Orion Energy Systems: Environmental award goes to brake manufacturer due to energy-saving lighting retrofit

For further Information contact:
Dave Cary, Communication Specialist
Orion Energy Systems
(920) 892-5804
[email protected]

Mike Shafer, Maintenance Manager
Bill Reedy Health Safety and Environmental Director
HB Performance Systems. Co.
5800 W Donges Bay Rd
Mequon, WI 53092
(888) 686-3472

Usually a business has to give up something to get something. This was not the case in the recent lighting retrofit carried out by HB Performance Systems Co.– until quite recently, Hayes Disc Brake Co. — earlier this year.

By changing work-area lighting in its 150,000 square-foot facility to a modern system made by Orion Energy Systems of Plymouth, WI, last year, the Mequon brake manufacturer saved an annual 492,440 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, a 53% reduction of the electrical load used for lighting.

A reduction this size, according to US Government formulas, means that each year 480 tons of carbon dioxide, 131 tons of carbon, two tons of sulfur dioxide and one ton of nitrogen oxides — pollutant greenhg9use gases — will not go into the atmosphere. The power reduction is also the air-scrubbing equivalent of a 90-acre forest or removing 80 cars from the road permanently. It is also the conservation equivalent of annuallyb saving 40,651 gallons of gasoline or 968 barrels of fuel oil.

“We’re always looking for ways to save energy, always looking for ways to help the environment if we can,” commented Bill Reedy, Health Safety and Environmental Director. We’re an environmentally-friendly company and appreciate the recognition for it.”

The move has also been an economic benefit to HB, who saved a surprising 54 percent on its lighting bill while receiving substantially better lighting into the bargain. With a calculated 51 percent return on investment, the new system will pay for itself in a week less than two years.

The project came about, Reedy said, because the company wanted to improve its internal environment.

“We needed more lights, Our employees were always saying ‘there’s not enough light, there’s not enough light.’ Our metal halides gave us a lot of up-lighting, light that reflected off the ceiling, but we weren’t getting the light at the floor level.”

“We had started to add lights all over the place,” Reedy continued, referring to various task lights that had appeared over time to supplement the 302 400-watt Metal halide lamps above.

An Orion Energy Services representative told of a utility rebate and, with a light meter substantiated Orion’s claim of greater lumen readings with Orion lighting at the floor level, where it counted most. A utility rebate, the Orion rep said, made the project more attractive.

As to savings, Reedy estimated the saving would be $26,000 to $28,000 per year.”A maintenamnce worker told me that when he’d lock up on Saturdays, that one (electrical) panel always felt warm when he turned off the breakers. Now, with the Orion lights in, it’s as cool as can be.”.

Reedy said the lighting had been well-received. “Actually, I’d been kind of concerned because we didn’t have the uplighting with the Orions. But when everybody started working under them, I had no complaints — I had everybody saying ‘this is great,’ and ‘much better than what we had.'”

“I went around with a light meter and took readings. I would say that at a minimum it (the Orion lighting) is at least one-third better, if not 50 percent better.”

Raether said that just after the Orion lights were installed, ” …since we had no reflective light from the ceiling, employees were saying ‘looks like a cave in here .’

“Now, when they’re deburring parts, for example, they say they can see the chips easier — which makes their job easier and the quality a little bit better. They used to complain and say they needed more light. Since the retrofit, we haven’t added any more lights in these areas where they were complaining about it most.”

All told, HB replaced 302 400-watt metal halide lights with the same number of Orion Illuminator ™ fixtures. Lighting power fell by 492,440 kWh per year from the previous 912,795 kWh per year to 420,355, a saving of 54%. Costs fell correspondingly..

“This project illustrates the way we wish more things would work in this world,” commented Orion president Neal Verfuerth. ” “In looking for one improvement, HB found a way to improve several things besides — and wound up paying much less than before for it. I don’t see a negative in that story.”

“Perhaps best of all, HB took 492,440 kWh off the power grid, which will tend to help stabilize energy prices, a problem we’re all acing. We congratulate them on this accomplishment.”

A leader in the brake industry, HB Performance Systems, formerly Hayes Disc Brake Co. is located minutes north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In business since 1946, HB stops at nothing to set the standards in brake performance. Engineering teams are constantly exploring new technologies and materials to provide brake systems which outperform all others in the most rigorous conditions. Supporting this initiative for continuous improvement is a dedicated R&D team, which is complemented by a comprehensive laboratory & testing facility. These enable HB to quickly develop new products, new applications and product improvements, helping customers maintain their status as market leaders. HB also excels in service by having internal capabilities to take our products from initial concept through final production. Many years of experience and development in this exclusive field have led to the comprehensive range of models and accessories HB offers today for recreational, construction, agricultural and military vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, as well as other types of mobile and stationary equipment. Visit the company website at http://www.hayesdiscbrake.com/

Located in Plymouth, WI, Orion Energy Systems has been innovating in the energy and lighting business since 1996. Orion’s innovative Illuminator ® fixture, an energy-efficient lighting platform for industrial applications, has been awarded a series of 14 patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Additionally, Orion has applied for numerous other patents related to metering and control technologies for lighting. Neal Verfuerth, Orion President, received one of Wisconsin’s most prestigious awards, the Ernst & Young 2004 Manufacturing Entrepreneur of the Year. Orion provides capacity displacement solutions for supply side management, transmission management, and demand side management for the electricity industry. Visit the Orion website at http://www.oriones.com/.