Orion Energy Systems: Fastenal’s New Energy Efficient Projects Save 67 Million kWh
Steve Rucinski, Fastenal, 507-453-8204
Steve Heins, Orion Energy Systems, 920-892-9340, ext. 226
Fastenal Improves Workplace and Saves Money with Lighting
Winona, MN – Fastenal, one of the fastest growing full-line industrial distributors and one of the largest fastener distributors in the nation, has begun several energy efficient lighting projects that would be the equivalent of saving 12,295 acres of trees, removing 9,491 cars from the road, or saving 6.1 million gallons of gasoline over the life of the fixtures. Fastenal is installing 1,575 innovative and environmentally friendly lighting fixtures called The Illuminator from Orion Energy Systems of Plymouth, Wisconsin.
Fastenal’s service-oriented business network currently includes an in-house Manufacturing Division, a product Quality Assurance and Engineering Department, a strategic system of 12 Distribution Centers in the U.S., a fleet of over 275 company-owned semi-trucks and trailers and over 1300 Store sites.
“We have already installed Orion’s energy efficient lighting fixtures in our Manufacturing Center and our Winona Distribution Center,” stated Steve Rucinski, North Central Region VP for Fastenal. “In addition, we have begun installation in our Indianapolis Distribution Center this week, with installations planned for the Atlanta DC in March and for the Utah DC in April.” Fastenal expects to retro-fit its remaining distribution centers by the end of 2004, which will increase the amount of kilowatts Fastenal will save significantly.
Fastenal will save over 3.35 million kilowatt hours (kWh) per year and 67 million kWh over the life of the Orion fixtures. Along with that, Fastenal will reduce electricity demand by over 382.5 KW, which is enough electricity to power 382 homes. Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, will be reduced by 50,256 tons. Carbon will be reduced 13,705 tons. Sulfur dioxide will be reduced by 185 tons. Nitrogen oxide, also a greenhouse gas, will be reduced by 428 tons. In addition, mercury will be reduced by 8 pounds, according to EPA formulas.
“We analyzed the Orion energy efficient lighting technology and we could not see a single drawback,” stated Steve Rucinski, North Central Region VP for Fastenal. “We now have more and better light and energy savings in our manufacturing facility and four of our distribution centers. Plus, the environmental impact is huge, because we are using 3.35 million fewer kWh annually.”
Orion’s innovative Illuminator has earned several U.S. patents and recently won Wisconsin’s prestigious Spirit of Ecology Award and Manufacturer of the Year Award. It provides a full-spectrum light while using far less energy than standard fixtures. Using T8 fluorescent bulbs and electronic ballasts, the Illuminator is a fixture that harvests all three hundred and sixty degrees of light using reflector logic and redirects it into the work space. Full spectrum lighting is the equivalent of sunlight at high noon and is used for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) treatment.
In particular, the Fastenal employees had the following response to the new energy efficient lighting:
Machinist Kris Lane has had the lights in his work area for one month. "It's easy to see stuff now. Over here it's brighter, whereas before it was kind of cloudy," Lane said.
Ben Lang works in the warehouse building, and he said, "It's great. You can see the label better, more clearly. It's a better working environment."
"There are less shadows," said operations manager Chris Duffenbach.
"It's seems like a much whiter and brighter light to me. You can see bar codes and part numbers easier."
Tim Borkowski, general manager of manufacturing and services was reluctant to switch lighting in the beginning. He had just installed 200 new fixtures in the manufacturing building. But when he performed tests and found 25 to 30 more candle power of light at the work level compared to his "new" lights, he was convinced.
“I congratulate Fastenal on adopting this environmentally friendly technology, which proves once again that they are a leader and an innovator in the retail industrial sector,” said Neal Verfuerth, Orion’s President. “Through this energy efficient lighting project, they are making a tangible impact on Winona’s, Minnesota’s, and the nation’s environment by saving over 67 million kWh over the next twenty years. In addition, they have improved their workplace environment with better lighting for their employees and they have improved their bottom line competitiveness.”