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New LED Lighting at Ford Manufacturing Plants Expected to Save $7M a Year

Ford Motor Company has begun installing 25,000 new LED fixtures to replace traditional high-intensity discharge and fluorescent lights, at its manufacturing facilities across the globe. The new fixtures, valued at over $25 million, are expected to reduce Ford’s energy use at manufacturing facilities by 56 million kilowatt-hours annually – enough to power more than 6,000 average-sized homes per year, and an up to 70 percent reduction in lighting energy consumption compared to traditional technologies. Annual energy costs are expected to be reduced by approximately $7 million.

The need for maintenance will diminish, as LED lighting has a 15-year life expectancy. Studies show LED light output remains steady at less than 1 percent degradation per year over the life of the equipment, while fluorescent and HID fixtures require re-lamping in as little as two years. LED lights improve safety by eliminating hazardous materials in fixtures and lowering fire risks. At the same time, the technology provides a brighter work area, better uniformity and improved color perception, resulting in a better quality of light for plant employees.

“We are extremely pleased to install this leading-edge technology in our manufacturing facilities worldwide,” said John Fleming, EVP of Global Manufacturing and Labor Affairs. “This is a long-term investment in our future that highlights our aggressive approach to lead in environmental improvements and achieve operating efficiencies.”

In 2011, Ford embarked on an aggressive program to lower its energy use 25 percent per vehicle produced at its facilities by 2016. The company is well on its way toward meeting that goal, having achieved a 20 percent increase in efficiency already, explained George Andraos, director of energy and sustainability at Ford Land. The switch to LED lighting helps to ensure Ford will meet its target.

Work began at Dearborn Truck Plant late last month to replace worn and outdated overhead lighting. The LED replacement program will continue through the year at 17 other Ford manufacturing facilities across the globe, including Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Kentucky; Livonia Transmission Plant in Livonia, Michigan; Dearborn Stamping Plant; Essex Engine in Windsor, Ontario; Dagenham Engine Plant in Dagenham, England; and Oakville Assembly in Oakville, Ontario.

“Ford has a deep commitment to the environment,” said Donna Inch, chairman and CEO of Ford Land. “By creating outstanding products, investing in the facilities where our employees work, and using such technology as LED lighting, we are helping to promote a sustainable future.”

In addition to making headway on its energy-reduction goals, Ford is also making strides in reducing water and waste — the automaker announced in June it had reached its goal to cut the amount of water used to make each vehicle by 30 percent worldwide two years ahead of schedule, and just last month reported that its Oakville Assembly plant now sends no operational waste-to-landfill, making all of Ford’s Canadian manufacturing facilities landfill-free and brings the company’s zero waste-to-landfill total to 21 facilities around the globe.

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