North Dakota Mill Case Study (Hazardous / Grain Storage)

Case Study: North Dakota Mill

North Dakota

North Dakota Mill Sees Brighter, Safer Light on New Facility with Dialight LEDs

Operating since 1922, The North Dakota Mill & Elevator Association is the only state-owned grain milling facility in the U.S., and the largest single mill operation in the Western Hemisphere. Situated just outside of Grand Forks, the facility produces and ships roughly 5 million pounds of flour per day, milled from more than 100,000 bushels of wheat arriving daily from North Dakota farmers.

Despite being state-owned, North Dakota Mill receives no subsidy or assistance from the state. Instead, the mill contributes 75 percent of any profits to the state, with the remainder being used for facility upgrades and improvements. That means any capital expenditures must promise a substantial ROI and a significant improvement in efficiency and profitability.

Growing to Meet Demand

Recently, due to growing demand for its high-quality milled product, North Dakota Mill expanded, adding 75,000 square feet of additional space for cleaning and tempering the wheat, plus a 7-story tall structure to house a new milling unit.

Given the complexity of the overhead structures—spouts, stainless steel supply lines and other equipment—production operations manager Chris Lemoine recognized the potential for lighting to be a challenge inside the new facility.

“With so many overhead structures, we sometimes have to do some unique things with our lighting in order to get the light where we need it,” Lemoine said. “We had already begun changing out from high-pressure sodium and mercury vapor to LED fixtures throughout the facility, and we knew we needed classified fixtures that would safeguard against the risk of combustion or explosion due to dust inside the facility,” Lemoine said.

Dialight Delivers State-of-the-Art, Worry-Free Lighting

Looking for the safest, most efficient, economical and maintenance-free solution possible, Lemoine and the team at Fusion Automation turned to Dialight’s class-leading industrial LED lighting fixtures to illuminate the new structure. “The Dialight fixtures fit our requirements perfectly, giving us the crisp, clear white light we needed for maximum visibility and safety in a fully-sealed unit.”

Working with the team at Fusion Automation, they designed an optimal lighting plan that would accommodate the maze of pipes and other obstacles, with lighting mounted overhead and vertically on the walls, as needed. Not only have the Dialight LED fixtures allowed the team to optimize the lighting placement for maximum light efficacy, but they’ve also provided an outstanding work environment with superior clarity.

“I’ve been in milling business for over 40 years and have worked in lots of mills,” Lemoine said.
“This new mill addition has the nicest lighting I’ve ever been around. It really is the best lighting for this kind of application.”

Outstanding Visibility, Safety & Service—the Dialight Difference

In addition to eliminating the hassle and expense of lighting maintenance, the Dialight LEDs make for a much safer environment, enabling workers to clearly spot tripping hazards, overhead fixtures, etc. to safeguard against potential hazards.

The high CRI and visual clarity also improves quality assurance. In the event of discoloration, or problems with the “dress” of the flour product, operators can immediately detect the problem, whereas the orange glow of mercury vapor lights made this distinction very difficult to spot.

“The overall feel of the new area is much cleaner and brighter. We’ve even given a few tours to others in the industry and everyone comments on how nice it is,” Lemoine said.

“We’ve had some lights from another brand and never heard another word back from them,” he added. “Dialight’s assistance in coming up with a lighting solution for our complex equipment and the fact that they’ve followed up to see how it’s working out says a lot about their customer service. I would highly recommend Dialight’s product to anyone.”

To learn more about Dialight’s class-leading LED lighting solutions for industrial applications, visit

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