Edwards Engineering reputation as Malting Engineering experts continues to grow as it announces the completion of one of its biggest and most challenging projects in the history of the company.

Based in Stowmarket, Suffolk, Muntons is a leading supplier of malts and malted ingredients to the food and drinks industry worldwide. Edwards has worked closely with them on a multi-million project to refurbish existing buildings and the installation of new malting floor beds, within a demanding timescale.

The problem

The Principal Contractor on the project, Edwards was tasked with the complete refurbishment of two germination box buildings alongside the installation of new malting beds, in a two-phase operation to allow for minimal disruption to the client’s production schedule. The second phase was concluded in a difficult period, taking into consideration the pandemic that was sweeping the country at the time.

With 5,000 square meters of stainless steel, 410 tonnes of galvanised mild steel and 4,413 square meters of cladding, the size and scale of this large project took place under very challenging conditions.

The refurbishment encompassed the concurrent complete strip out of each building, taking each germination box back to the original concrete structure. The works included the removal of all existing machinery plus the existing floor pates of each germination box, all roofing, walls, columns, trusses, flooring and walkways were removed.

This aspect of the brief alone was significant which also involved removing and the refitting of germination stripper/loaders units, removing and re-installation of machinery such as individual conveyor belts used for filling and emptying the germination units.

However, the main challenges were still to come. Once the new foundations had been cast and the rebuild could begin, a high level of cranage was required to install the stainless steel wedge wire floor beds, galvanised steelwork, roofing and cladding.

There was also a very tight 11 week timeframe for each phase, in which production was stopped for each of the 2 periods to allow the germination boxes to be replaced and for their complete refurbishment. This included the specialist cleaning and treatment of all concrete components, installation of new stainless steel purlins/side rails and cladding the walls with stainless steel lined composite cladding.

The solution

Extensive planning combined with Edwards’ highly skilled workforce not only secured the successful completion of the project but allowed it to be done in a demanding timescale, typically less than half the time required for a job of this size and scale.

The timeframe of 11 weeks set by the client to complete each phase was one of the tightest the Edwards team had ever faced. To ensure a good fit, and to minimise on-site alterations, Edwards and Blyth & Blyth (the Consulting and Structural Engineers) created a bespoke panel design specific for Muntons. With Edwards’ drawing office and extensive fabrication facilities in Perth, the 54 panels were manufactured in the factory before transporting them to site on wide loads, ready to be installed.

The outcome 

Overall the project was completed on time and within budget, in just over 12 months.

The completion of this project will allow Muntons to continue to produce high quality malt from this facility for many years to come.

This long term project with such specific requirements has highlighted Edwards’ position as a leading expert in the UK in streamlining engineering projects, from conception to fabrication, through to installation and completion plus the company is now a major player for installing malting equipment.

“The completion of this project has been a major milestone for Muntons as part of our 5 year, £65m investment plan, allowing us to continue to produce a high-quality product in a new and improved environment. The work Edwards Engineering undertook was thorough and completed within our ambitious timeline and their attention to detail in the planning stages and fabrication stages meant we experienced minimal disruption on site.”

Steve Miller, Production Director, Muntons Plc