Building a Food Plant on a Short Schedule: 4 Ways to Fast-track Your Construction Project

In today’s increasingly fast-paced food and beverage industry, everyone wants their next facility built as soon as possible so it can start shipping product quickly. While hiring an experienced firm to design and build (or renovate) your plant is critical, there are things owners can do to ensure a project moves as efficiently as possible.

Success story: US Cold Storage

Stellar recently designed and built a food distribution facility for US Cold Storage in Laredo, Texas. The project had an aggressive schedule, and as the senior project manager, my job was to ensure we met those deadlines.

Despite a month of unexpected weather delays, we worked creatively and brought in additional crews that worked ten-hour days and six- to seven-day weeks. This allowed us to complete the project in only eight months, just in time to harvest Mexican strawberries.

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Construction Labor Costs: 4 Ways to Avoid Budget Surprises in 2019

Photo by Matt Harding, Yuma Sun

 

As the economy thrives and capital investment grows, the construction market continues to face a labor shortage in 2019. This can especially be a factor when it comes to skilled labor for specialized disciplines, such as refrigeration.

What does this mean for food and beverage companies looking to build or expand? If it’s been a few years since your business has tackled a large capital investment project, you’ll need to manage expectations and plan accordingly. Today’s economy is a different playing field with different challenges.

If you’re planning to invest in a new facility, renovation or expansion, here are four things you can do to avoid budget surprises along the way.

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18 Design and Construction Acronyms Food Plant Owners Need to Know

With all its abbreviations, acronyms and jargon, the AEC industry can feel a lot like alphabet soup. Navigating the industry-speak is important to understanding your projects from start to finish, so we put together a list of some of the most common — and sometimes misused — acronyms to help you out, and make it easy as A-B-C!

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Should You Invest Time and Resources to Prequalify Food Plant Subcontractors?

This is a question we hear food plant owners asking themselves time and time again when embarking on new projects. Do I really need to invest in prequalifying subcontractors? I have relationships with other vendors—why pay someone else to hire subs when I can save money and just pick people myself? There are plenty of reasons that hiring subs must be taken very, very seriously. The wrong decision can result in risks ranging from project delays and unexpected expenses to safety threats. And with food manufacturing facilities in particular, you have the added layer of food safety risks. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re on the fence about investing time and resources into prequalifying food plant subcontractors for your project.

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Should You Renovate Your Food Plant or Build a New Facility?

Should you renovate your existing facility or build a new facility? This question isn’t an easy one to answer and is, of course, dependent on capital expenditure. However, your answer should also be driven by your company’s strategic plan to ensure that your decision aligns with your long-term needs and goals.

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Hog Chilling: Why Quick Chill Systems are Worth the Investment

There are more than 68,000 pork producers in the United States alone—competition is fierce. So how can your hog facility remain competitive? By producing the highest quality product possible for consumers, efficiently. And an effective chilling system is key to facilitating the most premium product for your consumers: a flavorful cut of meat with appealing color, firmness and moisture levels. The faster a carcass is cooled after slaughter, the better quality the meat will be. Quick chill systems, specifically, reduce chill time and produce a better cut of meat. While they may be a significant upfront investment for your food plant, this method offers significant advantages and long-term ROI.

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[Infographic] 5 Important Factors for Selecting a Site for Your New Food Plant

When choosing the ideal site for your new food plant, your decision should always tie back to a single question: How will this site help my business thrive? Build a sound business plan around the type and quantity of goods your facility will produce, and use that plan to guide you through your site selection. You’ll need to address several factors throughout your search, most of important of which are the five core factors illustrated in the infographic below:

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What Food Processors Should Know About the New Earthquake Building Rating System

 

In November 2015, the United States Resiliency Council (USRC) launched the USRC Earthquake Building Rating System, a first-of-its-kind performance rating system for seismic hazards. This system is the first reliable, consistent method to determine how susceptible buildings may be to earthquakes, providing facility owners, insurance providers, and engineers with a better understanding of how to prevent losses. The rating system assesses buildings on three important criteria, each of which is detailed later in this article.

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