Project Information

  • Client: Kraft Heinz
  • Location: Wausau, WI
  • Dates: 2019-2021
  • Delivery: Design-Build

Project Description

Dean Snyder Construction provided preliminary design, cost-estimating, engineering, general construction, and commissioning services for the Wausau facility to operate new processing requirements for a new formulation of the Kraft Cheese powder which required additional ingredients new to the cheese powder.  A new 4,240 SF process addition with a 1,500 SF mezzanine was built for the installation of new batch cooking process and powders handling as well as a 450 SF addition for project utilities.

The site constraints only allowed for one 12’ wide access point for a majority of the work until we were tied into the existing structures with the processing area addition. It was necessary to plan with the subcontractors daily in order to execute the project in a timely fashion, always needing to know who “was on deck.” The relocation of the sprinkler loop from underground to above while maintaining the existing system until tie-in dates was also a challenge as the existing sprinkler system ran underneath our new addition which created potential conflicts with construction activities which we addressed during the structural design process.

This was the first project DSC utilized the 3D scanning technology. It was necessary in order to minimize piping conflict throughout highly congested areas of the plant and increase the amount of prefabrication offsite, minimizing inefficiencies from the site constraints and plant downtime. We were then able to provide Kraft Heinz with an as-built file at the end of the project capturing every detail down to the nearest millimeter.

The entire addition was built and commissioned without affecting existing operations of the Wausau Plant. Despite the restrictions imposed on the DSC team by Covid-19 limitations, no lost time injury was recorded. DSC provided Kraft Heinz a fully functioning process line in only eight months from ground break. In April 2020, construction of the new processing and utilities buildings began. In August 2020, delivery and installation of the new processing equipment had started, and final commissioning was completed in December 2020. On January 4, 2021, successful start-up of the new Cooking Process, including the new Powder Handling System as well as new liquid ingredients handling and new CIP system was successfully achieved at least on month ahead of the original schedule, achieving 100% OEE and delivery a week from start-up, ensuring all functional approvals of the new reformulated product.

This project was awarded the 2021 Manufacturing Innovation Award from ProFood World, a leading food & beverage manufacturing publication, for the modernized equipment system of a new cheese formulation.