Richmond Baking Co. was founded in 1902 and remains a multigenerational family business baking cookies, crackers and graham crumbs for desserts on an industrial scale. Today the company’s market spans the continental United States and includes several Fortune 100 food brands, grocery and convenience store chains, school cafeterias and national food-service companies.
The venerable business — in the early years the company distributed its baked goods in horse-drawn delivery trucks — at one time operated two facilities: a headquarters location in Richmond, Ind., and an ancillary manufacturing bakery in Alma, Ga.
Then in 2010, top leadership at the company decided to find a third location to build a new facility to meet the increasingly difficult food safety standards in the industry. After a thorough search across the Midwest and Southern United States, a 113-acre site was chosen in Versailles, Ky., just outside of Lexington.
This greenfield build would become More Than a Bakery, a 225,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art baking facility that would set the standard for food safety for years to come.
By 2016, the $57 million construction project was well on its way to completion and in need of a security integration company to help design and install the necessary systems to meet the end customer’s lofty goals for food safety — and life safety — excellence.
Following a bid process, Richmond Baking identified its chosen provider in Modern Systems, a local full-service security contractor serving Kentucky and the surrounding states since 1979.
Several proposals were presented over a three-month period starting in February 2017. With a contract finalized that same year in June, work began the following month.
“We have a large industrial customer base, so we were familiar with this type of project. The biggest challenge for this type of project is clearly defining what we are providing so that the client has a realistic expectation of the finished product,” explains Kevin Lloyd, vice president, Modern Systems. “They were originally interested in several standalone systems — CCTV, security, access control — and we presented them with an integrated solution that separated us from the competition.”
The More Than a Bakery team, led by Director of Engineering Jeremy Bruner, worked hand-in-hand with Modern Systems in both the development of the final details of the systems as well as coordination with other trades on the job.
Work was finalized in January 2018 and formal trainings were performed the following month. The facility opened in October 2018 and is fully operational with four shifts of production, working around the clock each day of the week.
Read on to learn how Modern Systems cooked up a winning recipe for their end customer, with the icing on the cake arriving in the form of a 2019 SSI Integrated Installation of the Year for systems design, uniqueness of application, ease of operation, end-user satisfaction and more.
Quality Control Is a Must
Per regulations of the FDA, More Than a Bakery is required to control the access of people in and out of its facility to ensure its baked goods remain safe and unadulterated. Likewise, it is important to verify the proper handling of food with the use of video surveillance.
This is to confirm personnel are in their proper locations, as well as to inspect work areas for quality control of the products and cleanliness of the facility at all times.
Security cameras are also used for people safety purposes in making sure employees are behaving in a safe manner, along with potential accident investigation and training.
Operating a bakery involves work with high temperature ovens as well as possibly dusty environments that have explosion potential. Therefore, fire systems are critical in early detection of any problems that may manifest into a catastrophe.
These security, quality control and life-safety considerations taken together drove the compelling need for an integrated solution at More Than a Bakery, explains Richmond Baking President Bill Quigg, a fourth-generation proprietor of the company.
“The food must be protected. In order to do so we must assure that there is no foreign contamination or unauthorized people in areas they should not be,” Quigg says. “If an adulteration of our products were to occur, triggering a national recall of a major branded product, the cost could reach tens of millions of dollars.”
The solution provided by Modern Systems combined different types of technology across multiple platforms to meet the needs of the facility. The solution seamlessly combines the camera system with the access control system and security system to effectively and efficiently cover the sprawling grounds.
Here’s a snapshot of the systems that comprise the $400,000 project:
- 45 doors with access control/readers (Keyscan Aurora software, K-PROX3 readers)
- 54-zone intrusion system (Honeywell Vista 128 security panel)
- IP cameras, including: 80+ 3MP, 12 360° and two 4K p/t/z models (Hikvision)
- 90TB enterprise-level NVR (exacqVision), with redundant NVR for the ability to blend seamlessly with access control and the security panel
- The fire alarm system (provided by another contractor) integrates with the access control system to instantly generate and email a report of personnel inside the building.
“Having their security working together was critical for More Than a Bakery’s new state-of-the-art facility,” says Lloyd. “They asked for all three of their major security expenditures to work together as one to streamline information to security personnel. So that is what we delivered.”
Monitored Access Points
When driving onto the property, employees scan their badge to raise a gate. This process is connected wirelessly with Ubiquiti antennas from the gate to the main building. For visitors to enter the campus, they must first communicate with a receptionist via a two-way video intercom by Commend, which is also connected wirelessly.
“We are then able to follow them either into our parking lot or truck docks through our video system, and ultimately to our entrance,” Quigg says. “The prox card system is then used to gain front door access as well as through a turnstile system that uploads information to determine who is in the facility for emergency evacuation accounting.”
The building is divided into four main areas: administration, food preparation, baking and packaging. Because food contamination is a major concern it is critical to know who is coming into and out of each area.
Each food-related zone has its own changing station and sanitation area. A security camera was placed outside each changing station to ensure that personnel are wearing the proper clothes and footwear before entering an area, and to make sure they wash and dry their hands.
Each time someone scans a badge a snapshot is taken and stored with the person’s credentials to ensure that the person scanning the badge is the person entering the area and that no one is “piggybacking” into unauthorized areas.
“Some of the key features include taking a snapshot whenever someone uses their access control credential, and using p/t/z cameras to zoom in and record activity whenever an exterior door is opened,” Lloyd says.
Aside from triggering the NVR to record at a higher frame rate upon alarm, More Than a Bakery also has about 20 doors around the perimeter that are assigned as evacuation exits that should never be opened unless there is an emergency.
“Concerned that someone could be sneaking in or out these doors, we integrated the alarm panel with the NVR,” Lloyd explains. “We designed the camera system with a p/t/z camera on opposite corners of the building so that anytime one of these doors was open the p/t/z would instantly zoom into the door area and record the activity.”
The intrusion alarm design includes panic buttons located in strategic locations that trigger access doors to lock down certain areas if a threat is detected. Designated staff members receive a push notification if any of these doors open during business hours, instantly generating and distributing a report of who is in the facility.
All key personnel can also access any security-related information — access control, cameras or intrusion — instantly from their workstation.
Lloyd explains the most challenging aspect of the installation centered on the scheduling and logistics of the project, with the Modern Systems dependent upon the electrical contractor who was installing the conduit.
“Many areas of the building we couldn’t work in until it was 100% ready for us. It was a fine line of having enough people on the job to do as much as we could in a days’ time without having so many there that we weren’t being efficient,” he says.
The Cherry on Top
The integrated solution for the industrial baking facility has proven to be a source of great comfort for the end customer, given the compelling need for safety and quality control.
“Once inside the facility, we have full video access of our production process and key personnel points, assuring that our food is safe for consumers and is not adulterated during the process,” Quigg says. “The video is also utilized for people safety purposes and to assure that everyone is following our good manufacturing practices, which include the use of personal protective equipment.”
He continues: “Overall, with very little training, the system is user-friendly and has good access control levels to assure the right people have access to the information they need.”
So satisfied is More Than a Bakery leadership with the solution, the company has elected to contract with Modern Systems for future expansion work at the facility.
“The system has not only met our needs and desires, but also that of auditors that consider our facility to be leading edge from a food-safety perspective,” says Quigg.