New Zealand Insulators factory in Temuka has to be seen to be believed. Built in 1886, this company is a great example of New Zealand industry pulling its weight, by making Electrical insulators right from local clay - its one giant pottery factory. With a factory this age, the project was always going to be a challenge.
A sprawling factory with a lot of very old lighting, with a lot of lights missing would be a fair summary. With old infrastructure and a myriad of metal halide and fluorescent lighting the challenge was to upgrade the place so employees could see their work as well as upgrading the lighting in walkways to provide a safe workplace.
Lux levels were measured early morning before sunrise to give an accurate reading of actual working conditions. In general the lighting was very poor, except where the occasional light had been replaced. The factory had small ‘islands of light’ in a number of areas but was otherwise dark. In manufacturing areas this can cause errors and in inspection areas poor quality work can be missed, all of which have an unquantified cost on the business. As is in evidence from the workers comments at our previous installations, lighting levels have an impact on health and wellbeing on workers and the quality of their work.
Some replacement lights were having issues with the LED lights flickering and the operators chose to turn them off rather than work under them. Many of the lights present are old and operate at greatly reduced output yet still consume the same amount of electricity.
Lighting levels were measured below 100 lux in walkways, around 200- 300 lux in inspection areas and varied greatly throughout the factory.
What we did
We knew the budget was tight for this project and the old lighting was very unevenly distributed. It was very much a case of trying to emplace lights in an extremely complex environment where the light would be needed and to create uniformity. This meant running wires and placing lights at different intensities while keeping the costs to a minimum.
Smiths Cranes, Production Supervisor
Lighter worked with Shearers and NZ Panels to upgrade their lighting in the NZ Panels and Shearers located in the Waimakariri Industrial Park, to increase Health & Safety and improve their work environment.
Lighter worked with O'Briens Christchurch and designed a lighting layout that optimised their factory.