Neat Soap System

Neat Soap System

Location: Hammond, Ind.

Client: Unilever

Completion Date: 2010

Burns & McDonnell was responsible for the design, commissioning and startup of a neat soap system for the Unilever Hammond plant. The design was based on the latest soap-making technology offered by Italy's Mazzoni LB. The system was installed on a new three-level platform structure and makes up to 11,000 pounds/hour of neat soap, a key ingredient of the bar soap manufactured at this plant. The project also reconfigured and expanded the plant's raw material storage capacity to accommodate different materials required by the new system.

Value Engineering

The project team conducted several value engineering workshops before making key design decisions. The team brainstormed the pros and cons of all competing alternatives using a rating matrix with criteria such as installation cost, operational complexity, logistical complexity, life cycle operating cost, safety, quality and flexibility. Creative design allowed maximum utilization of existing capital assets being decommissioned, thus minimizing new capital spend. More than $1 million in savings were realized as a result of the value engineering process.

  • Preliminary engineering
  • Value engineering
  • Detail engineering
  • Project management
  • Commissioning
  • Startup

A full array of engineering disciplines were required to perform preliminary and detail design for this project including process-mechanical, civil, structural, electrical and instrumentation, as well as architectural. During construction, Burns & McDonnell provided construction supervision acting as the owner's engineer.

Burns & McDonnell developed a thorough commissioning plan and led a five-week-long commissioning and startup effort. We worked closely with Unilever's process engineers, crafts and on-site controls integrator. The startup was vertical and the system was successfully turned over to operations without any safety incidents.