Ardo UK Reduces Annual Lighting Costs by 97% in Cold Storage Facility

The 80,000 m3 Ardo facility in Kent, UK serves customers in the retail, foodservice and industrial ingredients markets under its own brand or under customer trade labels.

Customer: Ardo UK
Location: Kent, UK
Facility Size: 80,000 m3
Operational Schedule: 24 x 6
Environment: Cold Storage
Temperature Range: -17º to -7ºF (-27º to -22ºC)
Savings: 97% lighting
Previous Solution: 400 W HID, Powered on 24/7
Reseller/Installer: Way Forward Technologies

Ardo Eliminates 427.7 Metric Tons of CO2 and Saves 795,656 kWh Annually

Ardo UK is a leading supplier of high-quality frozen fruit, vegetables and carbohydrates (potato, rice and pasta), serving customers in the retail, foodservice and industrial ingredients markets under its own brand or under customer trade labels. To support its manufacturing and packing operations, the company operates a 80,000-cubic meter, BRC-certified cold storage and distribution facility in Kent, with excellent links to motorways, the port of Dover and the Channel Tunnel. The facility’s close proximity to transportation routes enables daily service throughout the UK and Europe.

By controlling the entire production chain, from seed selection to packing and distribution, Ardo UK fulfills its mission to “preserve the gifts of nature” for customers and consumers — a commitment to quality that extends to it cold storage facility. As proud recipient of a KEiBA (Kent Excellence in Business Award) for Business Commitment to The Environment in 2012, the facility’s robust sustainability agenda has driven a wide range of energy efficiency and quality improvements, resulting in significant cost savings and increased operational control. LED lighting is a case in point.

Flexible LED Lighting Drives Unparalleled Savings

Working with Way Forward Technologies, specialists in building refurbishment and construction, the Ardo UK facility team decided to replace its aging 400-Watt HID lighting with the Intelligent LED Lighting System from Digital Lumens. The system, which integrates wirelessly networked intelligent LED luminaires with LightRules lighting management software, is enabling Ardo UK to:

  • Reduce annual lighting energy costs by 97%
  • Save more than 795,656 kWh annually and £278,000 ($450,000) over five years, with a payback of approximately 1.8 years due to the extraordinary energy savings
  • Eliminate more than 2,140 metric tons of CO2 over 5 years
  • Generate meaningful UK carbon tax savings
  • Write off the Project Cost in year 1 under the UK Enhanced Capital
  • Allowance Scheme
  • Eliminate re-lamping and re-ballasting costs associated with traditional luminaires

“While the numbers are seemingly unbelievable, keep in mind that even though large areas of our facility were unoccupied at any given moment, we were forced to leave our old luminaires on 100% of the time due to the extended ramp up times when they were needed,” said Jon Barnes, Supply Chain Director for Ardo UK. “The fact that we are a cold storage facility with mobile racking simply compounded the challenges. With the Digital Lumens system all these problems went away. We now have complete control over our lighting, better light quality, and incredible savings that go directly to the bottom line. No other option we looked at provided this level of integration and control over luminaire timeout and dimming settings, which have been so central to our ability to optimize lighting delivery and maximize savings.”

UK Lighting Requirements

Ardo’s mobile racking storage system utilizes limited warehouse space more effectively by expanding and contracting moveable racks via a track system to increase usable space. As the racks open, integrated occupancy sensors embedded in each Digital Lumens high bay LED luminaire turn lights on to provide lighting for facility personnel. If an aisle is subsequently unoccupied for more than 30 seconds, the lighting turns off until a sensor is reactivated — by a forklift operator, for example — and instantaneously returns to full illumination when needed.

Ardo UK turned to Way Forward Technologies to manage the entire process for upgrading its aging HID lighting, including design, evaluation, selection and installation. Hands-on during every stage, the team meticulously examined a wide variety of lighting alternatives before recommending the Digital Lumens system. In addition to excellent light quality and illumination levels, they recommended the Intelligent Lighting System for its:

Controllability. Integrated LightRules management software enables granular control over lighting setting so that the Ardo team can fine-tune luminaire settings, such as timeout and dimming levels, by zone, individual luminaire or system-wide. Because the luminaires are wirelessly networked, the team does not need to use a lift to access and manually change dip switches on luminaires; all changes are made via software.

Insights into how lighting is used and all aspects of savings. Through LightRules, facility teams gain in-depth operational insights into how lighting is being used via informative reports and interactive facility maps. Facility maps show where lighting use is concentrated within the facility over a specified period of time, and allow authorized users to interactively modify settings. With easy access to this data, facility managers can easily evaluate the lighting metrics, provide measurement and verification data to their utility, and easily perform ‘what-if’ analysis to determine what modifications are needed to ensure optimal energy usage.

Durability and performance. In addition to being designed for use in rugged industrial environments, the Digital Lumens luminaires carry UL and CE listings on the entire luminaires, and a 5-year warranty. LED-based, they can be cycled on/off millions of times without compromising luminaire lifetime or lumen output and perform exceptionally well in temperature-controlled spaces where, unlike traditional alternatives, they instantaneously turn back on to full illumination when needed.

Maintenance-free operation. No re-lamping or re-ballasting for the lifetime of the installation, and no mercury disposal costs.

“Mobile racking, especially in a cold environment, presents unique challenges for lighting,” said Simon Whittle, Head of Lighting and Innovation for Way Forward Technologies. “Not only are forklift operators and facility personnel constantly on the move, but the racks are moving as well. By enabling us to completely control lighting delivery within the Ardo UK facility, we could fine-tune the system to address these challenges to a degree we never thought possible. Trying out different scenarios to optimize lighting was a breeze and introduced savings that we could never anticipate in a pre-installation review. Digital Lumens is at least two generations ahead of its competitors in providing these capabilities and it shows — especially when you look at the quality of the system and the level of integration.”