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Getting through a tight window

The Pastry House had just a three-week window for its refrigeration room to be gutted, rebuilt and new environmentally-friendly freezers to be installed.

While Babbage project manager Michael Goulding achieved the target, it was the preliminary planning that began in late 2016 that got the project across the line.

The Pastry House supplies pastry goods such as croissants, Danish pastries and other speciality products to retailers and the food service industry. The plan was to replace eight large walk-in freezers as part of an upgrade at its Wiri factory in South Auckland.

The work began in mid-April and was finished in early May, but the preparation began in December.

“The refrigeration room was part of a former seafood processing factory, it was old, there were watertightness issues and the floor needed levelling,” Michael said.

“The Pastry House had just a three-week period when it could shut down the freezer operation, so we had to have everything lined up to move quickly.”

The major equipment arrived from France with two technicians, and up to six local subcontracting companies were used during the shutdown window. 

The work required the freezing room to be demolished and rebuilt with insulated panels, along with new ceiling and floor levelling. So as much work as possible had to be done before the shutdown.

That included moving a CO2 tank, which was still needed to keep the old freezer plant working, replacing a power transformer, some foundation work, and moving the baking kitchen – all while the plant’s day to day operations continued.

Michael says Babbage has project engineering experts available to help clients plan their work, and the earlier they are involved the better.

“The job required a lot of scheduling and planning, and working to accurate timeframes from the contractors,” he said.

“It was a challenging window and a tight time frame, but we managed to bring the project in on time and under budget.”

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