Ozburn-Hessey Logistics (OHL), now GEODIS, is one of the largest third-party logistics companies in the world, providing integrated global supply chain management solutions, including transportation, warehousing, customs brokerage, freight forwarding, and import and export consulting services. Founded in 1951, OHL has more than 36 million square feet of flexible warehouse space. At the 300,000-square-foot facility in Granite City, Illinois, two-thirds is laid out as rack aisles and one-third is open warehouse.
This facility operates 100 hours per week, 52 weeks a year, and its high-pressure sodium lights were a drag on employee comfort and productivity. The lights did not provide good color resolution and required an employee to turn them on 15 minutes prior to opening the warehouse so they could warm to full intensity. The lighting caused eye-strain, and the inspection of certain products prior to re-packaging often had to be done outside because the yellow sodium lights prevented employees from spotting damage. The building thermostats also had to be turned on and off manually, which meant if it was too hot or cold when entering the building, it took about an hour to reach a comfortable temperature.
Richard Gedmin of Superior Solutions Group knew that retrofitting the lights and thermostats with controls would solve OHL’s problems and deliver significant return on investment, in addition to building energy efficiency. “Richard arranged a site visit to a similar facility, and after seeing their Daintree™ lighting and system capabilities, we knew this was the direction we wanted to go,” said Dana Heflin, VP Operations at the OHL facility.
Superior Solutions Group outfitted the OHL with Daintree solutions from Current, powered by GE, enabling significantly improved facilities management. First, they installed 398 dimmable LED high bays equipped with the Daintree WHS100. In the offices, they also installed 120 dimmable LED troffers that were controlled via the Daintree WA100 on a circuit level. In addition, the Super Solutions Group added programmable WTS10 Daintree thermostats throughout the facility.
The Daintree system allows workers to adjust light levels for different types of work. “Under the old lighting, eye strain was something we all had to deal with. After the retrofit the consensus is that it’s easier for us to perform our jobs better,” commented Chris Mcintyre, an operations lead.
OHL programmed Daintree to light up the entire aisle fixture when the occupancy sensor was triggered, as opposed to traditional occupancy programming, which typically has a delay so that aisles remain dark ahead. Now, forklift operators can not only see if anyone is in the aisle, but can also read the product print on the top racks from the ground—a major plus for operational efficiency.
Workers located next to windows can now adjust lighting levels based on the brightness outside, improving comfort at their desks. In addition, the new thermostat controls ensure the ideal temperature always.
The company has achieved 85% energy cost savings, and with its Daintree system, OHL also received a utility incentive of $70,000 for reducing wattage and adding occupancy sensors. Before the lighting and HVAC retrofit, the average weekly lighting and HVAC energy bill was $1,600; since then, it has been slashed to $250!
Both executives and workers at the Granite City facility praised the Daintree and OHL plans to evaluate other facilities for lighting and thermostat retrofits with Daintree controls.
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