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STRAUSS VEAL, INC. – MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN

STRAUSS VEAL, INC. – MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN

The Challenge:

Butters Fetting installed the original building automation system at Strauss Veal, Inc., worldwide providers of premium veal products, in late 1988 – early 1989. “We installed the original Robertshaw (Invensys) DMS to control the more typical heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) processes throughout the offices and plant,” says Bob Behling, Building Automation Supervisor with Butters Fetting (mechanical contractor). “We worked closely with Industrial Controls – they provided the products, knowledge, and support.”

When Randy Niesing, Vice President of Operations for Strauss Veal, joined the growing company in 1995, he invited Industrial Controls to update the DMS system, eliminating a number of the processes no longer used and adding others. “What I found the most challenging about the original DMS was the programming language,” recalls Niesing. “It really could hold you hostage until you gained a basic understanding of the system.”
Strauss Veal
Niesing and his staff worked with the updated original DMS until Strauss Veal needed to expand production and moved forward with a major plant addition in 2001. It was then that Niesing considered upgrading not just the basic HVAC, but actually adding industrial process control to the system.

The Solution:

Teaming up once again with Butters Fetting’s Behling and Industrial Controls, Strauss Veal and Niesing selected the Invensys I/A with a Tridium Graphical Interface. “It was really important for Strauss to purchase a system that would be compatible with the other systems we already had installed,” says Niesing. “Tridium enabled us to link all of our existing systems together on one hub. Talk about efficient monitoring and reporting!”

Niesing continues, “In addition to controlling critical, individual room temperatures down to two-tenths of a degree, and all aspects of our refrigeration processes, we now have the capability of monitoring veal misting, which is a USDA accepted program. Without proper misting, it’s not unusual to lose a cumulative 400-500 pounds per day. Tridium allows me to graphically review each veal rail and set them up individually and uniquely for proper misting to maintain humidity and weight loss control. We know that certain rails experience more weight loss due to wind streams unique to a particular holding area, and we can now compensate for that occurrence. Tridium also makes USDA reporting much easier.”

According to Behling, “Strauss Veal is saving energy dollars on their refrigeration, since the equipment defrosts only when necessary and the veal misting truly enhances quality control.”

“We can even interface with Tridium over the Internet via the Strauss Veal website, which is extremely unique,” adds Neising. “I’ve grown much fonder of the DMS since I have the greater control and user-friendliness offered by Tridium. I don’t ever want to be held hostage by a computer again. This system is outstanding and I’m very comfortable with everything about it!”

Neising considers Bob Behling “DMS Expert Extraordinaire” since his ideas were instrumental for this project. “Butters Fetting has always been fair with Strauss Veal. And Industrial Controls is the “big dog” on the block and not only because of the Invensys and Tridium products – if they don’t have the pumps or process controls I need, nobody does!”

Behling recalls, “Butters Fetting, with lots of ideas from Randy, would dream something up and Industrial Controls would make that dream come true. Hands-on training from both Industrial Controls and Butters ensured Randy’s comfort level with the new system.”

“Butters looked around a long time before selecting Industrial Controls – their knowledge and support are second to none and someone is always available to solve a problem or answer a question. The Invensys products are reliable and dependable. The majority of the original DMS hardware is still on the job at Strauss!” concludes Behling.