Project # 1431

Plant-Based Meat Mixer

Description:

  • Plant-Based Meat Process & Packaging
  • Long-term strategic growth initiative
  • R&D Trials Support
  • Process Mass Balance Modeling
  • Process and Packaging Design
  • Process Support / Utility Systems Design
  • New Technology Development
  • Budget: $11MM
  • Size: 7,200 SF
  • Sanitary Design Standards
  • Project Management
  • Cost Estimating
  • Schedule Development
  • Scope Development

When an international plant-based meat processor decided to develop a new and unique processing technology for cost reduction and capacity increase, IFE was engaged as a process and mechanical engineering partner to help move the project from a white board idea to reality.

In the early stages of the project, our team assisted with scope development and design criteria definition for new the process. Then, once an equipment supplier was chosen to support the design and manufacturing of the necessary equipment, IFE provided project management services and participated in the planning, development, execution, and analysis of unit operation R&D testing with the client’s and OEM’s engineering teams. Initial testing was done over a period of 6 months to establish the proof of concept on a small scale and, when this was successful, another 8 months of product trials were carried out to establish the final design criteria for the new process.

To determine the appropriate size of the new process, detailed process mass balance models were created using existing unit operations. Then, once the models were validated against known process data for the existing methods of production, they were expanded to simulate the new technology, at a much higher capacity, with live inputs and outputs to allow analysis of different production modes and capacities.

Process drawings (P&IDs and plan & elevation views), project schedules, and total project cost estimates were developed for various sizes of process lines and for five different potential installation locations. This allowed the owner to run a number of different ROI models to determine how big to make the first process line and where to install it. Detailed design leadership and application of best-in-class industry standards for sanitary design were also provided for the development of the first pilot line design.

The final budget established for the new process was approximately $11MM and it was established that 7,200 square feet of space would be needed (with 25 feet of clear height) to install the new process. Upstream and downstream support equipment was defined for the new process and detailed equipment and utility matrices were developed to establish support equipment needs. At this point, the owner approved the project for execution and issued contracts for the new process equipment to be built. Unfortunately, due the pandemic and a downturn in sales, the project was suspended and it’s unknown whether it was ever fully executed.


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