Ford allots $5m for eco-friendly lighting
published : 12 Dec 2015 at 01:26
newspaper section: Business
writer: Piyachart Maikaew
US car maker Ford Motor Co will spend US$5 million to install LED and other energy-efficient lighting in its Asia-Pacific factories including in Thailand.
Installation of the eco-friendly lighting technology will reduce Ford’s energy use at factories in China, India, Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan by 18 million kilowatt-hours annually, enough to power more than 1,900 average-sized homes per year, the company said in a statement.
That equates to a 50-70% reduction in lighting-related energy consumption.
With a life expectancy of five to 10 years, an LED light lasts much longer than those installed, cutting maintenance and replacement costs.
The new lighting is also better for the environment. LEDs contain no mercury, unlike fluorescent lights, so they are not categorised as hazardous waste.
The lights will simultaneously provide brighter and cooler work areas, resulting in a better quality of life for Ford employees.
Large quantities of the new lights have already been installed in China and Thailand.
Ford’s team in India finished installing their first round of LED lights at the end of October, while installation in Taiwan and Vietnam will be completed this month.
This investment is just the beginning — Ford's Asia-Pacific operations will continue an extensive upgrade of its lights over the next few years, the statement said.
In Thailand, Ford has invested heavily in LED technology for its factories in Rayong province.
Both Auto-Alliance Thailand (AAT), which makes the Ford Everest and Ranger, and Ford Thailand Manufacturing (FTM) have installed more than 10,000 new LED fixtures.
By replacing the existing lamps, the facilities will be saving an estimated 1.9 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year.
However, Ford did not disclose budget details for investment in Thailand’s facilities.
“The new energy-efficient lights are a significant milestone in our efforts across the region, and we’ve worked closely with the global Ford team and our suppliers in Asia-Pacific,” said Jiasheng Liu, Ford's energy manager for mainland Asia-Pacific.
In 2011, Ford embarked on an aggressive global programme to lower its energy use by 25% per vehicle produced at its facilities by next year.
Ford is well on its way to reaching that goal, having already achieved a 21.4% reduction in energy use as of March.
Last year, the Asia-Pacific division cut energy use per vehicle produced by 7% from 2013.
The switch to LED lighting will further aid Ford’s strategy of reducing energy waste and improving operating efficiency.
The manufacturing facilities in Rayong are Ford’s largest production base in Asean. AAT has annual production of 140,000 pickup trucks, half of them Ford vehicles, while FTM makes 180,000 Focus, Fiesta and EcoSport models a year.