When a beloved brand like MillerCoors, Pepsi, or Templeton Rye comes to you for design engineering, you don’t want to be that guy – the one that takes down an iconic brand by getting it wrong (like the well-meaning but untrained woman who ruined the fresco of Jesus trying to restore it).
That’s why ICC recommends a four-step planning process for design engineering that honors each client’s business needs while protecting its brand legacy:
- Understand the business goals– not just “increase sales,” which is what every business wants. Who is the target market, what need does the business fulfill for them, does the business want to grow in certain regions or in certain demographics, etc?
- Define the project goals– from the perspective of the CEO, the marketing department, the sales force, the production line, and, finally, after “seeing” it through their eyes, from the perspective of the engineers. What problem does the project solve?
- Identify regulatory requirements– establishing all requirements to ensure that the project and the company are in full compliance.
- ID other processes or systems impacted– defining the impacts and determining whether they change the scope of the project.
Process streamlined. Brand intact.
For the MillerCoors plant in Golden, CO, ICC was asked to redesign the relay control system that delivers green malt (malt just released from the germination beds) to the kilns for drying. The old system of elevator and conveyors spanning 13 floors provided limited to zero visibility into the operation of the equipment.
“If there was a failure in the malt delivery process, there was a scavenger hunt just to locate the problem before they could even begin to work on fixing it,” says ICC Controls Engineering Manager Jeremy McCormick, who was part of the design team for the project. “A single conveyor jam could take several hours to resolve or even locate.”
Aside from the hassle, such a delay could also impact the quality of the green malt.
ICC installed a grain conveying control system that allowed for all of the sensing equipment for each conveyor to be wired back to the primary controller. Through this system, ICC developed a common status display interface that informed an operator of the exact location of the alarm, reducing the problem identification time to seconds instead of hours.
Footprint reduced. Reputation intact.
For one of the leading producers of hops in the United States, Yakima Chief Hops (YCH), ICC was asked to help a brand already known for sustainability become even more sustainable.
“It’s not about the next five years. It’s about the next 50 years. It’s about five generations from now.”
That’s a quote from the YCH 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report. The company is so serious about sustainability, that it analyzes every process that uses water, emits carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, or impacts the environment in other ways.
“Processing hops requires an astounding amount of carbon dioxide. The company was trucking it in, two or three trucks, every day,” says ICC Vice President Alex Alexandrov. “YCH asked ICC to design a system to capture high pressure cryogenic Co2, filtering out residual hop oils before then re-liquifying it for use in the production process.”
Currently in production, the system ICC designed will remove an estimated 10 million pounds of Co2 from the atmosphere, while capturing and re-using 85% of the Co2 used by the facility.
There’s a myriad of processes, systems, and technology that go into delivering every well-loved brand. Getting the engineering right ensures that they stay well loved.