Tuesday, September 22, 2020

AOCS Corporate member spotlight Plus Group

AOCS talked with Grant Mitchell, acting CEO of the Plus Group. Grant joined the Plus Group in 1998 and has over 30 years of professional experience in the operation, design and management of processing facilities within the Chemical, Pharmaceutical and Food & Beverage Industries. He is a member of the American Oil Chemists’ Society and is presently on the organization’s Governing Board and serves as the organization’s Foundation Board Treasurer.  He is also the chairman of the board for Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Southern Ohio region.

In this conversation, AOCS learned about innovations the Plus Group has developed and what really sets them apart from their competitors. Read on for the next installment in the Corporate Member Spotlight series and learn more about the Plus Group. 

Thanks for taking some time to help us learn more about Process Plus. Tell us a little about the Plus Group.

The Plus Group is comprised of Process Plus, Design Build Plus and Automation Plus…thus making it the Plus Group of companies. Process Plus is a full-service engineering and architectural firm consisting of ten (10) discipline departments. Automation Plus specializes in modernizing and improving efficiency with the latest in automation and controls technologies. Design Build Plus offers Procurement, Construction Management and Owner’s Representation for clients who prefer a more seamless approach to project execution.

This three-in-one organizational structure allows us to offer clients a streamlined project approach with a single point of contact. By dividing our expertise into specialized companies, we can attract world-class talent and gain access to additional vendor partnerships.  The Plus Group consists of over 160 employees across five office locations and is 100% employee-owned. The Plus Group has been in business for over 24 years largely due to our repeat client base. The partners that we work with have come to depend on our high level of expertise, customer service and dedication to establishing lasting relationships. 

Plus Group provides one point of contact with a wide range of capabilities. The quality of our services is defined by the long-established reputation of our principals and staff. The skill and technical competence of our team is maintained through a culture focused on continuous improvement and being the ‘Firm of Choice’ for customers and employees. We take a consultative approach to projects and incorporate tools and systems that make the process of working together easy. No matter the size or scope of the work, we are customer advocates — ensuring that we align our services with our customers strategic plans and business objectives.

By combining process engineering, material handling and packaging with hygienic and clean design and automation we can ensure the highest level of plant operational efficiency and compliance.

In your own words, what products or services does Process Plus offer? 

Process Plus is a multi-discipline engineering and architecture firm, dedicated to finding the right solutions to fit your needs. We are problem solvers, interested in improving your operations, keeping you current with industry trends and regulations, consistently delivering quality solutions you have come to know and expect. We use proven methods to execute our projects while maintaining flexibility and adapting to our clients’ needs and preferences. We work together with our clients to understand their project goals, as we know each project has different parameters defining success.

What would you say differentiates Process Plus from companies in the same space as yours? 

Plus Group is more than meets the eye. We are not just another engineering group—we are a collection of three industry-leading companies that focus on our customers. Our Process and Facilities, Industrial Automation and Construction Management teams can work independently or together on any project, delivering exactly what customers need, every time.

What is a recent innovation of Process Plus that you would like to draw attention to? 

Recently, Plus Group developed Factory365 which is a product focused on providing customers peace of mind with respect to their operating facility. It is a suite of off the shelf solutions tailored to customers  The Factory365 Suite includes:

a. Metrix365 – A software application that bridges the gap between the plant floor and business systems in an Industry 4.0 world.

b. PKG365 – Comprehensive optimization of equipment and PKG lines for maximum Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE)

c. Service365 - Preventative maintenance for plant floor and IT/business solutions including cost-effective subscription services.

d. Academy365 - Training and empowering employees for successful plant floor and business operations.

e. Care365 - Providing 24/7 emergency support on and off the plant floor.

Obviously, this has been a challenging year for many companies. What do you view as the biggest challenge for Process Plus in the coming months? 

The war on talent continues to be a challenge.  Plus Group has industry expertise that is requested by some of the world’s largest and most recognized brands.  While technology improvements are critical to staying competitive, world-class resources are paramount to our success.  World-class resources that provide exceptional customer service will be essential.

Recently, you presented a #AOCSWebinar, “FSMA: Equipment, Cleaning and Sanitization Requirements Within the Food and Beverage Industry.” Can you tell us more about how the subject of that webinar intersects with your work? 

Plus Group's very talented Dennis McCullough made that presentation and really executed and shed light on the importance of hygienic and clean design, especially in today’s world where the effects of Covid19 have so greatly enhanced our need for consumer products to be trusted by manufacturing facilities that are up to code. Dennis’ presentation reviews steps for reducing possible contamination from equipment designs; and implementing effective cleaning and sanitization procedures for successful business operations. The use of the hygienic design standards developed and presented by Dennis dramatically reduces the risk of costly downtime and keeps customer’s products and employees safe from dangerous pathogens. We are seeing a tremendous peak in customer needs for services like this, and are grateful for those experts like Dennis, who have such a wealth of knowledge and cache of proven methods that ensure these standards in industries from food and beverage to consumer products to pharmaceuticals and beyond. You can get free access to this webinar's materials and its recording for a limited time by filling out your contact details.

Can you give one takeaway from your webinar that you think industry professionals would find really compelling?  

A well-designed facility that considers sanitization requirements in equipment or their facilities can be cleaned more effectively in less time while mitigating the risk of producing a contaminated product.  Sanitary design has not only added value to support food safety and quality, but it has also added value by supporting the organization’s operational efficiency objectives in reducing the amount of labor required to clean the equipment and/or facility. Fill out your contact details now for free access to this webinar.

Well Grant, thank you so much for your time! I hope everyone has learned a bit more about Process Plus. One final question before I let you go, why is being a corporate member of AOCS important to you and your company? 

Plus Group benefits by being a corporate member of AOCS based on the access to tools, discounts, annual meetings and contacts through industry, academia and many other channels that is customized to our needs.  Through inform|connect, Plus Group is able to obtain content that meets the specific informational needs on Plus Group.  AOCS has provided Plus Group the tools necessary to sustain and grow our expertise within the oils, fats, proteins surfactants and related materials.

Thanks again for reading and thanks to Grant Mitchell and his colleagues at Plus Group for taking part in our AOCS Corporate Member Spotlight Series. Make sure to visit their website and check them out on Facebook and LinkedIn! Join us next time to see who we feature next! 

1 comment:

  1. Exactly the firm we're looking to have design our new "dream" factory that streamlines raw ingredient bulks storage and mixing as well as product filling and storage. Automation is the future, so encourage young people to explore those programs at their local higher education institution. Grant and I have had some preliminary discussions, so when we get close to that point, we'll get that rolling again. The three core competencies across the food and beverage space is a huge plus to ensure that what work on paper will work on the plant floor. (and that the plant has the right floor and coatings as well!!)