ST. JOHNS, Mich. — MWC has won the prestigious “ProFood World Magazine” 2021 Manufacturing Innovation Award for its new cheese processing and whey drying facility in St. Johns, Mich. MWC will be honored with the award at PACK EXPO Las Vegas in September 2021.
ProFood World’s annual award recognizes outstanding food and beverage processing and packaging innovation projects involving greenfield plants, expansion and renovation projects, or line upgrades. MWC was a greenfield project.
MWC is a joint venture between Glanbia Nutritionals, Dairy Farmers of America Inc. (DFA) and Select Milk Producers Inc. and is one of the most technically advanced dairy processing facilities in the U.S. Glanbia Nutritionals operates the facility and markets its cheese to food service companies and other cheese companies and its whey protein powders to food, beverage and supplement companies.
“We are deeply appreciative of ProFood World bestowing this award to MWC,” said Vice President of Dairy Operations George Chappell at Glanbia Nutritionals. Tom Tench, chief operating officer, added, “We set out to create a best-in-class dairy processing facility in St. Johns, and it is an honor to be recognized for that achievement.”
Commissioning operations at MWC began in October 2020. When fully operational later this year, the nearly 400,000-square-foot facility will employ 260 local people and will process over 2.9 billion pounds of milk from local farmers into more than 300 million pounds of superior quality block cheese and 20 million pounds of value-added whey protein powders each year. MWC will receive 120 milk tankers per day, processing 25% of the milk produced in Michigan.
Design and construction of MWC was provided by Shambaugh & Son LP, a subsidiary of EMCOR Group Inc. “We knew from the start that this project would utilize some of the newest and most sophisticated technology the food-processing world has ever seen,” said Paul R. Meyers Jr., P.E., president and CEO of Shambaugh. “We also knew it would utilize some of the largest food-processing equipment installed to date.”
Summarizing the project, Brian Phelan, CEO of Glanbia Nutritionals, said, “I think we have built one of the finest dairy plants in the world. I would like to thank the Glanbia Nutritionals team, as well as the team at Shambaugh & Son LP, who delivered this project in very challenging circumstances. In addition, I would like to thank the state and city authorities for their support throughout and, of course, our joint venture partners, DFA and Select Milk Producers.”
— Glanbia Nutritionals
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