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Food Processing Danish Creamery

Milk processor gains footcandles,
reduces wattage with HID Vantage luminaires

Danish Creamery Association slashed energy costs by 50 percent while boosting light levels by 300 percent with a new high intensity discharge (HID) lighting system. Established in 1895, Danish Creamery is the oldest cooperative in the U.S. continuously operating under the same name. The Fresno, California, facility takes fluid milk from the farm and processes it into butter and skim milk powder.

Maintenance had become a problem in the 390,000-square-foot facility because of daily hosings needed to keep the various areas sanitary. The existing fluorescent lighting system was not suitable for hosedown and ballasts failed because water entered the ballast housing. In the Niro Evaporator room on the facility's top floor, ballasts were also affected by ambient temperatures, which reach 130 to 140 degrees during the summer.

"Poor illumination was a problem throughout the facility," described Joe Becker, engineering manager, Danish Creamery Association. "The fluorescent units provided almost no uplight, so the ceiling was dark and cavernous. Illumination levels measured only 15 footcandles."

During a recent retrofit, Holophane Vantage® Food Luminaires with 400 watt metal halide lamps and integral ballasts were installed in the 3,200-square-foot Niro Evaporator room. The Vantage units were designed specifically for the food industry and feature a high temperature acrylic reflector/refractor optical assembly, and smooth, rounded ballast housing to eliminate any collection of contaminants.

The Vantage fixtures provide 20 percent uplight, resulting in a totally lighted environment. The indirect illumination also increases vertical footcandles.

"Adequate lighting was essential for the Niro Evaporator room because the equipment is opened and inspected two or three times each week. Personnel must be able to see down inside the equipment," Becker said.

The Vantage fixtures are installed 18 feet above the deck, and spaced 20 feet on center. Ceiling and walls in the facility are metal rib panel painted white to increase their reflectiveness. Becker indicated that Holophane's Computer Aided Lighting Analysis (CALA) software was used to confirm fixture placement.

Illumination levels are 45 footcandles maintained. Wattage for the HID fixtures is 1200, compared to 2400 for the fluorescent system.

Three Vantage luminaires are installed in the Niro Evaporator room. More than 20 additional fixtures have been retrofit in various areas throughout the plant during the past year.

"With the fluorescent system, we seldom saw the ceilings. The Vantage units not only provide uniform illumination, but they're built to last. The fixtures have virtually eliminated our lighting maintenance program; we've experienced no problems with the lamps or ballasts," Becker said.

The Vantage units are continuously illuminated, 365 days a year.


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