Zero stress with a turnkey lighting solution: The ST Extruded Products Group (STEP-G) is taking advantage of a very special service after opting to renew the lighting at its Bitterfeld plant in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt. Comprehensive Zumtobel financing services and a complete-supply package have helped STEP-G benefit from a tailored lighting solution without major investment costs – and without major effort. When it comes to quality checks, the COESA luminaire ticks all the boxes with its unique lighting for surface inspections – something to which STEP-G, as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of extruded aluminium profiles, attaches particular importance.
Enter the STEP-G production hall in Bitterfeld and you immerse yourself in pure and daylight-bright lighting. Uniform light reaches into every corner of the room and is brilliantly reflected in the aluminium profiles that are manufactured here. Yet this application manages to simultaneously prioritise high lighting quality with high product quality, thanks to the unique technology of the COESA luminaire. With its high-contrast light lines, this solution specifically helps workers who are tasked with inspecting the surfaces of the finished profiles. This is outstanding quality – in terms of both the lighting and the premium products for which STEP-G has become famous the world over.
The international aluminium specialist was keen to modernise their existing lighting solution – without having to budget for high initial purchase costs. Wishful thinking? In the past, perhaps. But not anymore. Now financing services from Zumtobel make this possible. Instead of simply buying Zumtobel luminaires, STEP-G has chosen to lease the entire lighting solution over a defined time period. And so light becomes a service, meaning that STEP-G no longer has to think about hefty initial investment costs. Plus the company remains completely flexible when it comes to lighting and can benefit straight away from new and innovative lighting solutions. This is a true turnkey project, as Zumtobel has looked after the entire project management – starting with the supply of materials and going on to include installation, interface coordination, commissioning and regular inspections. And all this from one single source. "With the financing offer from Zumtobel Services, STEP-G no longer has to think about lighting and quality for the entire term of the contract," confirmed Daniel Weber, Project Manager Turnkey at Zumtobel.
The STEP-G plant in Bitterfeld, where extruded aluminium profiles are manufactured, tested and processed, is now illuminated by a modern lighting solution that supports both the production and the all-important surface inspections. This is where COESA, the first-ever LED quality-control luminaire from Zumtobel, really comes into its own. The fitting combines colour temperature contrasts with precise colour lines to enable flawless surface illumination. A blend of neutral and cold-white colour temperatures, arranged longitudinally, is reflected in the aluminium profiles in a linear and high-contrast way to create the optimum environment for casting a careful eye over the shiny surfaces. When the quality is flawless, observers viewing the metal at a specific angle see a clean reflection made up of perfect linear lines. Yet if something is not quite right, the lines are suddenly interrupted or distorted. This produces a reflection that appears warped and uneven and therefore helps make sure that any defects and irregularities are detected immediately. Workers can then react right away and remove any faulty aluminium profiles before shipment. Simple. And most definitely effective.
The tried-and-tested TECTON LED continuous-row lighting system from Zumtobel provides general illumination in the halls, while CRAFT LED high-bay luminaires deliver precise light from above. With high light levels optimised for high ceilings and excellent thermal management, CRAFT is ideally equipped for just these kinds of industrial sites. Potentially tricky atmospheric issues are also easily overcome, as this powerful solution has been engineered to minimise the amount of dust and dirt that gathers on the luminaire.
Zumtobel has used this new solution to markedly improve the lighting quality and thereby make a real difference in the production halls. The overall lighting level has increased – no matter where you are in the factory. There has been a positive effect on employee fatigue. Flickering light has become a thing of the past. And compared to the previous installation, the solution is now much more efficient – both in terms of lighting technology and energy. "A carefully planned lighting solution has enabled us to significantly simplify important jobs for the employees, especially in the key area of surface inspection," confirmed Gerhard Backhaus, Project Manager at Zumtobel. "The enhanced visibility allows any defects to be identified and rectified straight away."
"The whole project and the entire cooperation went very smoothly. The implementation phase was extremely quick and – in some cases – could even take place alongside normal production, without any manufacturing downtime," reported STEP-G.