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In your Lean business, is lighting part of the solution or the problem?

6/4/20 3:10 PM / by Tim Wasmer

LeanStrategies

Commercial and manufacturing businesses of all sizes are looking to Lean and Lean Six Sigma methodologies to improve efficiencies and increase profitability. So, if you find yourself in themidst of a Lean journey, can you say with certainty that your current lighting is supporting your Lean goals? Or, is it working against them?


Consider these factors:

  1. Lighting impacts every aspect of your business and your process.
  2.  If you’re still using traditional lighting (e.g. fluorescents and metal halides) throughout your enterprise, your process efficiency and your profitability are suffering – big time.
  3. Making more informed lighting choices based on key metrics can help you reduce                      variation.
  4. Lighting plays a vital role in shaping your corporate culture.
  5. The right lighting keeps your focus on your customers.

These five factors are why it’s critical to make sure you have precisely the right lighting for your
business’s unique needs. Too little light can hinder productivity and create safety issues. Too
much light can lead to blinding glare, which presents its own set of productivity and safety
issues.

This is why Wasmer Company believes in starting each lighting project with an enterprise-wide
assessment. We measure light levels throughout the facility. Then, we compare those levels
against standardized guidelines to see if the current lighting is within accepted lumen output
tolerances for the tasks required within that space.

We also generate 3D photometric layouts so clients can see how light will be distributed
throughout the facility. It’s a practical way to take variability out of a lighting implementation
project. Without these layouts, you can’t be sure how lighting will perform until after it’s
installed. But with approved photometrics in hand, you can be confident you are creating a
solid foundation for a brighter future.

Once you know how you want your facility lit, product selection becomes key. Today, many
businesses are converting from traditional lighting to high-efficiency LEDs in hopes of reducing
energy costs. This is a sound strategy, but you need to consider your product options carefully.
LED lights have very unique operating characteristics. As a result, both their longevity and
performance can be susceptible to environmental factors, such as temperature extremes, dust
and grit, moisture, vibration and corrosive atmospheres. If their performance degrades
prematurely or they fail sooner than anticipated, you won’t realize the savings you had hoped
to achieve.

We typically recommend LED lights that have been tested and validated to perform and last as
advertised. Tactik Lighting, for example, specializes in LED lighting they refer to as military-
grade. These units are designed and built to withstand the harsh duty environments that prove
so detrimental to many of the brands that are made and assembled overseas. And in order to
best support your Lean strategies, your lighting needs to strike that ideal balance between
efficiency and reliability.

Optimizing your lighting can be transformative for virtually every department in your
organization.

  1. Improve net profitability by minimizing utility and maintenance cost.
  2. Improve quality control by facilitating visual inspections.
  3. Increase productivity by minimizing eye strain and related fatigue for employees
    enterprise-wide.
  4. Enhance employee safety and minimize workers comp claims.
  5. Improve morale through a more visually appealing work environment.
  6. Support increased sales by providing a cleaner, brighter and more meticulous
    appearance during customer tours.
In short, the right lighting solution makes it easier for your Lean organization to keep its focuswhere it belongs – on your customers. To learn more about how Wasmer helped one customer on their Lean journey, be sure to check out this informative case history.

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