Orion Energy Services: Coatings firm earns Environmental Award from Orion for results of electrical power reduction

For further Information contact:


Dave Cary, Communication Specialist

Orion Energy Services

(920) 892-5804

[email protected]


Mark Saemann,

Maintenance Manager

OPI Incorporated

(920) 459-5100

[email protected]



By shaving its demand for electrical power by some 22,109 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, OPI Inc. of Sheboygan, a leading name in Teflon coatings, fluoropolymers, Xylan, and Silverstone and dry lubrication coatings, has been chosen to receive an Environmental Stewardship Award from Orion Energy Systems of Plymouth. The load reduction came about as a result of an energy-saving retrofit of OPI’s lighting carried out with Orion fixtures recently.


OPI maintenance manager Mark Saemann said OPI had switched virtually all its lighting from a combination of metal halide and other lighting types to Orion Illuminator ™ fluorescent fixtures with the idea of both achieving better lighting and reducing power costs. OPI has been generally satisfied with the results of the project, he said.


Saemann said that OPI appreciated the award and would display it in a prominent place. He added that the retrofit was one of several energy-savings undertaken by the firm in recent times. Others included installing high-efficiency motor controls through most of OPI’s plant; adding timers to sandblasting machines that limit runtime to three minutes without resetting; mounting spray booth switches on the booths themselves to cut down the amount of time that heated inside air is needlessly blown outside, thus wasting heat; installing automatic oven doors that do not stay open long, thereby reducing expensive re-heating time; and periodic training of staff to encourage energy-efficient work habits.


The annual 22,109 kWh electrical power reduction benefits the environment because that amount of power now does not have to be generated at all. According to Federal EPA figures, this will mean that, over the 20-year life of the fixtures, some 431 tons of Carbon dioxide, 118 tons of carbon, two tons of sulfur dioxide will not be released into the local atmosphere, along with one ton of nitrogen oxides. All of these are ‘greenhouse’ gases.


It is also the air-scrubbing equivalent of planting four acres of trees or removing four cars from the road – and the conservation equivalent of saving 1,825 gallons of gasoline per year.


What made the substantial energy savings involved possible is that Orion’s Illuminator™ lighting fixtures have been engineered to ‘harvest’ light from all sides of a fluorescent tube with a highly reflective surface and direct the light downward where it is usable. This lets The Illuminator™ fixtures provide more light from far less energy than standard fixtures. Savings of above 50 percent are common.


“We’re glad to see companies reduce their energy costs in a way that helps the environment,” commented Orion president Neal Verfuerth. “One of the reasons we give this award is that we feel companies don’t receive as much recognition for their achievements in this area as they deserve, and OPI has been very active in this area.”


 ”There are four ‘wins’ in this situation,” Verfuerth continued.


“OPI wins because they save the cost of 22,109 kWh per year. Orion wins because our products were used in the retrofit. All of us win, though, when less electricity is needed on the power grid – and we win once again when less pollution goes into the atmosphere. We’re very happy to be part of this situation and present this award to OPI.”  


Chosen as a Dupont Licensed Industrial Applicator due to its extensive knowledge and experience in recommending and applying Teflon® industrial coatings, as well as for the quality of its workmanship, OPI Inc. has earned wide recognition for applying coatings of fluoropolymer no-stick, low-friction Teflon®, Silverstone Xtra® and other premium no-stick, low friction finishes. These include FDA/USDA conforming coatings, as well as FEP, PTFE, PFA and industrial coatings. OPI also offers zero defect quality, is currently implementing (ISO 9002) quality assurance, and is involved in many projects supporting the aerospace, potable water, food processing, medical, and packaging industry markets. OPI was founded in 1950. Visit OPI’s website at http://www.fluorosurfacing.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/.The Illuminator™ fixtures are equipped with T8 full-spectrum fluorescent tubes and electronic ballasts. These operate quiet quietly at a cool 120o F or less, , turn on instantly, provide a much more natural type of light than older fluorescent types, and are more popular with employees in typical workplace.