Project # 2002

Commercialization Center


  • Plant-Based Meat Process & Packaging
  • Fast-track schedule
  • Process Mass Balance Modeling
  • Process and Packaging Design
  • Process Support / Utility Systems Design
  • Dust Explosion Hazard
  • Test Kitchen
  • Budget: $30MM
  • Size: 53,000 SF
  • BRC Global Standard for Food Safety
  • Project Management
  • Cost Estimating
  • Schedule Development
  • Scope Development

IFE was asked by an international plant-based meat processor to help manage an extremely aggressive, fast-track, project to convert an existing site and building into a new commercialization center with the capability of making 10 different products with 3 common support processes. The building was already under lease contract and the equipment was almost all purchased already, and the team had to find some way to fit it all into the space available. Along with the required process areas, IFE was also asked to help with project management and coordination with a multi-disciplinary design team for the offices, test kitchen, and maintenance shop.

A month into the schedule, the lead engineering company exited the project and IFE led the charge to quickly rebuild the engineering team by introducing the client to trusted industry partners for Architectural, Structural, Mechanical and Electrical engineering as well as General Contracting and Construction Management services. Almost no time was lost in the project in making this fundamental pivot to the design team.

Initial scope development and design criteria definition for the various food processes were challenging to confirm because the process priorities were not well defined and there were many equipment unknowns. IFE developed block flow diagrams for all the processes and provided engineering leadership to assist with determining the scope prioritization and co-dependencies between the lines. This provided a pathway for the engineering team to move forward with developing the equipment requirements, which provided the means to start general arrangements of the lines. Additional challenges were that certain parts of the building had to be maintained as-is without any significant modifications due to the lease conditions (requiring the process line layouts to be massaged and modified to fit into existing spaces and under existing ceilings / roofs), some processes contained allergens and had to be isolated to prevent cross contamination risks, and powder handling areas required dust explosion hazard assessment and mitigation.

IFE provided process line layouts for the 53,000 SF facility designed to meet USDA requirements as well as the BRC Global Standard for food safety including physical zone separation for High Care, Low Risk, and Allergen containing process areas. This allowed the engineering design team to move forward with a full permit set of drawings and move the project to the point where budgeting and execution could begin.

The budget established for this project was approximately ~ $30MM for the 53,000 SF facility for building modifications, installation of new process lines, upstream and downstream support equipment, and other required plant areas / functions.

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