Commercial Contracting Corporation is providing rigging and heavy equipment setting services at the new Spartan Dairy Michigan, LLC dairy processing facility in St. Johns, Michigan. The new cheese and whey processing plant is being constructed on a 146-acre site in the St. John’s Industrial Park. It will process eight million pounds of milk a day, which will be converted into a range of cheese (300 million pounds per year) and whey products. The by-products from the milk processing facility will be used to produce whey permeate products for both human and animal consumption.
Part of CCC’s scope included the installation of the Cheese Belts that are comprised of three main sections; Salting Mellowing Conveyor (SMC), Draining Matting Conveyor #1 (DMM1) and Draining Matting Conveyor #2 (DMM2). Due to the overall length of these conveyors, once combined at over 200’ in length and have to fit in a building that is approximately 130’ long and therefore cannot be offloaded and set as arrive linearly one by one, as they cannot fit end to end and be set up inside the building space. So a complex choreography was required to offload, stage and shuffle the large pieces of equipment in a dance with one another to allow for the space required for all three sections to occupy the one area.
What was unique about the rigging and setting of DMM2, is that it has to be held completely plumb, level and aligned, whilst motionless in midair and suspended over the top of the SMC entry point and then safely supported with preassembled scaffolding towers, while crews of specialized welders install and weld out the legs and cross bracing before it can be released from the CCC specialized gantry systems and or mobile cranes and become self-supporting.
When all three pieces of the cheese belt are assembled or stacked on top of one another, then the stairs and access walkways and platforms are added, they comprise a machine that is over 125’ in length, 25’ wide and nearly 40’ tall, weighing over 85,000 KG’s / 85 T or 187,000 lbs.
In addition to the Cheese Belts, CCC installed dryer cones, dryer chambers, indirect burners, a bag house, exhaust fan, 16 x cheese towers which produce 40lb blocks of finished product cheese, 16 x cheese vats, 36 silos on the exterior of the building ranging from 35’ to 75’ in height and 14’ in diameter and approximately 500 + other individual miscellaneous pieces of equipment.
In the US and international markets, the products manufactured here will be marketed by Glanbia Nutritionals. Dairy Farmers of America, Select Milk Producers and the Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) will supply milk to the facility.