Interstates recently completed two projects for Salisbury, MD-based Perdue Farms, one in Sioux City, IA, and one near Interstates’ headquarters in Sioux Center, IA. Previously, hogs were harvested in Sioux Center then transported to Sioux City for further processing, but Perdue Farms wanted to refine its process.
“Perdue wanted to be able to receive the hogs in parts instead of just getting whole hogs from Sioux Center. This required changing the cutting floor and fully automating 272 motors and devices,” says Adam Blom, Senior Project Manager at Interstates.
The bulk of the work in Sioux City had to take place over a four-day shutdown. This required extensive preplanning, including pre-building skids, modeling all conduit routing, and pulling and terminating wire before equipment was set. “They had to tear out all the old equipment and put in all the new equipment in just four days,” says Blom. “Two crews worked 12-hour days, so 30 guys were working around the clock to get this done,” he says.
According to Andy Van Voorst, Superintendent at Interstates, “In addition to changing out the cut floor, we also completely renovated the electric room and made it bigger to accommodate all the new MCC equipment.” Getting this work done in a plant operating six days a week was challenging. “Leading up to the shutdown, Sunday was our only day to work, so it all took a lot of planning. We did a 3D scan of the facility, and then the preplanning team designed all our conduit racks accordingly. We ran about ten feet an hour, which saved us a lot of time,” says Van Voorst.
The prefabricated conduit racks were built by the Interstates’ prefabrication team in their Sioux Center shop. Perdue also had an empty warehouse in Sioux City where Interstates could set up new equipment in an approximation of how it would be on the cut floor. “We were able to run our conduit on the equipment prior to it being installed, which was kind of unique to this project, and then we tore it down and installed it at the actual facility,” says Van Voorst.
The shutdown went well, despite the time crunch. “We had local control panels, so we didn’t have to deal with a bunch of control wires coming from the electric room out into the field. That saved us a lot of time and went really well,” says Van Voorst.
On the Sioux Center project, work also progressed smoothly. “The Sioux Center plant got a whole new addition and automated their processes. We added almost 56,000 feet to the existing structure,” says Blom. The Frontmatec equipment – including 276 motors and devices – was wired over eight weeks, and all the conduit was prefabricated. The Interstates preplanning team scanned the equipment and plotted out where wires and equipment needed to go using the plant’s existing columns to make wire pulls easier.
“Upfront coordination with the equipment provider went well on this project, and that drove our prefab schedule,” says Kyle Raveling, Foreman at Interstates. All eight areas of the cut floor were able to check out at the same time because of the seamless scanning, conduit, and equipment installations. “This process was a little unique with the way we staggered equipment being installed,” says Raveling. He adds, “The construction, preplanning, and prefabrication teams all worked really well together on this project to hit the dates and get everything to site on time. It turned out well.”
According to Rick Getman, Director of Operations at Perdue, “I have a firm belief that you should utilize local businesses, so I was very happy to work with Interstates on the Sioux Center and Sioux City upgrade and expansion. With two very large projects going on at the same time, I worried that we might encounter problems, but the experience with Interstates was nothing but positive.”
With upgrades and construction complete at both locations, Perdue Farms is now able to process hogs more efficiently from start to finish. Getman sums it up: “Interstates is a top-notch group, and Project Manager Adam Blom kept to the schedule and budget provided and was amazing to deal with. We look forward to working more with Interstates going forward.”