Primal Pet Group

Texas

Project Details

Primal Pet Group produces minimally processed pet foods for animal lovers across the United States. Its offerings include raw, freeze-dried, smoked and natural pet foods and treats.

Primus provided design-build services on their pet food processing plant expansion and renovation in Abilene, TX. The existing 100,000 SF building underwent a massive 70,000 SF renovation and a 55,000 SF expansion. This has increased production from 90,000 dog treats a month to 900,000.

The expansion includes three working process kitchens: one for jerky and two for freeze-dried dog food products. Raw material is loaded on the new freezer dock, stored in a 10° freezer, then makes its way to one of the three kitchens.

The jerky process kitchen feeds to six smokers and has its own fully automated loading, cooking, traying and packaging system.

The two kitchens for freeze dried products produce dog treats. Raw product arrives, then is prepped, cleaned and formed. It makes its way to an IQF sorting freezer, then travels via conveyor to a storage freezer. From there, it travels to automated traying, then makes its way via 400 feet of overhead monorail system to a -30° blast freezer. It moves into the ammonia-fan freeze driers, down to de-traying, then on to bagging and packaging. The product ends its travels on the finished goods dock and is shipped to stores.

Primal Pet Group’s initial plan was to shut down the facility for three months during construction. Upon further consideration, Primal chose to remain open for the duration of construction.

Food safety is the highest priority when construction takes place in an active processing facility. Primus built temporary cleanroom-style corridors throughout the building to ensure separation of food processing activities from construction activities. In addition to eliminating cross contamination, these corridors allowed Primus to maximize construction time and keep the project on schedule.

The building also features 60,000 SF of walkable ceiling. The interstitial space keeps all appliances and infrastructure separate from the processing area, allowing Primal Pet Group the ability to washdown any time. Also, all point-to-point drops are a single line to a single box.

In addition to the processing renovation, Primus added a 9,000 SF custom wellness center with a full kitchen. The exteriors for this space match the existing exteriors. There is also a new parking lot with 190 spaces to support the larger workforce.

Communication was key to the success of this complex project. Primus conducted daily calls with Primal Pet Group to ensure they were updated on the project’s progress and pleased with the results.

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