C1S Designs, Installs New HVACs with Minimal Disruption and Downtime

It’s one thing to complete the design and installation of 16 HVAC units, 13 exhaust fans and associated piping and duct work in a short five-month timespan for one of the world’s leading snack providers. It’s a whole other story to do so while minimizing disruptions and eliminating all unplanned downtime. But that’s exactly what C1S Group did for Frito-Lay North America’s facility in Irving, Texas from March-July 2016.

The snacking giant turned to C1S to assess the right kind of HVAC system for both the packaging and production areas, specifically, whether they needed a chilled water system, or if a direct expansion (DX) system would be a better fit.

Each area of the plant had its own unique needs. The production area had concerns with exhaust, air exchanges and spot-cooling, while the packaging area needed controlled cooling to keep humidity and temperature in check. C1S ultimately chose a mixed solution, with chilled water units for the production area and DX rooftop units for the packaging area.

Though a redesign was an upfront investment, C1S saved Frito-Lay money by value-engineering the equipment to be the most efficient and effective for the space (i.e. the original design had over sized much of the equipment).

In all, C1S replaced 13 units in the packaging area and three of the large units in the production area. Thirteen exhaust fans also went into the production area.

The bigger challenge, though, was completing the renovations while keeping the facility completely operational, and not causing any unplanned shutdowns. C1S was able to accomplish this by coordinating construction during scheduled maintenance and sanitation windows. They also utilized a three-day window over Frito-Lay’s Easter shutdown to perform crane lifts for the rooftop installations.

Good manufacturing processes (GMPs) were also used during renovations to minimize debris and contain the construction process, so it didn’t affect the quality of Frito-Lay’s food materials or any part of the manufacturing and supply chain process. The project results included cfm (cubic feet per minute) outputs increasing by 30% in the packaging area and 60% in the production area.

Project Fast Facts – Frito-Lay Plant, Irving, Texas

  • 1,100 tons of new air conditioning installed over five-month period
  • Re-design and replacement of aging HVAC systems
  • Affected Frito-Lay’s packaging and production areas of plant
  • Minimal disruption and downtime required
  • Replaced 13 units in the packaging area with direct expansion (DX) units
  • Replaced three units in the production area with chilled water units
  • Thirteen exhaust fans were also installed or replaced
  • Good manufacturing processes (GMPs) were used to minimize debris and contain the construction process
  • Disruption and downtime averted by working off-hours and over holidays
  • More than 50 crane lifts were conducted over the three-day Easter holiday, with 250,000 total pounds swung
  • Also conducted helicopter lifts over the Memorial Day shut down;
    26 lifts for exhaust fans (EFs) in total