Dole Food Co. includes among
its brand promises dedication to the safety of its workers, the environment and
the use of state-of-the-art production technologies.
With a recent conversion to
LED lighting at much of its mammoth salad-packaging plant
in Bessemer City, the world’s largest producer and marketer of fresh fruit and
fresh vegetables reinforced these corporate commitments to its hundreds of
For a two-year project that
was completed this year, Dole converted the bulk of its 285,000-square-foot
site in Bessemer City from archaic incandescent lighting to brighter and safer
LEDs from Torrance, Calif.-based LEDtronics. The fruits of this labor at the
11-year-old plant are a healthier, more productive and energy-efficient
production facility and warehouse, not to mention cost savings inherent to LED
technology that improve a company’s bottom line.
“This was the first
installation of LED technology for Dole, and the results are fantastic,” said
Chris Houser, maintenance supervisor at the Dole Fresh Vegetables plant that
ships roughly 750,000 packages of salad greens per day to health-conscious consumers
in the Southern and Eastern United States.
The successful pilot launched
with initial test samples in August 2016. The project called for an order of
365 LEDtronics retrofit
kits and 105 New HBL005 High Bay fixtures
that enabled Dole to nearly double illumination on the plant floor while
halving lighting cost. Under the supervision of plant engineer Mike Long, Dole
also installed 28 wallpacks and
30 thin ceiling
panels from LEDtronics at the major facility. Product didn’t have to travel
far; the LEDtronics distributor facilitating the project, Vallen Distribution,
is based in Belmont, only 16 miles away from the Dole plant.
Keeping things simple over
the course of the project enabled Dole to appreciate the benefits even more.
“We now have a much brighter
and safer environment in the warehouse and production areas,” Houser said.
“That’s on top of the cost savings with converting to LED lighting.”
Being able to install the
entire order from LEDtronics in-house added to the cost-effectiveness of the
“We were able to perform our own
installation because it was a fairly straightforward process,” Houser said,
adding that the positive experience and results bode well for eventual complete
conversion to LED technology. “We intend to continue our retrofit throughout
By David Dickstein
Originally posted in the Gaston Gazette, Jan. 11, 2019