40% / year.
    • Electric powered forklift trucks.
    • LED lighting providing better directional lighting for operations.
    • LED lighting provides well-lit environment for a productive environment.
    • Reduced costs, improved energy efficiencies and carbon savings

Automation control systems; improving resource efficiencies, safety and quality

Andy Oliver Gilks Managing Director said, “This was an exceptional project, and one we were extremely pleased to have won the contract for. Our expertise across both electrical and mechanical was utilised and obviously we were pleased to also provide the electrical control installation for the plant’s manufacturing production line, through our sister company Delta Rock.”

He added, “It was also superb to work alongside such professional contractors, which makes a huge difference to a project. We wish Swizzels every success with their new facility”.

If your organisation is expanding or needs to review their lighting and electrical systems to save costs and improve energy efficiencies, contact our team of experts. We will discuss your requirements, to design and install a system that will suit your future needs.

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