Wood fuel specialist Logs Direct has scooped Gold and Silver accolades in the Made Smarter Awards 2023, on the basis of the digital transformation it has pursued to drive manufacturing improvements and business growth.
The Lancaster-based business - a supplier of a comprehensive range of wood-fuel products, all certified as ‘Ready to Burn’, plus complementary and ancillary products - was one of the first 19 SME manufacturing businesses to receive a Gold award from Made Smarter.
This recognised Logs Direct’s investment in a real-time kiln monitoring system that also encompasses heat recovery. The installation of this new technology has helped to significantly reduce the energy required for the wood-drying process, by around 15 per cent and helped to make the whole process much greener.
A further investment of over £80,000 of new technology has been devoted to the kiln-drying process. The technology moves hot air around within the kiln, so that all the logs are dried evenly. It then records the humidity in the air and the length of time taken by the drying cycles, it extracts all of the wet, hot air from the kiln, removes the moisture and returns the air back to the kiln as dry, warm air to be used again and again.
This process continues to help ensure that all of the wood that is dried meets new Defra conditions relating to moisture content in wood. It enables all Logs Direct customers to buy with confidence and understand that the wood is not just dried correctly but also as efficiently and ecologically as possible.
The investment in this technology has paved the way for even more eco-friendly products to be introduced in the future and has provided all the business benefits that accrue from improved efficiencies. It opens up new market opportunities for Logs Direct and business growth of 15 per cent is now predicted in the coming year, which will in turn lead to more job creation.
This latest development at the UK’s leading wood specialist is another sign of Logs Direct never standing still. Since its establishment, it has always incorporated leading-edge technology into its production regime, so as to create and offer better products and optimise its capacity. This has come at significant cost but the investment has always driven the business to another level and helped earn the trust of trading partners.
The business has similarly been relentless in solving the many issues relating to raw materials that have emerged over the past 10 years and particularly since Covid-19 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Logs Direct has somehow managed to successfully steer its ship through the choppiest of global supply waters.
By optimising its manufacturing approach and continually striving to decarbonise its operation as much as possible, the company has been able to launch innovative and relevant products and secure contracts with some of the country’s leading retailers and brands.
Sales director, Stephen Talbot, says: “The Made Smarter Awards are testament to our desire to incorporate digital solutions within our business, so as to continually drive improvement and deliver product excellence. We are grateful for the support that Made Smarter provided, to help us achieve our latest decarbonisation and growth goals but can assure customers that the road to greater efficiency through technology does not stop here.”
The business will continue to offer customers as many best-in-class fuel options as possible, via www.logsdirect.co.uk and its trade brand of Warma Home Fuels, delivering bespoke solutions whenever required and offering informed, specialist advice on any wood-related products. To access this expertise, just call Logs Direct on 01524 812476.
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