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Solite is an ISO 9001 registered company, and the team is dedicated to ensuring that the products they supply are reliable and consistent with Solite’s expected levels of quality.


A1: Solite Europe has established itself as a leading manufacturer and supplier of clean area lighting equipment. How do you think this reputation has been achieved?


Phil Myles: It sounds a little clichéd but it’s simply down to reliability and quality. The clean area sector has traditionally been extremely risk averse. It’s a major problem to send a rectification engineer into a clean room after it’s been commissioned. The costs can be horrendous to the client in down time – not to mention recommissioning. At Solite we are very proud of our reputation for ‘right first time’ products that exceed the customer’s expectations in performance and robust build quality. The unique feature of clean area lighting products is the high level of IP rating and resistance to astringent cleaning regimes.


A1: How has the creation of clean area lighting changed since Solite first started? PM: We have been supplying to protected environments in one form or another for 40 years. We have seen fluorescent tube technology shrink from T12 (1½” dia) to T8, (1” dia) and T5 (5/8 dia) while delivering more light. We are now on the threshold of a seriously exciting leap forward with LED light engines, and LED is completely changing the way luminaire manufacturers and lighting designers think. We have continuously shrinking light sources providing ever increasing light output. More light for less energy – sounds too good to be true. There are challenges with LED, however. Forgetting the initial cost, all that extra light needs special considerations with thermal management and controlling that extra brightness to the room occupant. The other significant innovation has been


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the development of energy saving controls. We can now fully automate the switching of lighting systems to save energy, and also harvest any available daylight to enable dimming capabilities to maximise energy savings. We are passionate about doing our bit to help save the planet – we contribute to our parent group’s (Thorpe Plc) carbon offsetting scheme to provide virtually carbon neutral lighting up to the point of delivery.


A1: You have been involved in some interesting projects - which has been your most exciting? PM: We have recently supplied over 1000 specially developed front and rear access IP65 high bay luminaires to a food processing plant in the Middle East. It involved overcoming very challenging environmental conditions providing both thermal management and logistic issues.


A1: What difficulties do Solite tend to face during the supply process?


PM: The challenge to a company like Solite in the clean area sector is the variation in scale of projects. We have to be able to respond to large new build developments, such as Bombardier Belfast, requiring over 600 specially designed rear access high bay luminaires to a single clean room typically requiring four specially developed dual access luminaires. The very nature of the clean area sector makes it impractical to manufacture huge volumes of stock. We often need to be able to design, develop, and manufacture small quantities and respond quickly. We couldn’t do this if we imported our products. We are, by necessity, a 100% UK manufacturer and very proud of it.


A1: How does Solite go about ensuring that their practices are always followed to the highest standards? PM: We are an ISO 9001 registered company, but for us that’s not simply a badge. Our process control is a vital component in maintaining reliability and consistency and is the lifeblood of the company. Prototyping is a key factor in our customer relationships, and it provides confidence to our end user clients and installation partners in the fitness for purpose of every detail. We also have the benefit of a BSI registered laboratory at our sister company Thorlux Lighting’s base in Redditch, where we are able to ensure compliance with electrical safety requirements and complete photometric testing.


A1: Do you have any exciting new developments on the horizon? PM: We are in the process of completing our offer for an LED alternative across our complete range. This is especially challenging for ultra thin rear access luminaires with full walk on capability to suit specialist clean area ceilings. LED technology is continuously developing at speed, and keeping at the forefront of energy efficiency and reliability is the challenge ahead.


Contact


Solite Europe T: +44 (0) 161 320 9999 www.solite-europe.com


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