Miller Electric Powers Village Piemaker, Just in Time for the Holidays

For many, pie is an essential part of the holidays. What Thanksgiving spread would be complete without it?

Commercial electrical contractor Miller Electric spent the better part of September and October helping Village Piemaker get their new facility up and running in time for their busiest season of the year. Last week, we mentioned all the pre-bent conduit our Prefab Shop made for Village Piemaker; today, we’re taking a closer look at the Omaha-area facility and how Miller Electric is getting the job done right the first time on a compressed timeline for Village Piemaker.

Helping Get Pies Out the Door, Ahead of Schedule

There’s a lot that has to happen before a pie from Village Piemaker can be opened in your kitchen and baked in your oven. The components have to be prepared and assembled, for one. Then they have to be stored safely, packaged and shipped. The kind of scale on which Village Piemaker produces pies requires a lot of power. Power that Miller Electric Project Manager Larry Lange wanted to make sure Village Piemaker had more than enough of.

“With over 15,000 square feet of refrigeration equipment in Village Piemaker’s space, the refrigeration loads are pretty large,” says Lange. “Relying on knowledge we gained working on past projects in buildings similar to this one, we decided to give Village Piemaker enough power to easily allow for further expansion and higher demand than what they have today.”

Miller Electric installed a 1,200 AMP service with a 400-kW generator to back up the refrigeration, mitigating the risk of product loss due to utility outages.

Using Design Build to Speed Up Project Progress

The timeline for this project was compressed, yet it wasn’t a concern because of the design build process used to plan and execute the work.

“We have done a few unique things to meet the timeframe required by the project,” says Lange. “We worked firsthand with engineers, making prints as we went along, using materials that we knew were readily available and building our own fixture packages with components we knew we could acquire onsite. We also limited our vendor involvement to those vendors we knew we could trust to get the job done with us on the compressed timeline.”

After the project was completed, we provided our as-built drawings to the project engineer along with a full set of prints made off what we provided.

“While that was atypical for this type of project, it allowed us to hit all of our timeframes when we needed to, which we had full confidence from the start that we would,” says Lange.

Past Experience Proved Critical to Project Success

Working on buildings similar to the Village Piemaker facility on past projects provided data that helped Miller Electric tackle this project so successfully. “Whether it was man hours, equipment size or on-the-fly engineering, having experience dealing with similar out-of-the box scenarios made it easier and less stressful to achieve success on this project,” says Lange.

Some of the equipment used on the project had to be shipped in from overseas and contained submittals that could not be translated to American standards.

Because of past experience, Miller Electric had no problem taking nameplate readings on the equipment, sizing it in-house and relying on code to feed things as needed. Upon project completion, those adjustments were included in the design build drawings, providing an accurate roadmap for servicing and maintaining the equipment down the road.

Going Above and Beyond is Standard Practice at Miller Electric

While completing a project of this magnitude on a compressed timeline might seem like it carries a pricier service level, it comes standard at Miller Electric and is part of the commercial electrical contractor’s commitment to put its customers first on every project.

“We view these projects as a challenge at times, but in a good way, because it allows us to be here for our customers,” says Lange. “We like to prove to our customers that we can pull through in any situation for them.”

On this project, that meant acting proactively at many steps along the way, including bringing inspectors in ahead of time to do walkthroughs so that any potential problems could be resolved before the project deadline arrived. This kind of proactivity comes from experience.

“When you choose Miller Electric, you’re choosing the most experienced commercial electrical contractor in town,” says Lange. “You’re choosing a contractor that knows how to get the job done right the first time.”

And to that we’d add, ahead of time, as well.