Round Ground Metals Project at a Glance
Annual Utility Savings: $62,000
Payback in 7.4 months
$20,850 in energy efficiency incentives
Impact: Safer workplace, improved employee morale
“We have a lot of machinery that guzzles up a lot of electricity. Changing the lighting helped our employees as well as the bottom line.”
Quality Solution and Service Helped Round Ground Metals Choose Sustainable Lighting Solutions
Modest energy savings can go a long way for a company that operates heavy machinery, which tends to draw large amounts of electricity. When Sustainable Lighting Solutions presented Round Ground Metals with a solution that would save the company more than $60,000 annually, it was just a matter of timing and planning to get the lighting replaced.
Round Ground Metals first began working with Sustainable Lighting Solutions in late 2015. The 28-year-old family-owned company makes “round bars rounder” and has a rich history of delivering a quality product at a fair market price. Like all manufacturers working with steel, market forces can shift spending priorities, even when the value is known and respected.
“It was a major investment,” says Mirek Krynski, Round Ground Metals, Inc. Maintenance Supervisor. The company’s two Hanover Park, IL buildings comprise 130,000 square feet and operate 20 hours a day, typically five days a week.
“And, it was a major project. Given our inventory, machines, and how long our working hours are, we needed to make sure the time was right,” says Krynski.
The company needed a bit of time to plan for the capital expense, logistics, and planning required to execute. Round Ground Metals green-lighted the project a year after first meeting, recognizing that the utility savings combined with the anticipation of better light merited project approval, Krynski says.
“We have a lot of machinery that guzzles up a lot of electricity,” Krynski says. “Changing the lighting would help employees, as well as the bottom line.”
The project would take several weeks to complete, with installation primarily occurring on the weekends. Sustainable Lighting Solutions installed more than 238 fixtures, including LED high bays, LED wallpacks, LED pole fixtures, and motion sensors. Most of the installation occurred within the two buildings, but Sustainable Lighting Solutions also installed exterior fixtures. Of the total project cost of $30,624.06, Sustainable Lighting Solutions secured a ComEd incentive that covered almost 70% of the cost. RGM is forecasted to save more than $62,000 in electricity costs alone.
“Employees come and go early in the morning and late at night, and they really appreciated that we improved the lighting outside,” Krynski says. “The women were especially grateful, because during the winter when it’s really dark and cold they felt safer, and didn’t fear possibly slipping on the ice when they were headed to their cars.”
The lighting even highlighted some of the blemishes that any building experiences when grinding metals, says Krynski, who joked that a few walls needed to be cleaned after the installation. Overall the reaction from employees has been exceptional, he says.
For Krynski, he’s happy that the reduced maintenance required by the new lighting means that his team is not spending a lot of time replacing lights. He estimates that once a month a fixture would be changed out when a transformer or bulb would blow. And given the size of the facility it wasn’t a step ladder kind of job, he says.
“The new lighting is saving maintenance a lot of headaches,” Krynski says, but more important employees can see better and the new lighting has improved morale. “They appreciate the investment.”
Krynski says that other companies bid on the project, but Sustainable Lighting Solutions’ willingness to help people see in order to believe is what set them apart.
“Sustainable Lighting Solutions installed a sample fixture and right away people wanted them. Seeing really is believing and when they hung those fixtures people could see what type of change would happen,” Krynski says.