LED fixtures improve safety and save energy

New lighting at Kimberly-Clark facility virtually eliminates lighting maintenance costs for the next decade.
image
By Josh Bond, Associate Editor
September 01, 2012 - MMH Editorial

Managers at a Kimberly-Clark facility in Malaysia sought to eliminate the costs associated with the maintenance, energy consumption and safety risks of its lighting fixtures. The company recently replaced 114 of its 400-watt metal halide fixtures with 123-watt LED fixtures, allowing it to reduce energy consumption and improve visibility while making the workplace more safe and comfortable for employees.

Plant managers had noticed low brightness on the manufacturing floor and in the inspection area. Aside from the light depreciation that is normal for metal halide bulbs, the polycarbonate spark shields over each fixture had also begun to fade, discolor and collect insects. The shields were designed to prevent bulb failure from creating a spark that might ignite the paper products that are manufactured in the facility.

The metal halide bulbs also created heat in the facility, leading workers to turn off the lights in an effort to control temperatures. And, on further inspection, managers noticed the lights were illuminating unnecessary areas and were often left on when not needed. The management team chose LED lights (Dialight, dialight.com) after an on-site lighting simulation, where the team could see the results before the fixtures were even ordered.

“With the simulation, we could clearly see the optimum lighting layout for the space to be illuminated,” said Adam Lua Boon Chin, project engineer for Kimberly-Clark Products. “We knew before installation that light would be directed exactly where we need it.”

After the installation, the average watts per square meter have been reduced from 12.49 watts to 4 watts. The instant-on capability of the fixtures enables workers to turn lights on and off as needed. The new fixtures also offer variable lighting levels, for instance illuminating only alternating rows or only the perimeter.

The fixtures are expected to last up to a decade at consistent light levels before their first bulb change, virtually eliminating lighting maintenance costs. Safety also has improved since many of the former metal halide bulbs were directly above manufacturing equipment. The new bulbs are sealed, removing the need for the shield and the risk of bursting bulbs. The lights are also much cooler, running about 186 degrees cooler than the metal halide units.



About the Author

image
Josh Bond
Associate Editor

Josh Bond is an associate editor to Modern. Josh was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and contributing editor, has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce.


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

The ongoing financial travails of the Highway Trust Fund was made clear in a position paper recently issued by Jeff Davis, senior fellow at the Eno Center for Transportation. In the paper–entitled “Why Not A Ten-Year Surface Transportation Bill?”-Davis points to past federal transportation bills, as well as the White House’s GROW AMERICA proposal as having one fatal flaw in common: they each leave the HTF on worst financial shape after the bill expires than it was prior to the bill being enacted.

Working with research partner, The Economist Intelligence Unit, the IBM Institute for Business Value surveyed 1,023 global procurement executives from 41 countries in North America, Europe and Asia.

U.S. Carloads were down 7.8 percent annually at 259,544, and intermodal volume was off 15.7 percent for the week ending February 21 at 213,617 containers and trailers.

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Logistics (BTS) reported this week that U.S. trade with its North America Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico in December 2014 was up 5.4 percent annually at $95.8 billion. This marks the 11th straight month of annual increases, according to BTS officials.

While the volume decline was steep, there was numerous reasons behind it, including terminal congestion, protracted contract negotiations between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and other supply chain-related issues, according to POLA officials.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.