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Maintaining compliant emergency
and exit lighting systems

for Retail application

Background - Ensure the best and most reliable products are installed

As one of the world’s largest privately-owned facilities management companies, employing over 13,000 people with divisions across five continents, CityFM has an outstanding reputation for providing facilities management solutions to some of the world’s biggest companies.

In Australia, CityFM’s expertise is proven by their longstanding contract with the Coles Group, Australia’s second largest retailer, who have placed all 800 of their supermarkets in the company’s care.

One of the most important aspects of CityFM’s service offering is maintaining compliant emergency and exit lighting systems in accordance with the AS/NZS2293 emergency lighting standards.

As defective emergency lighting is a serious public safety issue, when it came to deciding who to trust to help them uphold their legal obligations, it is not surprising that CityFM turned to Clevertronics.

National Regional Technical Manager for CityFM, Hector Bright, explains why:

“Right at the core of the success and longevity of the CityFM and Coles Group relationship is CityFM’s ability to innovate consistently across the full-service offering. Within this, emergency and exit lighting is pivotal and it is my job to make sure the best and most reliable products are installed,”

he says.

“We chose Clevertronics as our emergency and exit lighting partner because they were, and are, the most innovative company working in that space.”


The Challenge - Manual testing made proving compliance quite difficult

“Doing a full retrofit with Zoneworks in our older stores was not possible, but we knew we had to do something to improve the emergency and exit lighting and maintenance approach. The manual method was no longer serving us. In fact, we increasingly recognised compliance risks associated with it,”

continues Bright.

The manual system that Bright is referring to is a single point test and maintenance regime that has been in place for many years. It involves a technician walking around the store every six months physically checking the fittings, making sure they stay illuminated for 90 minutes, recording the data in a paper logbook, then typing it into a spreadsheet.

Product Support Manager for Clevertronics, Jason Meiklejohn, explains why this is far from the best approach.

“We found huge variability in the way data was being recorded and managed. The whole regime made proving compliance quite difficult. In addition, the large population of legacy NiCad and fluorescent fittings installed in stores are reaching their end of life leading to high failure rates as well as high maintenance and energy costs.”

Bright agrees.

“There is no doubt that the single point test and maintenance regime is a pretty clunky way of doing things. It’s not only time-consuming, and therefore costly, but must be done out of hours and, most seriously, is open to error and omissions. If it’s not 100% correct, this creates a huge compliance risk for the business if a fault should occur and data is found to be missing or wrong.”

With huge fines at stake, should an audit identify a problem, not to mention the safety risk to customers and staff, Bright engaged the team at Clevertronics to figure out a more time and cost-effective solution.


The Solution - Digitise paper logbooks into the new CleverSparky app

The result is Clevertest Plus (CTP) System which has recently become operational in a concept Coles store called Middle Park in Queensland. Clevertronics National Accounts Manager, Graeme Smith, says it is incredibly gratifying to see the culmination of the four-year CTP product innovation journey finally come to life.

“Although we are scheduled to roll CTP out to all 600 of the older stores, Hector Bright was keen to get one store fully operational so we could easily demonstrate the benefits. We identified Middle Park Coles as the perfect place to showcase the system because 80% of the emergency and exit lighting fittings had already been replaced with Clevertronics LP, which all have self-testing as a standard feature,”

explains Smith.

In July 2019, Clevertronics removed the remaining legacy fittings and provided, free of charge, the last 20% of new Clevertest Plus LP fittings. They also helped digitise all the paper logbooks into the new CleverSparky app they had tailor-made to manage the data.


The Result - Progressing Coles stores are fully installed with CTP fittings

Bright says he is thrilled with the results.

“We have programmed the system to self-test every six months, as per our compliance obligations and, at that point, all the technician has to do is check each fitting to see if the LED is displaying a pass or fail indication. They capture the data electronically as they go using CleverSparky, then upload the data to the cloud for internal or, fully compliant, external auditing. It’s brilliant,”

he says.

Although the exact savings are yet to be calculated, there is no doubt the new CTP system will reduce labour costs, eliminate errors and give uniformity to the data collection process.

In addition, Bright says it helps with forward maintenance.

“If the fitting does display a failed test result, meaning there is an error, you can scan the fitting with your phone to automatically identify the issue, or just view the way the LED flashes to see what is required to fix it. We then electronically log the maintenance request,”

he says.

Smith is also happy with how the project has evolved.

“It’s win-win-win. For CityFM, for Coles and for Clevertronics. It has been a great learning curve for us, has improved safety and removed the compliance risks. In fact, it has set a new benchmark by going above and beyond the standard,”

he notes.

Having successfully demonstrated the concept store, the project is swiftly progressing towards the end goal, which is to have all single point Coles stores fully installed with CTP fittings and all data migrated onto CleverSparky.

“This will really drive efficiency gains giving us what I call ‘more for less,’”

continues Bright.

“It has been great to work with Clevertronics on the project. Our aim has always been to get the best product for the right price with the right support, and all of that combined equals Clevertronics.”


Solutions for every industry application

Clevertronics has extensive experience across many different industries and applications. We specialise in emergency lighting to ensure the best solution is selected.