Recently, the two newest lighting professionals on the Access Fixtures team traveled to New York to visit one of our busiest production facilities. They spent the day meeting the crew, touring the facility, discussing ways to improve all processes, and learning more about new and existing products.
Access Fixtures has always been proud to say that many of our products are “Assembled in the USA,” though we recognize how misleading labels like these can sometimes be. One of the highlights of our visit was to dive a little deeper into that tagline—to meet and shake the hands that are responsible for the building and assembly of so many of our products. We know and trust the quality of our products, but there’s nothing quite as good as seeing the process first-hand.
Accountability Inspires Successful Quality Control Performed by Lighting Professionals
Strict quality-control measures are taken to make sure errors are avoided and prevented whenever possible. Every assembly technician has a special sticker to place on a product he/she has worked on that marks the fixture as his/her own. If something goes wrong with a fixture in the field, the team traces back to the specific person who built it. This keeps everyone accountable for their work; it also makes it easy to hone in on the source of any problems to prevent them from continuing.
When a technician finishes his/her work on a fixture, it is recorded on a log sheet that is then turned in at the end of the day. Access Fixtures met one technician, however, who consistently leaves the others in the dust. According to the operations manager at the facility, he “loves to put his head down and just work.” The operations manager also said that she can “count the number of mistakes he’s made on one hand.” It’s sometimes all too easy to get lost behind a wall of lighting metrics, efficiency ratings, lead times, etc. There are, however, hardworking people behind every Access Fixtures product, and this trip gave us the chance to see that.
Eco-Friendly Shipping Reduces Carbon Footprint
Throughout the tour of the facility, we saw the warehouse manager speeding through the aisles to a specific rack and hustling back with a part in his hands. He stopped only for a moment, to excitedly tell us about the new packing machine currently on its way to the facility. The team had previously been using packing peanuts to protect fixtures in shipments—a method that had become cumbersome, messy, and inefficient.
The new machine will push out sealed pillows of air that will replace the packing peanuts. When tucked in and around each fixture, the pillows will safeguard the products better than the packing peanuts. They will also help cut packing time and reduce the company’s carbon footprint.
Exciting New LED Products on the Horizon
The team also discussed some exciting new products that will be available in 2016. The team of lighting professionals was most thrilled about an LED lighting technology coming out this year that will incorporate a thermally efficient, copper LED array. The intuitive design will allow these units to operate at temperatures as low as –20°C with rated lives of up to 50,000 hours, a terrific CRI of 80 or above, and a more consistent lumen output than ever before.
While there are a number of different fixtures that will be using this technology, we’re particularly excited to show off the new bollard line. The units will be unlike any of our current bollards, not only in the technology they use, but in their appearance, too. The first bollard we’ll be unrolling is a 20-watt, multi-volt, flush-mounted cone reflector beauty that will be available in white, architectural bronze, black, and custom RAL colors, which will look fantastic with the new sleek and streamlined design.
One of our Access Fixtures lighting professionals who made the trip said he was taken aback by the sheer size of the production facility. It clearly had the components and the staff to quickly build, package, and ship out hundreds of different kinds of fixtures at a moment’s notice. Most rewarding of all, though, was the chance to meet the dedicated staff who so diligently and efficiently produces the lighting products we’re so proud to offer.
If you have any questions about an Access Fixtures product or would like to know more about what we have to offer for sports and commercial lighting, feel free to give us a call at 800-468-9925. We’re here and happy to help.