Feature, Industrial

This logistics business slashed its lighting costs by two thirds. Here’s how

This logistics firm in western Germany is using LED technology and a light management system in its storage halls to reduce energy use, and thus running costs.

Based near Wuppertal in North Rhein-Westphalia, Taskin Logistics acquired four storage halls in Sprockhövel last year. Once it became clear that a lighting refurbishment could reduce energy costs, it decided to upgrade before the halls entered service.

Established in 2012, Taskin’s medium-sized, full-service logistics business encompasses transport and forwarding, warehousing and IT services.

Taskin brought in a local renewables and energy efficiency specialist, AVU Serviceplus, which also showed it how an improved lighting system could optimise work processes in the facilities and help the firm gain a competitive advantage.

The AVU Group, is an energy and water services specialist that has been based in the area for more than a century.

Better light
Before the renovation, poorly illuminated aisles and badly lit racking in storage spaces were safety problems and sources of mistakes. Indeed, the old lighting often did not allow workers to clearly read delivery notes and order lists. ‘The safety of our workers was one of our primary aspects,’ said management executive member Selcuk Taskin, who also pointed out that the total time period for the project – eight weeks – was ‘very tight’.

Lighting manufacturer Trilux, which is also based in the area, was called in to plan and install an LED system for a total area of 4,800m2 across the four halls, a delivery zone and an integral office.

First, however, Trilux put together a financial package that helped Taskin make full use of public subsidies and agree a bespoke leasing plan with a finance partner. The upshot is that Taskin’s monthly payments for financing and energy are now smaller than the amounts it used to pay for energy and maintenance of the old lighting system.

After photometric analysis of spaces that are defined by 7m-high ceilings and high-bay racking, Trilux plumped for E-Line LED continuous lines with 4,000, 8,000 and 13,000 lumens, together with a light management system.

Efficient light
On top of its energy efficiency, the E-Line’s simple mounting was a crucial factor: light sources and the optical system are pre-integrated in the gear trays; only the trunking and associated fixing hardware are required for luminaire installation.

Narrow and narrow-wide distribution luminaires help workers in low-daylight sections of the halls, making the small print on order forms much easier to read. Moreover, the luminaires have a flat, sealed surface that reduces the continuous line’s sensitivity to soiling and thus lengthens its performance.

Trilux customised the light management system to meet Taskin’s needs and reach the highest level of efficiency. Between the rows of high-bay racking, aisles have presence detectors that only illuminate them fully when a worker approaches.

Similarly, main entrances to the halls are lit up when a forklift truck arrives and presence detectors can then track it into the aisles, only lighting them when necessary. Areas that are dormant are left dark.

The results of the installation, which was completed in just two weeks – ‘quickly and without problems,’ according to Taskin – are as expected: power consumption has shrunk by 64 per cent, with an associated benefit to the environment, and working conditions have improved.

With energy use dropping from 242,174 kWh a year to 87,533 kWh, the latest projection is that the initial investment cost of the LED system will be offset by operational savings in two and a half years. ‘We’re certainly more than satisfied with our upgrade to the new technology,’ said Taskin. ‘The system is very much more efficient and we no longer need to think about the lighting over the next five to 10 years.’

Energy Dashboard

87,543kWhenergy consumption