LEDs Help Manufacturers Lighten Up on Expenses
Contemporary LED lighting delivers significant energy and maintenance savings for manufacturing applications
By Michael Schratz
Director of Marketing
Light-emitting diode (LED) lighting technology has proven to be the most efficient lighting solution on the market, delivering immediate and quantifiable results from day one. Compared with high-pressure sodium, metal halide and other conventional industrial lighting systems, LED fixtures not only offer significant energy savings of up to 70% but also last up to five times longer, often delivering a decade or more of continuous, worry-free operation that virtually eliminates lighting maintenance time and cost. The solid-state technology offers a more robust and durable lighting alternative that is highly resistant to shock and vibration for a more reliable solution even in the most extreme conditions. In addition to reducing carbon emissions by virtue of the significant energy savings, LEDs also eliminate the environmental risks (and costs) associated with disposal of mercury and other hazardous materials in conventional lighting.
With a payback of less than two years in many cases, thousands of manufacturers around the world are discovering how making the switch to LED can deliver fast and significant ROI.
UK-based at Southend-on-Sea and employing more than 1000 people, Olympus KeyMed is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Olympus Corporation, Japan. The facility is a key component in the company’s development and manufacture of medical equipment and industrial products for distribution world-wide. Comprising both warehousing and sheetmetal manufacturing as well as a paint shop, the Southend-on-Sea site not only produces medical and industrial products but is also the sole UK point of importation and distribution of all Olympus products.
To meet its aggressive environmental goals, the company began looking at its current lighting situation as an opportunity to make significant strides. “Our target is to reduce CO2 emissions in the company by 50% by 2020 in both our buildings and our products,” explains Chris Owen, Olympus KeyMed’s Environmental & Improvement Engineer, “so that boosted our decision to change to a more energy-efficient lighting solution. With over 100 metal halide high bay lights across our 3380m2 facility, we found that the 400-W high bays were actually operating at 440-W and accounting for 10% of our total energy usage.”
Owen also found that the metal halide high bays were lasting only two years at best or 15,000 hours on average, though replacement cycles could be shorter as a result of heat generated and accumulation of dirt. Additionally there was the ongoing chore of inspecting for failed lights and servicing those that had failed.
After researching the LED market, and at the recommendation of energy consultant Interior Control Ltd., Owen chose LED technology specialist Dialight’s energy-efficient lighting solutions. He was immediately attracted by their five-year continuous performance guarantee and very low wattage, which would enable him to comfortably recoup all of the upgrade cost through energy savings made within the guarantee period.
“It’s a no-brainer,” he said, “as these lights will actually last much longer than the guarantee period; so as a real bonus we will have no maintenance chore, or cost, ever again – really excellent! It’s no wonder that the decision to purchase Dialight’s LED lighting flew past our executive committee. With Dialight’s 40-year LED experience and proven quality, there was no other product which came close for price and durability.”
Mounted at a height of 12 m, the existing metal halide high bays were replaced one-for-one with Dialight DuroSite® 150W LED High Bays. The company was pleasantly surprised to discover that the actual energy consumption of the new LED High Bay units, including drivers, was actually 5-10% less than the advertised 150-W. The added energy-savings bonus delivered an immediate reduction in energy usage by more than 68 percent, while maintaining the same light level. As a result, Olympus is now on target to cut carbon emissions by 85 t per year.
Owen is particularly pleased that the addition of some extra LED High Bays in the inspection area has delivered a massive improvement in visibility and increased the lux level from 1800 to an impressive 5000.
Because restrike time had been an issue in all areas with the metal halide lights, especially in the inspection area, low-level fluorescents had been installed as back-up to avoid production downtime in the event of a lighting outage. With the instant-on capability of the LED High Bays, these back-up lights can now be eliminated.
In the manufacturing side of the business, the lighting runs 24 hours a day, five and one-half days a week, while in logistics, it runs 14 hours a day, five days a week. Owen is considering introducing PIRs/Lux sensor controls in both areas to deliver even further energy and carbon reductions. He is also working with Interior Control Ltd. to install Dialight’s LEDs on the exterior of the building, both in the parking area and pathways. By adding PIR control, these can deliver an excellent payback period of less than four years.
At its Barcelona manufacturing facility, Spanish metal processor Martisa fabricates a variety of metal components for the automotive industry. With its heavy-duty machinery drawing so much electricity, the 1288m2 facility’s 400-W high-pressure sodium (HPS) was plagued by frequent dimming and flickering. Aside from the nuisance and wear-and-tear this had on the fixtures, the performance instability of the HPS was also generating irregular color rendition, varying between 118 and 270 lux at floor level.
Further problems arose when the lights took 10 minutes to restrike following power outages. Maintenance was also an issue. With the HPS lights running 10 hours a day, five days a week, each of the 32 fixtures required a bulb replacement every 10,000 hours at a cost of €50 (about $62) each. And, because of the 9-m mounting height, change-outs required the use of a mobile elevation platform at an additional cost of €100 (about $124) per day.
Aiming for a more robust lighting solution, Martisa’s energy consultant (Area Energetica, a lighting consulting partner of INELEC distributor) recommended a lighting that could resolve the maintenance and reliability challenges, as well as deliver substantial energy savings.
Throughout the facility, Martisa replaced the existing 400-W HPS lights on a one-for-one basis with Dialight’s highly robust 150-W DuroSite LED High Bays.
The company immediately saw a 69% reduction in lighting energy use and reduced carbon emissions from the new solid-state LED High Bays that suffer no flickering or dimming effect as a result of the machinery operations. The lux level is now steady at 200 at floor level, giving improved and consistent color rendition, while the LEDs’ instant-on capability eliminates the restrike delay following power outages. Carrying a five-year continuous performance warranty and with an expected lifetime of 60,000 hours, the LED lighting has also greatly reduced the maintenance burden and cost.
“Replacing the HPS with Dialight’s LED High Bays has eliminated the annoying flickering issue caused by the energy consumption of the machines and we now have the added benefit of instant on/off switching that allows more efficient lighting management by reducing the restrike time,” said Santi Martínez, manager of Martisa. “Our staff now works with a better sense of comfort due to the removal of the lighting fluctuation and we’re getting overall homogeneous lighting with improved color rendition across the entire warehouse. The reduction of energy consumption and maintenance fees represent a huge and direct economic saving for the company that also represents significant value.”
LEDs: The Total Package Solution
For its exceptional energy efficient operation, maintenance savings and overall lower total cost of ownership, LED technology is quickly becoming the undisputed successor to antiquated conventional lighting systems for industrial applications. With a growing array of products now commercially available from a number of reputable manufacturers to suit virtually any application, including hazardous locations and cold storage facilities, many companies worldwide have already taken advantage of LED technology to reduce costs and provide a more reliable, sustainable lighting solution.