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 Modern Materials Handling magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world's most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Zebra gains instant access to complimentary technologies. But first, it needs to integrate a former partner that is 2-1/2 times its size.

Distribution requirements are changing. Few distribution managers would quibble with that statement. The increase in the demand for mixed cases, mixed cartons, aisle ready pallets and, most importantly, the increase in the volume of e-commerce orders is driving new levels of investment in automation.

MDT works with Mitsubishi Electric to ensure technical competence in providing change management support for Mitsubishi Electric Automation products.

This fully updated 7th edition of the “Belt Conveyors for Bulk Materials”, is a must have source book for end users, designers, engineers, manufacturers and consultants.

While we've been focusing on the warehouse, the next evolution in e-commerce is the last mile delivery and in-store fulfillment. It could be the break brick-and-mortar has been looking for.

Comments

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


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA