The Gossner Foods cheese plant in Logan, Utah, needed a new fire-protection system retrofitted in the shelf-stable milk section of the facility. The production area is where milk is processed and packaged into self-serve cartons. So, to match the food grade piping, stainless steel was installed.

“We retrofitted their production area in the old part of the building,” says Chris Gilden, project foreman for the Logan-based Paradise Fire Protection contractor firm. “For some of the project, we used the traditional roll-and-groove joints, but we used Viega ProPress for stainless steel in the food-grade sections so it would match.”

Paradise Fire Protection installed Viega ProPress for 316 stainless in a range of sizes, 4-in. mains and branch lines in sizes 1-in., 1 1/4-in., 1 1/2-in., and 2-in.

“We used about all the pipe we ordered,” Gilden says. “We flew out a designer and went through and designed the project. From there, I came up with what parts we needed.”

Gossner Foods was founded in 1966 by Edwin Gossner and his family and is a cheese-making company with facilities in Utah and Idaho. Specializing in Swiss cheese, Gossner also offers cheddar, Monterey Jack, muenster and others. The company uses more than a half-million pounds of milk for cheese production per day.

Paradise Fire Protection is a full-service fire sprinkler firm, specializing in the design, installation, service, testing and inspecting of water-based fire sprinkler systems.

“We had some areas where you couldn’t necessarily put a ladder,” Gilden says of the Gossner project. “That was challenging.”

What Gilden and his team learned about Viega ProPress systems, though, is that the pipe and fittings can be preassembled before installation.

“We would put two or three pieces and press them on the floor, and then we’d press several pieces with fittings together,” he explains. “We’d get 30 ft., at a time and press a bunch of it together. We could carry that in preassembled and get it up in the air where we could get to the ladders.”

The preassembled piping runs weighed less than Gilden expected. “You can do most of your work on the floor,” Gilden says. “The pipe is really light, it goes together quickly and we didn’t have a single leak. You don’t have to worry too much about the outcome of pressurizing and testing.”

A project the size of Gossner Foods is not new to Paradise Fire Protection. Currently, the firm is working on three separate high schools. But the Gossner Foods project was the first time Paradise Fire Protection installed Viega ProPress systems.

Gilden reports that compared to the other brands of press fittings, Viega ProPress performs incredibly well.

“We did not have any leaks or issues,” he says. “We have not been called back to Gossner.”

Gilden is pleased with the time savings the press system provided and is proud of the finished product.

“It’s a stainless facility,” he says. “You can look up in the air and see the stainless and it matches. You can see how clean everything looks. It’s kind of hard to spot the lines because they blend in with everything else.”

Overall, Gilden and Paradise Fire Protection were extremely satisfied with the project.

“The job was a retrofit above a bunch of equipment that was already installed, so it was a pain,” Gilden says. “But the fittings made it easier.”