Industrial, Lighting Controls

Bluetooth mesh control cuts energy by 25% at Yamaha

Bright lights illuminate a big warehouse
The project team quickly realised that migrating from legacy light sources to LED lighting would enable them to incorporate a state-of-the-art Bluetooth mesh control network.

AN ASSEMBLY and distribution centre for Yamaha Motors has seen its energy bill fall by a quarter thanks to sensor-rich Bluetooth mesh lighting control system.

The facility, encompassing 16,000 square metres of rack and walkway storage, open assembly and packaging areas and administrative spaces, employs 46 people on a single shift schedule. 

The company began exploring lighting upgrades in an effort to improve the facility’s energy performance but also to improve light quality. 

The project team quickly realised that migrating from legacy light sources to LED lighting would enable them to incorporate a state-of-the-art Bluetooth mesh control network. 

They selected linear high bay LED luminaires with a 5000K colour temperature to replace the existing T5 fluorescent fittings. 

Then, to maximise flexibility, the project team decided to install an integrated occupancy sensor/control module on each fixture. 

This would enable the company to create and adjust control zones dynamically to accommodate any adjustments across the distribution center itself. 

While currently the facility is made up of approximately 40 per walkways and rack storage with the remaining 60 per cent devoted to open areas for assembly and packaging operations, the need for future reconfiguration was a possibility the team wanted to accommodate.

The Bluetooth mesh control network integrates with McWong’s TruBlu hardware and commissioning software tools developed with technology partner Silvair.

A total of 320 lights, with McWong sensors installed by the luminaire manufacturer, were installed at the Yamaha Motors facility in Wisconsin, USA over the course of three weeks. 

The control network commissioning took far less time—less than a half day in fact. 

While the control solution includes a web-based portal where project design can be pre-determined and control groups configured, the team ended up doing much of the design and configuration from the smartphone app while on the facility floor. 

‘Having the smartphone app made it easy for us to create some preliminary control scenarios to test and share with the Yamaha facilities team,’ The controls designer Romano Vlastelica told Lux.

‘We were able to customise the scenario more precisely in a matter of minutes. 

‘The size of the facility necessitated a large number of control zones,’ said Michael Leahy, senior project manager, Contemporary Energy Solutions. 

‘For instance, we created approximately 40 zones across the rack storage and open assembly spaces. 

‘The robustness of the control network has been a critical aspect of the upgrade and the TruBlu system is performing very well.’

The sequences of operation the project team implemented included: open areas 100 per cent output upon detection of occupancy. 

When motion is no longer detected for 10 minutes, lighting levels dim to 50 per cent. 

If no additional motion is detected for another 10 minutes, lighting turns off. In racks and walkways, lighting turns on to 100 per cent output upon detection of occupancy. 

When motion is no longer detected for five minutes, lighting turns off. 

‘One of the most valuable benefits,’ noted Vlastelica, ‘was the simplicity of commissioning. 

‘For instance, we could easily train the installing contractor to commission the installed sections at the end of every work day, so that it could be completed along with the physical installation. 

‘This would save a significant amount of labour and cost to the customer.’ Early savings estimates project the facility will save nearly 250,000 kWh annually, for a cost savings of $32,415 (£25,000) annually. 

The team projects that approximately 25 per cent of this total savings is attributable to the mesh control network.