Logistics And Lighting Lead To Efficiency
Facility Executive, August 25, 2017
Sometimes the answer to improving the environment and operations, while saving energy, is right on the shelf. At least, that is what Bay Logistics, Inc., learned at its distribution center in Spring Lake, MI.
Bay Logistics is a provider of warehousing and logistics in the marketplace, supplying transportation, warehousing, and logistics services to its customers for almost three decades. Conceived in the Detroit automotive trucking industry, the firm has evolved and diversified into new markets, including food and grocery, durable goods, chemical, non–ferrous metals, and Class III Liquid Flammable HAZMAT containment. While the company has changed over the past 28 years, it consistently strives to maintain its mission of caring about the environment. And, it also has remained committed to maintaining quality, up-to-date facilities in all segments of its operations. This includes lighting.
“We pride ourselves on operating an environmentally-friendly business,” said Kurt Cuncannan, Chief Operating Officer of Bay Logistics. “We also make investments in people, systems, equipment and facilities to enhance our clients’ ability to operate faster, smarter and more efficiently.”
Metal Halide To Fluorescent To LED
At its Spring Lake distribution center, Bay Logistics replaced its antiquated metal halide fixtures with six-lamp, high-bay, T8 fluorescent fixtures to illuminate its rectangle, 200,000 square foot metal fabricated warehouse. The facility houses automotive, plastic containers, food products, consumer electronics, and miscellaneous sundry items. The warehouse has four and five high double-deep static racking and 4-high drive-in racking with open floor areas.
Recently, the company’s operations team investigated its T8 fixtures’ effectiveness hanging from the facility’s 26 foot ceiling. The company learned that the motion sensors were in excellent condition and didn’t require replacement. However, they still wanted to determine if they could find a better solution to the fixtures’ existing 32-watt fluorescent tubes in the fixtures during the company’s scheduled group re-lamping activities.
So, Jon Swart, Vice President of Operations at Bay Logistics, did his homework. To his surprise, he found the answer on his warehouse shelves — a customer’s LED product.
Bay Logistics warehouses and ships products for EarthTronics, a Michigan-based, energy efficient lighting solutions company. EarthTronics LED bulbs, linear LEDs, and LED fixtures are sold under the EarthBulb brand name to commercial and industrial facilities, hotels, restaurants, retail stores and residential homes. All EarthBulb lamps provide more than 80% energy savings.
Swart realized his customer could offer the best solution in Bay Logistics’ move away from fluorescent lighting. EarthTronics recommended the company invest in its high-energy-efficient, smooth-dimming, 15-watt T8 LED linear tube that delivers 146 lumens per watt, producing 2200 lumens. It features glass-tube construction that ensures proper cooling to support high lumen maintenance for a 50,000-hour rated life. The new T8 LED is engineered to work with popular dimming systems found in many meeting and conference rooms, as well as in energy-saving, daylight-harvesting applications.
“Plug And Play” Lighting Retrofit
It was an excellent fit — delivering efficiency not only in energy savings but also during the install and in ongoing maintenance. The energy efficient T8 LED linear tubes are Design Light Consortium (DLC) listed and UL rated for Type A “plug-and-play” on electronic fluorescent ballasts. This T8 Type A, direct-install LED linear tube is compatible with instant start, program rapid start and emergency back-up electronic ballast systems. Installers can change every lamp when retrofitting a property without the services of an electrician or outside labor.
“The switch from fluorescent to LED tubes was extremely simple,” Swart said. “The T8 LED linear tubes were compatible with our existing fixtures ballast. We simply changed the lamp to start saving energy without reducing lumens.”
And, save Bay Logistics did. The company immediately began saving over 50% of its lighting-related energy and anticipate an excellent return on investment with payoff in just 18 months from installation. 1900 fluorescent lamps consuming 32 watts each were replaced with 15 watt LED T8 lamps that provided 53% energy savings. Because the warehouse is a 24/7 operation the return on investment is just nine months.
”Making this decision was an easy one” said Cuncannan. “This came directly out of the operations cost budget and begins bringing real value to the bottom line quickly.”
The T8 lamp retrofit was done in both the front offices as well as the warehouse. The improvement in quality of light was noticeable. The EarthTronics LED provides a high CRI value of 84 which combined with the white 5000K color temperature increased visual acuity in the warehouse much easier. “Our team members quickly commented on the improvement in seeing and reading product labels and the typical paperwork done in the warehouse” stated Swart. “A well illuminated work place is essential in a warehouse operation”.
“The LED linear tubes save us energy and are great for the environment,” Cuncannan said. “You can’t beat that combination.”