Advances in electrical and manufacturing technology have made it possible to protect the environment, save energy, and to streamline operations simultaneously! The Bay Logistics Management Team learned this recently at its Spring Lake Michigan Distribution Center while upgrading the warehouse lighting system.
Bay Logistics has been an industry leader in the warehousing, transportation and logistics industry for over four decades. Conceived in the Detroit automotive transportation industry, Bay Logistics has since evolved into a diversified and exceptional logistics service provider. Bay Logistics has established niches in several new markets including food and grocery, durable goods, chemical, alternative energy, non–ferrous metals, and Class III Liquid Flammable HAZMAT materials.
From dunnage management, repacking and quality inspections, to light assembly/rework, packaging, inventory management, EDI integration, rail trans-loading, order fulfillment, sequencing, pick-and-pack, sorting, and kitting, Bay Logistics offers a wide range of warehousing and logistics services. Sister company Martin Transportation Systems (MTS) supports Bay’s operations by providing truckload transportation, freight management, switcher, and dry and refrigerated shuttle services. The Bay Logistics Food Safety Initiative has propelled Bay Logistics into the food-grade services arena, and Bay now offers both ambient and cooler AIB-audited space. Quality inspection services division Bay/MPS is an ISO-certified provider of sorting, inspection, validation, and other containment services.
The foundation of Bay’s success can be attributed to its proprietary and innovative radio frequency (RF) warehouse management system. LogisticPartners enables clients to remotely track and manage inbound materials and finished goods in ‘real time’ fashion through its web portal, and empowers clients to achieve efficiencies and cost savings.
While the company has changed dramatically over the past 28 years, it has consistently maintained its mission of protecting and caring for the environment. Efficient warehouse lighting, properly insulated facilities, and landfill-free operations are all part of this philosophy.
“We pride ourselves on operating in an environmentally-friendly fashion,” said Kurt Cuncannan, Chief Operating Officer of Bay Logistics. “We invest heavily in people, systems, equipment and our facilities to enhance our clients’ ability to operate faster, smarter, leaner and with less waste.”
Metal Halide to Fluorescent to LED
At its 200,000 SF, metal fabricated Spring Lake building, Bay Logistics replaced its antiquated metal halide fixtures with six-lamp, high-bay, T8 fluorescent fixtures. The Spring Lake Distribution Center contains an array of materials including automotive parts, plastic containers, food and beverage products, consumer electronics and miscellaneous sundry items. It features double-deep and drive-in static racking systems, ESFR fire suppression, an exterior rail siding (G&W), and an 880-pallet capacity, 38-degree food-grade cooler. The 200,000-square foot facility is audited annually by the American Institute of Baking (AIB).
A recent investigation by the company’s operations team of its T8 light fixtures in the warehouse ceiling revealed that the motion sensors were in excellent condition, but that the existing 32-watt fluorescent tubes in the light fixtures represented an opportunity for improvement. Jon Swart, Vice President of Operations, recognized this opportunity and decided to dig a little deeper into possible solutions. The answer was at his fingertips on the warehouse racks – Commercial LED products designed and built by Bay Logistics’ client EarthTronics.
For over ten years, Bay Logistics has received, warehoused, picked-n-packed, and shipped residential and commercial lighting products on behalf of their client EarthTronics, a Michigan-based, energy-efficient lighting solutions company. EarthTronics’ LED bulbs, linear LEDs, and LED fixtures are sold under the “EarthBulb” brand name to commercial and industrial facilities, hotels, restaurants, retail stores and residential homes. EarthBulb LED lamps provide up to 80 percent or greater energy savings compared to other light sources.
Swart approached EarthTronics to offer Bay Logistics the best solution in transitioning from fluorescent lighting. The EarthTronics Team recommended their high energy-efficient, smooth-dimming, 15-watt, T8 LED linear tubes which deliver 146 lumens per watt, producing 2200 lumens. These units feature glass-tube construction, which insures proper cooling to support high lumen maintenance for a 50,000-hour rated life. The new T8 LED is engineered to work with popular dimming systems found in many meeting and conference rooms, as well as in energy-saving, daylight-harvesting applications.
Plug and Play
It proved an excellent fit, and the new lighting scheme delivered efficiency not only in energy savings, but also during the installation and for ongoing maintenance. The energy-efficient T8 LED linear tubes are Design Light Consortium (DLC) listed and UL rated for Type A “plug-and-play” on electronic fluorescent ballasts. This T8 Type A, direct-install LED linear tube is compatible with instant start, program rapid start and emergency back-up electronic ballast systems. Installers can change every lamp when retrofitting a property without the services of an electrician or outside labor.
“The switch from fluorescent to LED tubes was extremely simple,” Swart said. “The T8 LED linear tubes were compatible with our existing fixtures ballast. We simply changed the lamp to start saving energy without reducing lumens.” Bay Logistics immediately began saving energy costs related to lighting. 1900 fluorescent lamps consuming 32 watts each were replaced with 15 watt LED T8 lamps that provide 53 percent energy savings. Because the warehouse is a twenty-four hour per day, seven days per week operation, the return on investment is just 9 months. “This decision was an easy one” said Cuncannan. “These dollars came directly out of the operations cost budget, and began to bring real value to the bottom line very quickly”.
The T8 lamp retrofit was performed in both the warehouse and the front offices. The improvement in quality of light was noticeable to Bay Logistics administrative assistants, supervisors and managers. The EarthTronics LED provides a high CRI value of 84, which combined with the white 5000K color temperature, increases visual acuity in the warehouse significantly. “Our team members quickly commented on the improvement in reading product labels, and the typical paperwork done in the warehouse” stated Swart. “A well-illuminated work place is essential in a safe and efficient warehouse operation.”
“The EarthTronics LED linear tubes help protect our environment by reducing electrical consumption. The front-end investment in energy-efficient lighting pays for itself within a matter of months,” Cuncannan said. “Conservation and cost reductions – by far the easiest decision we have made in a long time!”