Pepperidge Farm’s Goldfish® crackers were introduced in the 1960s and today continue to be a family favorite. Two decades of sustained growth prompted Pepperidge Farm to expand its cracker production operations in Richmond, Utah.
Austin had prior success with a project at Pepperidge Farm’s bakery in Lakeland, Florida, and this, along with a maintained business relationship, allowed Austin to be awarded a second design-build project for the Utah facility.
This project included an 80,200 SF expansion for offices, production and support areas; as well as the “R-22 Replacement Project”, which involved the replacement of the plant HVAC and process cooling infrastructure.
In addition to crackers, the Utah facility also produces Milano® cookies and frozen breads on multiple production lines. This added complexity to take into account when installing the new production line for Goldfish® crackers and adding new and expanded warehouse, shipping and receiving areas. The expansions were constructed in a staggered approach to avoid any interruption to the existing production operations or to truck traffic around the site.
The R-22 Replacement project, which occurred concurrently with the cracker line expansion, was driven by Pepperidge Farm and Campbell’s program to convert their plants from the dated R-22 refrigerant system to a more efficient and environmentally conscious ammonia and glycol-based refrigeration system.
Austin designed and built the refrigeration engine room to house the new ammonia compressors for the new ammonia and glycol system. This system would support the existing storage freezer, spiral freezer, production lines and air conditioning system for production and office areas. In addition, Austin installed the new rooftop units, along with the new glycol piping system. The new piping for the process cooling water system was installed between the existing production lines, which created a unique challenge, as the production schedule for the existing lines could not be interrupted.
For successful project completion, Austin installed temporary protection around the existing production lines and proceeded with the replacement of existing cooling water lines during off hours when production lines were shutdown. For plant worker safety, the hoisting of the new air conditioning units to the roof was completed on weekends when production lines were not operating. The harsh Utah winter weather added to the challenge of the rooftop system installation.
The project was successfully completed on time and with minimal disruption to food production operations – both key requirements of Pepperidge Farm.