From our inception in 1978, we have been focused on meeting the facility design needs of the food and beverage industry and striving to exceed our client’s expectations. Whether working in dairy, prepared foods, meat, poultry, seafood, bakery, snack foods, confectionery, produce or juice/beverage manufacturing industries, or in the wholesale food/grocery, food service, convenience store, specialty food, and public cold storage distribution industries, the common denominator driving our designs is our passion for food safety.
The WEBBER/SMITH Group® of branded companies are unique in that we have all engineering disciplines in-house (Building Design, Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, Refrigeration, Process, Packaging, Material Handling, Project Management) to provide creative, comprehensive, food-safe, cost-effective solutions for our clients. Providing these in-house services allows us to bring an innovative, closely coordinated, cross-discipline design approach to meeting your new facilities, facility renovations and expansions, master planning, and remedial design needs. Making one phone call places all this expertise at your fingertips.
BUILDING & SITE EVALUATIONS
No site. No problem. Working closely with us and our civil partners, we help many of our clients with initial site selection evaluations and feasibility studies. The importance of proper site analysis and selection cannot be overestimated. The availability and proximity of site utilities, site contours, and site access, all have an impact on your building’s final design. We are eager to assist you in your site selection, from generating conceptual site layouts and overall master planning layouts, to modeling how your building will fit and look on the proposed sites.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or you’re looking to renovate an existing facility, we can help with the planning required. Our diverse background of working in the many segments of the food, beverage, and distribution industries allows us to gather the best practices of all segments and apply them to meet your needs. We work closely with you to understand your process needs and your product flow. We also want to understand the needs of your associates and how they will move throughout the facility. All of these aspects combine to drive your facility planning and layout. We strive to take all of your needs into consideration as we work with you for an efficient, economical facility plan.
Your building houses your process, your raw materials and finished goods and your associates. All of these assets need to purposely interact effortlessly with each other to ensure food safety. Our focus on your interests and your successful project starts with interactive meetings with you, your plant associates, and other stake-holders to systematically determine and prioritize spatial requirements. We are adept at creative problem-solving studies to determine multiple design alternatives that complement your business plan objectives and goals.
LOW TEMP DESIGN
We’ve seen it all in our years of experience: from condensation in production areas, to frost around freezer openings, to light fixtures in production spaces filled with water. Such are the problems that arise if vapor barriers are not maintained and openings are not managed in low temperature design. Many of our clients have low temperature rooms and these rooms bring unique design challenges.
The “bones” of your process/distribution facility is the structural frame. Keeping your building grounded is the job of the foundations. In the food and beverage processing and distribution industry there are unique challenges with structural engineering. That’s where we can help.
Our mechanical engineering staff are experts in the wide range of mechanical systems required to create food-safe environments for food and beverage processing and distribution facilities as well as appropriate mechanical systems and environments for pharmaceutical and general industrial facilities. We are proficient at designing HVAC Systems (Industrial, Hygienic, Commercial), Industrial Ventilation Systems (Dust Collection, Fume Abatement, and Specialty, eg. Ripening Rooms), Above-Floor and Under-Floor Plumbing Systems (Process and Sanitary), Central Plant Distribution Systems (Compressed Air and Specialty Gases, Steam and Hot Water, Potable Water, Chilled Water and Glycol) and specifying Fire Protection Systems (Wet/Dry/Pre-Action and Inert Gas/Dry Chemical).
We know that you need power and controls to make your facility operate. We also know that you want to use that power as efficiently as possible . This is where we come in! Our experienced electrical associates will design your electrical systems utilizing the most up-to-date equipment technologies and design practices to produce innovative solutions to your electrical needs. Our designs are performed in strict compliance with all governing codes and with consideration to the future needs of your facility.
We understand that food-safe plants are clean plants and that properly designed plumbing systems play an important part in maintaining food safety. To maintain clean, food-safe sanitary conditions, many areas of food and beverage plants need to be washed down regularly and segregation of raw, finished goods, and sanitary drain systems within the building have become the norm. The washdown water often contains product that can clog drains and cause drain line backups and caustic chemicals that can corrode plumbing systems. Our experience in food and beverage processing facilities, across many segments of the industry, allows us to apply our experience to your application so that all of your above-floor and under-floor plumbing needs are met and your production areas remain food-safe.
REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS DESIGN
The refrigeration industry, which includes the food industry, is abuzz these days with terms like cascade, CO2, critically-charged, packaged, and distributed refrigeration systems. Often our heads spin with the confusion that these terms bring to mind. Whether you need an existing system capacity study, a system expansion or a brand new refrigeration system design, we’ll answer your questions and help you with your decisions.
OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM) / EPA Risk Management Planning (RMP) Programs
Most of our clients utilize the natural, non-ozone depleting, environmentally friendly refrigerant ammonia. When the system design requires more than 10,000 pounds of ammonia charge, both OSHA and the EPA get interested. At this threshold, both agencies require preparedness plans known as OSHA’s PSM (Process Safety Management) and the EPA’s RMP (Risk Management Plan). We actively assist our clients with their regulatory needs for both of these programs. Whether your needs are for something as simple as a compliance audit or as complex as the development of full programs, we can help. We do not develop the program in a vacuum and then dump it on your lap. We strive to involve you, the owner, in the program development because it is your program and you must know how to work with it and understand it after the project is complete. Let us know how we can help you in your understanding of these complex programs.
FOOD SAFETY CONSULTING
In a world where food-related illness reports travel quickly across the internet and social media, it is of utmost importance to understand where food facilities can harbor pathogens and/or allow vermin intrusion. Although this seems like a new topic, we’ve been in the food-safety business since 1978 and we know where “bugs” hide. We contend that it is better for us to prevent, find and correct any issues before they show up on social media.
PROCESS & PACKAGING SYSTEMS DESIGN
Every one of our clients’ processes is unique and special. And in many cases our clients are trying to figure out how to produce a product that they’ve never manufactured before. We love the challenge of trying to figure out the details of how existing products can be produced more efficiently or how new products can be manufactured economically and to the highest quality. We can provide your full production design from reception of your ingredients to the preparation for final shipment while remaining vigilant to cGMP and facility design requirements of local, state, federal, and international regulatory agencies.
MATERIAL HANDLING OPTIMIZATION
Optimization – the action of making the best or most effective use of a situation or resource.
Are you limited by your building size, yet find yourself needing to grow your production and storage capabilities? Are you limited by your available resources, such as: too few storage tanks, too few or inflexible production lines, inadequate ingredients, raw materials, packaging materials or finished goods storage space, insufficient dock doors, struggling to fulfill your customers’ orders? That’s where we come in! With our team, including our MH partners, working closely with you, we want to know your business as well as you do. We want to help you understand not only the operational bottle necks, but also the opportunities for improvement through optimization and efficiency.
Our team will start with an analysis of your Warehouse and Transportation Operations (purchasing, receiving, inventory management, storage and shipping). This analysis will identify material handling options and storage media (conventional, mechanized, automated, or a combination) most suited to design year operation.
When the need for a third-party engineering expert arises, we stand ready. We understand that we live in a litigious society and often our clients need an unbiased and professional opinion. Our forensic and expert witness services have helped many clients in the food industry sort through the details, analyze the accusations of others and formulate detailed analyses and responses to other experts. We stand confidently by your side during these stressful times and provide the proof you need to expertly and precisely state your case.