Clemens Food Group—Hatfield, PA
Award-Winning Expansion to Increase Food Supply.
Clemens Food Group is a sixth-generation family-owned business founded in Hatfield, PA, that has provided quality pork products since 1895. With such brands as Hatfield, Farm Promise, and Prima Porta, Clemens is the country’s fifth largest domestic pork processor.
When Clemens pursued an expansion with a new smoked pork manufacturing facility, the company turned to trusted partner Gray for its design-build and food processing expertise.
- Hatfield, PALocation
- 308000 s.f.Square Footage
- 15 monthsOperational
After partnering with Gray on the company’s first greenfield operation, a state-of-the-art production facility in Coldwater, Michigan, the customer again selected Gray to design and build the expansion to its smoked pork processing operation in Hatfield, PA. The 308,000 s.f. facility sits on a 32-acre plot on the Hatfield campus and increases production efficiency and capacity to 6,000 pounds per hour—good for 100 million pounds of cooked and smoked meat products per year.
In addition to managing the facility’s design and construction, Gray provided extensive process & packaging systems design and engineering for multiple raw and ready-to-eat meat products. Equipment services included specification, bidding, and award for integrated line layouts and MEP systems, followed by procurement and field installation support. Services and support to the customer’s processes covered a wide range of subsystems, including brine making, injection, massaging, stuffing, smoking/cooking, chilling, slicing, cubing, and primary packaging formats.
The new operation’s fully hygienic design separates incoming raw ingredients from finished ready-to-eat products and includes a 4,800-ton ammonia refrigeration system and an isolated viewing corridor for customers of the RTE process lines. A supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system provides unprecedented insight into production, while maintenance service rails, weigh-in motion conveyor, and packaging system keep the facility’s nine product lines functioning effectively at every stage of the process.
For its excellence in design, food safety, employee welfare, and production efficiency, Food Engineering awarded Clemens Hatfield the 2023 Plant of the Year. The honors continue what is becoming the welcome trend of Gray and Clemens Food Group partnering on award-winning projects.
Food Engineering judges noted that a key to Clemens’ win was the facility’s uncompromising design, which increases worker comfort as well as production—two important elements that aren’t always seen as directly related. Still more impressive is that the expansion project improves these elements while also exceeding government standards for hygienic design, food safety, and employee welfare.
“When we think about food safety, that’s typically the number one thing on our minds and our customers’ minds,” says Brad Clemens, president of Clemens Food Group. “[The plant] is designed with food safety in mind, first and foremost.” Given Gray’s commitment to safety and its strong relationship with the customer, Clemens remarked that it was an easy decision to trust Gray with the project’s success.
“There was a strong bias to go with Gray because of our great experience working with them on the Coldwater project,” he says. “With a project of this scope, you do have to value relationships. They value relationships, we value relationships. And that’s one of the things that’s definitely made this work.”
Clemens Hatfield North began production in July 2022 and has already played an integral role in expanding the company’s market share for products such as bacon, ham, and sausage.
“This business is a pennies business,” says Clemens, “so you have to build for scale. You have to build for the ability to do things efficiently and well—and that’s what this facility is built for.”
Process & Packaging Systems Engineering
Automation & Controls
Custom equipment Ovens & cookers Process skids Batching equipment Clean-in-place systems Bioreactors Extruders Distributed products Mixers & blenders Control panel fabrication