CEITM was initially commissioned in 2017 to provide expedited final design and startup of a portion of a new chicory root processing line in Gering, Nebraska. The initial effort was a very fast paced emergency engineering effort to provide process design, find used equipment and manage the installation of approx. $400k worth of equipment in a 2-month period. The process was successfully installed and commissioned and performed marginally well with the used equipment found but still had many challenges.
Based on the success of the improvements made in 2017, the client contracted with CEITM to provide design and project management for upgrades to the process line for the 2018 chicory processing season. The capital budget was approx. $800k for the line modifications and the project goals targeted all areas of safety risks, process inefficiency, high manual labor and capacity constraints. The line was upgraded from receiving through packaging and was successful in meeting the processing goals for the year. In parallel with this effort, CEITM traveled to Germany twice with the client to evaluate a new drying technology through product trials and engineering analysis to determine the potential advantage to their process.
In addition to these retrofit and upgrade modification projects, CEITM provided conceptual engineering design for multiple process scale-up options to support the client’s business plan for increased capacity. Layouts and cost estimates were generated for multiple concepts including retrofit of new equipment into the existing plant to maximize throughput and also for new greenfield site and facility options. The concepts developed, which totaled approx. $22MM were utilized by the client for master planning and further development of their business plan, crop planning and investor relations.