|By COSBY WOODRUFF
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Keeping the doors open in today's tough textile marketplace requires watching every dollar and squeezing the most out of each penny. Galey & Lord's Brighton Plant at Shannon, GA, extended its utility budget with an installation from Greenville's Mor-Lite that is cutting lighting bills by about half in part of the weaving facility.
Earlier this year, the 75-year-old mill outside Rome, GA, installed 54 Picanol OmniPlus weaving machines to replace 20-year-old air jets. At the same time, Galey & Lord had
Mor-Lite pull out the even older lighting system and replace it with directional lighting using high-efficiency reflectors.
A walk through Galey & Lord's weave room makes the difference obvious. Most of the room still runs the older air jets under older lights, which give the room a yellow, almost dingy look.
Jim Coble, plant engineer, said a weaver, technician or maintenance person often must carry a flashlight when working on or with the older looms because the lighting simply doesn't allow the associate to see the work.
At the back of the room, a few rows of Picanol's latest offerings churn out greigegoods in khaki and denim. Above them hang Mor-Lite's LoomLite fixtures.
LoomLites are fluorescent bulbs, giving off a whiter, more natural light than the nearby aging lights. But most of the benefits come from the reflector itself.
Mor-Lite's reflectors angle the light to areas it is needed most, reducing wasted light and dollars on unused space and empty floor.
New lights offer a whiter light, along with
energy savings adding up to $5,500 yearly.
John Huebner, Mor-Lite's president, demonstrates this to TW during a recent plant visit. Huebner uses a hand-held light meter to show lighting in the middle of an aisle is in the mid-30 fc. This increases as he moves the meter closer to the weaving machine until it is near 70 fc by the time the meter reaches the edge of the loom. More direct lighting over the loom provides 90 fc on the weave side of the machine and up to 120 fc on the warp side.|
This, says Coble, is where the most lighting is needed on a weaving machine.
"Once they had the application in two things happened," he says. "We have lower energy consumption with better lighting at point of use. My weavers are happy. So are my technicians and maintenance people."
"It is amazing. Like from night to day."
Better lighting is obvious to anyone walking through the weave room at the Brighton Plant. But that is only half the benefit Galey & Lord is seeing.
Brighton reduced its energy consumption dramatically following this installation, and with that came some pretty nifty utility savings.
According to Mor-Lite figures, Galey & Lord reduced its connected energy load for the project area from 30.56 kW to 15.00.
Projecting that over a year with an estimated energy cost of $.0043/kWh, savings add up to some $5,500 annually.
And that is for an area less than 20% of the Brighton Plant's total weaving space.
Coble says as capital dollars become available more of the plant will get new weaving machines, and with them new lighting.|
"Mor-Lite is a company that can come in, using its technology and design and understand what you are looking for," Coble says.
"It applies its technology to what your needs are."
Huebner said factors other than the aging technology in the Brighton Plant's lighting made it a candidate for his company's services.
Much of the plant's ductwork, including air conditioning, was put in after the former lights were installed. In some places, this left a sizeable air conditioning duct running between a light fixture and the weaving machines below.
The resulting shadows only compounded the poor lighting.
"With directional lighting, all the shadows are gone," Coble says. "The whole area looks so much better."
"It had a positive effect on morale. A bright, clean area to work in is much better than dull and dingy."
Brighton Plant managers and associates have plenty of evidence of the need to save every penny and keep morale up.
Nearby Lindale Manufacturing recently closed, and the Brighton Plant itself closed an adjacent yarn plant late last year.
Now, Brighton receives most of its yarn from Parkdale. Associates at Brighton work in weaving preparation through weaving. Greigegoods then go to Society Hill, SC, for dyeing and finishing.
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