Hear It From Our Employees: The Mendota ADM Facility

Posted by: Karl von Knobelsdorff on Jan 16

From the time we won the Mendota ADM facility job to the final walk-through where we handed the reins back to the client, we didn’t stop. For our team, it was an opportunity to overcome obstacles and grow, as well as a great achievement to work on one of the most innovative flour mills around. 

It’s during a project like this where employees are given the chance to grow their skill sets and challenge their ways of doing things. Now that the project is wrapped, we know we’ve learned a lot. We know we can design, build, and start up a massive plant and handle whatever big industrial projects come our way. 

It’s safe to say the Mendota ADM facility was a big deal for Knobelsdorff Enterprises as a whole, but it was also a big deal for each individual employee who contributed to the project. Here’s a look at what a few of our employees had to say about their experience on the Mendota ADM project. 

KE-ADM-Feb-2020-6

If you’d like to learn more about the project as a whole, we covered it in this blog.

Knobelsdorff Enterprises Employee Insights

Rohan — Assistant Project Manager

As Assistant Project Manager, Rohan had many responsibilities throughout the project’s duration. Beyond routine administrative tasks like project tracking and office trailer duties, Rohan helped bridge the gap between internal and client communications. 

By attending daily client meetings, Rohan listened to ADM firsthand and relayed high-priority information back to the team at Knobelsdorff Enterprises. With a pulse on client needs, Rohan assisted the project Foremen by helping them set priorities and maintain the project timeline. 

When I checked in with Rohan to ask about his favorite part of the project, this is what he had to say,

“Learning about how we do things on-site and how we go from motor/device installation to being ready to test. I like to know the process of  how things get done. By being on-site and being part of the process I now know what information and materials are needed to get various tasks done.

Over the course of the project, I learned a lot about what it takes to communicate with other contractors, interpret device PLC drawings, and keep track of an ever changing project.”

Aiman — Electrical Design Engineer

As Electrical Design Engineer, Aiman was responsible for numerous components of the project. Electrical design and engineering deals with the specifications of unique processes and the special requirements of the equipment, so paying close attention to details and studying power, communication, and installation procedures for each individual equipment per each process is key to developing a custom approach in providing the most optimal engineering solution. Some of the areas Aiman was responsible for included: 

  • Power distribution one-line diagram
  • MCC elevation and one-line drawings
  • Embedded conduit design
  • Conduit schedule
  • Panel schedule
  • Electrical equipment identification
  • Vendor submittals review
  • Small scale panel design

Additionally, Aiman navigated communications with sub-contractors and the client, as well as ongoing field operations support.

When I asked Aiman about her experience working on the project, she had this to say, 

“The ADM Mendota project was in a league of its own for its grand scale and difficulty, but learning so much about the flour milling process and equipment was my favorite part. I believe it was a perfect opportunity for the entire KE team to exercise our abilities in planning, predicting, and executing.

Our commitment to excellent service strengthened our team work, pushed each KE member's full potential to flourish, and, at the end, yielded into a successful end product of our collective work. Personally, I learned to be more assertive and take on more responsibility.”

Manuel — Electrician

During the Mendota ADM project, Manuel brought his electrical expertise to the role of Superintendent. As Superintendent, Manuel managed communications among the many contractors on the project to keep the design on track. When I asked Manuel about his experience on the project, he had this to say,

“During the Mendota ADM project, we came upon many areas to improve and learn from. While I hadn’t worked on a project of this size or scale before, it really showed me how capable we all are of learning and growing. As it turned out, keeping open communications with all the contractors was a key to success.

I learned a lot about asking questions and listening, and even more about trusting your gut and thinking for yourself.”

Growing KE’s Feed and Flour Mill Success

Overall, the ADM Mendota project challenged every employee who worked on it. And as a company, it taught us a lot about what it takes to take on a project of this scale. Before the project began, our firm was confident in our ability to handle it, but there’s a different level of confidence that comes once the project is completed. We look forward to future projects that challenge our capabilities and help our employees learn and grow. 

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