Start-up of Pilot Tomato Processing Plant

Food Client

  • Process engineering start-up
  • Operator training

West USA

50,000 SF

SSOE saved the client 1,000 man hours and helped to streamline activity in the plant.

When this food manufacturer built a pilot plant to develop a new method of making tomato products using a new evaporator system, they realized they were limited in the manpower they needed to master the process. With a need for additional on-site support, the food manufacturer wanted a partner that not only had expertise in design process, but had a fundamental understanding of the hands-on approach needed to learn the functionality of the system and to help ensure its success. With an alliance agreement in place, the client commissioned SSOE to manage the start-up process at the facility under a Master Service Agreement (MSA). Noted for its vast expertise in tomato-based products, SSOE’s experience runs the gamut from bulk ingredient receiving through USDA/FDA inspection, sorting, processing, filling, packaging, palletizing, and warehousing.

The pilot plant, built on an existing tomato processing site, used outdoor energy efficient evaporators that used less steam to process, at minimum, 5,000 pounds of tomato for concentrate and paste. In its role, SSOE was first charged with the oversight of day-to-day pilot plant operations, including running the process system, leading repairs, troubleshooting processing issues, as well as cleaning the system.

In its second year of on-site support, SSOE transitioned plant operations to the client’s team, training them and sharing the expertise acquired during the initial pilot plant phase. SSOE also offered input on implementing control measures and means for improving site processing. Ultimately, SSOE saved the client 1,000 man hours and helped to streamline activity in the plant.

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