Innovative engineering company turns up the heat on future growth plans

Innovative engineering company turns up the heat on future growth plans

A Sheffield-based engineering company, which is helping businesses recoup thousands of pounds in energy costs, is turning up the heat on its future growth plans after calling on help from Finance For Enterprise and the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

Headquartered at Sheffield’s Century Park Industrial Estate, Saphex manufactures, designs and repairs a wide range of industrial heat exchange units, which are typically used to help businesses regulate temperature during the manufacturing process.

Recognising that the primary purpose of a heat exchange mechanism is to remove excess temperatures typically generated during the manufacturing process, Managing Director, Wayne Nelson, began exploring ways of helping businesses to repurpose this energy elsewhere within the business, helping companies to save money on their heating bills, as well as reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

The solution Nelson and the Saphex team have pioneered is called Clix. The modular system draws on their extensive knowledge of the heat exchange industry, which transfers excess heat generated to be transferred to another source. The process allows surplus energy to be recycled and used elsewhere in the business.

Although the innovative work has taken nearly 15 years to perfect, the results have proved to be dramatic. During trials of the system, the innovative work phase helped one business to make savings in excess of £280,000 during the past 12 months alone.

Recognising the impact of energy price increases facing businesses operating in many different sectors, Nelson and the Saphex team felt the time was right to bring their years of work to market.  However, to fully harness the potential offered by the new system, Nelson realised that additional funding would be needed and reached out to Finance For Enterprise for investment.

Working with Business Lending Manager, Gurinder Mandir, Saphex successfully secured a £150,000 investment, funded by Finance For Enterprise and NPIF – BEF & FFE Microfinance, which is managed by Finance For Enterprise and BEF and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund. The loans also utilise the government-backed Recovery Loan Scheme.

With funds in place, Saphex is now targeting six figure growth within the next 12 months and has embarked upon a three-year growth strategy, which aims to see the business double in size over the next three years. Central to Saphex’s growth plans, part of the funds will be used to invest in new software, which will be used to significantly reduce the amount of time taken to undertake the complex thermal calculations needed when designing heat recycling systems, ultimately helping to increase capacity within the business.

Nelson said: “There remains a great deal of uncertainty surrounding energy prices, and this is having a devastating impact on businesses of all sizes. Energy intensive industries such as food production, chemical manufacturing and traditional heavy industries have been particularly hard hit, and we felt that the time was right to bring a product we’ve been working on for over 15 years to market.”

Click below to share this article

Browse our latest issue


View Magazine Archive