The constant technological advancements and the availability of new materials have allowed for the emergence of more efficient and cost-effective lighting solutions in industrial plants. Modern and sustainable alternatives to traditional lighting designs have arisen in recent decades, taking into consideration factors such as the specific physical characteristics of each area within the plant. Tuper is currently undertaking a lighting system upgrade to optimize energy efficiency.
Due to the varying characteristics of each building, such as height, square footage, function, and diverse lighting needs, energy consumption mapping has been ongoing for several years. Approximately two years ago, the energy management department initiated a formal study of the lighting installations in all industrial areas of the company. Based on this assessment, a comprehensive plan was developed to serve as the foundation for the implementation and advancement of retrofit actions to replace the current lighting system. The decision was made to replace the existing metal halide lamps with dimmable Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting, which not only offers economic advantages but can also enhance the lighting environment by 30% to 35%. Following this evaluation, priority units were identified for the lighting system replacement, and the project was authorized to commence at the end of 2021.
Partnership financing and guaranteed results
To carry out this upgrade, the company opted for a partnership with an Energy Conservation Company (ECE), which acts as a financier for energy improvement projects. In this case, the chosen partner was Ativa Energia, a company based in São Paulo. The process began with the development of a lighting project, taking into account the necessary infrastructure for installation and the gains in terms of installed power. The estimated cost for the project was approximately R$700,000 Brazilian Reais. Subsequently, the data was submitted for analysis by the accounting and finance departments and the partner company, which compiled the information for the final financial plan. After legal and financial procedures were defined, the replacement process was initiated and is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2022.
Renan Carlo Piccinini, Energy Management Analyst, explains that the new LED lamps will result in a 75% reduction in energy consumption compared to the lamps they are replacing. “The payback period for the total investment is estimated to be seventeen months for the TEC and Tubes units. To put this into perspective, using the residential consumption table provided by Celesc and comparing it to residential units in the municipality of São Bento do Sul, the savings would be equivalent to the energy used by 874 residential units. The company’s consumption accounts for 40% of the industrial volume and 11% of the total volume in the municipality. The replacement will not only bring improvements to the production chain but also significant resource savings,” he states.
Technology for data collection and interpretation
Several technical aspects deserve special mention. For instance, the automation of the process will enable data collection regarding the operation of each luminaire. Additionally, sensors installed in the factories will measure the natural lighting of the environment, allowing for dimmable distribution of the required amount of light according to each lamp unit’s specific lighting needs and power. Rodrigo Pereira, an electrical engineer and member of the technical team responsible for the project, explains that the technology applied is called DALI, a protocol that enables communication between the complex’s points. Alongside the lighting system, a communication cable is installed, allowing for individual or group control of the units. This allows for accurate data readings of parameters like luminosity to direct power and, consequently, improve distribution efficiency. “The quality of lighting required for employee comfort during tasks was taken into account,” Rodrigo emphasizes. “The current luminaires are heavier and more challenging to handle. LED options are lighter, cleaner, and allow for easier maintenance. Durability is also a significant advantage – from 500 hours for a metal halide lamp to up to 100,000 hours for an LED lamp.”
Renan and Rodrigo mention that the disposal of old luminaires is being managed by the company’s environmental department. Some of the removed luminaires will be used as replacements in units that will continue to use older lamps until the end of the replacement process. The rest will be disposed of properly and safely, considering the components and materials used in their manufacture.
Tuper is one of the largest steel processing companies in Latin America. With over 50 years of experience, the company boasts one of the most advanced technological setups for steel tube formation, operating across eight business units in three industrial plants with a processing capacity of 826,000 tons of steel per year. In addition to the original automotive sector, Tuper also operates in the fields of exhaust systems and catalytic converters (for the aftermarket market), industry, oil and gas, construction, and agriculture.
The extensive product portfolio includes black and galvanized carbon steel tubes for industrial, structural, and conduit applications, drawn tubes, API tubes for the oil and gas market, galvanized conduits, quick-connect tubular piles for foundations, structural metal profiles, automotive parts and components, original vehicle exhaust systems, automotive exhaust systems for the aftermarket, metal roofing systems, ribbed composite slabs, scaffolding, props, lining, and slitters for use in construction.
Learn more about Tuper.