Ford invests USD25m globally in LED lighting solutions

Ford invests USD25m globally in LED lighting solutions

Business news |
By eeNews Europe

The 25,000 new LED fixtures will replace traditional high-intensity discharge and fluorescent lights, and are expected to reduce Ford’s energy use at manufacturing
facilities by 56 million kilowatt-hours annually – enough to power more than 6,000 average-sized homes per year.

The installation represents up to a 70 percent reduction in lighting energy consumption compared to traditional technologies. Annual energy costs are expected to be reduced by approximately $7 million.

The need for maintenance will diminish, as LED lighting has a 15-year life expectancy. Studies show LED light output remains steady at less than one percent degradation per year over the life of the equipment, while fluorescent and HID fixtures require re-lamping in as little as two years. LED lights improve safety by eliminating hazardous materials in fixtures and lowering fire risks. At the same time, the technology provides a brighter work area, better uniformity and improved color perception, resulting in a better quality of light for plant employees.

John Fleming, executive vice president, Global Manufacturing and Labor Affairs, said: “This is a long term investment in our future that highlights our aggressive approach to lead in environmental improvements and achieve operating efficiencies.”

In 2011, Ford embarked on an aggressive program to lower its energy use 25 percent per vehicle produced at its facilities by 2016. The company is well on its way toward meeting that goal, having achieved a 20 percent energy efficiency already, explained George Andraos, director of energy and sustainability at Ford Land. The switch to LED lighting helps to ensure Ford will meet its target.

“Moving to LED gives us impressive efficiency improvement,” said Andraos. “Ford worked closely with its scientists and suppliers to investigate and closely follow the rapid development of LED lighting. In 2013, we selected Dialight, a leading LED industrial fixture manufacturer with a global footprint, to develop light fixtures that
meet Ford’s global needs.”

Work began at Dearborn Truck Plant late last month to replace worn and outdated overhead lighting. The LED replacement program will continue through the year at 17 other Ford manufacturing facilities across the globe, including Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Kentucky; Livonia Transmission Plant in Livonia, Michigan; Dearborn Stamping Plant; Essex Engine in Windsor, Ontario; Dagenham Engine Plant in Dagenham, England; and Oakville Assembly in Oakville, Ontario.

Recently, Ford also announced that it will work with DTE Energy to install Michigan’s largest solar carport at its Dearborn world headquarters. When completed in early 2015, the project is expected to generate 1.3 million kilowatt-hours annually, enough energy to power 159 average-sized homes for a year.

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