LED lighting leads they way for global manufacturer

LEDsAt Istoria LED we frequently talk about the advantages of adopting LED lighting technology. This is because we know the advantage sit can bring to a business in terms of energy efficiency. A great way of understanding these advantages better, is to look at businesses which have turned to LED lighting and see just how much of a difference it has made.

One such business is Kimberley-Clark. Based in 36 countries with 57,000 employees and sales of $20.8 billion, small improvements in energy efficiency can lead to huge financial savings.

At its Family Care production facility at Kluang in Malaysian state of Johor, the company manufactures paper products including Kleenex facial tissues and Scott paper towels. Aiming to reduce energy consumption and improve visibility within the plant, the company recently replaced 114 of its 400 W metal halide lighting fixtures with LED bulbs.

The upgrade came after the Family Care production team noticed low brightness on the manufacturing floor, the K-C engineering team set out to find technology to upgrade the lighting. Poor visibility was especially an issue in the inspection areas, where low light conditions hindered the K-C quality assurance team’s efforts.

In addition, because of the region’s tropical climate, heat inside the facility also was an issue. The high-heat metal halide fixtures contributed to this problem, which drove employees to switch off the lights to keep the temperature down. But, with the long warm-up times required for the lights to come back to full output, this presented a safety concern.

The K-C facility reduced its electricity costs with a 60% reduction in energy consumption. And lighting efficacy is at 4 W/m2, less than a third of that of the metal halide units. Changing bulbs in the metal halide fixtures not only interfered with production but also posed a safety hazard, as most of the lights were positioned above manufacturing equipment.

Because the LED bulbs are expected to last tens of thousands of hours, K-C also has potentially reduced maintenance costs and demands at the facility.

The lights also are much cooler, operating at less than 46 °C. “Not only have the products performed exactly to our expectation….which has been very important for making this project a success,” says Chow Weng Leong, engineering manager at the facility.

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