ZF Friedrichshafen AG equipped its production buildings at its Friedrichshafen site with efficient LED lighting, and is reducing its power consumption by 75% in the process. The Group reached its decision after an extensive examination of various lighting solutions, opting in favour of Waldmann’s ACANEO downlighters for industrial buildings.
Modern light for modern production facilities
The view into this production hall, now almost 36 years old, is truly gigantic. This is where one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers manufactures components for transmission and suspension technology. Although the products manufactured here are highly innovative, the lighting was starting to show signs of its age. When the decision was taken to replace the old industrial vapour lights with modern LED lighting, efficiency was just one of the factors in the equation. At several points, the fluorescent elements in these old luminaires had failed a long time ago, but due to serious access problems – some units being located over burner systems – it was not a simple task to replace them. The maintenance of this lighting system had become a very costly proposition. In addition, the employees did not feel comfortable about switching off the lighting themselves, because the switching layout was not obvious, and it could take a very long time to switch the lighting back on again. As a consequence, these power-hungry lamps were lit pretty much all the time.
The new lights were installed in the same locations as the old ones. Now they are grouped to reflect the sequence of production operations. They can now be switched on and off very easily by employees, or controlled centrally via DALI. However, to ensure that the artificial lighting in use at any one time is only ever the amount actually required, the ACANEOs across these production areas are all equipped with brightness sensors, as well as with motion detectors over the vehicle and pedestrian access routes. The production areas are illuminated to 600 lux, a figure higher than that stipulated in the standard governing workplaces, ensuring that ZF employees have great visibility. Scientific studies have proven that higher levels of lighting reduce the incidence of accidents, mistakes and signs of fatigue, and that this generally tends to enhance employee performance. However, the aisles are illuminated to a perfectly sufficient level of 150 lux.
A well thought-out choice
Those responsible calculated that this lighting system could be amortised over about 2.5 years. If the order situation should call for 3-shift operation, that period would actually shorten. The decision in favour of ACANEO was not one reached lightly. Instead, lighting systems from 25 manufacturers were subjected to a very thorough investigation. Employees evaluated the sample lighting installed on a questionnaire, backed up by a few measurements to check the figures quoted by the manufacturers.
The lighting quality and low glare levels of ACANEO set it clearly apart from the others. The choice in favour of Waldmann lighting was reinforced by its ease of installation, its price-performance ratio and its energy efficiency figures.
These industrial premises were converted during ongoing operations and at weekends. Many of the intricate and awkward locations were reached by using steeplejacks – industrial climbing specialists. Despite all of this, installation was completed faster than had been calculated. The original schedule envisaged completion by March, but the complete system was installed between Christmas and the end of January.
The employees are very satisfied with their new lighting. The intensity and quality of the lighting received very favourable comments indeed. For the decision-makers, success was also enhanced by the freedom from maintenance and the cost-savings achieved.