Finding the right solution to light your manufacturing facility is a complicated task. There are many considerations to take into account including cost, safety, and energy efficiency. Each factory has its own concerns and individual features based on what it produces and the physical space itself.
It is important to know what your organisation needs to function at its optimal level so you can consider the right solution factoring in cost and safety concerns.
In this article we will cover the following topics to give you an overview on lighting and manufacturing:
Many factors affect employees’ ability to work. In some facilities, it will be factory employees who directly make the product and improvements in lighting is often the gateway towards the delivery of an improvement in overall production capacity.
For employees who handle maintenance work and quality control, better morale and productivity results in quicker fixes and more accurate reporting of manufacturing errors.
Lighting improves motivation by mimicking the temperature of natural light (usually around 5000 kelvins). The presence of natural light tells a worker’s body to avoid the production of melatonin which is the chemical which makes humans tired.
This can keep an employee feeling awake for longer than the natural span of the day – particularly important for winter months with shorter days. If natural light is available, lighting systems with warehouses and factories can be dimmed during the day to make use the natural light that is available and to save money.
Employee safety should be the number one concern of any factory manager. If an employee is injured on the job and a proper risk assessment was not completed beforehand, it opens the possibility for legal action to be taken.
To manage employee safety, a lighting upgrade should be considered. With improvements to lighting, faults, errors and hazards can be seen before they become a larger problem.
Lighting in walkways and in well trafficked areas minimises the risk of collisions which is especially important in distribution areas of the factory.
When working in food and medical supplies, foreign bodies or spills can be spotted before they enter the production pipeline. This also improves cleanliness of the factory when policies are in place to deal with these hazards quickly.
Other errors can be spotted quickly with modern LED lighting. LED lights are created with large arrays of smaller lights which results in low shadowing when placed on the ceiling of a factory.
Shadows impact inspection in multiple ways. First, they can obfuscate defects in machinery, especially on parts inaccessible from the outside of the machine. When a machine must be opened for repairs, good lighting makes it easier for a repair to be made on site instead of taken to a secondary location.
Second, better lighting improves visibility in a manufacturing facility. This means that other staff members can spot a human error before it makes it down the line should multiple quality control inspection points not be put in place.
There are many types of lighting fixtures suitable for a manufacturing environment. Each one offers different advantages and disadvantages based on the needs of the firm.
Each factory floor will have an array of lights to supply the necessary illumination. Light distribution from current systems may be inefficient based on an analysis of the dim areas of your current floor and those areas should be targeted for improvement in any forthcoming project.
Factory buildings have ceilings ranging between 8m and 16m tall on average. As such, a lighting system needs to be effective enough to illuminate the area without dimming due to distance.
For low ceiling or converted warehouse facilities, floor and wall lighting is a viable alternative. High ceilings may require a cherry picker to be on site if a light breaks.
Factory lighting has built in heat-sinks which can get clogged when ran in environments which generate dust or other debris. This can prevent unnecessary repair or lost working hours unclogging.
Knowing how many people use the factory and where they are throughout the day will allow you to see if a lighting system could use energy saving systems. For example, a factory which only runs distribution processes in the morning does not need to light that area of the factory in the afternoon.
Automatic systems can also be put in place such as movement detectors. They will allow a manufacturing facility to switch off their lights automatically when not in use.
If a manufacturing facility has natural light, smart systems can be introduced to allow light output to reduce during the day. This can be found by surveying the available light sources and the direction of windows to see if natural light would be adequate.
Choosing a specialist that can cater to your specific needs can improve employee satisfaction, save on operation costs, and boost productivity.
Airius offers a free site survey after discussing project plans and reviewing lighting choices, so you know that all options are considered when purchasing a lighting system.
If you would like to learn more about what we can offer, call us at 01202 554 200 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.