Plasmor’s PPS Machine Hire Leads to Savings and a New Compressor Purchase

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Britain’s largest independent manufacturer of concrete building products, Plasmor specialises in concrete blocks and block paving for the construction industry, including the residential, industrial, commercial, leisure and retail motor sectors.

Plasmor has multiple sites across the UK, including a head office in Knottingley, West Yorkshire and its Heck branch in East Yorkshire.

Although PPS had previously overhauled some of Plasmor’s machinery and provided some spare parts, the company had mostly commissioned and serviced its own machinery, using Hydrovane compressors for preference.

What was needed

In 2013, Plasmor approached PPS to hire a compressor for its site at Heck. PPS supplied an Atlas Copco screw compressor and Plasmor were impressed with its performance, which later led to the purchase of a VSD 37KW compressor for Heck, to replace two Hydrovane compressors.

Plasmor came back to PPS for advice on sizing a compressor on a secondary processing plant at its Knottingley site, as it had been having ongoing problems with an old undersize compressor (71⁄2kw), which wasn’t really up to the job.

What we did

We hired out a brand new 11KW Atlas Copco VSD+ compressor for the secondary processing plant at Knottingley to replace the underperforming machine. We then conducted an audit that showed that the new Atlas Copco machine was not only more powerful and reliable, but also cost less to run than the old compressor. Plasmor therefore decided to purchase this new machine and we returned the hire fee as part of the agreement. After a data logging exercise at the other two Knottingley plants, Plasmor bought two further Atlas Copco VSD+ compressors. Because of their increased efficiency, these two 15KW Atlas Copco machines were powerful enough to replace the two existing 18KW Hydrovane compressors. In 2014, we audited Plasmor’s site in Durham and, as a result, a VSD+ compressor has also been fitted at this site. Further audits are now being carried out at the transport depot at Knottingley and at Plasmor’s Nottingham site.

Why PPS?

Although Plasmor had ordered from PPS in the past, it wasn’t until we had the opportunity to audit the company’s sites that we were able to show the energy saving and other benefits of the Atlas Copco VSD+ range. With ongoing audits at other sites, Plasmor and PPS are building a strong relationship, which we hope will continue into the future.  

Key benefits

As well as being delighted with the energy savings from switching to the VSD+ compressors, the customer was surprised that their plant could be run by machines that had such a small footprint and were so quiet to operate – indeed, the phrase used was ‘purring like a kitten’. Plasmor staff were also impressed with the ease of installation.  
The Atlas Copco compressors have been brilliant. When they were first put in, we were taken aback about how little energy they used and how quiet they were. You don’t have to be an expert to realise you’re saving a lot of energy and you can tell by the layout that a lot of thought has been put into the compressor design, with energy savings in mind
Mick Hogg, previously Works Engineer at Plasmor’s Knottingley site, now Operations Manager at the company’s Heck site
The on-going audits throughout all the Plasmor sites, and subsequent replacement of the old machines, are not only financial incentives, but also key factors in achieving objectives as part of our environmental commitments through ISO 14001. The auditing conducted by, and relationship we have developed with PPS is commendable
James Marshall, Production Director for the Plasmor Group