At M. Davis & Sons, we recently had the opportunity to work on an exciting rigging project at a food processing facility. Our consistent effort and “one source for all” approach to the construction process enabled us to save the project and make a massive difference for the customer, United Cocoa Processor, Inc.
The well-known manufacturer has a reputation for producing some of the finest cocoa products in Newark, Delaware, and beyond, including cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, cakes, liquor, and more, all of which are carefully crafted with high-quality cocoa beans. Because of its prominence, the manufacturing company landed new and exciting contracts, which meant keeping up with a drastic increase in demand. The best way to do that? A much-needed supplemental cocoa bean grinding line that would quickly and easily enable its workers to increase output and keep up with the demand for these highly coveted cocoa products.
M. Davis & Sons had the incredible opportunity of handling this rigging project, specifically selected for its “one source for all” approach. Our approach included providing all the specific services needed to complete this vital project for the customer. We handled everything from structural steel fabrication and installation to rigging, piping, plumbing, and electrical work, leaving no stone left unturned.
The Start of an Incredible Partnership
While United Cocoa Processor, Inc. has garnered a reputation for producing some of the freshest and most flavorful cocoa products, we’ve earned quite a reputation and are known for our commitment to excellence. Our work with United Cocoa Processor is a testament to our ability to provide feasible solutions while completing even the most complex tasks quickly yet efficiently.
Before our construction team could install the necessary equipment, the structural steel fabrication division took the time to build different platforms needed to complete this rigging project and produce the kind of grinding line that would allow United to regularly reach its goals. In addition to their efforts, we acquired crucial components needed to turn the grinding line into a huge success. These components came from overseas vendors, which posed challenges due to the ongoing pandemic at the time, but we still managed to make it work.
Despite several obstacles, the construction crew worked feverishly on the project, taking an all-hands-on-deck approach and paying close attention to detail to ensure an overall successful outcome. Of course, this meant working with heavy-duty equipment weighing up to 35,000 pounds and taking up massive space in our warehouse. It also meant completing essential piping services and assembling eight bean silos, which took time, effort, skill, and patience. We followed a step-by-step, section-by-section process to construct these bean silos while ensuring they were compatible with other types of equipment used for transport purposes, such as elevators and conveyors.
Overcoming Challenges Every Step of the Way
At M. Davis & Sons, we’re always up for a challenge and look forward to finding the most practical solutions to any potential problems thrown our way. It’s why we were capable of handling every challenge when completing this rigging project, with one being the equipment size. Not only did the equipment weigh thousands of pounds, but it was also incredibly tall, nearly reaching the ceiling of our facility. Some of the details about the equipment were in metric units and different languages, which required translation and conversions. Our construction team members prioritized these tasks, ensuring no mistakes were made during this process. Even the slightest dimensional differences can quickly become a problem when working on a project of this nature, and we didn’t want that to happen.
But this wasn’t our only challenge. We were responsible for handling the ductwork, taking the time to assemble it correctly so that United Cocoa Processor, Inc. wouldn’t have to worry about running into issues due to the exhaust used and the flammability of the cocoa beans they work with each day. Of course, this meant making adjustments when needed, whether cutting, sanding, or even re-welding pieces to create the perfect fit and build the ideal structure for the ductwork so that every component of it does what it’s intended to do.
After completing the ductwork, which involved starting with dozens of components and essentially putting them together like pieces to a puzzle, our piping crew started developing the ideal layout for the pipes before making adjustments to the current systems. With new piping fixtures added, inspections had to take place to ensure no gas leaks or other issues would occur, but we had to be smart about this to keep production going simultaneously.
Pulling It Together to Produce the Most Favorable Outcome
Because of our trained, highly skilled professionals, we managed to complete every step of the rigging project for United Cocoa Processor Inc., from handling the heavy-duty equipment to taking care of the ductwork, installing piping fixtures, and welding. Moreover, we worked on this vigorous task during a time when travel restrictions were in full force because of the Covid-19 pandemic, which meant spending extra time after hours coming up with solutions that would work best for our client. While pushing innovation to the forefront of this project, we also collaborated with MacIntosh Engineering, who helped us with the design process.
We’re proud to have played an integral role in developing the supplemental cocoa bean grinding line. Although this project came with its fair share of challenges, we worked smarter to save the project, ultimately connecting with international equipment companies and representatives in 2020 despite the ongoing pandemic. By thinking outside the box and making a deliberate effort to develop backup plans whenever an obstacle came our way, we got things done and completed a successful enhancement for a top-rated food processing facility.
Our resiliency and genuine commitment to excellence on this project made it possible for us to win the National Excellence in Construction Award from the Associated Builders and Contractors in 2021. Being recognized for our steadfast approach to providing a practical solution that has helped United Cocoa Processor, Inc. increase its output and meet demands lets us know that we’re making a difference, one project at a time.