News / 1.25.17

Epstein — Meat Industry Plant Leaders

Featured exhibitor at the 2017 International Production & Processing Expo

In a little less than a week we will be a featured exhibitor at the 2017 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) an exhibition that brings together more than 1,200 exhibitors and 30,000 visitors in Atlanta from Jan. 31- Feb. 2th. IPPE is hailed as the largest annual trade show for the poultry, meat and feed industries. As part of our participation in IPPE, the trade magazine, Production and Processing News, did a feature on Epstein that will appear in their special IPPE edition. Here the text to that feature article.

Today, Epstein, a Chicago-based, full-service AEC firm, has once again solidified its position as one of the preeminent design, engineering and construction firms in world that specialize in servicing meat industry clients across the globe. Recent meat production plant assignments include a bacon plant for Daily’s Premium Meats in St. Joseph, Missouri and a smokehouse expansion for Patrick Cudahy in Cudahy, Wisconsin. Additionally, Epstein is also in the construction phase of two of the largest pork processing plants in the world, a 750,000-square-foot facility for Seaboard Farms-Triumph Foods in Sioux City, Iowa and a 650,000-square-foot plant for Prestage Farms in Eagle Grove, Iowa.

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Aerial photo of the construction of the Seaboard Farms - Triumph Foods Pork Processing Plant

Epstein’s current meat industry work also extend outside of the United States, including an expansion to Maple Leaf Foods’ pork plant in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, master planning and process improvements for Talina, one of the largest sausage production companies in Russia, and a 350,000-square-foot pork plant for Grupo Porcicolo Mexicano – Kekén in Merida, Mexico.

According to Darrin McCormies, Epstein’s director of industrial process engineering, since its founding in 1921, within the footprint of Chicago’s famed Union Stockyards, Epstein has for 95 years been a leader in meat plant design and engineering. McCormies added that, “Epstein was, in fact, entrusted by the operators of the Union Stockyards to plan, design and engineer the rebuild of this massive meat production campus in 1934 after a disastrous fire destroyed nearly six square blocks of meat packing operations. A rebuild that Epstein’s architects and engineers amazingly completed in a little over 8 months.”

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Darrin McCormies, Epstein's senior vice president, director of industrial process engineering

Epstein’s historical meat industry experience also includes numerous processing plants within Chicago’s Central Manufacturing District, as well as major production plants for clients such Smithfield, Slim Jim and Vienna Sausage. Epstein also has the honor of being the first “Western” firm to provide design and engineering services for meat plants in Eastern Europe during the early 1970s.

Leading Epstein’s meat industry services are McCormies and Stuart White, Epstein’s director of industrial projects. Their team of architects, engineers and construction professionals are instrumental in the planning, design and construction of meat industry facilities that include livestock handling, slaughter, processing operations, ready-to-eat, and box handling. “Epstein’s full-service capabilities also allow us to offer meat industry clients additional vertical services that include logistics, strategic planning, site due diligence, simulation, master planning, refrigeration engineering, process and packaging engineering, and material handling in addition to just building design and construction. We are also using virtual reality as a design tool to fine tune plant layouts,” McCormies added.

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Stuart White, Epstein's senior vice president, director of industrial projects

Coming from backgrounds with food producers, McCormies and White know that clients are foremost concerned with issues such as process improvement, sanitation/CIP, maintenance and production flexibility. McCormies’ staff within the firm’s Industrial Process Engineering Group (IPEG) is a production-oriented team. McCormies describes this group as, “Consulting Engineers with a client mindset, having extensive experience with material flow and plant layout, systems integration and automation, process and packaging systems, sanitation, plant maintenance, design and field engineering, installation, training and start-up.”  

Epstein’s IPEG leads the initial consulting work but quickly then collaborate and integrate with White’s industrial designers, engineers and construction professionals on implementing these plans and concepts, that according to White, “Help deliver sophisticated meat processing facilities that achieve the operational goals of our clients.”

For more information on Epstein, please visit Booth #B4462 during the 2017 IPPE show.