Fast-Rite Blog

02 Jun

Shedding Some Light on Industrial Productivity

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If I told you that you could…
o Increase worker productivity 5 – 15%.
o Reduce Absenteeism 40%
o Reduce energy consumption drastically
o Improve safety
o Improve moral
o have this all pay for itself in as low as a year
o Present dozens of documented examples how it’s already been done
Would I have your interest?

There’s a tried and true simple way to do this, that’s currently in use by Coca-Cola, Lockheed, Office Depot and many other companies throughout the US. And it can work for your company too:

In my position as Productivity Manager for Fast-Rite, I often survey customer plants all over North America to identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies, safety issues, and to bring solutions to the table that will resolve these problems and increase customer productivity. And one of the most obvious problems we’ll see is poor lighting, even dangerously poor lighting.

I remember being in an expansive heavy manufacturing facility, walking around a dimly lit corner when a forklift came barreling around. Now I heard the truck coming, but I’m not sure the driver even saw me. When reviewing our survey with management I asked them how many days since the last injury. They laughed. “Days? Hours, Maybe”. It was a dangerous environment.

And it was a depressing environment to work in. The light level was more attuned to a Massage Envy than an industrial powerhouse. Absenteeism was rampant, turnover was high – despite wages far above the local norm. People just didn’t enjoy working there.

But for many cases, there’s a simple, powerful, effective, and cost effective solution. Just walk out the door, and look up. We have an incredible source of light only 93,000,000 miles away, and it’s free, not taxed (well, not yet), and now we have ways to reap that light and bring it inside cost effectively.

Just a few examples:

Fort Bliss Army Base in El Paso Texas installed Orion Energy System’s Apollo ® Solar Energy tubes in 8 buildings on the base. Rather than pay for power, they’ll save about $63,000 a year, or over $1.2 million over 20 years.

Now you say, “that’s in Texas, but we’re up north”. Consider the case of Festival Foods new 70,000 square foot store all the way up in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Even without the sun-drenched environment their 172 daylighting tubes totally light the facility up to 10 hours a day, and they expect a full payback in 7-8 years. This especially came in handy during a local power outage, when shoppers kept shopping without even noticing the power outage because the store was so brightly lit.
(Let me mention that I was so enthused about the Orion Solar Energy tubes that I own stock in the company).

Whether Orion or Solatube or another brand, Daylighting is a natural lighting situation that brightens employee morale even more than it does the environment. It’s much easier to be productive in a bright, natural environment.

There are hundreds of examples, but let me just give you a few:

http://www.contractorsupplymagazine.com/pages/News—20100716-Orion-Energy-Systems-wins-product-of-the-year.php

http://www.solatube.com/sites/default/files/field/files/insert/case-study-industrial-aqua-lung_0.pdf

http://www.bristolite.com/interfaces/media/Daylighting%20at%20Costco.pdf

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