The clients featured this month in AG+Co’s newsletter have more in common than being New Jersey-based. The two are alike in that their businesses have everything to do with precision. One client employs precision measuring technologies and techniques in supplying its customers with extreme-purity ingredients for the production of foods, confections and cosmetics. The other client develops and produces instruments that its customers in electronics and pharmaceuticals rely on to perform very precise measurements.
These two companies, like each of AG+Co’s valued clients, look to us when they want to optimize their work environments. When they need architectural and design solutions that add value —– by enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations —– they know our talented professionals will come through for them as we always have.
As you read our clients’ stories, please keep in mind how much we appreciate their business and yours.
With best wishes,
Michele Boddewyn AIA, LEED A.P.
Supporting Longtime Leadership in Linden
Many of the foods you eat and the cosmetics you use derive their color from ingredients created and blended by International Foodcraft Corporation (IFC) of Linden, New Jersey. For nearly 75 years, the firm has been a leading manufacturer of colorants and processing agents for the food, confectionery and cosmetics industries. Designing and managing the firm’s recent plant expansion has been a fascinating challenge, due especially to IFC’s stringent operational requirements and the need to comply with rigorous FDA mandates.
IFC’s products include color concentrates, lubricants, and pre-measured colorants. Each batch of product must be formulated with precision and consistency, since any variation in an ingredient could compromise the color, quality and acceptability of the customer’s final product.
“Alan is a longtime friend, so naturally I turned to him first when this project came up. I was not that smart in the past. Previously, I hired an architecture firm that sent in its principals first, to make a good impression. Afterwards, they sent in their flunkies, who did a mediocre job. By contrast, with AG+Co, Alan and Michael treated our project as if it were the most important thing on their agenda. What’s more, the support team that followed up was professional and highly competent. What impressed me most was their understanding of my business, from the moment they walked through my door.”
—-David Dukes, President, International Foodcraft Corporation, Inc.
Operations at the IFC facilities entail receiving, storing, moving, blending and packaging many different materials, all in various stages of production —– raw, in-process and finished —– in a staggering variety of colors and compositions. Each item must be kept isolated and uncontaminated in order to maintain perfect color-accuracy, cleanliness and quality control.
Deciding that plant improvements could substantially boost efficiency, IFC asked AG+Co to meet a challenging set of goals:
Maximize the plant’s volume and capacity —– on a landlocked narrow strip of ground.
Design a circulatory pattern that simplifies the flow of goods during the manufacturing process.
Create efficient, maximum-height rack storage, in a narrow-aisled warehouse to accommodate the use of high-reach forklift trucks.
Facilitate the required and frequent washing of walls and floors to preserve a pristine environment.
Design the entire space to ensure maximum energy efficiency.
Phase and manage construction to maintain ongoing operations and safeguard the highly sanitary production environment.
AG+Co’s design solution centered on integrating the existing IFC facility with a new 30-foot-tall, 6,700 square-foot building addition designed to accommodate multiple forklifts and multilevel racks. Adding a second loading dock —– at the opposite end of the expanded storage-and-processing building —– proved vital to improving the plant’s workflow.
We brought to the project more than simply our design skills, however. We added further value by drawing upon our extensive background in temperature-sensitive storage environments and in the use of pre-engineered metal buildings. Our selection of uniquely durable and cleanable materials for interior surfaces facilitates the regular high-pressure washdowns.
From coordinating with government agencies and negotiating regulatory requirements, to choosing and managing building contractors and materials suppliers, it has been truly gratifying to help streamline International Foodcraft’s operations. Under AG+Co management, construction is now nearing completion, anticipated by summer 2013.We wish the company great success in taking this important step forward.
Credits: Michael Ankuda, AIA, Project Manager | Christopher Dewalt, Senior Architect | Alan Gaynor, AIA, Founding Principal
Establishing a Groundbreaking Presence in Princeton
Tokyo-based Advantest is the world’s leading producer of automatic test equipment for the semiconductor industry, and a premier manufacturer of measuring instruments for the electronics industry. AG+Co first began serving the company’s architectural needs in 1985, shortly after the firm established its United States subsidiary, Advantest America, Inc. In the nearly three decades since, we have completed many successful projects for Advantest America nationally, and are privileged to have become the organization’s East Coast architect-of-choice.
Our most recent project for Advantest America grew out of the firm’s introduction in 2011 of a groundbreaking new product for a new market: a revolutionary desktop spectroscopic and imaging system for testing and measurement in pharmaceutical R&D.
Serving that market required the design, construction and outfitting of a new laboratory and demonstration facility, in Princeton, New Jersey, along with an adjacent sales office. The demonstration area would need to accommodate not only the work of its scientists, engineers and technicians, but also that of the Advantest sales team and its pharmaceutical-industry guests.
“I couldn’t be happier with AG+Co and with Michele’s attitude…She’s our go-to person…always confident…She’s known for remaining calm, even with difficult people. Members of our team come to me all the time, singing her praises. The whole company is really top-notch.”
—-Amy Gold, Director, Corporate Communications, Advantest America, Inc.
AG+Co began with preliminary drawings supplied by a design firm near Advantest’s U.S. headquarters in Silicon Valley. Our challenge then became to orchestrate the entire Princeton project toward a highly functional, aesthetically pleasing facility.
Our senior architect, Yoshio Katagiri, was instrumental in obtaining technical requirements from Advantest’s Japanese-speaking engineers. Naturally, Yoshio’s command of Japanese proved highly valuable at the early stages of the project, when the technical specifications were defined and incorporated into the lease agreement.
AG+Co helped Advantest negotiate its lease with landlord Boston Properties. We then brought in mechanical engineering talent to calculate the cooling requirements of the laboratory and demonstration areas.
Once our design professionals secured approval of their layouts for the laboratory, office and storage areas, AG+Co proceeded to coordinate a wide range of specialized-trades contractors and to specify a distinctive array of laboratory-specialty equipment and furnishings, including :
Fume hoods to contain and neutralize chemical odors.
Chemical-resistant epoxy countertops for work and demonstration tables.
Compressed-air cleaning equipment fed through an overhead array of distribution piping and fixed to the concrete floor.
Extensive shelving and tables for reference materials.
In coordinating furniture and finishes for the entire facility, AG+Co brought to the project its same attention to detail to ensure consistency of design and color between the new Princeton facility and Advantest America’s California headquarters.
Later, we thoroughly reviewed the contract documents prepared by the landlord’s architect, to ensure that the build-out matched our client’s unique operational needs. We conducted weekly conference calls with Advantest staff to keep the project moving forward.
We exerted careful due diligence throughout the project, to support Advantest’s resolve to safeguard the health and safety of laboratory personnel and ensure compliance with EPA and OSHA requirements.
With the opening of the company’s new center in Princeton this past fall, all of us at AG+Co feel a renewed pride in playing a role in our client’s growth and success through the decades.
In our recent project for Advantest America Inc, it was our team member Yoshio Katagiri whose expertise and native language skills continued to reinforce our reputation for client-focused sensitivity and clarity of purpose. His participation brought to the fore his special gift for diplomacy.
The project required dealing with a range of complicated and highly technical issues. The client team, made up of scientists, engineers and technicians of Advantest, who are mainly Japanese, were re-assured that AG+Co could offer a team member whose skill was not only quite formidable, but who also literally “spoke their language”.
With natural graciousness, Yoshio quickly put everyone’s mind at ease. He instilled confidence in the Japanese and English speakers alike that their thoughts would be conveyed accurately and that the project would be carried forward effectively.
Serving throughout the Advantest project as AG+Co’s ambassador and everyone’s faithful advocate, Yoshio empowered people of different languages, communication styles and cultures to work together in harmony. His role was crucial in seeing the project through to its successful completion.
Yoshio joined AG+Co in 2003. The responsibilities he fulfills for our clients vary widely, from field surveys and construction administration to document preparation for the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission. He is a native of Sendai, Japan, where he earned his BA in Civil Engineering at the Tohoku Gakuin University. He earned his BA in Architecture at the New York Institute of Technology.
ALAN GAYNOR + CO
434 Broadway, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10013
AG+Co understands that
your needs evolve steadily, and we make certain we can adapt to them. By continually educating ourselves about
the latest trends and changes, we can hit the ground running to integrate new, value-added features to our work and
to your spaces. We’re continually finding fresh
and different ways to meet
the challenges you face.
At all times, we keep your objectives, budgets and timelines uppermost in our minds.
“As a trained lawyer, serving many years in the real estate brokerage industry, I have learned that when you find a talented architectural firm, you should stick with them. I have that in Alan Gaynor + Company (AG+Co). For over 18 years, whatever my clients’ needs are, I turn to AG+Co for professional service. Their thoughtful design and outstanding expertise make AG+Co a winning combination, that works every time.”