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Schwank Case Study:

Flying High, Innovation is our Passion

We are pleased with the system that Schwank has delivered for us. It is clearly saving us energy and we shall continually monitor that.“

Alan Gleadhill, Group Projects Manager, Dunlop Aircraft Tyres

The Facility

For 100 years Dunlop Aircraft Tyres has represented excellence in the aviation industry and is today the world’s only specialist manufacturer and retreader of aircraft tyres. From its headquarters in Birmingham UK, new and retread tyres are designed, tested, manufactured, marketed and dispatched. With over 500 approvals, Dunlop can supply tyres for over 300 different types of aircraft in the civil and military aviation market. The organization is committed to providing airplane operators around the globe with new or retreaded airplane tyres of the highest quality and customer service of the highest standard. The Dunlop team of researchers, designers, engineers and technical specialists strive for technical superiority through innovation. New products are introduced into service regularly. The range of new tyres cope admirably with the industry’s requirements for increased take-off and landing speeds, lower weights, higher loads, improved landing life and improved retread characteristics.

The Issue

Historically, the manufacturing plant in Birmingham had been heated via a centralised boiler system that provided steam for both the heating system and also for the manufacturing processes. Matters came to a head when the requirement of more steam for the manufacturing processes could not be pro-vided without compromising the heating systems. This necessitated the search for a new type of heating system that would deliver energy savings and good comfort for the employees. After a lengthy process of searching the market and looking at various types of heating and overall solutions Dunlop Aircraft Tyres appointed Schwank to deliver a turnkey solution that included a radiant heating system, comprising Schwank high efficiency radiant tube heaters for the factory, and new boiler systems for the offices.


The installation began in the late summer of 2011 and would have a schedule taking the works through to completion before Christmas the same year. It was a difficult installation as the factory was still operating at full capacity, so co-operation and flexibility between both parties was key to a successful outcome. Around 100 Schwank type high efficiency radiant tube heaters were installed in the factory areas giving vastly improved comfort levels, multiple zone capabilities, to better match working patterns and temperature requirements, with high radiant efficiencies that will result in much lower energy costs.


The initial results – financial, operational and environmental – of installing the high efficiency Schwank gas fired radiant heating system are very positive. The various heating zones are functioning extremely well and are very flexible. This enables the factory managers to better match their heating needs with the operational/ shift pattern requirements. Although the system is in its infancy, it has already shown significant energy savings and the long term potential is more than 40% total savings. The heating is almost instant and does not have to be set to come on as early as the old system. The system is to be maintained by Schwank on an annual basis. This will ensure the heaters work at their optimum and will ultimately prolong their working life.