THE FORD Motor Company is investing in a greener future with the installation of LEDs (light-emitting diodes) and other energy-efficient lights at manufacturing facilities in Thailand, mainland China, India, Vietnam and Taiwan.
The automotive giant said the US$5-million (Bt180 million) investment would save energy and money while improving safety and lighting quality.
“This long-term investment in energy and cost-saving technology shows how committed we are to building a more sustainable future,” said Gary Johnson, vice president of manufacturing Ford Asia Pacific.
“Sustainability is ingrained in all facets of our business, and we are very excited to bring even greater efficiency into our manufacturing facilities.”
Ford said the installation of the eco-friendly lighting technology would significantly reduce its energy use at its manufacturing facilities by 18 million kilowatt-hours annually – enough to power more than 1,900 average-sized homes per year. That equates to a reduction of 50-70 per cent in lighting-related energy consumption.
Ford said that with a life expectancy of five to 10 years, the LED lights would last much longer than the previously installed lights and the need for maintenance and replacement would greatly diminish.
It said the new lighting was 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.
Ford said large quantities of the new lights had been installed in Thailand and China.
It said its team in India finished installing its first round of LED lights at the end of October, and installation in Taiwan and Vietnam was expected to be completed by the end of this year.
This investment is just the beginning, the automaker says. Ford Asia Pacific will continue an extensive upgrade of its lights over the next few years. In Thailand, Ford said it had invested heavily in LED technology for its manufacturing facilities in Rayong. It said that both Auto Alliance Thailand – currently producing the Ford Everest and Ranger – and Ford Thailand Manufacturing had installed more than 10,000 new LED fixtures. By replacing the existing lamps, the facilities are expected save an estimated 1.9 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.
“The new energy-efficient lights are a significant milestone in our efforts toward greater energy efficiency across the region, and we’ve worked closely with the global Ford team and our suppliers in Asia-Pacific to stay on top of the rapid developments in efficient lighting,” said Jiasheng Liu, energy manager at Ford Asia Pacific.
In 2011, Ford said it had embarked on an aggressive global programme to lower its energy use by 25 per cent per vehicle produced at its facilities by 2016. The company says it is well on its way to reaching that goal, having already achieved a 21-per-cent reduction in energy use as of March this year.
Last year, Ford Asia Pacific cut energy use per vehicle produced by more than 7 per cent compared with 2013. The switch to LEDs is expected to aid Ford’s strategy to reduce energy waste and improve overall operating efficiencies.
“In our Asia-Pacific manufacturing facilities, we have adopted a rigorous and holistic approach to reduce Ford’s environmental impact, and the addition of the new LED lights only strengthens this,” Liu said. “Coupled with our efforts to create greener products, Ford will continue to champion a more sustainable future in all aspects of its business.”