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TRW Automotive factory floor at St. Catherines

Lighting Retrofit at TRW Automotive Saves More Than $270,000 Annually

With an annual electricity bill of more than $4.5 million, TRW Automotive continually focuses on reducing and controlling electricity use.
 
BACKGROUND
TRW Automotive in St. Catharines designs and manufactures steering and suspension components for General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and BMW, but always with a corporate focus on conservation and energy savings. “Retrofitting the entire lighting system in the two plants with energy efficient lamps was key to reducing our costs,” said Kevin Cope, Area Manager, Manufacturing Services.

PROJECT
Before the St. Catharines facility could commit funding to the retrofit project, it had to meet TRW’s corporate expenditures requirements that require a payback period of one year or less.

Working closely with Horizon Utilities, one of the local hydro company delivering the Save on Energy incentive programs, TRW received a $156,000 incentive under the Retrofit Program.
 
“We worked through all the numbers with TRW to make sure they knew what they would be getting before they started the retrofit project,” said Brian Blaszynski, Horizon’s Manager for Commercial Programs.
 
While replacing the metal halide fixtures provided an opportunity to reduce electricity use, there was concern that high temperatures combined with the graphite lubricant used in the forging plant would reduce its effectiveness. The question was how this harsh environment would affect the new lighting. After testing fluorescent lamps in the different parts of the forging plant, the engineering department came back with a positive report on the fluorescent lamps’ durability.

TRW replaced hundreds of inefficient metal halide fixtures with T5 high performance fluorescent fixtures, each equipped with occupancy sensors.
 
DRIVING RESULTS
The project was funded through a $234,000 capital injection from TRW Automotive and a  pre-approved financial incentive of $156,000 from Horizon Utilities through the Save on Energy Retrofit Program.

“We always advise our customers to do a proper assessment before making a decision. TRW was particularly effective at this because they have a culture of conservation and constant improvement built into their business plans,” Blaszynski said. “We want to make certain our customers get the most conservation for their dollar.”

More than 430 400W metal halide fixtures were replaced with four-lamp T5 high output fixtures. This reduced energy consumed through each fixture by 230W and the motion sensors provided additional savings by turning lights off about 30 percent of the day. The electricity savings from the retrofit to four-lamp T5 fixtures was 127.7 kW and 1.11 million kWh.

Another 410 400-watt metal halide fixtures were replaced by six-lamp T5 high-output fixtures. This reduced lamp energy consumption to 356 watts from 1,080 per fixture with an estimated 30% savings using the occupancy sensors. The electricity savings from the retrofit to six-lamp T5 fixtures was 347.4 kW and 3.4 million kWh.

“The motion sensors help reduce electricity cost and do not interfere with the plant’s operations,” Cope said.
 
The response to the light change has “all been positive,” said Cope, “Everything is much brighter, especially in quality control where good lighting increases efficiency.”

Speaking of positive reactions, the estimated annual savings are more
than $270,000.

 

WHAT'S NEXT FOR TRW

TRW Automotive continues working with Horizon in looking for other energy saving technologies and incentive programs including demand response, solar energy and retrofitting with variable frequency drives and high-efficiency motors.
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