Michael Vetter, PE, PMP, Senior Project Manager and Senior Associate at SSOE Group, was recently featured in a Q&A session with Area Development where he was asked about what companies are doing to keep their operations up and running and their employees safe during the COVID-19 crisis. During this session, he focuses on how the pandemic has affected SSOE’s Food and Consumer Products business and what those manufacturers are experiencing during these unprecedented times. Read more
Jens Ebert, PE, PMP, Principal Division Manager, and Tim Michalski, PE, Department Manager, both of SSOE Group, were recently featured in this Food Engineering magazine article. Based on the publication’s annual survey, this year’s article discusses how COVID-19 is overshadowing project planning and construction while decreasing already short labor supplies. Additionally, Editor Wayne Labs goes on to write three supplementary articles to discuss site-related issues, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) facility design criteria, and automation trends including integration and flexibility. Read more
Evan Baker, Data / Fire / Security (DFS) Manager and Senior Associate at SSOE Group, was recently featured in this Food Engineering magazine article. Addressing physical violence in the workplace is a growing priority for all, including food manufacturers, as workplace disasters continue to occur. This article discusses how a building’s design can incorporate many features to detect and keep out threatening people, as well as technology to analyze surveillance footage—freeing up security guards to focus on problem-solving and investigation. Read more
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama, February 13, 2020 — SSOE Group, a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is excited to welcome Ryan Pruett to their Birmingham office as Engineering Project Director for SSOE Systems, the firm’s construction management business. Ryan’s addition further solidifies SSOE’s strategic commitment to expanding the firm’s Southeast presence and depth of resources in the region to deliver great client service. Read more
Ed Gerken, PMP, LEED AP, and Sam Thurber, PMP, both senior project managers at SSOE Group, were recently featured in an article in Food Engineering Magazine. With people treating their pets as members of the family, pet food manufacturers find they have to produce pet food as though it were human food, which—combined with food safety regulations—creates a lot of pressure to stay competitive. In this article Ed and Sam, as well as other industry professionals, discuss how the growth of consumer demands and regulations, is modernizing pet food operations. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, October 29, 2019 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, announced today the appointment of new Principals and organization promotions for their planning year (PY) 2020. Read more
Corey Zachel, PE, LEED AP, BD+C, Department Manager at SSOE Group, recently authored an article in Plant Engineering Magazine which explains how transparent communication, collaboration, and clear design intent are essential to guarantee successful integrated project delivery. Read more
Sam Thurber, PMP, and Ed Gerken, PMP, LEED AP, both senior project managers at SSOE Group, were recently featured in an article in Food Engineering Magazine. In the article Sam and Ed, as well as other industry professionals, discuss how most architects, engineers, system integrators (SIs), and machine / equipment builders can assist pet food manufacturers in FSMA compliance from their past human food processing experiences. Read more
SSOE’s Mark LaBell, Senior Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) Technical Leader, recently authored an article in Engineering News-Record (ENR). Laser scanning is among the world’s most cutting-edge technologies and is starting to become adopted universally. This article discusses how leaders must tweak their current quality assurance / quality control processes to make laser scanning a successful tool for their business. Read more
Sam Thurber, PMP, Senior Project Manager, and Jonathan Conrad, LEED AP, Mechanical Design Lead, at SSOE Group, were recently featured in this article in Food Engineering Magazine that discusses how consumer trends are driving pet food processing projects and the similarities between human and pet food production. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, July 12, 2019 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to announce their annual Engineering News Record (ENR) rankings, including the firm’s first #1 spot as the Top Semiconductor Design Firm. The rankings were published in the 2019 Engineering News-Record (ENR) Top 500 Design Firms Sourcebook. ENR serves as one of the leading engineering and construction news publications. This list provides market analysis and rankings of the largest U.S.-based AEC firms according to revenue for design services performed in 2018. Read more
Joe Badalamenti, PE, PMP, Senior Account Executive, and Jens Ebert, PE, PMP, Principal Division Manager at SSOE Group, were recently featured in this Food Engineering magazine article. Based on the publication’s annual survey, construction projects were on the rise in 2018 thanks to federal tax breaks, consolidation in the food and beverage industry, and the need for flexibility in production. However, fast-track production schedules created a greater need for skilled laborers, which the industry is currently lacking.
Nonetheless, this year’s survey contains some surprises. Joe and Jens, as well as other AEC experts, weigh in on what other trends they’ve experienced over the last year. Read more
Ken Gruenhagen, PE, PMP, Division Manager in SSOE’s Food and Consumer Products Division, is featured in a recent issue of Food Engineering. The article explains the importance of food processors evaluating what they need, both now and in the future, to ensure each part of their line will enable them to meet current and future sustainability goals.
Within, Ken discusses the importance of making a proper investment in training to support newer technology. If the company fails to do this, the time required to diagnose and address issues can quickly negate the improved efficiencies that the more complex equipment provides. Additionally, he emphasizes the significance of ease of changeover between products—as a result of a discontinued product or modification, shorter production runs, or a change in packaging—must be considered as it has a large impact on line availability. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, December 21, 2018 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, announced today the selection of John Pemberton and Nate Czerniejewski as new directors to its board as well as Jim Lewis who was selected by the board to fill a vacant seat. All three individuals were selected by SSOE’s stockholders for their unique industry perspective and diverse background that align with the company’s core markets and future growth objectives. Read more
Mike Vetter, PE, PMP, Senior Project Manager and Senior Associate for SSOE’s Food and Consumer Products (FCP) Division, recently authored an article in Area Development. In this article, he discusses how capturing the data of an existing food processing facility though laser scanning can help with the buildout of a new or customized operation. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, December 13, 2018 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, announced today that they have achieved a significant milestone—documenting more than $1 billion in total project savings for their clients. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, October 11, 2018 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, announced today the appointment of two new Principals, effective January 1, 2019. SSOE’s Board of Directors named Jens Ebert and Brad Rowe as principal owners of SSOE. Read more
CHICAGO, Illinois October 09, 2018 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to announce it has been named one of Consulting-Specifying Engineer’s 2018 MEP Giants. The MEP Giants program ranks the top 100 mechanical, electrical, plumbing (MEP), and fire protection engineering firms in the United States based on total MEP design revenue. SSOE ranked 45th this year, holding steady at the same spot as their 2017 ranking. In 2016, SSOE jumped 37 spots. Read more
Ryan Beat, PE, Senior Electrical Engineer in SSOE’s Food and Consumer Products Division, is featured in a recent Food Engineering issue. The article explains how sensing technologies can detect small inequalities in food and beverage production which humans may not notice. Within, Ryan discusses the importance of having sensors that can operate in any hostile chemical environment. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, August 6, 2018 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global architecture, engineering, and construction management firm, is proud to celebrate 70 years in business this coming Wednesday, August 8, 2018.
SSOE was founded in 1948 when structural engineer Al Samborn returned to his hometown of Toledo after completing his military service to start his own engineering firm. Today, the firm has grown into a Top 10 Engineering / Architecture firm (BD+C) with 1,100 employees in 30 global offices across six countries and is one of Ohio’s largest engineering firms.
TOLEDO, Ohio, August 3, 2018 – SSOE Group (www.www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management is proud to announce their re-certification as a “Great Workplace” by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work®. SSOE earned this credential based on exemplary ratings provided by their employees in an anonymous survey.
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.
Firm Named to Four Top 10 Spots
TOLEDO, Ohio, July 11, 2018 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management is proud to announce their annual Engineering News-Record (ENR) rankings.
The rankings were published in the 2018 ENR Top 500 Design Firms Sourcebook. ENR serves as one of the leading engineering and construction news publications. This list provides market analysis and rankings of the largest U.S.-based AEC firms according to revenue for design services performed in 2017.
Vince DiPofi, PE, Chief Operating Officer at SSOE, was featured in ENR’s May 2018 cover story, “The Top 500 Design Firms: Worry Despite Strong Markets”. From construction tariffs to talent acquisition, the article highlights some of the concerns surrounding the industry, despite its predicted continual growth. Vince’s commentary focuses on the impact of generative design and its ability to help architects and engineers deliver better solutions to clients. Read more
Eric Hopkins, PE, Senior Chemical Process Engineer and Senior Associate at SSOE, continues his examination of the advantages of energy assessments in this Chem.Info Magazine article. In Part I of the article, he discusses the importance of planning and how to manage documentation and data disparities. In Part II, he focuses on strategy and involving key stakeholders to optimize the assessment process and qualify your data to achieve better results. Ultimately, a thoughtful, pragmatic approach to energy assessments will allow for continuous global competitive benefits long after the assessment is complete. Read more
Eric Hopkins, PE, Senior Chemical Process Engineer and Senior Associate at SSOE, guides readers through the value of performing energy assessments to stay competitive despite the ever-changing market demands in this Chem.Info Magazine article. Although conducting an effective energy assessment can have its challenges and constraints, the in-depth data it provides often points plant owners to exactly where spending will be most lucrative for their specific operations. Eric shares his recommendations for navigating gaps in documentation and data and how careful planning upfront can make all the difference. Read more
LEEDing the way for food processors looking to achieve sustainable operations.
SSOE’s Jennifer Breault, AIA LEED AP BD+C, Architect, and Laura Orlich, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, Senior Architect, were recently featured in this Food Engineering Magazine article exchanging options and advice for food processors looking to go LEED. Without a specific rating system currently in place for them, food processors are left with a collection of potentially daunting tasks if they desire sustainable operations—with a plethora of certifications and levels to consider. Not to worry, this informative article reveals how LEED certification can still be a totally viable option. And even better, it’s a golden opportunity for examining the efficiency of your process and gathering insight into achieving tangible results on your “triple bottom line”. Read more
SHANGHAI, China, February 20, 2018 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to announce the opening of their new office in Chengdu, Sichuan province China.
In 2005, SSOE opened its first international office in Shanghai to support a variety of automotive and manufacturing plant-development projects for multinational corporations in and around China. Today it has grown to be one of the firm’s largest offices and experienced its best year on record in the past 5 years in 2017. SSOE’s new Chengdu office will be staffed with local resources and will enhance SSOE’s presence within the Asia-Pacific region. Read more
Insights into Planning Your Next Distillery Project
Joe Badalamenti, PE, PMP, Senior Account Executive at SSOE, takes readers through the front-end loading (FEL) process in this Distiller Magazine article. In the current market, distilleries are consistently challenged to plan new facilities and upgrade existing ones, and using a team led by seasoned professionals to employ FEL can make all the difference in terms of maintaining the budget, scope, and schedule. In this article, Joe draws out the benefits of FEL stage by stage—and the proof is in the results. Read more
Dewayne Galyon, Basebuild Technical Specialist at SSOE, dives back into statistical process control (SPC) in this Reliable Plant Magazine article. SPC—a method of quality control that assists manufacturers in maximizing production, minimizing waste, and keeping costs down—consists of multiple procedures designed to monitor conditions critical for maintaining process control, which vary depending on the type of facility. Dewayne walks readers through his guidelines for fully leveraging the advantages of SPC, which can make significant impacts to a plant’s bottom line when correctly applied to a process. Read more
Dewayne Galyon, Basebuild Technical Specialist at SSOE, illustrates his keen understanding of statistical process control (SPC) in this article recently featured in Processing Magazine. An essential tool for controlling quality in cleanroom manufacturing processes, SPC works to identify problem areas and increase optimization, uncovering contaminant sources farther down the production line that may have otherwise remained undiagnosed. Read more
Jason Christen, PMP, Senior Account Executive at SSOE, and Mark LaBell, Senior VDC Technical Leader, were both featured in a BD+C Magazine article that examines the rise of 3D laser scanners, which have recently evolved into handhelds. 3D laser scanning is the fastest, most efficient method to capture existing conditions. In addition to allowing us to scan harder-to-reach places, handheld scanners provide the ability to show clients results immediately after taking a scan with a workable model showing an accurate representation of the facility—a major benefit of the technology that often translates into cost savings for our clients. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, August 18, 2017 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management is proud to announce their re-certification as a “Great Workplace” by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work®. SSOE earned this credential based on exemplary ratings provided by their employees in an anonymous survey. Read more
Processors realize that existing facilities must be updated and expanded to meet food safety regulations and increasing and challenging customer demands.
Sam Thurber, Senior Project Manager at SSOE Group, was recently featured in this Food Engineering Magazine article that explores the results of the publication’s annual Food Plant Construction Survey. Sam and other experts discuss the numbers, including the amount of expansions and renovations as compared to new construction, and growing consumer demands, such as non-GMO, gluten-free, and clean label products, that continue to drive projects and a focus on food safety. Read more
Evan Baker, Data / Fire / Security (DFS) Manager at SSOE Group, was recently featured in this Food Engineering Magazine article. Cybersecurity is a growing priority for food manufacturers as network connectivity within facilities increases. The boost in information flow enhances a facility’s vulnerability to an attack—-cyber or physical—-that can result in stolen intellectual property, compromised trade secrets, a damaged reputation, and more. To mitigate exposure to security threats, the article offers a number of suggestions, including developing a comprehensive security plan with company-wide buy-in. Read more
Vince DiPofi, PE, Chief Strategy Officer at SSOE Group, was featured in ENR’s May 2017 cover story, “The Top 500 Design Firms: Market Poised for Takeoff”. From healthcare reform and regulation changes to the race to rebuild U.S. infrastructure, the article highlights some of the questions and concerns surrounding the industry following the recent election. Although preliminary indicators point to a strong, healthy market and we’ve already seen an increase in private sector jobs, a theme of caution continues to persist.
Vince, who has experienced nine presidential elections during the course of his career, comments on the buzz surrounding the election and its effect on the industry. He also discusses how potential changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have already impacted the automotive market, as seen in postponed spending. Read more
Jim Lewis, Electrical Controls Department Manager and Principal at SSOE, recently authored this informative article in Area Development Magazine advising readers to take a business-driven approach to utility projects. Whether your project is driven by production capacity, energy efficiency, regulatory requirements, or environmental sustainability, the ultimate objective is to add value to the business. Jim shares examples showing how a utility challenge can be turned into a business advantage. Read more
Alan Liddy, AIA, NCARB, Senior Project Manager at SSOE, was recently published in Product Design and Development Magazine on the topic of cleanrooms. Alan explains that keeping cleanrooms clean can come at a lower cost, depending on the cleanroom’s classification, while offering strategies to cut costs without cutting corners. Clean standards continue to climb, but with a few operational enhancements, you can avoid contamination economically. Read more
Joe Badalamenti, PE, PMP, Business Development Executive at SSOE, was recently featured in this article in Food Engineering Magazine. Joe and other AEC experts weigh in on what’s trending in the food and beverage industry. Based on the publication’s annual survey, the industry has seen a peak in the number of construction projects recorded in 2015 — the highest number in the last 10 years. The driver? Food safety. Read more
Jens Ebert, PE, PMP, Senior Project Manager at SSOE, recently authored this article, which examines the phased approach to project execution referred to as front-end loading (FEL) and its many advantages. Also known as pre-project planning (PPP) and front-end engineering and design (FEED), the FEL approach to project delivery involves early project planning and engineering, so that design changes are easier and cheaper to accommodate, comparatively. FEL is very structured and can require more cost upfront, but projects are less likely to have issues or costly changes, and gives stakeholders an opportunity to make more informed decisions along the way. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, June 7, 2016 – SSOE Group, (www.ssoe.com) a global project delivery firm, specializing in engineering, architecture, and construction management is proud to announce their certification as a “Great Workplace” by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work®. SSOE earned this credential based on exemplary ratings provided by their employees in an anonymous survey. Read more
SSOE Group is a leader in leveraging the latest technology to enable integrated and collaborative project delivery. SSOE Group was featured in BOSS Magazine, in an article highlighting the company’s technology strategy and culture — both of which are helping provide better solutions to clients. Driven by collaboration, SSOE is using innovative tools and customized applications to deliver high quality projects more efficiently, while working to maintain employee engagement along the way. Read more
Gavin Kaleta, PE, LEED AP, Mechanical and Process Department Manager at SSOE Group, co-authored an article published in HPAC Engineering Magazine that focuses on high-performance fan systems, which are critical to industrial processes. From air flow to duct leaks, the article digs deep into ANSI/AMCA Standard 210/ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 51, sharing real-world applications to optimize fan performance. Read more
Firms being asked to play a bigger role in providing expertise
Dave Sipes, Chief Operating Officer at SSOE Group, was featured in this article recently published in Engineering News-Record (ENR). The article highlights manufacturing, a particularly robust market currently, and the need within this market to improve processes — with an emphasis on output. Popular among manufacturers is integrated project delivery, a concept that focuses on collaboration and commitment among all parties, which is successfully executed with the help of highly evolved technologies like 3D modeling and laser scanning. Read more
John Gill, PE, PMP, LEED AP, SSOE’s Director of VDC, was recently published in Engineering News-Record (ENR) discussing the topic of Virtual Design and Construction (VDC). Gill has over 20 years of industry experience and was responsible for the implementation of SSOE’s VDC program. He writes on the many strengths the VDC framework has to offer our industry, and offers some tips for implementing a solid foundation on your next project. Read more
In our latest newsletter, we are highlighting the outstanding performance of Jonathan Bolbach and Mark LaBell, winners of SSOE’s Founder’s Award. Their accomplishment — developing the AutoNavis software application — met two of the award’s key criteria: delivering exceptional value to clients by saving them time, trouble, and money and implementing an innovation that leads to improved processes and quality. Read more
In moving a project from statement of work to completion of construction, regular collaboration between owners, designers, and contractors is no longer a luxury. It is the managerial insurance the project must have in order to stay on schedule and budget. Much of the unbudgeted time and expense incurred by change orders can be attributed to a lack of integration between the players. It’s often because these parties failed to include the resources and intentional effort for collaboration. Read more
Joe Badalamenti, PE, PMP, Business Development Executive at SSOE Group, was recently featured in this article in Food Engineering Magazine. Based on the publication’s annual survey, food and beverage projects were on the uptick in 2014, and Badalamenti and other AEC experts weigh in on what’s trending and why. From renovations to greenfield projects, processors are loosening their money belt, but spending sensibly — making purchases that improve efficiency, with a focus on food safety and increased automation. These improvements are a win-win for processors, helping them differentiate themselves among the pack of competitors while getting product to market for less. Read more
MONTERREY, Mexico, May 29, 2015 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), ranked 12th internationally among Engineering Firms (Building Design + Construction, 2014), announced today that they have opened an office in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico—their second office in the country. SSOE’s first office was opened in early 2014 in the city of León, Guanajuato, Mexico to support the region’s growing automotive manufacturing base. The addition of the Monterrey office will allow SSOE to better serve for our current food and automotive clients located in Saltillo, Ramos Arizpe, Monterrey, and surrounding areas, with a closer geographical concentration of resources. It is the second office SSOE has launched to serve the growing industrial investment in North America in as many months. Read more
A thorough process definition lays the foundation for a successful greenfield project
Dale Feldhaus, department manager in Industrial Process Controls at SSOE Group, was recently published in Chemical Processing Magazine. In his article, he discusses the importance of the preliminary phase of a greenfield project, which Feldhaus refers to as the “process definition phase.” Feldhaus has nearly 30 years of experience, specializing in the design, specification, and coordination of controls and instrumentation for projects within the industrial industry. Read more
SSOE was featured in this Laboratory Design Magazine article highlighting a recently constructed five-story, 125,000 SF science and technology facility for which SSOE provided mechanical and electrical services, in addition to fire protection construction documents. This facility, referred to as Horizon I, supports programs in engineering, technology, scientific research, and industrial development of alternative energy sources—also serving to adjoin the University of South Carolina’s main campus and its “new urban ‘innovista’ research campus. Read more
ATLANTA, Georgia, May 05, 2015 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm ranked 4th among Automotive Plant Design Firms (Engineering News-Record, 2014), is proud to announce the opening of a new office in Atlanta, Georgia. The office will serve as the hub for the firm’s Southeast U.S. operations, currently anchored by four existing SSOE regional offices in Birmingham, Alabama; Huntsville, Alabama; Nashville, Tennessee; and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.
“SSOE’s expansion into the Southeast U.S.,” comments CEO Bob Howell, “dovetails with the area’s projected growth and will enhance the firm’s expansive portfolio in the region.”
Mark Hoffman, Department Manager at SSOE Group, was recently featured in this article in Food Engineering Magazine. The article works to demystify airflow and room pressure questions in relation to food production, and offers expert suggestions to ensure cleanliness is achieved and cross-contamination avoided — namely at points in the process where the product is most vulnerable. From pressure differential gauges and processors, to filtration options and software tools, this article effectively covers a lot of ground, offering a collection of valuable tips that are far from intuitive. Read more
In the AEC industry, when a client asks for a project to be completed “faster, better, and cheaper,” chances are they will be told that two out of three is about as good as it gets. Thanks to technology, integrated delivery methods, and an exceptional team effort, SSOE raised the bar and delivered on all counts on a recent project for a global leader in the food industry.
James Yerke, PE, CEM, Section Manager and Senior Associate at SSOE Group, was featured in this Food Engineering Magazine article that discusses inefficiency and loss/costs caused by physical leaks within a facility, namely air and water, and different tools available to find them and fix them. Leak problems will exacerbate further as time goes on, increasing costs if not corrected. When it comes to leaks, it’s in your best interest to dig into the issue before the issue digs into your bottom line.
Tom Fitzpatrick, Power Department Manager at SSOE Group, co-authored this content-rich article, published in Power Engineering Magazine, that explores the cost benefits of conducting a feasibility study during the planning phase of a project. The article highlights project examples where SSOE’s engineers were able to add even more value to a feasibility study with their ability to quickly and easily assess, and point decision-makers in the right direction.
Foreign companies are trending in the direction of the U.S. as they review global site selection options, with suppliers following.
Alexandra Segers, International Senior Account Executive / Program Manager at SSOE Group, shares her insight in this article published in Area Development Magazine. Within, Segers discusses some of the important items — including incentives and cost offsets, utility factors, and workforce availability — that are making the U.S. an advantageous area to consider development, with the Southeast U.S. leading the pack.
Correct design basis requires deep understanding of raw material characteristics and facility conditions.
Mark Hoffman, PE, PMP, Department Manager in Food and Consumer Products at SSOE Group, was recently published in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Magazine. Hoffman has over 30 years of experience in project and engineering management in the pharmaceutical processing, food processing, nutraceutical processing, bio-processing, renewable energy, ammonia refrigeration, and food ingredient industries. In his article, he explains how a consistently dependable environment for raw material storage and conveyance is imperative to practical and profitable production flow in pharmaceutical manufacturing.
Food Engineering Magazine’s June 2014 issue features an article on the effect natural gas prices have for facilities and their decisions to retrofit existing facilities or build new. Within, Senior Project Manager Jerry Rudie, PE, PMP, comments on the challenges decreased energy costs have on implementing energy reduction programs such has heat reclamation within facilities when energy prices make it tough to prove a short-term ROI.
The article, “Energy Efficiency Delivers Powerful Savings” in Food Engineering Magazine’s June 2014 issue examines options for facilitating energy efficiency as a means to boost the bottom line. Tom Fitzpatrick, PE, Power Department Manager at SSOE is featured in a sidebar Q&A to the article where he shares his insights on energy-saving technologies from an engineering firm’s perspective.
Food Engineering Magazine’s 37th Annual Plant Construction Survey takes a look at key trends such as sanitation, food safety, and efficiency which have influenced projects in 2013. Jerry Rudie, Senior Project Manager at SSOE provides his observation of the move toward increased expansions to existing plants rather than new plant construction. In addition, Rudie reports on the move toward further automation of processes in order to reduce labor costs and justify additional capital expenditures.
TOLEDO, Ohio, June 17, 2014 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, announced today that Andrew Mekus, PE, has been named “Young Engineer of the Year” by the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE). Andrew was presented this honor in recognition of his exemplary community, civic, and professional undertakings as well as enthusiasm for the engineering profession and dedicated efforts to support activities of OSPE and the Toledo Chapter.
Food Engineering Magazine’s May 2014 issue features an article on the potential risks in the food industry for tampering and how to prepare / prevent incidents from occurring. Within, security experts from SSOE and two other corporations provide insight on the most effective tools to ensure food manufacturers are always prepared and equipped with the proper security measures for their facility.
Toledo, Ohio – June 3, 2014-— SSOE’s Board of Directors announced today that it has selected Bob Howell to be the next President and CEO of SSOE Group—a global engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm . Effective December 3, 2014, Bob Howell will assume the reins from current CEO, Tony Damon, who announced his plans to retire late last year.
TOLEDO, Ohio, February 27, 2014 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, is proud to announce the selection of nine employees and one consultant as recipients of their 2013 Founder’s Award. Initiated in 2008, the Founder’s Award recognizes exemplary execution of SSOE’s core principles—innovation through quality improvements and value-added solutions, great client service, and diversification. Two project teams were the focus of this year’s awards for their substantial contribution to our clients’ success and documented savings of time, trouble, and money. Combined, these two projects, the State of Tennessee’s Memphis Regional Megasite and a program of projects for U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. have a documented millions in potential savings for the clients.
LEÓN, Mexico February 14, 2014 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), ranked 10th internationally among Manufacturing Design Firms (ENR, 2013), announced today that they have opened operations in León, Guanajuato, Mexico—their first office in the country. SSOE now has operations in eight countries. Over the next three years, SSOE plans to hire 25-30 individuals to support the León office. SSOE’s expansion into Mexico continues the company’s trajectory of international growth; the firm has added nine offices in new geographic markets in the last three years through both acquisition and organic expansion.
Senior Project Manager Jens Ebert is featured in a two-part article series on front-end loading (FEL) in a recent edition of ChemInfo Magazine. Part I of Jens’ article examines the process of FEL that involves developing sufficient project definition so that owners can make investment decisions, minimize risk and maximize the potential for success, and how to begin the process. Part II continues the discussion of FEL II and III as well as a cost-benefit analysis for this project management process. Read more
The article, “FSMA Update: Staying Ahead of the Curve” in Food Engineering Magazine’s January 2014 issue reviews proposed rules for the Preventative Controls for Human Food and Produce Safety, but final rules have not been issued, leaving processors time to explore audit and certification alternatives. Michael Vetter, Senior Project Manager at SSOE, provides his viewpoint on the importance of GFSI certifications such as SQF and how they can go a long way to proving their compliance during an FSMA audit.
Project Manager Scott Speer is featured in a two-part article series on pet food safety in a recent edition of Food Manufacturing Magazine. Gone are the days when pet food processing was considered separate from food manufacturing – today, they are one in the same – which means pet food manufacturers can now be held accountable for compliance with FDA guidelines. Part I discusses site considerations that can improve food safety through more effective site selection, facility design, storm run-off and wastewater management. Part II delves into work flows, waste management, and safety management strategies for pet food manufacturers.
Rockwall, Texas, November 14, 2013 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, is proud to announce the successful certification of Bimbo Bakeries USA’s (BBU) first LEED®- certified facility, a bakery and distribution center located in Rockwall, Texas. The project was a design-build endeavor, with SSOE Group and Turner Construction partnering to provide design and construction. The facility recently received LEED Silver certification under the LEED 2009 for New Construction rating system from the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification program.
TOLEDO, Ohio, August 19, 2013 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm announced today it has been named to 7 Top 10 spots in the recently released, revenue-based ENR rankings, the premier publication covering the AEC industry.
Senior Project Manager, Bob Van Antwerp is interviewed for his perspective on issues critical to the overall food industry marketplace in Food Manufacturing Magazine’s July/August 2013 “Brainstorm”. Within, Van Antwerp expands on the following options food manufactures have to reduce energy costs – new technology, cooling load energy reduction, and utility incentives.
Food Engineering’s 36th Annual Plant Construction Survey reports that last year there was an increase in reportable projects over the previous year. This trend is expected to continue into 2013 and beyond. SSOE’s Ken Gruenhagen, Food and Consumer Products Division Manager, comments on the factors he believes to play a part in this increase, what projects are of upmost importance to plant and facility managers, and what he expects for the future as capital plans are made.
TOLEDO, Ohio, May 20, 2013 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, announces its sponsorship of the first annual “Evolving Energy Landscape” seminar July 15-16, 2013 at Maumee Bay State Park in Oregon, Ohio. The one and a half day seminar will deliver expert information and insights about the energy industry’s complex and changing issues to arm energy users with useful knowledge to be better equipped to reach short-term energy goals and set a smart course for the future. Attendees will earn .7 continuing education hours for attending.
Ryan Beat, Electrical Engineer in SSOE’s Food and Consumer Products Division, is featured in Food Engineering Magazine’s May 2013 issue. The article focuses on the ongoing practice of reducing energy usage, Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, February 19, 2013 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, announced today that Andrew Mekus, PE, has been named “Young Engineer of the Year” by The Toledo Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE). Andrew is a chemical engineer in SSOE’s Toledo, Ohio office and has been with the firm since 2005.
TOLEDO, Ohio, January 14, 2013 – SSOE Group, a global engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, and Evergreen EDC, a multidiscipline engineering, design, and construction management firm, today announced a merger of the firms. The merger will expand both firms’ geographic reach as well as provide their clients access to enhanced services and resources. The merged entity will operate under the SSOE Group name after a brief transition period.
Tony Damon, CEO of SSOE Group, was interviewed for the August 25, 2012 edition of The Economist. Damon provides insight on questions surrounding the increasing presence of work available in China and the effects this may have on jobs locally. In response, Damon states, “global growth is a question of survival, not choice, and that profitable work in China keeps jobs in Ohio”.
Toledo, Ohio, August 20, 2012 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm announced today it has been named to 4 Top 10 spots in the recently released, revenue-based ENR rankings, the premier publication covering the A/E/C industry.
SSOE was ranked in the number two spot nationally for Green Industrial and Manufacturing Design Firms. SSOE also ranked in the Top 10 in Solar Generation (7th), Chemical Plants (8th), and Manufacturing (9th). In addition, the firm was ranked 11th in Industrial Process, among the Top 50 Power Generation Firms, and the 77th Top 500 Design Firm, up 7 spots from 2011. Read more
SSOE’s Mike Murphy, Principal Division Manager is featured in Food Engineering magazine’s June 2012 issue. This issue includes the Annual Plant Construction Survey in which Murphy shares his thoughts on the growing trends he has observed toward efficiency improvements, plant consolidations, and attempts to standardize production across facilities. He attributes these changes to ever increasing costs of raw materials, ingredients, energy, and shipping which presents a challenge for food manufacturers to maintain or increase profit margins.
TOLEDO, Ohio, April 2, 2012 – SSOE Group, an international EPCM firm, announces the acquisition of CRS Engineering & Design Consultants, a 50-person mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering firm with offices in Birmingham and Huntsville, Alabama. The acquisition will expand SSOE’s Southeastern U.S. presence, broaden CRS’s reach to international markets, and provide both firms’ clients access to enhanced services and resources.
CRS has been in business for over 36 years and is a multi-discipline engineering and design-consulting firm specializing in healthcare, government, higher education, and other institutional facilities. CRS offers services in electrical engineering, plumbing engineering, fire protection engineering, mechanical and HVAC engineering, lighting design, telecommunication design, and security system design.
SSOE Group’s Anna Koperczak, Senior Environmental Specialist in SSOE’s Industrial Process division, discusses the upcoming deadline for facilities to report on GHG emissions as mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Kopercazk breaks down the components of a successful monitoring plan in order to fulfill this federal regulation.
Toledo, Ohio, January 23, 2012 – As economists debate the state of the economy and where it’s headed— SSOE Group, a U.S. – based engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm is thriving. In recent years, in the heart of what some are calling a mild depression, SSOE maintained profitability and earned its highest revenue numbers ever. In fact, in its 2011 fiscal year, it posted its largest revenue in the company’s 64-year history. This is proof that SSOE is demonstrating some of the growth strategies and simple shifts in mindset that other businesses will likely embrace in order to succeed in today’s economy. For SSOE, a priority in recent years is a shift in international growth, as indicated by the recent acquisition of NKS Design Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (also known as d-Tech) in Mumbai, India.
SSOE Group’s Roger DeGood, Doyle Cotton, Brent Kapelski, Jim Yerke, and Jerry Carter are featured in Food Engineering Magazine’s article, “The Sustainable Warehouse.”
SSOE Group’s Tim Michalski, Senior Electrical Engineer in SSOE’s industrial process division discusses the front-end loading (FEL) process and how it can be applied to automation projects to ensure that the human, financial, and physical tools are in place to get the job done right the first time.
TOLEDO, Ohio, August 10, 2011 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, has been recognized in several sustainable design rankings recently released from Engineering News Record (ENR). SSOE ranked 1st nationally among the Top Green Design Firms in Industrial Manufacturing. In addition, ENR also named SSOE 10th among the Top Solar Power Design Firms. Rankings are based on project revenue.
SSOE Group’s Louise Schlatter, NCARB, LEED AP, and IET’s Tim Stansfield, PE, Ph.D, discuss how strategic master planning can yield capital investment decisions that optimize facilities and process. Read more
Choosing the wrong consultant and especially the wrong property could be detrimental to your project budget and schedule. SSOE provides an overview touching on the important aspects of site selection and the details that will help you make an informed choice on a firm to partner with. In our site selection presentation, we explain our step-by-step process of securing solid ground for your facility, and how our way of working helps save you time, trouble, and money on your project. Read more
Set Up an Effective Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Plan
In this month’s issue of Chemical Processing, SSOE Group’s Anna Koperczak, Senior Environmental Specialist, discusses the upcoming deadline mandated by the U.S. EPA. In this article Koperczak also breaks down the components of a successful monitoring plan necessary to fulfill this federal regulation. Click the link below to read Anna’s article in Chemical Processing magazine. “Set Up An Effective Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Plan”
Our Senior Environmental Specialist, Anna Koperczak, gives expert advice on how to set up a GHG monitoring plan. Anna has more than 20 years experience preparing environmental permits and helping clients comply with environmental regulations for their facilities and processes. She has utilized her extensive knowledge of reporting and permitting requirements for a variety of clients, including those in the automotive, energy, food, chemical, steel, and refining industries.
View the Q&A below
Federal Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Tailoring Rule
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|What is it?||In May 2010, the EPA issued a final ruling to increase the major source thresholds for GHGs from
100/250 TPY to 25,000 TPY, effectively “tailoring” the PSD and Title V permit programs to target only “major” GHG sources and major modifications. GHG’s include CO2, N2O, CH4, HFCs, PFCs, and SF6.
|Why does it exist?||To phase in permitting requirements and reduce the number of applications submitted at one time.|
|Who does it affect?||All facilities applying for, renewing, or revising an air quality permit; or facilities that increase their GHG emissions by 75,000 TPY.|
|What’s required?||Phase 1:Permits Issued Jan. 2, 2011 – June 30, 2011
Phase 2: Permits Issued July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2013
|How does SSOE help?||
|How does SSOE add value?||SSOE applies its broad knowledge of industrial processes and facilities and full range of services to identify emissions issues before permits are submitted for review.|
Mandatory GHG Reporting Rule
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|What is it?||In October 2009, the EPA issued the “Mandatory Reporting of GHGs Rule” that requires industrial facilities to report their GHG data and other relevant information. The Rule is referred to as 40 CFR 98 (or Part 98 Rule).The gases reported include CO2, N2O,and CH4.|
|Why does it exist?||To gain accurate and timely GHG data that will inform future decisions.|
|Who does it affect?||Facilities that emit 25,000 TPY of GHGs, and any of the following facility types:
|What’s required?||Facilities that exceed thresholds are required to submit annual reports to the EPA.|
|How does SSOE help?||
|How does SSOE add value?||
Boiler MACT Rule –Major Sources
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|What is it?||In February 2011, the EPA issued new regulations regarding the emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) from industrial, commercial, and institutional boilers.|
|Why does it exist?||To regulate the emissions of HAPs, such as HCl, particulate matter, CO, mercury, and dioxins/furans from major sources of HAPs.|
|Who does it affect?||Facilities with boilers that emit at least 10 TPY of any single HAP and/or at least emit 25 TPY of all HAPs. The rule covers new, reconstructed, and existing boilers.|
|How does SSOE help?||
|How does SSOE add value?||Experience with various industrial boilers and comprehensive services, qualifies SSOE to identify cause and effect of emissions throughout both facilities and processes and provide integrated solutions.|
Q: We need to develop a reliable monitoring plan to measure the level of greenhouse gas emissions in our facility. How do we get started?
A: To begin, you’ll need to identify the sources of GHG emissions in your facility. The obvious places to consider are any combustion sources, boilers and heaters for example, or the actual production of GHGs. Also look at any chemical reactions that emit GHGs.
Q: Once I know all the sources of emissions, how do I measure them? Are meters the best way?
A: Not necessarily. There are various ways to measure GHGs and you’ll want to determine the most efficient and accurate way for your circumstances. Meters are a common solution. Make sure you use the appropriate meter for the equipment. Consider too that you may already have some metering in place that can be used to measure GHGs. You can use a PLC to gather the information from the meters. Make sure to include the calibration of equipment in your step by step monitoring plan.
Measuring the amount of fuel a piece of equipment uses is another way to calculate the amount of GHGs it emits. Also, the throughput of a piece of equipment can also help you calculate the GHG level.
Another viable option for gathering information is to examine past utility bills and use the reports to determine emission levels over a period of time.
Q: How often do I need to gather information to satisfy the reporting and permitting regulations?
A: You will want to collect your data at a minimum monthly. That way you can see trends in emissions if there are issues.
Q: How long does it typically take to develop and implement a monitoring plan?
A: That depends somewhat on the size of the facility(s). I estimate three to four months for identifying the sources, establishing the best monitoring approach, calibrating equipment, and collecting data.
Q: What are my options for reducing GHG emission levels?
A: You have many options for reducing levels. Among them are converting from coal-fired to natural gas boilers, configuring your process to use fewer, larger boilers (or more small ones), updating older equipment, upgrading processes, recovering waste heat, and installing various types of equipment that reduce emission levels.
We help clients compare these solutions, taking into account the cost of equipment, labor, and maintenance, as well as the results they generate.
Q: When does it make sense to use an outside resource to handle these activities?
A: I think you first have to consider if you have the internal resources to keep abreast of the changing regulations as opposed to an outside resource whose job it is to do so. It is valuable to have the person filing reports know how the EPA wants the information structured and how to compile it efficiently. That comes with experience.
Since understanding current regulations, reporting, monitoring, and permitting require special skills, many companies prefer to use an outside expert rather than increase headcount. Another approach is to use an outside resource to train your staff to do some of the activities—calibrating the monitors and collecting data for example.
Q: What can we expect as next steps from the EPA in regards to reporting and controlling GHG levels?
A: There is little doubt that the EPA intends to eventually mandate that companies reduce their emissions to meet certain levels, regardless of whether they are seeking permits. As part of this, the emission levels of companies will become public knowledge.
Q: How would you advise companies to prepare for public disclosure of their GHG levels?
A: I’m advising our clients to consider how public knowledge of their emissions levels will impact all aspects of their business, the public’s perception of their environmental policies, their relationships with partners and vendors, and perhaps sales. Companies should start now to reduce their levels and see this as an opportunity to gain recognition as an environmental leader.
Nashville, TN, November 4, 2010 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm announces it has been named to the number one spot for Top Green Design Firms in the recently released, revenue-based South Central Construction’s 2010 Top Design Firms rankings. Read more
In an age of budget constraints and sustainability, master planning creates opportunities for firms and long-term benefits for clients. SSOE Group’s Alan Liddy, senior project manager, is interviewed for an article on master planning for Engineering Inc.’s July/August issue. SSOE India project, Pearl City Food Port, a 300-acre Special Economic Zone, is also featured in this article. Read more
Today’s economy creates hard choices for processors selecting cooling and freezing equipment systems. But solutions exist to decrease energy usage and convert the reject heat of cooling to useful energy to heat water. SSOE Group’s Mark Hoffman, senior project manager and business leader of SSOE’s food division, is interviewed for Food Engineering’s September Tech Update on Cooling and Freezing Equipment. Read more
July 29, 2010 -SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, announced today it has been ranked the second largest food processing design firm in the United States by Engineering News Record (ENR), the industry’s premier news publication. The new ranking reflects an increase of two spots over 2009. For five years running, SSOE has generated the largest revenue increase of any food design firm, and in the last three years, no other firms have advanced in the Top Food Processing Design Firms ranking.
July 28, 2010, TOLEDO, OHIO – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, announced today it has been named to 6 Top 10 spots in the recently released, revenue-based ENR rankings, the premier publication covering the A/E/C industry. Read more
SSOE Group’s Ken Gruenhagen, senior project manager of SSOE’s food division, is interviewed for Food Engineering Magazine’s 2010 Plant Construction Survey: Enter the Era of Intelligent Asset Management.
Clarksville, TN, May 13, 2010 – SSOE announced today the first phase of construction for American Snuff Company’s (formerly known as Conwood Company, LLC) manufacturing facilities in Clarksville, Tennessee has been completed. The manufacturing facilities are situated on a 193- acre brownfield site. The new facilities will allow American Snuff to increase capacity and achieve FDA compliance—a new requirement for its products. Read more
With the recent release of the 2010 Capital Spending Outlook for the food industry, health and safety are a major concern. SSOE Group’s Mike Murphy discusses the importance of health and safety when designing a food facility. Read more
SSOE recently announced the first phase of construction for American Snuff Company’s (formerly known as Conwood Company, LLC) manufacturing facilities in Clarksville, Tennessee has been completed. The manufacturing facilities are situated on a 193- acre brownfield site. The new facilities will allow American Snuff to increase capacity and achieve FDA compliance—a new requirement for its products.
Originally designed by SSOE in the 1970s, Union Carbide operated the existing facility for nearly thirty years, producing large carbon electrodes for the steel industry. In 2009, American Snuff purchased the site, with the plan of converting it into new processing facilities.
The facility will accommodate immediate and future manufacturing needs while transforming an idle general manufacturing environment to one that satisfies new FDA regulations for the industry.
TOLEDO, Ohio, October 23, 2009 – SSOE Group and CCCL Infrastructure Ltd. are sharing their development plans for the Pearl City Food Port Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at the Worldwide Food Expo (WWFE) in Chicago October 28 – 31st. This is a first of its kind special economic zone coming up in India being established exclusively for food processing—giving manufacturers distinct tax and tariff advantages.