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Food Processing US Sugar

Vantage luminaires meet strict requirements
for U.S. Sugar processing plant

U.S. Sugar recently constructed a new four-story, 250,000-square-foot sugar processing and shipping facility in Clewiston, Florida. The plant converts raw sugar into a final packaged product shipped by rail and truck.

Because of the nature of the operation and the food safety issues involved, when a lighting system was selected, fixtures had to be a approved by the American Institute of Baking (AIB). They also had to meet Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) guidelines, which indicate that glass refractors cannot be used above the processing and packaging areas.

Lighting fixtures in the packaging/screening area had to meet requirements for the Class II, Division 2, Group G. In addition, the luminaires had to be suited to the various mounting heights throughout the plant—ranging from 14 to 40 feet—and able to withstand the rigors of daily washdowns.

“When we considered the various requirements for the lighting system, our options were limited,” said Jason Poissonnier, senior engineering associate, Stone & Webster Engineering Corporation, Atlanta.

The lighting system installed in most of the production areas is Holophane Vantage® Food Luminaires with 400 watt metal halide lamps. Vantage fixtures are designed specifically for the food industry and feature a high temperature acrylic reflector/refractor optical assembly with a smooth, round ballast housing to eliminate collection of contaminants. The units include an element of uplight to illuminate the ceiling, eliminating the “tunnel effect” that can occur in areas with a high, dark ceiling.
The Vantage units are installed throughout the four-story, 175,000-square-foot processing facility, where raw sugar is refined into a food grade product. Mounting heights are 14 to over 20 feet. The exposed metal deck ceiling is painted gray.

“Where to place the fixtures became a challenge because of the various mounting heights and the obstacles near the ceiling, such as the conveyor lines. The ceiling also has a number of openings to facilitate future expansion,” Poissonnier said.

Fixture spacing in this area varies, although the lighting systrem is designed to meet CGMP requirements of 50 footcandles.

Illumination levels are somewhat higher—up to 80 footcandles—in the 12,000-square-foot packaging facility, a climate-controlled area that houses high speed packaging equipment. The Vantage luminaires are mounted especially high at 40 feet because of conveyors and other processing equipment. Fixtures are spaced on a 12’ x 14’ grid.

Vantage luminaires are also utilized in the U.S. Sugar warehouse, an L-shaped facility measuring 120’ x 275’ x 270’. This is an open area where sugar packages are stored and shipped on pallets moved with a forklift. Fixtures are mounted at 22 feet, with illumination levels at 30 footcandles.

“The Vantage fixtures’ acrylic reflector/refractor not only meets AIB and CGMP standards, but provides a comfortable environment with minimal shadows,” Poissonnier said. More than 400 luminaires are installed throughout the U.S. Sugar facility. The fixtures are continuously energized.


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