Production Areas and Engineering Workshops

Safety is paramount in any area where machinery is operated so good lighting is essential. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t savings to be made on the lighting costs.

Choosing the Control Technology

Safety is obviously the priority in any area with machinery. The nature of the machinery’s operation and the tasks being carried out will determine the type of lighting control technology that should be employed.

If the machinery has moving parts that are always in motion whether or not an operative is present, then masked PIR control would be the best option (see LightSpot HD). As a microwave sensor cannot differentiate between the movements made by machinery and those made by people (and would consequently never switch off), this type of control should be considered only when the movements of the machinery are dependent on operatives’ actions.

Safety and the Operation of Machinery

It is a good idea to provide lighting in overlapping zones so that the minimum required illuminance is provided at all times, not only at a particular machine but in the area surrounding it.

For safety reasons, consider using signals from machinery to sustain the lights within the working zone. For example, a volt-free signal could be used to hold the lights on when the machinery is in operation, i.e. it would be impossible for lights to time out according to occupancy while such a signal was present.

Rather than switching off completely, the lighting could be set back or dimmed until the next occupancy signal is received. If lights are to be set back or dimmed, an all-off (last man out) switch could be employed to switch the luminaires off at the end of the day.

‘Passing Traffic’

Often a workshop area is arranged so that there are walkways running parallel to the main area. As with warehouse aisles, it is important to configure the sensors so that someone just passing an area along a walkway does not inadvertently trigger the lights in a working zone. The potential for nuisance switching can be eliminated by the use of sensors with tilting lenses or by employing precision lens masks (available with LightSpot HD).

Ambient Daylight

Production areas often feature large roof lights. Where this is the case, in order to maximise savings, photocells should be employed to regulate and/or switch off the luminaires when there is sufficient ambient daylight.

Key Considerations and Application Notes

  • Type of machinery operation – whether constant or operative initiated – to determine the right technology to use.
  • Overlapping zones around machinery.
  • Linking the provision of lighting to the operation of machinery.
  • Avoiding ‘passing traffic’ from switching adjacent areas unnecessarily.
  • Taking advantage of natural light via photocells to regulate/switch off.
  • ‘Last-man-out’ signal at the end of the day.
  • Any associated ‘Goods In’ and ‘Goods Out’ areas will also benefit from control (see ‘Distribution Centres & Storage Facilities’).
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​MLS Intelligent Lighting Control Modules with MLS3000CDR or MLS3003CDR PIR sensors offer all the suggested zoning, lens masking, lens tilting and last-man-out features.​

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Associated goods storage areas may also benefit from lighting control.​​​​

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