'Our lights tell us how well warehouse is used'

THE LIGHTING in a massive new warehouse for glass maker Pilkington is telling the company how well the space is being used.

The software enables managers to analyse all data collected through smart sensors embedded in the lighting system, utilising the data to improve the warehouse and process layout continuously.

The cloud-connected system, equipped with motion sensors that collect data, can show the intensity of space use across different areas and across time.

This allows managers to assess stocking strategies and take action when needed to improve operations and reduce inefficiencies in order-picking time.

Other sensors enable daylight harvesting and trigger the right light behaviour based on the presence of employees.

The installation at Pilkington Automotive’s car-glass facility in Gelsenkirchen, Germany marks the first deployment of Signify’s Interact Industrial platform.

This wireless connected lighting system is specifically designed for warehouses and manufacturing facilities.

The software enables managers to analyse all data collected through smart sensors embedded in the lighting system, utilising the data to improve the warehouse and process layout continuously.

For example, with data insights on the intensity of space usage over time, actions can be taken to reduce inefficiencies in order-picking time in the warehouse.

The system also increases the warehouse’s energy efficiency and makes it more sustainable.

It allows managers to schedule lighting, for example by lowering the light levels during the week when different activity requires different light levels.

‘Our site is designed to set a new standard for warehouse lighting in the glass industry’ Marcel Devereaux, category manager energy projects at NSG Group, Pilkington’s parent company, told Lux.
‘With this installation, we have a connected lighting system that does more than just provide light. It also gives us data about our site and allows us to make smarter decisions about our operations.

‘Compared to sites where conventional lighting is used, the new system achieves up to 50 per cent energy savings by adapting the lighting to demand, using daylight harvesting and presence sensors.

’This is on top of the significant savings already achieved by changing to LED lighting’.

With the system, he estimated that the carbon footprint at Pilkington Automotive could be reduced by 290 tonnes of CO2 each year.

The team believe that the lighting will contribute to a safer working environment, reduce accidents  and errrors, and allow for continuous operations by eliminating unplanned maintenance.

It’s hoped that management of the warehouse will become more preventive instead of reactive,  and give immediate insight into current faults as well as flagging potential future defects before they occur in order to limit any downtime.

It’s estimated that this preventive approach to maintenance could generate additional business savings of between 12 and 18 per cent.