John Deere Cylinder Works Smart Lighting

Smart LED Lighting System Saving Energy at John Deere

New smart lighting initiative saving energy and cutting costs at John Deere Cylinder Works.

Employees at John Deere Cylinder Works in Moline, Ill., are seeing energy use in a different light, thanks to a new factory lighting system. Installed in early October, the system uses 530 intelligent LED (light-emitting diode) fixtures and 12 wireless routers to reduce energy use and provide better lighting.

After one month’s use, Cylinder Works is seeing a 70% reduction in energy use for factory lighting and a 7% reduction in total energy by the factory, said Tim Trumbull, environmental engineering manager at John Deere Seeding/Cylinder Works.

“This reduction is important as it helps us meet our energy-reduction goals,” Trumbull said.  “We expect to save over one million kilowatt hours annually just through factory lighting, with cost savings that will pay for the system in just three years.” The energy savings is enough to power more than 100 homes in Illinois for one year.

LED lights use significantly less energy when compared with HID (high-intensity discharge) lamps and fluorescent lighting. The 250,000-square-foot factory used to be lit with 481 HID lamps that were always on.

“They’re smart fixtures, and they talk to each other, so they can automatically dim down or fade up to provide more or less light to save even more energy.” — Tim Trumbull

“Those HID lamps used 377 kilowatts each per hour. Our new LED fixtures use about 240 kilowatts each per hour,” Trumbull said. “They’re smart fixtures, and they talk to each other, so they can automatically dim down or fade up to provide more or less light to save even more energy.”

For example, LED fixtures installed near windows harvest sunlight, which means they automatically dim to save energy when sunlight is available. Trumbull developed lighting zones within the factory, and each zone has different programming.  About one-half of the factory consists of aisles and storage space.

John Deere Cylinder Works Digital Lumens

A new LED lighting system installed at John Deere Cylinder Works provides a 70% reduction in energy use when compared with HID lighting.

“It isn’t necessary to illuminate storage areas 24 hours a day, so fixtures in these areas are motion-sensitive,” Trumbull said. “And aisles don’t need as much illumination as production areas need.”

All motion-sensitive fixtures are set to provide 10% of full illumination when no one is in the area.  When a person enters, the fixtures automatically brighten to 70% of full illumination. “We found that lights blinking off and on are distracting, so the gradual fading up and down creates a better work environment,” Trumbull said.

“We found that lights blinking off and on are distracting, so the gradual fading up and down creates a better work environment.” — Tim Trumbull

Assembly areas are illuminated at 100% with coordinated-control fixtures, which mean they stay on during production hours. Employees in these areas need full illumination to ensure production quality.

All of this is controlled through the Internet-based app, which provides Trumbull the opportunity to monitor energy use on an hourly basis.

“We can even change the programming for more or less illumination in every zone and see the potential energy savings before making the change,” Trumbull said. “Each fixture has wi-fi and is controlled through a password-protected app accessible from any computer. We programmed the lights to be off during a holiday shutdown period. A few workers came in earlier than expected, and I was able to turn on the factory lights while I was at home.”

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Smart LED Lighting System Saving Energy at John Deere

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