New LED Lighting Reduces Safety Issues for Manufacturer
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New LED Lighting Reduces Safety Issues for Manufacturer

12/03/18

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THE CUSTOMER

Omnova Solutions is a global manufacturer of emulsion polymers, specialty chemicals and function and decorative surfaces headquartered in Beachwood, Ohio.

THE CHALLENGE
  

The low light levels at OMNOVA’s Green Bay, Wisconsin manufacturing facility were a safety concern for technicians maintaining and monitoring the facility’s processes.

The existing high pressure sodium light fixtures emitted a low level of visible light and rendered color poorly.

“The dim facility required our technicians to use flashlights to accurately do their work,” said OMNOVA Plant Electrician Zac Weiland. “Not having your hands free is a safety issue. And the color of the light was very yellow, which made it difficult to see the true color of objects like wire.”

Maintenance and replacement also proved to be a hassle. When the existing HID lights or ballasts failed, OMNOVA had to enlist the help of an outside contractor to erect a 25-foot scaffold to replace the fixtures. And since the plant runs 24/7, a burned-out fixture had the potential to cause a serious disruption in the evening and early morning shifts.

“The HID lamps last for about two to three years,” said Weiland. “But the main concern is the lamp depreciation. The lamp would start to burn out, then would eventually start randomly flickering on and off, and finally would fail. That’s when we’d change it.”

Most industrial facilities are tricky environments to work in due to pipes and other obstructions, but the OMNOVA plant is particularly hazardous. The plant is considered a Class I, Division II area where ignitable concentrations of flammable gases, vapors or liquids exist under normal operating conditions. This type of classification makes it even more difficult to find the right lighting solution.

HOW GRAYBAR HELPED
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Omnova's facility team knew it was time to fix the lighting in the plant and called Graybar for help. The Graybar team toured the facility, evaluated the environment and took light measurements.

“When evaluating the area, we provided two options,” said Graybar Sales Representative David Lynch. “The first provided equivalent light levels and energy savings. The second provided significantly higher light levels expected to improve worker safety and working conditions.”

For both options Graybar suggested Eaton’s Crouse Hinds Champ VMV and MLL Series LED fixtures to brighten the facility while greatly reducing the maintenance challenges and costs.

OMNOVA utilized funds in its safety budget and chose to focus on improving the light levels in spaces classified as hazardous.

RESULTS
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 “I was surprised by the ease of installation – even in tight spots,” said Weiland. “It’s impressive to see the light levels in the rooms now. It’s a night and day difference.”

The project installed 43 new fixtures with a projected maintenance savings of over $4,000 per year. The Graybar team also helped raise the light level by over 300% while decreasing the energy usage from 8.04kw to 5.213kw.

“The most compelling part of the project was the drastic difference in appearance of the space,” said Lynch. “After installation, you could identify colors on pipes and poles that were not visible before and read labels on meters without additional lighting.”

 Not only did the new fixtures improve the amount of light, but also the quality of light. “All of the technicians love the new lighting,” said Weiland. “And they are happy they no longer have to carry around flashlights to do their job.”

The facility is now proud to showcase its industrial processes and take customers on a tour of its operations.

"It’s impressive to see the light levels now. It’s a night and day difference. The technicians are happy they no longer have to carry around flashlights to do their job."   - Zac Weiland - OMNOVA Plant Electrician