Cleaver-Brooks System Selected for Clemens Food Group Plant

Case Study

Cleaver-Brooks Icon for Boilers Cleaver-Brooks Icon for Controls
    • Institution: Clemens Food Group Plant
    • Location: Frankfurt, KY
    • Profile: Provide steam for a new 600,000 square foot pork processing facility.
    • Challenge: Meet the changing needs of a processing plant while allowing for two feedwater sources.
    • Solution: Install three 1,200 HP CBEX firetube boilers with advanced Hawk 4000 controls and a Master Panel. The system automatically shifts between the two feedwater sources depending on the availability of higher-temperature rendering feedwater.
    • Results: System is reliably achieving the company's efficiency, emissions and sustainability goals.

    Clemens Food Group, based in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, is a sixth-generation, family-owned pork processor. In 2014, company executives were considering an expansion in western Pennsylvania or eastern Ohio when they were approached by a group of Michigan hog producers about partnering on a new plant.

    “We are looking for long-term sustainability, meaning generations to come,” said Doug Clemens, chief executive officer of Clemens Food Group. “These producers were looking for the same thing. The values and vision had to align before we could end up building something like this.”

    No other pork processor had built a new plant in 10 years, but Clemens executives wanted to partner with the Michigan producers and saw the many benefits of new construction. Working with a team that included a contractor and engineering firm, the company began developing plans for a 600,000-square-foot processing facility in Coldwater, Michigan.

    “The Coldwater plant project was the first time in our company’s history when we could actually lay out something beginning to end and become extremely efficient,” added Clemens.

    Good stewardship has long been a core value at Clemens with an emphasis on state-of-the-art sustainability practices being incorporated into its offices, farms and factories.

    When it was time to select a boiler system for the new plant, energy efficiency, reliability and sustainability were the key criteria. After evaluating boiler equipment from several manufacturers, the consulting engineer recommended a fully integrated Cleaver-Brooks boiler system to the Clemens team.

    “I am confident the reputation of Cleaver-Brooks played a significant role in the steam-generating equipment chosen,” said Mitch Tannehill, utilities supervisor for Clemens Food Group.

    To meet plant capacity of processing 10,000 hogs in one shift, the engineer recommended three 1,200 horsepower Cleaver-Brooks CBEX Premium firetube boilers with economizers and advanced Hawk 4000 controls along with a Master Panel control. Additional system components included a Cleaver-Brooks.

    SprayMaster® deaerator, a stainless-steel surge tank with PLC-based ADAC controls, blowdown heat recovery, a blowdown separator and a Cleaver-Brooks exhaust stack.

    The equipment was delivered in January 2017 and installed over the next several months. Boiler solution specialists from Dean Boiler, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, provided on-site supervision for the installing contractor to ensure the system was assembled correctly.

    “The boilers have two feedwater connections,” explained Doug Terrell, boiler solutions specialist at Dean Boiler. “Because this is a pork processing plant, its largest steam user is rendering. The system design is unique because it is returning rendering feedwater back to the boiler on a separate connection.”

    The Hawk 4000 and Level Control guide the system. Depending on whether rendering is available, the system will automatically shift over to deaerator feedwater or back to rendering as necessary to use all of the rendering feedwater at the higher temperature.

    When it was time to start up the equipment, the Clemens operators were on site to watch the boiler solutions specialists conduct the inspection and do the preliminaries.

    “We spent two years building the plant and met our target date to open,” said Clemens. “We came in on time and on budget.”

    Tannehill said the new boiler system is meeting the company’s goals of efficiency, reliability, and sustainability, and it is reliably achieving targeted efficiencies and emissions.

    He added, “Cleaver-Brooks designed a well-thought-out control scheme that allows for both reliability and energy efficiency. The ability to meet the changing needs of a processing plant while allowing for two feedwater sources has proven itself in this location.”

    When it comes time for Clemens to expand its facility, increasing the steam load will be simple. Cleaver-Brooks designed the system for four boilers, so Clemens can easily add a fourth CBEX Premium boiler. All of the connections are in place, and the tanks are sized appropriately.

    Case Study

    Thumbnail of the case Study

    Download case study