In today’s competitive industrial production scenario, cost efficiency and productivity are important differentiating factors for running successful manufacturing operations. Industries differ a lot from each other in terms of production processes, depending on the product they manufacture. These different manufacturing processes have their own unique lighting requirements. For instance, the lighting in a mobile phone assembling plant will differ from the lighting in steel manufacturing plant, as it needs fine task-based lighting as opposed to ambient lighting in the steel plant.
Production processes are often highly critical and specialised in nature, requiring a strict control on the indoor work environment to enhance the productivity of the operations, while ensuring high quality control. While a lot of industrial processes have been automated, some critical quality checks and fine machinery adjustments still require human intervention. Industrial workers are required to perform rigorous visual tasks and are responsible for maintaining high accuracy levels.
Lighting significantly impacts how employees connect to a surrounding environment and plays a vital role in creating a healthy work environment. Good quality, reliable lighting is essential for continuous operations and safety in industrial facilities. A thoughtfully designed lighting system at the workplace can result in a healthy, motivated, productive and efficient workforce while a poorly designed lighting system can negatively impact their performance same.
It is a well-established fact that our body’s circadian rhythm is directly influenced by exposure to light. Natural light (daylight) regulates human body biorhythms, influences mood and creates a sense of well-being, but only daylight can’t meet the required work environment lighting conditions. We also need artificial light to provide the right lighting conditions and meet occupants’ visual comfort and visual performance requirements. Our eyes are working throughout the day, capturing a great amount of information and constantly adapting, adjusting to lighting conditions, size of objects and their distance amongst other things, to provide us a clear perception of our surroundings. Intensive use of our eye sensory system, especially in poorly illuminated environments can cause eye fatigue and strain. Hence, it is important to create the right lighting conditions for specific industrial environments to ensure error-free and safe industrial operations.
Connected lighting can play an important role here, by enabling lighting asset and scene management to create light settings that can be adapted to task, time of day or shift patterns. The recently launched Interact Industry platform by Signify Innovations allows plant managers to take complete control of the lighting in a single warehouse or factory, or across an entire supply chain – from anywhere, at any time. An intuitive dashboard gives owners an insight into lighting usage and allows them to optimise lighting operations remotely. It also allows them to monitor energy consumption in all the facilities and customise lighting behaviour with advanced sensors showing real-time occupancy data to maximise energy savings. This puts manufacturers and owners in the best position to comply with regulatory standards and meet their sustainability goals.
Lighting can account for up to 80 per cent of a warehouse’s energy bill. So, it must be as efficient and cost-effective as possible. Using Interact Industry space management, warehouse managers can gather real-time data via the connected lighting to understand precisely how areas are used, providing heatmap visualisations to streamline order picking and guide inventory strategies. Additionally, managers can use dimming controls to reduce light levels when full-power lighting is not needed and can also schedule lighting to match their operational needs and minimise energy bills.
With the development of science and technology, industrial lighting is evolving every day to meet newer requirements. High-quality connected lighting systems are today being used to not only increase efficiencies but also to speed up delivery and attract more customers. Owing to such developments, it is believed that connected lighting will transform the usage and application of lighting devices in industrial environments. The changes will also substantially increase the value addition of lighting products and enhance productivity and efficiencies of various industries.