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Colby Metal

Colby, WI

Manufacturing

Located in Colby, Wisconsin, Colby Metal is a comprehensive metal fabricator and manufacturer specializing in products ranging from health care to agricultural equipment. Their goal is to differentiate themselves through quality and their customer focused approach. Colby Metal’s ISO 9000:2008 Certification is a testament to their commitment to quality and they specialize in metal fabrication and powder coating.

Before Orion, our Metal Manufacturing Plant was poorly lit and seemed dull, and now it is radiant with a crisp and invigorating appearance.

Mark Viegut Vice-President/Owner Colby Metal

Challenge

On a recent visit to Orion, the team from Colby Metal was intrigued by the differences in product quality that they noticed. “We do a lot of painted parts, and we noticed how different the painted parts looked at Orion as compared to how they did in our plant,” said Travis Kind, Operations Manager. This led the Colby Metal’s team to review their existing lighting system, and they were able to identify areas that could be improved by upgrading to an LED energy efficient lighting retrofit, which included: Light quality – the yellowish hue from their existing fluorescent lighting system

  • Light quality – the yellowish hue from their existing fluorescent lighting system was impacting their worker productivity and their ability to identify issues with product quality.
  • Light quantity – their existing lighting system was not meeting the needs of their workers and Colby Metal had to install task lights to ensure that the workers had enough light to safely and accurately complete their jobs.
  • Operating costs – they also identified that the cost of operating their lighting system was increasing due to the increased cost of electricity.

Solution

Working with Orion Lighting and their partner, Mueller Electric of Central Wisconsin, Colby Metal assessed their existing lighting system and hung a number of demo fixtures in their facility to conduct performance testing. Based on the test results and the projected energy savings to upgrade to an LED retrofit, Colby Metals selected Orion Lighting’s industry leading APOLLO® LED High Bay fixtures for their facility.

By replacing over one-hundred T5 and T8 fluorescent high bay fixtures, Colby Metal reduced their electrical demand by over 20 kW and their electricity consumption by over 60,000 kWh each year, all while increasing their light levels by over 30%. Due to the modularity of Orion’s products, Colby Metal reconfigured their lighting system to deliver light to where their employees needed it. They significantly reduced their reliance on task lighting. “We used to have tons of task lighting, but we removed piles of it because the light in the facility is now as clear as it can be,” said Kind. Removing task lighting represented almost 20% of the total demand reduction for the project.

Due to the ease of installation of the fixtures, Colby Metal was able to complete the project with limited disruption to the site. The entire facility was retrofitted over the course of two weekends. “We were surprised how quick the system went in,” said Mark Viegut, Vice-President and Owner of Colby Metals. The flexibility and ease of installation of Orion’s products allowed Colby Metal to retrofit their entire lighting system as one project rather than in phases as they had originally planned.

Payback is just one slice of the pie. Our decision was based on more than just payback. It was also about the other benefits of the project, like improved quality, productivity and employee morale that helped us choose Orion.

Mark Viegut Vice-President/Owner Colby Metal

Result

“The project had a five year payback and we had no trepidation at all about doing it,” said Viegut, “not with all its other benefits.” Colby Metal has already seen a reduction in the electric consumption on their electric bill since the installation of the new LED lighting system. Additionally, the company has seen product quality improvements, particularly in their powder coat and paint line work.

There has also been a noticeable improvement in employee morale, according to Viegut. The LED lighting retrofit has significantly improved the working environment, which in turn had led to both increased product quality and employee productivity – noticed by both customers and employees. So by retrofitting with Orion’s LED products, Colby Metal has:

  • Raised the light levels in their facility
  • Improved product quality
  • Increased employee productivity and morale
  • Reduced the cost to operate and maintain their systems

“We are very happy with the project,” concludes Viegut,“ and I would recommend Orion to others. The minute the first light goes up, you can see the difference immediately.”