Founded in 1975, Proliant is part of the Lauridsen Group, a privately owned holding company consisting of seven independent companies. Its 100,000-sq-ft greenfield facility in St. Johns, Mich., is located adjacent to the new MWC cheese and whey processing plant. Proliant’s plant provides a needed outlet for the by-product from the adjoining MWC facility.
The site for MWC and Proliant was conceived as part of an agricultural campus. The concept materialized when Proliant agreed to acquire the neighboring site and connect the facilities via a bridge that brings whey permeate from the MWC plant to the Proliant facility. This ensures costs associated with shipping valuable whey permeate are kept to a minimum, providing maximum return for both plants.
The pipe bridge connecting Proliant with MWC is supported by 30-ft diameter caissons, columns, and long span joists, according to Paul Christensen, project executive for Miron Construction. “It stretches approximately 265 ft between the buildings,” he says. “It was critical for the two separate projects to coordinate the orientation of the pipe bridge and start/stop points between the different piping systems including COW [condensate of whey] water, steam, steam condensate, CIP [clean-in-place] return, permeate, and process water.”