Sanitation and worker safety were paramount when Birds Eye Foods, Inc. selected the lighting system for its former freezer space. The area was converted to a production facility within the company's 340,000-square-foot processing plant in Waseca, Minnesota. The facility processes peas, corn and mixed vegetables, placing them in poly and Birds Eye steam bags for shipment to retailers.
"This is a high traffic food product zone where associates need sufficient visibility to discern details when they perform various tasks," said Steve Cole, vice president, Cole's Electric, Inc., Owatonna, Minnesota.
Cole specified 58 Petrolux LED luminaires from Holophane® with illumination levels 40 to 45 footcandles average maintained. Because ceilings are higher than in other locations throughout the plant, the space needed a lighting system than would adequately illuminate the area without blinding workers. The luminaire had to be able to withstand the rigors of daily wash downs required to clean equipment, the white insulated wall panels and epoxy gray anti slip floors.
Designed for harsh environments, Petrolux LED luminaires combine a robust sealed housing with state-of-the-art LED engine and prismatic polycarbonate optics to boost visibility, maximize spacing and reduce the total cost of ownership.
"The Petrolux LED fixtures are efficient and ensure long lamp life with virtually no maintenance, which is extremely important for a facility that operates twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week—except for holidays," Cole said. "The luminaires offer a high color rendering index (CRI) comparable to natural light that enables workers to recognize any discoloration in the vegetables."
Lighting fixtures are mounted at 18 feet and spaced 10' x 12', with spacing varying based on the location of processing equipment. "The Petrolux LED luminaires provide a bright but comfortable light that makes it easy to see into tight spaces," Cole said. "Visibility is excellent—there are few shadows and no dark areas." The fixtures' cast aluminum housing endures daily wash downs, with illumination levels sufficient for workers to see beneath equipment. Luminaires are rated IP 66.
"Workers like the Petrolux LED fixtures," said Mike Palm, Birds Eye maintenance supervisor. "The units provide a whiter light that's easy on the eyes."
Lighting fixtures are manually controlled at a panel. Cole indicated Birds Eye plans to install Petrolux LED luminaires in a second floor processing area.
"They are the best built light fixtures we could find for this type of application," Cole said.