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24/7 Production Really Needs Good Lighting

By Kyle Weller
Project Manager at Fairbanks Energy Services

50 miles north of Chicago, a manufacturing facility creates products designed to improve performance and protection on job sites, in the US and around the world. A leading manufacturer in their sector, the company has dozens of locations in the US including corporate offices and manufacturing plants. This 400,000 square foot Midwest location operates 24/7 to deliver the products this company is known for. Sprawling manufacturing sites can typically gain huge annual energy savings through retrofits, and our project with this construction industry manufacturer proved they had high energy savings to reclaim as well.

A long, low building, this facility looks like dozens of others you’ve driven by. However, there are a few factors that made this project a candidate for energy efficiency: the facility was in use all the time, the function of the facility required detailed labor and good visibility, and it was not a new build. Because of the age of the building and fixtures, this location faced operational challenges in high energy use, poor light levels and some existing lighting issues. The obvious solve for all three of these problems was LED lighting.

The LED lighting solutions we installed immediately delivered improved lighting for the facility site. Longer term benefits for this client included:

  • 1,800+ fixtures updated to modern LED
  • Consequent maintenance savings
  • 1.49 million kWh estimated annual savings
  • An $88,000 utility incentive to support the project financially
  • Less than 2-year project payback

Although the job site had some difficult working conditions and accessibility, partly due to the 24/7 operating hours, we were able to complete the project in our projected time-frame with no job site incidents or issues. Based on our extensive experience working in manufacturing facilities, we were flexible with work hours, manpower and scheduling to accommodate existing production schedules.

This project is a good example for other companies in the manufacturing industry, and especially in the Midwest, because we often encounter similar goals that efficiency projects, like this one, help meet. Most companies are committed to energy savings. Many sites need improved lighting based on age or they face existing issues that can be solved with new or retrofitted fixtures and added controls. Maintenance savings are an added bonus for operations teams, freeing up time and OpEx for other facility needs.

Efficiency measures like LED lighting not only benefit facility and manufacturing operations in the short term, but they improve infrastructure and deliver energy savings for years to come.

Post categories: LED Lighting, Chicago, Manufacturing, Project Management

Originally published on November 18, 2019 | Last updated on 05/27/2020

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