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ADM Effingham

Effingham, IL

ADM (Archer Daniels Midland), was looking to expand their pet food productions to a new, 284,000-square-foot facility in Effingham, IL. They needed an electrical contractor to handle all of the electric motors, controls, and lighting within the new facility, as well as their security and camera systems. While we had previously worked with them on a feed mill in Glencoe, MN, this second project was unlike anything we’ve ever done before. 

Project Details


Animal Nutrition/Feed Mill

Construction Type

New Construction Design-Build, Heavy Industrial

Services Performed

Electrical Design and Installation


100% Self-Performed by Knobelsdorff

Project Duration

March 2016 – October 2018


160ft Slip-Form Tower, Total 284,000 Square Feet

Summary of Work Performed

The Situation

In the most basic sense, electrical work is simply pipe and wire. But the layout of the Effingham facility was different from any other facility Knobelsdorff has worked on before. Because of the shape of the facility – it’s a tall concrete tower – and the processing workflow they wanted the facility to have, it took a lot of learning and a lot of effort to get the pieces to fall into place.

ADM contracted with Knobelsdorff to provide electrical design, installation and project management services. This state-of-the-art feed mill serves premix and dry ingredient blending needs for use in finished pet foods and treats, as well as animal feed for dairy, beef, swine, poultry, aquaculture and other specialty products. With so many products to manufacture, the facility came with unique specifications that created a series of challenges to overcome.

The Solution

The Effingham ADM facility was a two-year project, and Knobelsdorff had employees there for all but six months. We started with the underground work, which takes heavy planning but results in a cleaner facility. After pipes were in the ground, we came back later to install panels and pipe the motors and equipment. Next came lighting, safety features (fire extinguishers, etc.), and security components.

Automation was a central theme of the project, and each piece of equipment, sensor, and motor must be tested individually before handing over control to the automation company. Knobelsdorff worked closely with teams from Younglove Construction and WEM Automation to construct this industry leading, high-capacity facility.

KE also employed innovative processes to make the job as efficient as possible:

  • We placed electrical rooms near the heaviest electrical loads throughout the facility to reduce lengths of wire runs and expedite the electrical installation.
  • Innovative methods were employed to track the progress of each conduit installed, wires pulled/terminated and equipment commissioned in order to keep the project on schedule.
  • During the electrical design, each conduit was assigned a unique number for the duration of the project. Details about the destination, size and wires were put onto electrical drawings, which was then used by installers. Wire was ordered by conduit number and arrived ready to be installed, terminated and tested. Tracking conduits this way led to increased clarity and productivity from electrical design to field installation.
The Result

Even our employees who were experienced in this type of industrial work faced a whole new ballgame with this project. But one of the great things about Knobelsdorff employees is they always rise to the occasion. Everyone, from project managers and foremen to journeymen electricians, did what was needed to make the project successful.

What really sets our work apart is the final product. Knobelsdorff employees take pride in their work and know the importance of having a job that is clean. Any of our project managers can spot a crooked pipe from 100 feet away (and most of them have Karl to thank for that!). We run clean pipe for our customers, and we leave them with a great-looking facility when a project wraps. That attention to detail is in everything we do.

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