Industrial Enzyme Facility Converted to Probiotics Manufacturing
Deliverables: Process Modeling, Engineering Design
Capitalizing on increased consumer demand for Greek yogurt, this client decided to convert a recently acquired industrial enzyme facility to a cGMP-manufacturing site, in order to produce starter cultures and probiotics for the food and dairy industries. Converting an industrial scale, non-cGMP production site into a regulated manufacturing facility proved difficult, as the entire site needed to be reworked to meet stringent FDA requirements and also challenging customer audits.
O’Neal’s effort began with process modeling to verify capacity estimates and identify bottlenecks that could negatively impact throughput. Existing equipment was then grouped based on the optimized model, resulting in highly efficient production trains.
The next step included a site-wide evaluation of all existing process equipment and plant utilities. Gap analyses were performed, first on existing versus required process equipment and functionality, then on cGMP design and operation. The above efforts resulted in a basic engineering package including process and utility flow diagrams and P&ID’s, facility and equipment layouts, HVAC plans, equipment sizing and selection, and complete design packages.
Bottom line, O’Neal’s production concept was designed to produce 900 metric tons per year of cultured product—that’s quite a bit of yogurt! O’Neal had the knowledge to leverage existing equipment, reuse it efficiently, add new technologies, and keep costs in line. According to the client, the facility’s cGMP design would contribute a substantial amount of revenue to the corporate entity.
Of special interest: To deliver this facility design, O’Neal leveraged several of its technical areas of focus, including cGMP facility design, large-scale fermentation and recovery equipment, centralized CIP systems, bulk material handling, low temperature storage, HVAC upgrades, and retrofits of existing facilities.