Side-draw retrofitting

by Emily Wilson
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Dear editor,

Excellent article by Bruce Mitchell and Mark Myers (see "Off-center silo unloading," World Grain, February 2000). I ask them to send me details on whether side-draw discharge can be fitted to existing silos. We have around 25 silos with 125,000 tonnes capacity.

G.C.Arun Kumar

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Editor's reply: Mark Myers of Brock Grain and Feed Systems, Milford, Indiana, U.S. writes, "Side draw unloading systems impose significant dynamic loads on silos when in use. A typical installation is integrated into the structural design of the silo by the manufacturer, before shipping the silo. While it may be possible to add a side draw unloading system to an existing silo, it would be physically difficult. Installation of the system would require drilling and bolting of components through the silo wall to the height of the eave, with people both inside and outside of the silo. In addition, the silo manufacturer may require additional modifications, such as extra wind rings or extra anchoring of the silo to the concrete foundation.

"The short answer, then, to the question ‘Can a side draw system be fitted to an existing silo?' is two part: 1) Possibly, but with difficulty, and 2) Only the original silo manufacturer can say for sure. In any case, no attempt should be made to design or install a side draw system in a silo which has not been specifically engineered to accommodate it."