High Performance Floor Protection for Food Powder Company
Founded in 1919, Griffith Labs is a global manufacturer of food ingredients. Products include seasoning blends, dry mixes, coating systems, dough blends, crumbs, flavors sauces and bases used in snack foods, processed meat and poultry to ready meals.
With worldwide success, Griffith Labs production schedule is continuous except for time allocated for sanitation. Concare was contracted to remove old floor toppings and install a new flooring system to meet FDA standards with the additional requirements of slip resistance and ease of sanitation.
Concare tight installation schedule took place over four weekends. Friday from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. sanitation was performed by Griffith Labs. The designated space would become available early Saturday morning, allowing the floor technicians to work until 12 p.m. on Sunday. Two Concare teams worked together, breaking the 24 hour day into two shifts, keeping in close communication. Noon Sunday was a hard deadline as the curing process needed to be completed prior to their production staff starting their shift on late Sunday night.
Avoiding the Dust Bowl
Dust within food production and dust from installation was a serious issue. Concare took extensive containment precautions by erecting a floor to ceiling, 30 foot high barrier that completely surrounded the work area. The barrier was constructed so that when work was completed and the plastic sheeting was clean of debris and dust, it would be stored high in the ceiling in preparation for the next weekend work. When the Concare installation team start work on the second, third and fourth weeks, all they would need to do is to lower the barrier saving a significant amount of preparation time. This would allow critical scheduling time for cleaning and curing.
Griffith Labs inquired about the Concare recommended method for floor removal. They had concerns with equipment used in the preparation process, as prior vendors used steel abrasives to remove toppings, and the metal found its way into their production environment, later discovered in metal detectors.
Our experience in the food industry and with FDA requirements reassured Griffith Labs that we were the right choice. Our process for removing existing floor coatings in the food industry is with a scarifying and milling technique. The process takes 10 percent to 15 percent longer to perform however, it is much safer for a critical food environment.
The Flooring Solution
Removing old floor coatings can be a difficult process. Wear on the floor causes the floor topping to 'thin' in high traffic areas or from chemicals during sanitation. There can be floor toppings installed over other floor toppings creating variations in thickness. While concrete cores can be cut open in order to best determine how much of the surface needs to be removed, in an operating food facility, cutting open the floor is not a viable option. Concare needed to be prepared for any contingency, especially given the short available time frame.
Concare had invested in specialty milling equipment that removes various thicknesses of old toppings quickly. On average, Concare milling equipment removed 3/8 inch on the Griffith Labs floor exposing bare concrete evenly and consistently.
The floor technicians installed a BASF Ucrete HF solution 3/8 inch thick floor resurfacer. This material fills all cracks, avoiding any chance for contamination. All stationary equipment and corners were treated with an integral cove base discouraging build up of insects, dust, soils and microbes.
Concare adjusted the application technique to minimize the steps in the installation process yet maintain the integrity of the product and the end result. Doing so avoided the layer upon layer applications typical of many polymer floor systems, delivering a more rapid installation process. The technique reduced valuable time by a full day. Testing by quality control ensured the flooring installation maintained the desired results without flaws.
Quality control was completed by our Senior Project engineer, who performed detailed checks on preparations, finishing, and temperatures of the slab and materials. Temperatures were vital to the success of the project as materials were susceptible to freezing. Precautions were planned out for material storage, only taking the flooring products to the jobsite when needed. All materials had to be stored and applied at room temperature for accurate results.
Inspections were performed at various stages of the project to monitor uniformity of application, compliance with preparation and installation requirements, dust/contaminant control measures, and sanitation compliance.
Concare follows strict safety measures and Griffith Labs was no exception. Concare has developed and regularly practices our own set of safety standards and strictly adheres to the safety standards set forth by the FDA and Griffith Labs.
For this specific project, Concare established a system of a designated in route and a designated exit from the contained work area and trained in food plant. As a result of our strict efforts, the project was accident and safety violation free.
Concare had the challenge of adhering to the requirements of both Griffith Labs and the FDA. Griffith Labs chose Concare as their provider because Concare showed a solution that was specific to the food industry and within the constraints of the production schedule. From preparation, installation to extensive clean up, Concare met the timeline presented causing minimal interruption to live production.