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Spot on with the right lighting

Smet Group enjoys visit to LAC Philips


Which lighting is ergonomically the best? Which is the most economical and most sustainable? These are very relevant questions for the Smet Group now that the company is building a completely new workshop on its own site in Dessel, Belgium, for the Electromechanics division of Smet GWT Europe. This notwithstanding, there is no lack of insight into light, partly thanks to the visit the company paid with Breemes to Philips’ Lighting Application Center (LAC).

The shell of the building is finished and the 1,400 square metres of new floor space looks almost endless. Vincent Clemens is standing in the middle of the future workshop and looks around with contentment. As a site manager for Smet Group, he is closely involved in the construction and the choice of technologies, such as lighting. “This is going to be a building of the modern age. The heating will be entirely sourced via geothermal energy and a heat pump system, and the whole roof will be covered with solar panels.”
Vincent works for the Electromechanics division. He proudly talks about the strong increase in the total number of projects for his division for the extraction, production and recovery of water. The number of projects for drinking water and waste water treatment are also increasing, Vincent adds, as are those for process water and geothermal applications. “This growth clearly determined the need to expand our work and storage space. Now that construction is underway, things are moving fast. In the spring of 2020, we can head this way.”

“With this growth, expansion was clearly necessary.”


Smet Group is successful in all the underground techniques it carries out. With the Electromechanical division of Smet GWT Europe as the main contractor, it also has a prominent presence in the broad water sector for large and complex total projects. It’s highly specialised and specific work, says Jef Claes, who is, like Vincent, a site manager for the Electromechanical division. “We’re a contractor for the total project. This means that we design and build the low-voltage switchboards and the entire piping in-house. We also take care of the entire process from design, project supervision and management up to the prefabricated production and realisation on-site, which we do entirely with our own staff. Currently we’re very active in waste water treatment and water production on a large scale, both in new build output andin highly complex renovations.”


Breemes: more than just a supplier

And with all that, customer demands are high? That’s a given, Jef says. “That’s why good cooperation with our suppliers, including Breemes, is important. We’ve been working together with them for years. To us, Breemes is much more than just a supplier. We use the knowledge at the company for the benefit of our customers.”
Although nobody needs to tell Smet Group anything about underground technology, when building a water production centre, for example, there is the additional aspect of lighting requirements. It has to be perfect. Safe, functional, economical and sufficient in terms of brightness. How do you ensure that? How do you substantiate the choice of lighting in a tender or during the realisation of a project?
Jef and Vincent have, for a long time, been familiar with the lighting studies of Breemes, which works closely with Philips. That’s why, in the summer of 2019, they knocked on Breemes’ door during the construction of a new water production centre (WPC) for a water company. Jef: “A project like that is relatively complex. Also when it comes to the lighting requirements in the WPC. We want to be able to substantiate every choice well. So we approached Breemes about the lighting, in particular because the procurement officer specifically asked for lighting from Philips.”

“We want to be able to substantiate every choice well”


According to technical representative Steven Claes, Breemes is especially eager to get to work on questions like those of Smet GWT. “It surely shows strength when a company like Smet GWT Europe can also properly argue and substantiate its choices for lighting? We at Breemes are happy to contribute to that.”


Lighting in practice

Lighting is something you have to see for yourself, Steven thought. So he took Vincent and Jef to Philips’ Lighting Application Center (LAC) in Eindhoven, where, together with Philips’ lighting consultant Eddy Lauryssen, they observed and experienced the many possibilities of lighting over the course of a day. It was a fruitful visit, says Jef. “It gave us a much better idea of what light does to people in office environments, but also in industrial applications.” Vincent: “We’re already applying the new insights for our industrial and public customers, as well as integrating them into our new workshop and storage area. The lighting will be optimised; safe and tailor-made for the work we do here, such as cabling of low-voltage switchboards, prefabricated assembly, preparation and storage.”
When it comes to lighting, Smet GWT Europe has become much more of a discussion partner for Breemes, says Steven. “If the company now asks us a question, we’ll swing by Philips first and figure out together which study follows from that question. Smet GWT Europe can simply think earlier and better about the choice of lighting and by doing so, convert the customer’s wishes directly into the right solution”.

Specialist since 1900

Smet Group is a Flemish contractor in Dessel with about 520 employees and has been active in various underground and other specialised techniques since 1900. Years of experience with projects at home and abroad make the company a reliable partner. On behalf of Smet Group, the Electromechanics division builds installations for potable water, waste water, process water and water as a sustainable source of energy for heating and cooling. In doing so, the division combines all possible electromechanical disciplines, such as pump technology, piping, electricity and control technology. Smet Group guarantees extensive preparation and production in its own workshop in Dessel, from design to construction of the low-voltage switchboards and from detail engineering to production of the complete piping in stainless steel and steel. Assembly is also carried out by its own specialised professionals.

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