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Nestlé’s pizza redistribution center
September 21, 2018


Innovative was proud to provide Nestlé with operations that’ve been up and running for more than a year. The 275,000 square foot -15 degree storage facility and runs on only a 6,000-pound charge of ammonia.

The Nestlé project came to Innovative in November of 2016. We started manufacturing, mobilizing, setting penthouses and etc. in mid-February of 2017. By June of the same year, the entire project was completed and started up.

Innovative worked with contractor FCL Builders, developer Scannell Properties and GMA Architects on the low-charge ammonia refrigeration storage facility.

Typically, a recirculated ammonia refrigeration facility would have about 20-25 pounds of ammonia per ton of refrigeration or 22,500# ammonia charge. We did the 275,000 square foot plant with approximately 7 pounds per ton thanks to the low charge design developed by our devoted, hard-working engineering department. This was accomplished by the utilization of custom direct expansion evaporators, elimination of a high-pressure receiver, and by replacing thermosyphon oil cooling with glycol circulated through the same evaporative condenser that cools the ammonia. The style of direct expansion, is not a new technology, but our engineers worked hard to provide a new Innovative take on it, which further reduced the overall charge!

We used our mini penthouse design, but changed it up — with modulating control valves with a PID loop for super heat/quality control of each evaporator.  Our manufacturing team did an amazing job completing the project ahead of schedule despite working on a design that they hadn’t seen before. We had great success throughout the entire project, and that begins in engineering and manufacturing.

The schedule was very fast paced. Building in Wisconsin in the winter provided challenges of snow and low temperatures. Our team members pushed through to finish up the job only 4.5 months from when we started on site in mid-February and start up in early July.

FCL Builders, the general contractor, was a great help in this.  Despite multiple weather delays, they were able to coordinate multiple trades to keep the overall project goals on track. They were professional, on task and great at keeping up with the schedule.

The freezer temperatures were -15 and colder, and the dock operates at 30 degrees.  We were able to employ reheat on the dock via an underfloor heating system utilizing waste heat which allowed us to keep the floors dry and control humidity.

The 6.3 acres of freezing space has 102,000 linear feet of glycol tubing.  This is 19.3 miles of tubing which is used to prevent freezing of the ground underneath this massive freezer.

The project has a doublewide, prefabricated mechanical house, extensive structural steel including a condenser platform and staircase up to the building roof. This was an engineering feat. Our field team did an amazing job setting the doublewide mechanical house, erecting the condenser platform and installing two evaporative condensers — all in one day.

Innovative installed 33 additional temperature sensors which were broken up into stacks strategically placed across the warehouse which included high, medium and low elevations at each of the 11 locations in Nestlé’s facility. This was in addition to the return air sensors at each penthouse unit, but ensures the temperature control for the entire facility is within 2 degrees at all time.

The facility also has an HMI system and Innovative’s trademark ePSM product for process safety management.

Our team members enjoyed the great experience of working with a large corporation such as Nestlé. They use the plant as a pizza redistribution center.

We are just wrapping up the first year of a 10-year warranty. The maintenance agreement offers a bumper to bumper warranty on the project. We look forward to the plant providing for Nestlé for many years to come!