As an industry leader in the field of automation and information solutions, Avid Solutions becomes a showcase for their own clients, using Cree’s SmartCast® Technology to demonstrate first-hand how the power of intelligent lighting can transform operations and work environments.
Founded in 1987 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Avid Solutions is now an international engineering firm focused on delivering automation, industrial IT and smart manufacturing to its clients, converting data into information and improving operations through manufacturing intelligence. So when it came time to look for a lighting solution for its new Winston-Salem office, Avid turned to Cree – the company leading the charge to deliver connected and intelligent lighting that will become the backbone of the Internet of Things for buildings.
According to PC Romano, President of Avid Solutions, “Our clients are facing the convergence of IT and OT: information technology and operations technology, and Cree’s SmartCast® Technology plays right into that. They’re providing high-quality light on the plant and warehouse floor while being able to interface with systems at a much higher level – into the IT space.”
For Romano, two things were key in choosing a lighting solution: technology leadership and sustainability. As a core part of the lighting installation, Avid Solutions selected the CR Series LED troffers and KR Series LED downlights with Cree® SmartCast® Technology – the most intuitive and easiest to install intelligent lighting solution on the market that also provides up to 70% energy savings.
“In the industrial automation industry, we’re always looking for a competitive advantage. Reducing our operational costs is increasingly important to what we do. With Cree’s intelligent lighting solution, we’ve organized our interior lighting into zones. We use daylight harvesting and occupancy sensing to ensure we’re lighting only the areas we need to,” says John Travland, Department Manager at Avid.
Consultant Engineer Gibran Aguilar adds, “Sometimes when we work late, we are really focused and forget to turn off the lights. A nice feature of Cree® lighting is the motion sensor. After some time, it senses nobody’s there and automatically turns the light off.”
According to Travland, “We chose Cree® LED lighting not only for the building interior, but the exterior as well. It’s very nice to have bright, even light in the parking lot, especially since we do have employees working late at night.”
And as far as the installation of the lighting, Romano says, “One thing we liked about working with Cree is they led us through the entire process. From the design and coordination as well as the rebate programs from our local utility. They also supported us during commissioning. We chose to do it ourselves and it was a very simple and straight-forward process.”
In addition to the energy savings offered by Cree’s intelligent lighting solution, other benefits exist for both Avid and its customers.
Travland explains: “Our people need a great environment in which to work. They spend a tremendous amount of time on their computers and with drawings. Better lighting is critical to that process. In addition to the ambient lighting coming through the windows in our new facility, it’s extremely important to have overhead lighting that reduces glare, eye strain and worker fatigue. With the new facility and the more even lighting, the mix of natural and LED lighting, we did find an overall decrease in glare, fatigue and eye strain.”
Better light also impacts other areas of the business. Romano explains, “We’ve already begun to use Cree® LED technology with our industrial clients. They’re always looking to be as cost-effective as possible. But when we speak about lighting with them, safety and the operator environment are sometimes even more important.”
Travland adds: “For our clients, better light is critical to their processes. Whether it be a manufacturing operation where vertical lighting comes into play, or in warehouse operations.”
“Our industrial clients have processes that can be dangerous. They have operators sitting in front of machines for hours on end, and they need to see in better detail and stay focused and attentive. In addition, in large warehouses and production facilities, there are big cost advantages,” says Romano.
And let’s not forget the maintenance savings. Travland explains: “We’re always looking for ways to cut our operational costs. At our old facility we were constantly replacing light bulbs and tubes. So it’s nice that with Cree’s lighting solution we’re not changing bulbs on a regular basis.”
Aguilar sums it up, “When you change to better lighting, it directly relates to your productivity. Cree has done a very good job with the LED lights. It’s brighter. It feels natural.
It definitely gives you a sense of well-being – you feel a little more awake, relaxed and focused. Wherever you go, you have the light you need. And your boss is happier.”