“Production facilities like the VAT vacuum valve manufacturing sites in Switzerland and around the world use a hefty amount of energy: to run the production systems, the heating and cooling systems – and keeping everything lit,” explains Heinz Märkli, VAT Environmental Program Manager. “That makes every improvement important in the final tally of our overall energy consumption.”

The shift to new LED lighting systems for the VAT production plants is part of a the company’s global sustainability initiative, which includes installation of rooftop solar arrays to generate electricity and the increased use of thermal exchange systems using groundwater to cool production systems. The initial upgrade to LED lighting was begun at the Haag facility in Switzerland and also includes the Penang facility in Malaysia. Further VAT production facilities are also scheduled for a lighting upgrade.

Cutting energy costs in half

Replacing conventional incandescent or fluorescent lights with LED technology can quickly deliver remarkable energy savings. Switching the lighting systems in VAT’s Swiss and Malaysian facilities will reduce energy costs by 40-50% and save the company about CHF 6,000 (US$ 6,540) annually – including electricity for lighting and cooling, and maintenance costs.

“Because approximately 75% of the electricity VAT uses is generated sustainably from hydropower and wind power sources – along with our rooftop solar panels on both production facilities – the resulting energy savings are even more notable,” adds Mario Greussing, Head of VAT Facility Management/Electrical Systems.

Cutting-edge LED lighting system

For both the Haag and Penang sites, VAT opted for the CRAFT system, a wide beam LED lighting technology from Zumtobel. Designed for industrial applications, CRAFT features a wide beam optic; each LED has a separate lens for precise light distribution with a wide lumens range. The very high efficiency (>150 lm/W) of the CRAFT system also means much less heat is generated by the LED lights.

Insulating walls is part of the package

To further increase the energy efficiency of the Haag and Penang sites, VAT is also implementing an ongoing upgrade of the thermal insulation in the walls and ceilings of both manufacturing sites. “All new VAT buildings meet the highest current standards for building insulation values – as defined by the Swiss Climate Foundation,” explains Heinz Märkli. “However, because our infrastructure comprises both new and older buildings, we are constantly upgrading insulation standards to the highest current levels. All VAT buildings in Haag and Penang are now completely insulated.”