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Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) Project

Zumbrota, MN

Building, maintaining and upgrading for maximum productivity.

Project Details


Food & Beverage

Construction Type

New Construction Design-Build, Upgrades and Overhaul

Services Performed

Electrical Design and Installation


100% Self-Performed by KE

Project Duration

October 2020 - February 2022 (Five Phases)

Number of Instruments and Motors


Summary of Work Performed

The Situation

Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) required a major upgrade of its manufacturing facility in Zumbrota, MN to meet the increasing demand for its products, contributing to feeding America, and be at code with wastewater regulations. As the project's electrical contractor, Knobelsdorff (KE) provided electrical design, project management services and provided installation of electrical components.

As a long-standing partner to DFA, they requested the general contractor, Miron Construction, to receive a bid from KE to serve as the electrical contractor. After the bid was approved, contracts were signed and licenses were obtained, we kicked off the project with our preconstruction team.

Throughout Project Viking, our field supervisors managed the project as it progressed with ongoing reviews of the drawings, always assuring the KE team, Miron Construction and DFA were confident with the installations.

During preconstruction, we procured well in advance the following material, which proved to be a game changer due to supply chain delays we encountered throughout the entire project. Big ticket items include:

  • 300 Miles of wire
  • 100 Miles of conduit
  • Medium Voltage Components
  • Fiber Optics and Networking Components
  • Custom Fabricating for Racking and Electrical Boxes
  • 450 Values Wired
  • 5,000 Instrumentation Terminations

The Solution

Electrical contractors design, install and maintain electrical systems, or, as some say, pull wire and bend conduit. The difference in a great electrical contractor is the approach to how they do their work and the quality they instill in their execution. The project consisted of:

  • New buildouts/construction of:
    • A fully automated, state-of-the-art, spray dryer
    • Whey loadout
    • Cheese tempering building
    • Wastewater treatment facility
    • Offices
  • Design-build engineering, procurement and construction
  • 8 kV distribution system
  • 480-volt power distribution
  • Industrial network infrastructure
  • Installation of the process controls system
  • Facility lighting
  • General use power and distribution

The Result

In 2016, the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) facility in Zumbrota processed about 8 million pounds of milk a week and contributed more than $100 million annually to the local economy. After the expansion, the facility is now producing an estimated additional 7.5 million pounds of product.

We continue to build on our 20-year relationship with DFA, as they rely on KE to design, install and maintain their Zumbrota facility, making it more productive. On call 24/7, KE continues to maintain electrical and automation documentation and records.

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