Sparks Electrical News

Osram product managers, Nicolai Heber and Peter Bach, provide answers to some of the most pertinent current questions in the industrial lighting sector.

Osram Industrial LightingA lot has changed in industrial lighting. What are the current trends?

PB: Most notably, the energy efficiency of LED technology has significantly surpassed that of conventional T5 fluorescent tubes. So now it makes sense to think about using LEDs in the industrial sector as well – not only for new installations, but also within modernisation projects. Another very important factor is the extreme durability of LED lighting, considering that luminaire maintenance at heights of 8-16 m is very costly, especially if machines have to be stopped in order to carry out the maintenance work.

Does this mean that customers have become more demanding?

PB: Industrial customers are primarily concerned with economic issues. In many areas, LED technology is superior to traditional industrial lighting, especially in terms of total cost of ownership. Moreover, LED luminaires for the industrial sector have meanwhile become less expensive to purchase. This is why more and more industrial customers are now completely switching over to LED technology – and to a corresponding light management system.

So light management systems are required even in rather simple industrial buildings?

NH: In warehouses with high-bay racking, lighting costs can amount to up to 80 percent of the entire energy cost. So it does make sense here to use an intelligent light management system – especially if you consider that the investment for the corresponding technology quickly pays off because you can save a lot of money by applying motion and presence detection systems and special features such as the constant lumen output (CLO) function. But using intelligent control systems also pays off in production facilities, where you can flexibly group and address individual luminaires, luminaire clusters or entire areas via light management or building management systems. Apart from the potential energy savings, this also represents an added value for the end customer.

Which product innovations would you point out especially here?

NH: In the industrial sector, the lighting often needs to fulfil special requirements, for instance when high ambient temperatures or, as is the case in refrigerated warehouses, very low ambient temperatures are involved. That is why, this year, we will launch new LED drivers and LED modules which can withstand significantly higher and lower temperatures and which also offer a higher switching capability and robustness, and a longer lifetime. This, in turn, enables us to offer longer guarantee periods. All of this, of course, in combination with corresponding sensor technology, such as our highbay sensors, which allow daylight and motion detection even in very high buildings, or with HF sensors, which can be integrated into damp-proof luminaires.

Lighting in modern industrial facilities must not only be energy-efficient, but also high-quality.

NH: Exactly. This is true, for instance, for the logistics industry, where scanner systems are applied. In this area, the lighting must not only be bright, but its quality must also be high, so that these systems, most of which are very sensitive, can work properly. Our LED drivers ensure a low output ripple current of under one percent. This means that negative effects on scanner systems and other machines can be prevented – at any dimming level.

How do you see the future of industrial lighting?

NH: We believe that, when industrial facilities need to be modernised, we will see more and more customers using dimmable instead of switchable lighting solutions. Moreover, they can now also use a ZigBee gateway to apply a wireless solution, which means that no new wiring has to be installed. On the whole, thanks to LED technology, everything is becoming more intelligent. Therefore, we will also see an increased use of LED driver data, such as energy consumption, dimming level, or remaining lifetime. These data can be applied, for example, for energy efficiency optimisation, or for predictive planning and more cost-efficient execution of maintenance work.



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