The Eco Engineering Approach
Eco has successfully completed over 100 projects in the Industrial, Production and Product Assembly environments. Combined, these projects have involved over 15 million square feet of total space. Our experience offers some critical insights and key learnings about energy efficient lighting projects in this type of facility.
Many manufacturing facilities are required to dedicate 1 shift or periodic intervals for cleaning. During this process the use of high pressure water treatments and – in some cases – chemical agents, can potentially reach and penetrate lighting fixtures. Understanding the cleaning procedures within the facility allows Eco to develop a comprehensive evaluation of all fixture locations. Certain fixture types may also be recommended for change in order to protect them from water and chemicals. Typically, a vapor tight or waterproof fixture provides the best overall solution in these applications.
The temperature variation in a manufacturing or production environment can be extreme. The impact of these temperature fluctuations and the potential micro-climates within any facility require careful consideration and appropriate use of specific lighting technologies. Eco has successfully completed lighting upgrade projects in manufacturing facilities which contained deep freezers that operated at temperatures as low as -40 degrees (F). We have also worked in the extreme heat of a machine laden factory floor. The correct fixture and ballast configurations are critical in these applications to ensure proper performance. What works at 95 degrees (F) may not be appropriate at -40 degrees (F) and energy efficiency will suffer. In most cases, the best solution is a combination of several types of fixtures within the same facility to achieve maximum energy savings and the right light levels to do the work (beware anyone who says “one size fits all” it is likely either because they don’t know better – or this is the only fixture they make/sell).
Coated lamps have become the Eco standard in many production areas throughout facilities engaged in the manufacturing and/or packaging of consumables, topicals, pharmaceuticals or ingredients. Our customers are always concerned about lamp breakage that could potentially contaminate these products. So are we. Eco is also sensitive to the on-going maintenance and lamp replacement operations following an upgrade. We have often recommended special maintenance procedures by “zone” or the use of these lamps in offices to avoid non-shatter shield technology from being mistakenly installed in the production and packaging areas. The old method of relying on plastic “tube guards” to cover lamps is frequently no longer appropriate today.
Incentives and Tax Credits
The identification and qualification of local utility rebates and a federal EPAct tax deduction can have a substantial impact on the bottom line of any project. Eco always helps the manufacturing customer in the identification process and we carefully work with your financial and tax experts to calculate the payback implications associated with any qualified incentives. Our engineering grade auditing services strive to provide a comprehensive assessment of the kWh savings and specific technology systems that will be required to achieve rebate or tax credit qualification. We all know of projects completed by others where upgrade costs became so dominant a concern that inadequate design and lighting technologies were deployed. As a result the completed project may not have provided adequate light levels everywhere, or failed to deliver the required energy savings or neglected to use the proper control systems to enable the facility to qualify for the maximum EPAct tax deduction. Eco can help you avoid such a disastrous mistake!
During the course of a manufacturing project, Eco identifies fixtures/lamps that may need to be re-located to properly optimize lighting throughout the facility. The correct focus can greatly improve the quality of light in any specific area resulting in higher productivity of the staff working in that area. If the move is within a specific range, the cost of relocating the fixture will not be charged by Eco!
Production facilities are often subject to a variety of federal and state regulations regarding the materials they handle and the final goods they produce. Safety and quality concerns must be factored into the design and on-site execution of any lighting project in a manufacturing facility. Knowing what to do and not do could be the difference between a successful project and a future hassle caused by an alleged irregularity or potential violation of a regulatory provision. This is especially critical in facilities governed by FDA and EPA guidelines and includes everything right down to proper disposal of replaced fixtures and ballasts.