Green Products/Applications

Lights On for Savings

May 1, 2009
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By installing energy-efficient fluorescent lights throughout its 95,000-square-foot manufacturing plant, along with the modification of office lights, ABB’s New Berlin, WI, facility will see a reduction of 193 tons of CO2 annually, reduce energy consumption by at least 25%, and save $35,300 each year.

New lighting in center bay at drives factory, New Berlin facility.


ABB’s New Berlin, WI, campus has made good on its resolution to reduce energy consumption by at least 25% per year by way of retrofitting the lighting in its main office and production facility. The reduction results from re-bulbing 927 lights in its 56,000-square-foot office space and replacing 350 existing metal halide lights with more-efficient fluorescent lights in the 95,000-square-foot factory. The retrofit is one of several steps the campus has taken to be a smart user of energy.

From the Office to the Factory - Lights First!

In 2007, ABB’s global sustainability team requested that each ABB location reduce its energy consumption by 5%. “After doing research and finding that 40% of all fossil fuels are used to generate electricity, it seemed like lighting - which we cannot be without - was the logical place to start,” said Facilities Manager Jerry Ulatowski. The New Berlin facility began by modifying all of its more than 927 office fluorescent fixtures with electronic ballasts and the more-economical T8 fluorescent bulbs. This earned the company a $7,400 energy rebate from the local utility, and resulted in $12,000 annual savings, which are ongoing.

After the process of reviewing, planning and bidding, an extensive plan was approved to replace all the lights in the factory. “The factory has changed a lot since we moved into the building approximately 25 years ago,” said Ulatowski. “Through our ongoing Operational Excellence program, and the many Kaizen and LEAN events, the factory has a vastly improved layout that has increased our capacity dramatically. We realized that not only does the lighting need to reflect that change, but updating it was a very practical way to support our sustainability objectives.”

It was decided that the lights would be installed during third shift, to eliminate any impact on production. Duane Gaglione, manager and lead for a third--party electrical contractor, Pieper Electric, and his team of five employees would take on the challenge of replacing each of the 350 lights over a period of seven days.

The old metal halide lighting fixtures and bulbs will be recycled.

Single-Bulb Metal Halide to Six-Bulb Linear Fluorescents

The traditional lights, known as metal halide, were more than 25 years old and were original to the building. Due to their dome shape, they had uneven light distribution, which created hot-spots, glare and harsh shadows. In addition, their magnetic components would expand and contract over time, causing a loud, continuous buzzing sound. The new light fixtures, known as linear fluorescents, include six bulbs at 54 watts each. These lights provide more ambient light, which is distributed evenly, and they eliminate the disadvantages of halide fixtures. In addition, the components are controlled electronically, which eliminates any chance of buzzing.

The ABB New Berlin factory prior to lighting retrofit.

Optimum Production Conditions



About the Company

ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 120,000 people.

For more information, visit www.abb.com.


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