Morrisons manufacturing site to use digital twin as part of decarbonisation journey

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

It is estimated that energy savings of up to 20% will be achieved in the short term. Credit: Myton Food Group
It is estimated that energy savings of up to 20% will be achieved in the short term. Credit: Myton Food Group
The manufacturing arm of Morrisons is set to deploy digital twin technology as part of its bid to reduce energy use and carbon emissions.

The 49,000 square foot site in Winsford, Cheshire, is operated by Myton Food Group and will become the “UK’s first large-scale food production facility”​ to use the digital twin technology from global climate technology firm IES as part of its net zero journey.

Supplying the 497 Morrisons stores across the UK, Myton Food Group owns 19 food manufacturing locations including Winsford, where 600 people are employed.

This live digital replica of the Winsford site will respond and behave like its real-life counterpart, providing operational insights and forecasting the impact of retrofit options in order to inform decarbonisation plans.

The technology works by developing a digital energy model of the site using the IES Virtual Environment, giving detailed information on the building fabric, layout, HVAC systems and occupancy profiles. The model is then fed with metered data from the factory, to create a performance digital twin.

This performance digital twin can then be linked to energy and carbon management platform IES Live, which can forecast the effectiveness of various energy and carbon conservation measures. These range from simple operational adjustments to the deployment of renewables on site.

Once retrofit options have been implemented, IES Live can track and verify that the predicted savings have been realised.

The project estimates that energy savings of up to 20% will be achieved in the short term, with further savings to be made down the line.

Myton Food Group has committed to reaching net zero in its own operations by 2035, ahead of the wider industry’s target of 2040.

Commenting on the project, Adam Goves, sector lead for manufacturing and infrastructure at IES, said: “This collaborative project is a major milestone that sets a precedent for the wider food manufacturing industry. It’s great to be on board with Myton Food Group at this major milestone in its sustainability journey, providing the business with the evidence base to help make informed decisions about future operations at its Winsford facility.”

Sophie Throup, manufacturing technical and sustainability director for Myton Food Group, added: “We are looking forward to working with IES to help create a digital footprint for the Winsford site. We hope that through this partnership, the technology will improve our efficiencies throughout the site and help us work towards our goal of having net zero carbon emissions across our own operations by 2035; giving us learnings we can use across the rest of our manufacturing sites.”

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