Signify, the world leader in lighting recently unveiled its facilities to 3D print light shades and luminaires in the Netherlands and plans to establish Signify 3D printing factories in the US, India and Indonesia. Over recent years, the company has perfected this highly flexible, more sustainable form of manufacturing, using a 100% recyclable polycarbonate material. It allows luminaires to be bespoke designed or tailored to customer’s exact needs and recycled at the end of their life, supporting a circular economy.
3D Printing for a Lower Carbon Footprint
Signify’s investment in 3D printing further illustrates the company’s commitment to better serving its customers while reducing their, and its own, carbon footprint. A typical manufactured luminaire (excl. electronics and optics) has a 47% lower carbon footprint than a conventionally manufactured metal luminaire. Nearly every component may be reused or recycled, supporting the concept of a circular economy.
“A typical manufactured luminaire has a 47% lower carbon footprint than a conventionally manufactured metal luminaire”.
Signify is the first lighting manufacturer to produce 3D printed luminaires on an industrial scale, reinforcing our position at the forefront of lighting and sustainable innovation. Printing luminaires provide a more flexible, fast and more environmentally friendly way to manufacture.
It is now possible to create new, or customize existing designs, that fulfill customer needs quickly without huge investments and long development cycles. Users can have their ideas brought to life in a matter of days rather than months and printing requires less energy.
Signify 3D Printing Facilities – Global Expansion
Signify already has a 3D printing facility at Maarheeze in the Netherlands. It aims to have up to 500 3D printers of different sizes with the ability to create luminaires up to 60 cm height and width. In January 2020, new Signify 3D printing facilities will be operational in Burlington, Massachusetts, US, serving both professional and consumer markets. Additional facilities in Noida, India and Jakarta, Indonesia will follow quickly after. LED lights will be integrated into the luminaires at all these sites.
Lighting for a Circular Economy
3D printing has been around for a while, but these range of 3D printed luminaires are the first real retail lighting application that improves the sustainability of our stores and are extremely complementary to corporate sustainability strategies. The potential for the printed fittings is enormous, both from an energy and cost-efficiency perspective. They are printed on demand to fit perfectly without need for adjustment or cutting into our ceilings. Users can also return them to have them recycled and new designs printed, enabling us to be current and topical.
Albert Heijn, the Dutch supermarket chain, started using bespoke decorative pendants to enhance the atmosphere in its fresh food sections in over 100 stores in the Netherlands in 2017. Luminaires were printed in the style of fruit. In the meantime, other designs were deployed in multiple stores, in sections such as frozen food and coffee areas. The supermarket is able to refresh the designs by simply returning the shades to Signify which shreds them and prints new designs.
Online Tailor, Print and Deliver Fast Service for Consumers
Yesterday, Signify also announced the rollout across Europe of the world’s first online service to enable consumers to tailor decorative luminaires. Included in the range is a customizable Philips LED table lamp made from 24 recycled CDs.
In 2018, 79% of Signify’s sales comprised sustainable revenues. The company is committed to be carbon neutral in 2020 and was recently named Industry Leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the third year in a row.