Expanded facility adds advanced production and safety components

When Didion Milling decided to build one of the most technologically advanced dry corn mills in North America, the company envisioned a modern plant with increased production capacity, innovative quality control systems and first-rate safety features.

Didion acted as its own general contractor for the project, with engineering and design partner VAA providing general arrangement, mechanical and structural engineering and architecture, including life safety and code compliance.


Project priorities included commissioning the new facility online quickly and integrating the existing truck and rail loadout facilities, raw corn processing facility and finished product bins with the new mill infrastructure.

VAA used REVIT to create a 3D model of the facility, allowing the client to visualize how process equipment would fit within the mill floors. Coordinating with multiple suppliers from different countries was challenging; however, the 3D model provided confirmation to successfully tie in all the connection points from the suppliers as well as the remaining parts of the existing plant. Mechanical systems design for HVAC, plumbing, air make-up and dust collection were also modeled in 3D to check for interferences with other disciplines. VAA also created detailed installation and support drawings so equipment supports and spouting could be shop fabricated to expedite installation.

The new mill’s slipform shell, constructed in less than two months, was enclosed and heated to allow for construction of floors and installation of equipment during the Midwest winter months.


The project resulted in an expanded mill with multiple production lines to process corn. A 23,000 SF packaging area for finished product was added to the plant, as well as a high-speed, fully automated packaging system. High-tech sifting systems and foreign materials detection equipment ensure food safety, while advanced dust control and building protection systems keep the plant and its workers safe.