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Textile company has energy savings all sewn up on a tight timescale

A Resource Efficient Scotland interest-free loan enabled the purchase of four new knitting machines by textile producer, Robert Mackie of Scotland Ltd, creating savings of £96,760 and 40.8 tonnes of carbon annually. The machines produce textiles more energy efficiently, to the correct shape and size thereby also reducing waste and increasing production.
Robert Mackie image of knitting machine

Robert Mackie of Scotland Ltd has been producing textiles in Stewarton since 1845.  The company specialises in the production of knitted hats, scarves and gloves for specialist and designer stores across the UK and Europe.  They also manufacture traditional Scottish head wear, the Balmoral and Glengarry hats and caps worn by Scottish regiments and pipers.  

The company was keen to take advantage of any opportunities leading to significant financial and carbon savings and had secured a grant from Scottish Enterprise for improvements. This grant was under a spending deadline of 31 March 2019. 

On the shopping list were four new more efficient CNC knitting machines, but match funding was required, and quickly, to enable the purchase. 

Once we were contacted, our advisor promptly carried out a site inspection with the deadline in mind. SME funding was quickly approved and processed so that the company was able to access the Scottish Enterprise grant by meeting the deadline.

The new more efficient CNC knitting machines facilitate a significant reduction in raw materials by reducing the amount of material wasted during the production. The old machines produced a significant amount of waste which could not be reused. With the new machines, savings are now being made on the cost of raw materials (as less is required) as well as increasing productivity by reducing staff time per cycle, resulting in a reduction in labour costs.

Capital expenditure for the new machines was £40,000 each but, with an annual saving of £24,190 per machine, payback will be in just 1.7 years. In addition, there will also be a resultant reduction in emissions of approximately 10.2 Tonnes CO2 per machine – a financial and environmental win.

Brian Ashard, Production Manager commented:

“We really appreciate all the help and support we received from the Resource Efficient Scotland. They were fully aware of our business situation and worked to meet our very tight timescale.”

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