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Plants FAG Bearings Corporation

Lighting system slashes energy consumption,
boosts illumination for Bearing Manufacturer

Rising energy costs have incited many companies to take a second look at their electrical systems. When the management at FAG Bearings Corporation decided to retrofit the aged lighting system at its Joplin, Missouri plant, the main objective was to reduce energy consumption.

FAG Bearings is a German-owned manufacturer providing ball and roller bearings of all sizes and types. Customers include many renowned machine, vehicle and device manufacturers all over the world.

The facility is comprised of four buildings totaling 250,000 square feet. During the early stages of the project, an energy retrofit company was consulted about replacing just the ballasts in the facility’s existing low bay lighting system.

The system used 400-watt high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps. However, because of the fixtures’ poor physical condition, the decision was made to retrofit the entire lighting system.

Over the years, the plastic lenses on the luminaries had yellowed to the point that the light output was substantially decreased and many of the relamp doors were broken or missing.

Holophane Enduralume® fixtures with enclosed optics were selected for the retrofit. The fixtures, which use 400-watt pulse start metal halide lamps, include a non-yellowing borosilicate glass refractor for low brightness and end of life lamp containment.

According to Charlie Kissell, electronic technician for FAG Bearings Corporation, the pulse start lamps were selected because of their longer life and higher initial and maintained light levels. The metal halide lamps also have excellent color rendering capabilities.“Although energy reduction was our primary objective, we also constantly strive for methods to improve the quality of our products,” said Kissell.

“Because bearings are manufactured to very exact tolerances, the lighting is critical to producing an in spec product.”A total of 180 Enduralume fixtures are installed in Building A, replacing 225 low bay fixtures. The Enduralume luminaires were mounted at 22 feet on the open pan metal deck ceiling, and spaced 20’ x 20’ on center.

Based on FAG Bearing’s production schedule, the Enduralume units were installed above existing equipment during the off-shift hours. New mounting points were required since fewer luminaries were used with greater spacing between the units. Illumination levels are 55 footcandles maintained.

“We have received many positive comments from employees who feel the new lighting system helps them see better.



A number have indicated that the lighting helps them produce a higher quality product,” Kissell said.The Enduralume fixtures are manually controlled and continuously illuminated. FAG Bearings installed Enduralume fixtures in the other three buildings.


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