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Colleen Applebaugh


Kikkoman Foods Inc.

The Situation

One of the world’s oldest branded companies, Kikkoman, has grown from its humble beginnings in the 17th century to become the leading producer of soy sauce in the world, and a major international provider of food and beverage products. The company attributes its success to the widespread popularity and versatility of its original product, naturally brewed Kikkoman Soy Sauce. Established in the U.S. in June 1972, Kikkoman Foods, Inc. has become more than just a manufacturer of food products. Throughout its existence, Kikkoman has embraced a commitment to its local communities and to environmental protection, becoming a leader in the concept of corporate citizenship and responsibility.

As part of this commitment, Kikkoman established the need to reduce energy consumption at its Walworth, Wisconsin plant, Kikkoman Foods, Inc. – the company’s first soy sauce production facility in the United States. Part of this pledge for energy efficiency called for Kikkoman to upgrade its dated systems at the plant. The goals of this retrofit would not only be energy reduction, but also a reduction in maintenance costs, an improved overall quality, and as a result, an improved facility appearance.

The Solution

Kikkomans QuoteTo accomplish these goals, Kikkoman Foods, Inc. (KFI) turned to SYLVANIA Lighting Services (SLS), a subsidiary of OSRAM SYLVANIA and the industry leader in service and maintenance with 40 years of experience.

“SLS was designed to take an all-encompassing approach to finding the perfect solution(s) to our clients’ needs. Kikkoman was looking for a way to both reduce energy costs and limit their impact on the environment. We took a 360-degree look at the issues and were able to find an extremely effective and extremely affordable solution,” Mike Pavlovich, executive account representative for SYLVANIA, said.

SLS experts first examined and assessed the Kikkoman facilities, determining that the 400-watt (W) metal halide lamps and the T12 linear fluorescent lamps in place could easily be retrofitted with SYLVANIA’s more energy-efficient PENTRON® ECO® T5 Linear Fluorescent Lamps and OCTRON® F032 ECOLOGIC® T8 Linear Fluorescent Lamps. This seemingly minor change would allow for a phenomenal reduction in electrical energy usage, reduced maintenance costs, and an improved quality of the overall and facility appearance.

“Based on Kikkoman’s goals, the ECOLOGIC T5’s and T8’s were the only logical choices for us to use,” Gene Scholler, service supervisor for SYLVANIA Lighting Services, said. “The ECOLOGIC line was designed as a thorough approach to reducing the environmental impact of SYLVANIA’s processes, packaging, and products. The T5’s and T8’s installed use welded lamp bases, lead-free solders in those bases, lead-free glass, and contain a low mercury-content. They are high performance, high efficacy, and long-lasting products that align perfectly with Kikkoman’s financially and environmentally-responsible vision.”

Beginning the project in late 2007, the SLS team retrofitted 3,000 fixtures both inside and outside the Kikkoman Walworth, Wisconsin plant. The end results were astounding.
From an energy standpoint, the retrofit was successful in reducing the plant’s load by 45-percent from 2, 744,196 kWh to a mere 1,517,334 kWh per year. Financially speaking, the change from 400W metal halides to the energy-efficient lamps is anticipated to result in a yearly savings of over $97,000.

On the maintenance end, SYLVANIA’s handling of recycling and disposal of products, as well as of maintenance, and a minimized spare-parts inventory as a result of using longer-lasting lamps, further offered over $10,000 in savings each year.

In addition, the retrofit drastically improved the quality of the plant’s overall . The new lamps limited glare, reduced dust and dirt accumulation, offered higher overall Foot Candles throughout the facility, and improved general control.

As a result, the facility’s appearance improved dramatically, making it not only appealing from an energy vantage, but also from an aesthetic one.

Most importantly, however, Kikkoman was able to achieve its overall corporate goal of reducing its impact on the environment. Only one year after its upgrade, Kikkoman saved nearly 8,248 lbs. of sulfur dioxide (the main contributor to acid rain) and nearly 2.3 million lbs. of carbon dioxide (a contributor to climate change) from being emitted into the environment. This reduction in pollution is equivalent to removing 131 cars from the road. Further, Kikkoman has received utility rebates over $67,000 for taking the initiative and successfully “greening” the plant’s system.

“All of us at Kikkoman were thrilled with SYLVANIA Lighting Services’ retrofit of our Walworth, Wisconsin soy sauce plant,” Jere Marheine, electrical engineering supervisor for Kikkoman Foods, Inc., said.

“We wanted to do something that would offer us not only financial benefits but would also allow us to help defend and protect the environment from needless waste. Using SYLVANIA’s ECOLOGIC line of T5 and T8 linear fluorescent lamps was a fantastic way of turning our vision into a reality,” Marheine said.

In the end, SYLVANIA’s retrofit of Kikkoman Foods Inc.’s Walworth, Wisconsin plant saved the soy sauce company over $97,000 in energy costs in just the first year. The project is expected to pay for itself in less than three years, while creating a major reduction in energy and maintenance costs, a better quality of at the plant, which allows for a better-looking facility, and a way for Kikkoman to further improve upon its admirable corporate commitment to preserving the global environment.

Existing 400W metal halide lamps were replaced with SYLVANIA’s new fixtures, employing PENTRON ECO T5 Linear Fluorescent Lamps.

Existing F40T12 and F96T12/HO were replaced with SYLVANIA OCTRON FO32/XPS/ECO T8 Linear Fluorescent Lamps.

Kikkoman Foods, Inc. Plant in Walworth, Wisconsin