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Magna’s Sybex Division: Energy-Smart Innovations

Responding to rising energy costs and the need to protect the environment, Magna’s Sybex division in Banbury, England launched 50 energy-saving projects in the last 10 years – with even more ambitious initiatives on the horizon.

Simply put, the facility’s energy champions believe environmental stewardship is not only the practice of a good corporate citizen – it is good for business. Promoting energy conservation at Sybex saves resources and cost, more than $2.1 million from 2016-2020.

Initial projects included relatively simple ones, such as installing timers on air conditioners to save energy, switching off equipment during weekends and plant shutdowns, and installing LED lights with smart sensors that automatically adjust based on movement in a room.


PAUL HOWARD, Sybex energy improvement coordinator

The energy-savings team here also eliminated compressed air leaks during assembly operations and converted electric water heaters to energy-efficient gas boilers.

Starting in 2021, the division will ramp up sustainability efforts even more. It plans to harvest 21,000 gallons of rainwater from its paint-building roof and use it in the restrooms, an idea inspired by England’s rainy climate and English gardeners who collect rain in barrels to water plants.

In the biggest eco-friendly project yet, Sybex is setting up a Combined Heat and Power or CHP system designed with sustainability in mind, where heat used in manufacturing is recovered, energy isn’t wasted, and pollution doesn’t go into the atmosphere.

Also known as cogeneration, CHP is a suite of technologies that can use a variety of fuels to generate electricity or power at the point of use, allowing the heat that would normally be lost in the power-generation process to be recovered to provide needed heating or cooling.


At Sybex, the system consists of two 1.5-megawatt generators fueled by natural gas. The system was developed with two units in order to have the ability to shut down one when less power is required. Additionally, power can be sent back into the grid as renewable energy, helping to supply the energy requirements of the local community. Installation of the CHP system is expected by 2022.

“CHP is a game-changer,” said Paul Howard, Sybex energy improvement coordinator. “Beyond that, we are looking at moving into another stage with sustainability by looking at how to save resources and cost in manufacturing operations. There is the potential for another 50 percent in savings in that area.”

Howard, an electrical engineer and former lecturer at England’s Oxford College, credits the 14-person Sybex energy team, made up of senior managers and people from every department, with building awareness and leading the division’s commitment to sustainability.

Like Howard, safeguarding our world begins at home for them.

“I’m energy-conscious in whatever I buy and whatever I do,” he explained. “I have children and two grandsons, Jacob and Joey. I think of them all the time. I want the planet to be clean for everybody, not just them. At Magna, we’re definitely going in the right direction.”

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