The Newark, UK manufacturing facility of bearing and linear motion specialist NSK has implemented a rainwater harvesting system that will reduce mains water consumption by almost 200,000 litres a year. The installation will also contribute to the reduction of local rainwater run-off, helping to avoid potential flooding in the region.
Based on the Stormsaver StormStation above-ground system, the installation centres on a large furnace building with a substantial roof volume and two large-diameter downpipes. A dedicated NSK Automation and Sustainability engineer at Newark specified electronic valves within the downpipes that divert rainwater to a 10,000 litre tank (close to the size of a shipping container).
The tank is located in the central garden of the Newark site, on full display to employees as a feature of achievement. Offering integral filtration, UV lighting is also in place to eliminate bacteria and fungal spores. The clean water is pressurised by two pumps and sent to three lavatory blocks in the site’s grinding department. This represents 40% of the lavatory facilities available to manufacturing personnel, serving around 140 employees over a three shift pattern.
Commissioned in April 2022, the rainwater harvesting system saves the need to flush away almost 200,000 litres of potable water every year.
A further part of the project will be the site’s role as a test bed for smart meters. This soon to-be-installed metering system will measure water in and water out, as well as electricity consumption. Wider site metering will roll out later in the year.
Another important aspect of the installation involves the site’s proximity (less than 1km) to the River Trent. Any new buildings in the area, especially factory buildings, are subject to water management due to the potential for local flooding. If NSK wanted to construct a new building at its Newark site, it would have to feature flood prevention capabilities. This normally means water buffering, which is exactly the role of the new rainwater tank. With this thought in mind, the installation of additional tanks across the site will help to reduce water run-off locally, which would be beneficial for everyone in the region.
Such is the success of the project that it could prove the blueprint for other NSK plants in Europe. Newark has already shared details of the system’s components, the capital investment involved and the savings. Further data will follow after the introduction of smart meters.
Moving forward, the site will continue introducing environmental initiatives, including low flush lavatories and low-energy heating and lighting, as the company continues its global agenda in support of a more sustainable society.
The Stormsaver StormStation tank at the Newark, UK site of NSK Europe can store up to 10,000 litres of harvested rainwater
About NSK Europe
NSK Europe Ltd. is the European organisation of the Tokyo-based bearing manufacturer NSK, which was founded in Japan in 1916 and today employs nearly 30,400 people in its worldwide operations. The products and solutions provided by the industrial and automotive supplier can be found wherever things move. In addition to nearly all types of rolling bearings, the company’s portfolio includes housed bearings, linear technology, wheel bearing units, transmission and engine bearings and steering systems. The company is oriented to perfection in all of its business activities. Its aim is quality leadership in its industry, which it strives for through a continuous process of improvement, excellent product development, optimised production processes and customer-oriented service processes. In fiscal year 2020, the more than 4,350 employees of NSK Europe Ltd. generated sales of over € 792 million.