Sweet, Starchy Success: Building an award-winning plant with premier process controls.

An Automation Consulting and Process Controls Case Study

Building an Award Winning Plant with Process Controls

As consumer demand for frozen sweet-potato fries took off, a food manufacturer wanted to build a new plant in the southern United States to expand production capacity.

Completed in 2010, with Concept Systems as lead integrator, this showcase plant – LEED Platinum certified – is internationally renowned for its environmentally friendly design and construction, as well as operational efficiency that set a new bar for the industry. It is a premier example of process control engineering and production automation.

The Problem: Expansion Pains

The food manufacturer wanted to expand production capacity with a new forward-looking frozen french fry plant that was fully integrated from the receiving area up to the frozen grading area. Mother Nature added a degree of complexity, as sweet potatoes are not at all uniform in size and shape.

The Solution: Process Controls Planning

We served as lead integrator, developing an integrated control system for all plant processing line equipment, as well as support and utility areas. We coordinated all process control development, and also managed timelines, status reporting, meeting needs, costs, documents and other aspects of the project.

We took a lead role

We directed the controls integration effort and ensured seamless integration and coordination of all areas of process controls development. The lead integrator management responsibility also included timeline management, controls development status reporting, meeting coordination, adherence to standards, project cost review, project document management, and other pertinent process controls development activities.

We also served as the OEM coordinator and managed the processing facility’s integration tasks, including controls requirements and development, system interfaces, and installation and commissioning efforts.

The Results

An Award-Winning, Showcase Plant

The plant achieved LEED Platinum certification, the first frozen food processing plant in the world to do so. It won Food Processing magazine’s 2011 Green Plant of the Year Award. And most gratifying for us, the customer called on us again later to serve as the lead integrator for the expansion of its processing plant in the Northwest.


Upon its completion, the plant achieved LEED Platinum certification, becoming the first frozen food processing plant in the world to do so. Food Processing magazine honored the plant with its 2011 Green Plant of the Year Award for design innovation and economic sustainability, among other attributes.

The project presented an opportunity for us to partner with a forward-thinking client on a signature project and learn invaluable lessons along the way. In what might be the ultimate compliment, the same manufacturer subsequently called on us to serve as the lead integrator for the expansion of its processing plant in the Northwest.

Learn More About Our Process Control Capabilities

Project Details


24 Months


Client: 6 to 12 engineers

Concept Systems: 6 to 15 engineers

Project Duration

24 Months

Technology Used