Lamps with mechanically sealed reflectors and lenses keep water and dust out and light levels up at die-casting plant.

Here's a riddle for you: What three products do all nonstop manufacturing facilities produce? Dirt, dust, and grease. Effects on the facilities' lighting can be severe — and stringent cleaning processes can actually make matters worse.

Wendall Pigg knows this all too well. As quality control manager and tooling coordinator of Abeco Die Casting, Lewisburg, Tenn., he witnessed the effects an extreme environment can have on lighting. The molten metal and continuous production involved in die casting makes for hot, dirty environments that must be cleaned frequently with high-power water jets. At the Abeco plant, the standard low-bay luminaires couldn't withstand the water spray without breach or ingress. What's more, the dirt and contaminants collecting on the lamps and internal surfaces of the optical assembly began to degrade light output.

“Our lighting system was not conducive to our rigorous cleaning processes, and we were progressively losing light output,” Pigg says. “We were faced with a decision to either add more fixtures or replace the current ones with new, more efficient fixtures.”

The company decided to replace the luminaires in the dirtiest section of the plant with SealSafe 400W metal-halide luminaires, manufactured by Day-Brite Lighting, Tupelo, Miss. These luminaires reduce the effects of luminaire dirt depreciation (LDD) because the luminaires' reflectors and lenses are mechanically sealed to the enclosures, and the lenses are sealed to the reflectors by robotically applied silicone gaskets. Metal tabs provide added support to the tempered glass lenses to ensure breachless seals.

The SealSafe system also reduces the rate of air exchanged by respiration, preventing the rapid suction of air from the outside. The luminaires have an ingress protection (IP) rating of IP66, meaning they are dust-tight and protected against powerful water jets.

Abeco plans to install the fixtures in the rest of the plant in the near future.

“Our employees are enjoying a brighter workplace,” Pigg says, “and we are all proud of our successful, cost-saving project.”