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Sysco Charlotte expansion
November 2, 2018


Innovative has been happy to provide Sysco Charlotte with refrigeration services for more than two decades! The most recent project, an expansion, builds upon previous Innovative work dating back to 1997.

The original Sysco Charlotte ammonia refrigeration system was one of the early projects we completed at Innovative — our President Mike McGinnis Engineered the original project. Current Vice President of Manufacturing Keith McGinnis was the Construction Foreman, current Vice President of Construction was a Pipefitter, and current Foreman Keith Coleman was a welder on the project.  At Innovative, we have a great history of promotion from within.

In 2000, we worked on an expansion of Sysco Charlotte. This added another freezer, expanded the dock, added on to the coolers and added an ice cream room.

We were awarded with the most recent expansion in May of 2017 with general contractor Whiting Turner Contracting Company and architect EA Design Concepts, Inc. of The Webber/Smith Group.

The project went into construction in December of 2017. This final buildout of the facility added 16,000 square feet of new cooler space with 5 new evaporators, replaced all 4 condensers and rebuilding all of the screw compressors.

Many upgrades on the project focused on energy efficiency: we upgraded existing VFDs and added new VFDs to ensure motors are operating as efficiently as possible. Our team upgraded the air purger to an air and water purger to take water out of the ammonia, improving the system efficiency.

We can monitor nearly everything in the facility with our newly installed PLC. We replaced the controls on the compressors, added heat-trace monitoring, and other features to provide greater reliability, serviceability and oversight. This ultimately means less maintenance for Sysco!

This month, we wrapped up the expansion. We received the service contract and were happy to complete the first service work last week.

Innovative has had 80 employees working on the project including 39 field personnel, 20 shop workers and a number of other engineers, programmers and more. Great job to everyone involved for a successful project well done!

The original ammonia system served Sysco Charlotte well for about 20 years. With the expansion, update and repairs, it will be in great shape for 20 more years!  We also look forward to the team that worked on the current expansion stepping up in the next 10 years into major roles with Innovative to replace the old timers referenced above! The future is looking bright for Innovative!