Billions of Noodles
Maruchan is the largest ramen noodle manufacturer in the United States. Out of 3 ramen noodle packages sold in the US, 2 of them are provided by Maruchan. Before opening in south San Antonio, Maurchan sold about 4 billion packages a year. With an emerging demand in Mexico and the middle of the United States, San Antonio was a perfect location. EEA teamed with TKC Construction and GSC Architects to construct a 680,000 square feet food manufacturing plant. The facility included production areas, high-bay warehousing, and office area with the ability to quickly expand in the future.
Dealing with South Texas
Making ramen is relatively simple. Flour, water, and some heat in oil. Maruchan had plants in California and Virginia, but nothing in the south where temperatures can reach levels that can cause worker discomfort and adverse conditions for the noodles. One of the appeals of ramen is the low cost for each meal. Providing conventional air conditioning to the entire plant was not a cost effective option. We worked with the owner to explore many options from geothermal cooling to spot cooling certain areas. Trying to mitigate the hot Texas summers was present in many topics of discussion.
From Flour to Ramen
Once the building was complete, and all infrastructure in place, Maruchan hired the same design team to provide the process fitup. From fryers, to packaging machines, to palletizing, we assisted the contractors in getting the entire process assembled.
The BIM team used Navisworks to identify and prevent a conflict that would have appeared during construction. A large French drain was running through several structural pier caps. Since the invert elevation of the French drain was specified on the plans, this would have been a serious conflict in the field. Because the BIM team was able to catch this conflict well before construction began, a potentially costly and time consuming problem was prevented.