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Offices Metatec

Prismatic lighting facilitates production,
showcases facility at Metatec

Metatec is a leading information services company helping customers utilize CD-ROM, DVD-ROM and related communication technologies. When the company constructed its new 20,000-square-foot production facility at its Columbus, Ohio headquarters, management wanted to create a high-tech feel that would complement the company’s range of services.

Because the production of CDs involves close tolerance work, the facility was designed for 100 footcandles and 1,000 lumens. The area where the CDs are produced also houses a printing operation and several inspection points, which require high levels of uniform lighting without glare.

While four-tube fluorescent fixtures were installed in an adjacent production area, when the new facility was designed, facilities manager Armando Madrigal decided against a fluorescent system because nearly 400 units would have been required to provide the required levels of illumination. With the large number of units involved, the layout would have necessitated placing fixtures above sensitive production equipment, which could have resulted in a maintenance nightmare.

After the decision was made to utilize a high intensity discharge (HID) system, Holophane Prismalume® fixtures with 400-watt metal halide lamps were installed. Ninety fixtures were mounted at 20 feet on the lay-in ceiling and spaced 16’ x 20’ on center. The design/build contractor and engineer for the project was Rick Roehrenbeck, vice president, Roehrenbeck Electric, Inc., Columbus. Roehrenbeck prepared an evaluation and proposed layout for the lighting system using Holophane’s Computer Aided Lighting Analysis (CALA) software. The evaluation included costs and benefits of the metal halide system versus fluorescent fixtures.

“We liked the white light provided by the metal halide lamps because it makes the area appear brighter,” said Madrigal. “One of the issues we had to deal with when we installed the system was employee perception.

Employees were accustomed to fluorescent lighting and we had to demonstrate to them that the Prismalume fixtures would provide higher footcandle levels without creating glare. They were surprised at the brightness of the new facility.

The illumination level in the adjoining area where the fluorescent system is installed is 60 footcandles, compared to 100 footcandles in the new facility. The Prismalume fixtures also provide 20 percent uplight, which brightens the ceiling and eliminates shadows.”

The production area, which is a single large room, is almost entirely enclosed and has a minimal number of windows and skylights.

One of the challenges in lighting the facility was to design the system for flexibility. Metatec is a rapidly expanding company with changing needs. While the new space is presently utilized for manufacturing, in the future, it might be converted for another use, such as warehousing.

To accommodate future changes, the Prismalume fixtures were installed with Holophane’s Holoflex® flexible wiring system. The system’s Power “T” allows fixtures to be removed without disrupting operations or interrupting circuit power. The Holoflex system also reduced labor requirements during installation, which also reduced costs.

Fixtures in the manufacturing facility are illuminated 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The facility is operational 365 days a year because of the time sensitive nature of the company’s products.

“An advantage of the metal halide lamps is their long burn cycle, which is 20,000 hours. Fixtures will be group re-lamped and cleaned approximately every two-and-a-half years,” Madrigal said.

Prismalume fixtures are also installed in an adjacent 3,600-square-foot warehouse facility. Units are installed in the center of the 12-foot aisles and are 30-foot on center. Mounting height is 24 feet, with materials in the warehouse area stored as high as 18 feet. At one end of the facility is an order entry system for picking products. Eight fixtures are utilized, providing 30 to 40 footcandles.

Because materials are moved with forklifts, the fixtures had to be high enough so that they would not be hit. Despite the fixture mounting height, the lighting in the facility is very uniform and makes the writing on the box faces easy to read, according to Madrigal.

“The Prismalume fixtures work well in both the production facility and the warehouse,” he concluded. “They provide very even illumination with the fewest number of fixtures, which is resulting in significant energy savings.

“The Prismalume units also contribute to the overall appearance of the facility,” he added. “Often, we bring visitors here as a means of showcasing our company.”

Metatec offers its customers a variety of services including data preparation and mastering, disc replication, label design and specialty printing, project management, fulfillment, and electronic tracking and inventory management. The company employs more than 400.


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