Manufacturing facilities of all kinds have always had one basic mission: to make things as efficiently, profitably and safely as possible. All aspects of their design point toward that goal. But as shifts occur in technology, consumer preferences and business priorities in general, the design of new food and beverage plants sometimes has to change to accommodate them. In fact, the ability to accommodate change itself is one of the most important things to keep in mind when designing a new plant, says Ron Rens, executive vice president of Gleeson Constructors & Engineers LLC. “When you talk modern design, I guess my first thought would be versatility,” Rens says. “To make sure that the customers can move into a facility with a line and have it versatile enough so that if their needs change, that they can quickly change that line within the facility.” The most basic element of this versatility is simply leaving enough room for whatever might need expanding, says Gleeson president Harlan VandeZandschulp. “If it’s tight now, it’s going to be really tight when they expand it,” VandeZandschulp says. “We’ve had several owners say they’ll never expand a line or change it, and they e...