Food Engineering: “Automation and Food Processing Today: It’s About Labor”

In Food Engineering's annual survey, SSOE’s Jens Ebert, Vice President and Division Manager, Food and Consumer Products, joins fellow AEC experts to weigh in on what’s trending and why. In this year’s article, we learn that—much like in other industries—food processors have found labor scarce, difficult to retain, and in need of ongoing training. Is automation the solution? Our resident food manufacturing expert provides his two cents. Continue Reading →

Lab Manager Article: “Project Profile: Georgia Southern Center for Engineering and Research”

SSOE | Stevens & Wilkinson’s Georgia Southern Center for Engineering and Research project was recently featured in Lab Manager. The new 140,000 SF facility, which was completed in January 2021, houses all engineering programs on campus containing state-of-the-art laboratories for mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, robotics, and manufacturing engineering, among others. The building is designed to facilitate academic and institutional partnerships throughout the region and produce the next generation of highly trained engineers prepared for 21st century professions. Continue Reading →

New Equipment Digest Article: “Insights into Cleanroom Humidification Challenges”

Dewayne Galyon, Basebuild Technical Specialist at SSOE, offers insights into cleanroom humidification challenges in this New Equipment Digest article. While there are numerous complex cleanroom challenges, humidity is a major factor in keeping cleanrooms free of electrostatic charge and moisture. Within the article, Dewayne explains how it takes a seasoned professional to analyze various changes and determine which are indicative of deeper issues and which are the result of a small change in operating. He then goes on to speak to the humidification specific challenge and the solutions. Continue Reading →

Food Engineering Article: “2018 Plant Construction Survey: Rising Rate of Food & Beverage Plant Renovations / Expansions.”

Sam Thurber, PMP, Senior Project Manager, and Jens Ebert, PE, PMP, Division Manager at SSOE Group, were recently featured in this article in Food Engineering magazine. Based on the publication’s annual survey, expansion and renovation projects in 2017 far surpassed the number of new construction projects—accounting for 73.8% of all food and beverage projects reported. Many in the industry attribute this to companies wanting to meet regulatory requirements, get products to market more quickly, and meet production demand. Continue Reading →

Construction Safety Talk Series: The Fatal Four

So many different activities occur in the construction industry, and with those activities come risk; at times, high risk. In 2014, 20% of workplace fatalities occurred in the construction industry, totaling 874 deaths. The Bureau of Labor Statistics identified four causes of death that were responsible for over half of those construction worker fatalities. Continue Reading →

What is VDC?

Defining VDC has been a particularly difficult task, both at SSOE and throughout our industry. Is it simply enhanced 3D or BIM? (No; we’ll talk more about that in an upcoming post.) How can we say Project X and Y are both VDC projects when they were executed so differently? (The answer has to do with VDC being a delivery system that tailors a strategy for each project rather than a list of deliverables or technologies employed. We’ll talk a little bit about this next week as well.) The term “virtual” may be what is causing some of this confusion. Many hear “virtual” and think of a fancy new software. Perhaps we need more focus on “design and construction.” The true shift is that the divide between these two groups is blurring which is enhancing the approaches we can use to deliver projects. To help clarify the distinction between VDC and the components that make it up, we’ve developed this Venn diagram, and the corresponding definition in the center. You’ll see that the technologies, teams, and strategies employed by VDC can each exist outside of VDC. VDC “happens” when the technological tools (many that are well-established at SSOE, some that are relatively new to the industry, and some that are still in development) are utilized to bring together teams and  project strategies that have always been ideal—but never possible—because of barriers that existed. At its core, VDC means developing the project strategy that makes the most sense for each project and leveraging technology that makes that approach possible. Think of VDC as an all-encompassing umbrella made up of many components—some technology based and some strategy based. We will talk specifics about these components in coming posts, for now it’s enough to say that VDC is an integrated project delivery system with much more to offer than technology. Continue Reading →