TreeHouse Foods acquired an Associated Brands processing facility in Medina, NY, that had no documentation of its existing ventilation and dust collection systems. They wished to evaluate these acquired systems – housekeeping central vacuum, local exhaust, and supply air (HVAC) – since there were known hygiene and climate issues at the facility. Treehouse also had concerns regarding combustible dust issues. There are more than 25 processing suites, some spanning two stories, and three different housekeeping central vacuum systems snaking throughout them (much of it is above drop ceiling), so organizing and documenting the existing systems presented a challenge.
TRC relied on its experience with similar systems and on its attention to
detail to map out the existing ventilation systems. Color was used when
there was limited supply air distribution or when it would be difficult
for a drawing viewer to determine what unit serves what areas. Once
organized, opportunities for improvement were identified. These findings,
as well as plan drawings of the three different kinds of ventilation
systems, were included in a concise technical memorandum report for
TreeHouse Foods to use. TRC also provided recommendations for new
dust collectors with provisions for explosion detection and prevention.
TreeHouse Foods was able to prioritize its planned improvements, as well
as address “low hanging fruit.” TreeHouse ended up with not only with a
plan for how to improve its acquired ventilation systems, but also with a
set of drawings of those existing systems that they did not have before.
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