Feb 2024
Smart production plants: energy efficiency, safety and smart lighting
Time to read: 4 min

Smart production plants have reached high levels of complexity. To ensure the best management of energy and costs, it is crucial to attend to every aspect of their energy efficiency. In this article we’ll see where measures can be taken to achieve the most savings and the highest levels of safety, through systems equipped with sensors and automation.

What makes a production plant smart?

A production plant becomes smart when its ecosystem includes ambient sensors, smart lighting systems, energy distribution infrastructure and network-connected energy management, which intercommunicate to ensure safety and energy efficiency.


Modern production plants have individual and specific characteristics that make any kind of generalisation difficult. We will therefore look at three main areas of intervention: increasing the energy efficiency of the production plant, the safety of the electrical system and servitisation of the lighting system.

Energy efficiency in a production plant

Every manufacturing system requires electrical energy to power virtually every aspect. Much of this demand is used for equipment and the type of production. Large machines and complex mechanical operations are energy intensive, and so savings can only be only marginal.


Savings can, however, be made on general aspects, such as the temperature control of each environment, maintaining an average temperature without switching on and off repeatedly and ineffectively.


Sensors can help to regulate the temperature in a room, based on its size and the number of people present. If it is crowded, body heat is taken into account and the temperature is therefore lowered. They can also prevent severe temperature changes between one area and another, for the sake of employees’ health.

Increasing manufacturing plant efficiency through sunlight

Sunlight also plays an important role in terms of energy efficiency. Sensors and automation enable optimisation of temperature and lighting, calculating its contribution during the various times of the day and year.


A heating system that switches on ten minutes - instead of thirty minutes - before the arrival of employees can bring consistent savings over the course of a year.


In large manufacturing departments, it is crucial to select state-of-the-art LED luminaires, equipped with power balancing systems based on the requirements of the plant and its production cycles.

Smart lighting in industrial settings

The lighting of production areas cannot be dependent on variations in the sunlight. It is important to rely on artificial lighting, which, today, is much more than a light source.


Smart lighting is a valuable resource that can help increase energy efficiency and monitor the industrial environment, with built-in sensors in each luminaire.


This allows regulation of light intensity, correction of insufficient lighting, programming of on and off times, and collection of information on humidity and air quality, as well as video surveillance images, making them the nerve-centres of the entire system.


It is precisely this versatility that makes smart lighting suitable for synergy with other systems within a modern manufacturing plant, where social and production needs evolve rapidly.


Flexibility and savings are further increased with the Lighting as a Service (LaaS) model, which sees lighting as a complete service. Together with the purchase of a system, you can also have design, maintenance, financial services and much more, added or removed from an offer that is customised according to needs.


Today we can distinguish between two main types of smart lighting: wired and wireless.

Wired smart lighting

Wired smart lighting systems allow a wide range of customisation options, including the quantity of light and manual control of lighting levels. Energy is saved here due to the possibility of maintaining a constantly monitored average temperature, and with clear installation costs, a rapid return on investment can be made.


The initial wiring may require extensive work, but it ensures a full level of customisation.

Wireless smart lighting

A wireless smart lighting system gives you rapid control and configuration, from any internet-connected device. The integration of systems is less customisable, but the connection of new devices is very fast.


The investments are lower and the return on investment quicker, as wireless connections do not require invasive installation work.

Safety in a smart manufacturing plant

Another aspect where smart technologies make a difference in a production plant is in the safety of people and machines.


Light industrial settings feature a combination of automated systems and workers: a safety process must be ensured for both, through an electrical supply management system that can intervene should problems arise.

Electrical panels and switches must have clear controls and information and must be able to handle ordinary processes as well as peaks in electrical consumption.


Ensuring the continuity of service, even during blackouts, allows continuation of the production activity in sections of a smart system, with sensor systems remaining active, which helps ensure safety.


As we have said, each industrial setting is different: the electrical system must adapt to extreme conditions, allow precise adjustments and meet the highest construction quality and safety standards.

Complete integration

A smart production plant is a complex system with numerous particular features, and it is essential that all the elements communicate with each other.


To ensure this, you need to rely on high quality devices, sensors and automation that can adapt to market changes, make the best use of resources and respond to the dynamic demands of a modern production plant.

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