Case study: Eurocopter

Efficient lighting, inventive installation conceptHelicopter manufacturer Eurocopter based in Marignane, France built in 2007 a new plant for its operations in Albacete, Spain. The complex with a surface area of more than 80.000 m² employs over 700 people. To provide all of them with the right kind of light, ETAP supplied some 2.300 luminaires of different types. For the first time Eurocopter used reflector luminaires with fluorescent lamps in a hangar.

World leader in choppers
French-German-Spanish group Eurocopter is a subsidiary of EADS, the world’s largest company in the field of military aerospace and defence and allied services. In 2006, the Eurocopter group, employing some 14.000 people, consolidated its position as the world’s largest helicopter manufacturer with a turnover of € 3,8 bn. 615 orders for new helicopters and a 52 % share of the civil and para-public market.

The plant in Albacete was a major project that required a hefty investment in the area of photometry. ETAP supplied more than 1.500 square recessed luminaires of the U1701/324HFW type, together with 230 Luxial® downlights of 1 x 32W for the office spaces and over 500 industrial luminaires for the lighting of the factory building and the hangars.

ProgressiveThe project for the new plant was implemented by Jacobs Spain, an engineering consultancy that chose ETAP for all the lighting in Eurocopter’s facilities. The project management of the works was entrusted to engineering consultancy Ingiopsa. On previous occasions this consultancy had already designed industrial infrastructure works for the EADS group, including projects for Airbus or the Eurofighter.

Jacobs Spain is an engineering consultancy that likes to incorporate progressive solutions into its projects. In this particular project, it wanted to make maximum use of natural light, so that part of the lamps could be switched off when there is sufficient daylight. Until then Eurocopter had adopted the basic principle that no fluorescent lamps were to be used in its hangars. Based on a study, however, Jacobs Spain demonstrated that this type of lighting offers significant advantages… and the customer accepted its proposal. For the large, high hangars, Jacobs Spain eventually chose E54/480HFW, with a HRA aluminium reflector with low symmetrical luminance and four T5-ø16mm-lamps of 80W.

Energy-saving installation idea

To limit the works on the high ceilings to a minimum, an original installation concept was devised. Using prewired segments, it was possible to assemble the reflector and the ceiling grid on the floor, after which the assembly could be fixed to the ceiling in one operation. Electrosur, a company of the Eiffage group, carried out the installation of the luminaires.

At a suspension height of 18 m, the lighting was to produce a minimum output of 650 lux. E54/480HFW fully meets this requirement. In addition, this solution creates optimal visual comfort in the work area, allows for a significant energy saving as compared to high-pressure lamps and offers a higher level of uniformity. In short, better lighting quality at a lower price.

Project sheet:

- Customer: Eurocopter – plant in Albacete, Spain
- Project management: engineering consultancy Ingiopsa
- Project implementation: engineering consultancy Jacobs Spain
- Lighting installation: Electrosur
- Luminaires: 1 500 x U1701/324HFW, 230 x Luxial® downlights (1 x 32W), 500 x E54/480HFW

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