Zalux on the home stretch
It's so green ... With our Spanish daughter
Arnsberg/Saragossa, May 2023 - TRILUX pursues a forward-thinking sustainability strategy, which is incorporated into all projects, processes, and products. All our German production sites will achieve climate neutrality by 2025. In addition, there are further ambitious targets for the entire TRILUX Group. For example, ZALUX our subsidiary in Alhama de Aragón, Spain, has made great strides towards becoming a green success story.
From a bird's eye view, it looks like a shining expanse of water in the middle of the gently rolling landscape. Seven thousand five hundred square meters in size, the photovoltaic self-consumption plant is located on the field next to the ZALUX factory in Alhama de Aragón, Zaragoza, Spain. It was commissioned in the summer of 2022. Since then, the 976 solar panels with 640 kilowatts have covered 20 percent of the energy for the Alhama I plant. The energy produced by our solar panels in 2022 amounts to 100 MWh, which corresponds to almost 25 tons of CO2 according to the official emission factor.
In the small municipality of just over 1,000 inhabitants in the far west of the province of Zaragoza, ZALUX develops and produces weatherproof luminaires with higher protection ratings and explosion-proof (ATEX) luminaires for the TRILUX Group. Some product families with lower protection classes, such as the LUMEGA, POLARON or SOLVAN FLOW are also assembled here. We also have our Spanish colleagues to thank for the recently launched TUGRA luminaire.
Growth through permanent optimization
Just under 400 people are employed at the sites in Spain. Three hundred fifty-one in the two ZALUX plants and 34 at TRILUX Iluminación, which includes sales and marketing, project teams of lighting designers and project engineers, the Academy and, of course, other specialist departments such as Operations, Purchasing, Finance and Controlling, HR and IT.
ZALUX has been part of TRILUX since 2000 and holds a leading position in the lighting sector with a high-quality product range, strict quality controls and first-class logistics. "Efficient production processes through automation, continuous improvement and environmental protection are the basis for our growth," says Sustainability Director Manuel Pina.
The green way
In 2017, we were given the green light to embark on a consistent sustainability journey. Pina continues, "We decided to implement environmental management based on the ISO 14000 series of standards and the ECO TOOL for measuring the carbon footprint of our product solutions." This approach is already used during the development phase and for our self-declaration of PCFs.
This was followed by three important steps to save electricity: Optimization in the plastic injection process reduced energy requirements by up to 80 per cent. Conversion to LED lighting, including lighting management throughout the factory, delivers up to 70 percent savings. Solar cells supply one-fifth of the energy required.
In addition, recyclable materials without synthetic dyes optimize recyclability so that components can be incorporated into new products. The luminaires are fully maintainable with minimal effort. "Our TUGRA luminaire is an exemplary example. An open system where every part can be replaced," explains Sustainability Director Pina. "We have created a product with a very long-life cycle."
Big plans and eco research
But that was just the beginning. With the ZALUX NEXT 2026 project, our subsidiary aims to become more digital, innovative and sustainable. "We want long-term profitability, social and territorial cohesion of the company's sites in Alhama, orient ourselves to the group footprints, strive for even higher service levels and more customer satisfaction," lists Cristian Barrio, Project Manager in Alhama. "This also includes transparency and improvement of the cost structure, further digitalization and implementation of future technologies, as well as further measures for a circular economy."
The Spanish teams are already in the thick of things: Warehouse management is being expanded, production management is being digitalized, and data management of the injection moulding machines is being optimized with a new, more efficient cooling system to reduce their energy requirements. CO2 footprint maps are being drawn up for each product. Waste is being reduced throughout the 42,000 square meter plants.
Everything according to eco-criteria
Our luminaire design is created according to ecological criteria. For this "Eco Design" - specially to research sustainable plastics - ZALUX collaborates with the University of Zaragoza and the Instituto Tecnologico de Aragon (ITAINNOVA). For further research and development work, ZALUX is involved in an agricultural pilot project at La Almunia School of Engineering, a faculty of the university. It includes, for example, indoor cherry orchards. All these projects and products are tested and supported in the great new laboratories in Alhama II.
A significant advantage for the entire TRILUX Group is the "Made in Spain" label, i.e., independence from Chinese suppliers. The supply chains in Europe are short and stable. In addition, the entire Spanish product portfolio is geared towards sustainability and savings and is voluntarily certified by an external laboratory. Exemplary!