Sargento Foods Inc. maintains its headquarters and main distribution center on 1 Persnickety Place in Plymouth, Wis. The reason for Persnickety—Sargento, a Kingspan KS45 FRP Sargento$1 billion-plus, family-owned company, practices meticulous procedures to ensure quality and safety of its products. This was no exception when it came to expanding the Plymouth production facility.

Sargento prides itself in "accepting only the best." That’s why the cheese processor turned to Kingspan Insulated Panels, Deland, Fla., when selecting cold storage panels. Kingspan provided about 6,000 square feet of 4-inch-thick, 45-inch-wide, KS45 Shadowline fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP)-lined panels. The majority of the project—about 4,000 square feet—was FRP/Imperial White with FRP on both sides. KS45 Shadowline is a premium engineered wall (or ceiling) system for interior applications that is designed to meet today’s high-performance standards.

Sargento employs 1,600 people, with approximately half of its workforce located at the Plymouth headquarters. Expanding production capacity to meet market demand became necessary, but disrupting production schedules was not an option. Since the production lines couldn't be down for long periods of time, the project was split into seven phases. In the end, build speed increased by up to 50% with Kingspan's single component system for cold storage panels, resulting in reduced downtime and on-time project completion.

"Kingspan panels are extremely efficient in construction projects," says Tim Kraus, facilities engineering designer for Sargento. "The panels go up, and as soon as you caulk the joints, they're done."

Since Kingspan's insulated metal panels provide a high-efficiency insulation core and an integral vapor barrier, multiple labor steps and other envelope systems were reduced down to a single operation. Also, the internal walls are self-supporting and do not require any additional framing.

When it comes to choosing cold storage panels, the first priority is sanitation and durability. Kingspan panels provided Sargento with a cold storage solution that met high ratings from the WDA, USDA and CFIA. The insulated wall panels boast a smooth surface that is easy to clean, allowing for strict hygienic control. They also feature a tight-fitting tongue and groove interlocking joint for resistance to moisture entry and the ability to eliminate risk of toxic mold or bacterial growth.

Ideally suited for environments where precise temperature is required, Kingspan insulated cold storage panels allow control-specific operating temperatures from -40°F to 104°F. Since the sequence of processing steps for making and storing cheese varies, as does the temperatures, time, and target pH for different steps, a controlled environment is crucial. In general, cheese is stored in coolers until the desired age is reached. Hard cheeses are left to mature and the longer the cheese is left in storage, the more pronounced the flavor becomes.

One of the biggest sources of building heat loss (or heat gain) is air. The insulating core of Kingspan cold storage wall panels provides superior thermal performance with tested R-values of up to 49. Kingspan insulated wall panels are rigorously tested to ensure that they remain both air and weather tight over the life of the building. The tight-fitting tongue and groove interlocking joint also provides a stable interior environment for food safety and employee health.

"It was a straight-forward project where everything came in as needed. We have worked with them in the past, and they work well with us," says Kraus.

Kingspan completed similar projects at two other Sargento manufacturing and production facilities in Kiel and Hilbert, Wis.

"We are very excited about what Kingspan has in store for future projects," Tim adds.

Kingspan insulated cold storage panels have been used on every continent in the world under extreme climatic conditions. They are manufactured from the highest quality materials, using state-of-the-art production equipment to rigorous quality control standards, ensuring long-term reliability and service life. Kingspan FRP-lined panels also provide dent resistance and the ability to withstand extreme washdown procedures.