Synlait Blending and Canning Plant

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Synlait owns and operates one of the main dairy plants in Canterbury, New Zealand. A recent boom in the dairy industry has seen large dairy companies expand their facilities to keep pace. As a result, smaller companies such as Synlait have had to follow suit, in a bid to remain competitive.

Apollo engaged GHD to assist with the Design and Construct of a new baby formula blending and canning plant. The objective was to deliver a solution focused on the need for the Chinese clients to regularly view the plant, meet and exceed hygiene specifications, and safeguard food security and traceability whilst taking into account the latest technology and robotic design.

Our team provided the preliminary design of process, structure and architectural facilities. In addition, we produced a geotechnical testing and interpretative report, carried out detailed design and detailing, and provided construction observation.

With early contractor involvement, our team developed the most cost-effective design. Integral to this, was fitting the blending and canning process to the building, and meeting strict industry hygiene requirements. The plant includes a 60 by 30 m building with a 22 m high blending tower.

The building was considered a complex structure due to its unusual shape – structurally it covers five levels, although physically it appears to be just two. Inside there is a viewing gallery for visitors, highly sophisticated continuous blending and canning equipment, and robotic product stacking capabilities.

The final outcome is a factory that produces tins of high-value infant formula for export using state-of-the-art hygiene detailing. This has established a benchmark for Synlait to have its other contractors meet higher hygiene detailing requirements.

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