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Located along the Gulf Coast, the DSM Nutritional Products facility in Freeport, Texas, is an open-air facility where light fixtures are exposed to the elements. After upgrading to LED lighting, the facility eliminated humidity-related failures and lighting maintenance issues while improving working conditions.
DSM previously used more than 600 sodium vapor fixtures to illuminate 50,000 square feet of production space and its 20-acre campus. However, due to the humidity and harsh environment, lighting failures had become overwhelming, with about 40% of the 600 bulbs no longer functional. Changing out bulbs was a complex process with difficult access, made worse by the fact that swapping a bulb often resulted in damage to the fixture, requiring a complete replacement.
Bob Szucs, senior project engineer, began investigating LED alternatives to upgrade the facility’s lighting, from area lights and high bays inside the structure to flood lights for the exterior facilities. The new LED high bay and floodlights (Dialight) require no maintenance and have improved lighting reliability, visual clarity and safety.
“All of the fixtures are factory sealed, which meant we could eliminate the problem of moisture getting in and ruining the fixture,” Szucs says. “They were also lighter weight and less bulky, making it much easier for our technicians to install. The supplier went above and beyond to provide lighting schematics, foot-candle specifications and a knowledgeable contractor to make the transition simple and easier to manage.”
In some areas, the new fixtures improved lighting with fewer fixtures. In addition to as much as a 65% reduction in electricity consumption per fixture, the new fixtures offer up to 10 years of maintenance-free lighting. Szucs says this has eliminated his store of bulbs and fixtures, freeing up space for more production-focused needs.
There has also been a dramatic improvement in visibility throughout the plant, enabling operators to identify and catch any issues before they become a problem, especially in the evening and nighttime hours, where visibility had historically been a major challenge. Maintenance crews can work much safer and more efficiently, as the improved color rendering allows for easier identification of wiring and signage, and eliminates the need for flashlights to perform virtually any task.
“We are very pleased with the product and have already introduced them at other DSM facilities,” Szucs says.
About the AuthorJosh Bond, Senior Editor Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.
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