East Meets West

Wayne Farms builds a cold storage facility between two poultry processing plants--consolidating shipping operations and reducing transportation costs.

"The entire project was seamless," says Brad Blackmon, Wayne Farms East plant manager. "From the initial design phase through the actual construction, the product flow never suffered through the process. We never had an interruption between the East and West plants."

Communication And Coordination Make For Success

Among the biggest challenges in building the cold storage warehouse was managing the extensive construction without disrupting the processing plants' ongoing operations.

"Communication, extensive engineering and active, frequent coordination were paramount in the success of continued operations and ‘fitting' in the new work," notes Erik Gunderson, vice president, Primus Builders.

"Our activities immediately impacted their existing shipping area on the West plant. We had to demolish all of their pavement outside the shipping dock, move the permanent dock to a temporary location, temporarily shut down the sanitary and process utility services so we could tie in the new services and relocate the old ones," explains Mark Auer, Primus's senior project manager.

All this required tremendous levels of coordination on-site. To smooth the process, notes Heath Loyd, Wayne Farms West plant manager, the company designated a single Wayne Farms project manager, Mike Fields, "who partnered with Billy Johnson (project superintendent) and was instrumental in keeping all parties on the same page and coordinating all activities."

In addition, Auer notes, there were several remote groups involved in the project: Wayne Farms corporate headquarters in Oakwood, GA, the Primus design team in Atlanta, and the warehouse operator, Richmond Cold Storage, based in Virginia.

To help keep all these parties in the loop through every phase of the development and construction process, all job drawing files and other key documents were stored electronically in a central location on an FTP site that all team members could access via the Internet, to see the most up-to-date design information as soon as it was updated.

Beyond that, the project succeeded through a massive coordination effort using every available communications tool, including emails, on-site meetings, and conference calls, "to make sure everyone was up to date on the latest developments and progress of the project," Auer says.

"Primus did such a great job with the coordination and execution, that when they finished, there were virtually no pending items to be addressed. Every detail and issue was taken care of as the construction progressed," says Chander Narula, Wayne Farms director of engineering. -C.C.


Project Statistics: Wayne Farms

• DC totals 135,000-square-feet, with 108,900-square-feet dedicated freezer storage, maintained at -10 degrees F;
• 17,800-square-feet available for dock with 13 shipping doors; maintained at 35 degrees F;
• 4,200-square-feet dedicated to product corridors and pallet preparation;
• 7,000-square-feet of offices;
• Balance hosts miscellaneous support functions such as battery charging and maintenance;
• Ceiling height is 45 feet in freezer, for total of more than 4.9 million cubes of storage, up to 14,600 pallet positions.


Material Handling:
• 250 feet total of pallet conveyor linking East Plant and DC, designed to move 35-40 pallets/hour;
• Primary pallet elevator handles two tandem pallets in sequence, at rate of up to 250 pallets/hour;
• Main tandem lift has redundant drives and is further backed up by a single pallet elevator capable of handling East plant's full output.

• High efficiency, two stage, central ammonia refrigeration system with two compressors and PC-based control system.

• T5 energy-efficient fluorescent fixtures with individual occupancy sensors.

Other "Green" Features:
• VFDs (variable frequency drives) on all large motors within refrigeration and other systems;
• Dock openings with state of the art dock seals for improved thermal performance;
• Glycol under-floor warming system;
• During construction debris was segregated into recyclable containers and land fill containers; local fill materials used to minimize trucking;
• Building materials were sourced as close to project site as possible where it made economic sense, to minimize transport.

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