Grain storage and handling

by Teresa Acklin
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A review of product developments and storage projects around the world

   Agricultural Building Co., Mendota, Illinois, U.S., in 1993 reintroduced its bin clean out system for installations that cannot use a Sweep. The A.B.C. system converts a flat bottom storage tank into a tank with hopper-like efficiency, an arrangement that allows for recessed floor clean out conveyors.

   A.B.C. in 1993 also introduced its High Capacity (Hi-Cap) drag conveying system that allows for double transitional inclines.

   In 1994, A.B.C. will introduce a new dump pit design. The system reduces dust emissions to minimal levels and is intended for facilities operating in highly regulated environments.

   A.B.C. completed a number of projects in 1993, including construction of a 4,200-tonne capacity elevator for Consolidated Grain and Barge Co., at its Utica, Illinois, U.S., barge facility. A.B.C. also supplied Sweeps for the Jamaica Livestock Association and for a major storage project near Moscow, Russia.

   Agri-Tec Canada, Inc., Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, is a consortium of western Canadian suppliers of grain storage and processing facilities. One consortium member, CMC Engineering and Management Ltd., Vancouver, British Columbia, provides structural, process, mechanical, electrical and software engineering services and project management.

   In 1993, CMC completed a major reworking of five facilities for Canada Malting Co. Ltd. The project, which began in 1988, involved improving overall efficiency and updating the plants to meet the latest safety codes.

   Work at the Calgary, Alberta, plant included a new malt cleaning and shipping facility and construction of a 160,000-tonne tower-type malt house, the first of its kind in Canada.

   CMC also was recently selected by Froedtert Malt, Inc., Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S., to provide services for the upgrade of two of its plants. During the next five years, renovations to the Milwaukee plant will include automation and modifying material flows, elevator usages and the railyard.

   At another Froedtert plant, CMC is involved in the addition of a new fleximalt compartment. The new round compartment will feature automated loading and unloading and will tie into the plant's existing air tempering and material handling systems.

   Behlen Manufacturing Co., Columbus, Nebraska, U.S., provides bins, buildings and Berico dryers to countries worldwide.

   The company's 1993 projects included a maize storage and handling system in Guasave, Mexico. The project consisted of three large silos and three hopper units with a total system capacity of about 31,700 tonnes.

   Buhler Ltd., Uzwil, Switzerland, has developed the Portalino, a new mechanical ship unloader particularly suited for low-cost grain unloading from ships of up to 30,000 dwt. The rated capacity of this new type of unloader is 300 tph, based on grain with a density of 0.75 tonnes per cubic meter.

   The Portalino range comprises three models with options to suit customer requirements as well as existing or planned infrastructure. The Portalino is available as a fixed installation, on railway tracks or as a mobile unit equipped with tires.

   Buhler is supplying the first of the new Portalino series at Semolerie Sassarese, Oristano, Sardinia, Italy. The project is scheduled for completion early this year.

   Another Buhler project scheduled for completion early this year is an installation in Antalya, Turkey, for the Turkish Grain Board. The project includes Buhler's Portalift-Combi, which uses a new pneumatic unloading and mechanical loading concept for Panamax class ships of up to 60,000 dwt.

   Buhler's major new projects for 1994 include the sale of two ship unloaders to China. Buhler will supply two Portalink high-capacity mechanical ship unloaders, each with a maximum unloading capacity of 1,150 tph, for a project at the Shanghai harbor.

   Buhler also will supply in 1994 a Portalink ship unloader with a rated capacity of 400 tph for the port of Novorossiysk, Russia. The unloader will be assembled completely in Germany and will be transferred to the port by special sea transport.

   Carier Bulk Materials Handling Ltd., Braintree, Essex, U.K., provides complete bulk materials handling services and systems, from planning and design through equipment installation and service.

   The company offers a wide range of bulk storage facilities, including bins, silos, tanks and hoppers, as well as the equipment to facilitate filling, emptying and agitation. The systems may be elevated, ground-level or below ground installations, depending on requirements. Carier also offers gravity or mechanical intake and discharge options.

   Carier manufactures a variety of conveyors, including chain and flight conveyors, twin trace types, en masse, angle-veyors, screw conveyors and screw dischargers and belt conveyors. Products range in capacity from 6 tph to 1,000 tph.

   Carier also supplies an extensive line of self-supporting, steel-cased belt and bucket elevators, with capacities ranging from 6 tph to 600 tph or more. On the standard line, power is supplied by a totally enclosed motor with a v-belt drive to a shaft-mounted speed reducer. All bearings are sealed and self-lubricating. More specialized transmissions can be incorporated when necessary.

   The company provides accessories and fittings designed to improve utility of specific components, as well as overall operational efficiency. These include computerized control systems, metering, measuring and monitoring equipment, dust control and extraction plants and fire and explosion warning and prevention devices.

   Chief Industries, Inc., Grand Island, Nebraska, U.S., has expanded the capacity of its Caldwell line of grain handling equipment to 1,272 tph.

   The company also has invested a sizeable amount to redesign completely its bulk feed and commercial hopper tank line. By the middle of this year, Caldwell also will introduce a completely new product line that will be capable of moving more than one product without mixing.

   Chief Industries in 1993 completed more than U.S.$4 million in storage and handling projects around the world, including two each in Nigeria and Thailand and one in Mexico. This year, the company is continuing its global activities through projects in China, Tunisia and Indonesia.

   The China activity includes three storage and handling facilities of 120,000 tonnes each. In Indonesia, Chief Industries is involved in an 80,000-tonne storage, handling and milling project. The Tunisia project involves a 40,000-tonne storage and handling facility.

   Chore-Time/Brock International, Milford, Indiana, U.S., internationally markets a complete line of feed and grain storage silos and accessories made by Brock Manufacturing.

   Among the products available is the “next generation” of hopper silos, so named because of several unique new features. The silos are available in models from 1.8 meters to 4.6 meters in diameter.

   The new hopper silos are built with a high capacity roof at a 40-degree incline angle, which increases the silo's usable feed storage capacity. Other new features include the trademarked Hydro-Shield Weather Guard, which forces rain, melting snow or condensation to drip off the silo's sidewall; and the trademarked Access Plus Hopper Access Door, which enables access to the inside of the hopper from the ground. The access door makes it easier to undertake the internal silo cleaning now required in some industry sectors.

   In 1993, Chore-Time/Brock was involved in numerous grain storage projects, including three each in China and Mexico and one in Colombia. In these projects, the company supplied a total of 20 silos with a total storage capacity of more than 71,000 tonnes.

   In 1994, Chore-Time/Brock will concentrate on markets where its distribution is established. The goal is to increase market share through service and support of local distributors, company officials said.

   The company has established subsidiaries to work through a distributor network. Chore-Time Brock B.V., Deurne, the Netherlands, services the European market, while Chore-Time Brock S.A., Monte-video, Uruguay, services South America.

   InterSystems, Inc., Omaha, Nebraska, U.S., manufactures an extensive line of products for materials handling facilities. These product lines include en masse conveyors, the new self-cleaning KLEEN-MASSE conveyor, bucket elevators, bulk weighing systems, automatic samplers, gravity screeners, truck probes and dust suppression equipment.

   The newly patented KLEEN-MASSE conveyor line has been refined and expanded, and several new adaptations have been developed. New lining materials are used, and conveyors now can be fitted with hinged and “quick clamped” bottom panels for rapid and thorough wash down if necessary. This feature is particularly well suited for processing and other applications where system clean out is important.

   InterSystems also has developed a new line of “self-cleaning” elevator boots for processing applications. The new boots feature a well-sealed housing, floating bottom, adjustable bucket clearance from 0 cm to 7.6 cm and a replaceable bottom liner. Several methods of belt tensioning also are available, including screw, gravity, hydraulic and pneumatic.

   The company also has redesigned its product brochures and literature to include more concise and complete information on the equipment.

   Kepler Weber S/A, Porto Alegre, Brazil, has operated continuously in the grain storage sector for 68 years. In 1993, the company introduced several new products, including the Qualikontrol, an electronic device designed to control fan-driven aeration systems automatically.

   Suitable for both vertical and horizontal storage silos, the Qualikontrol system can be programmed to activate the fans automatically as climatic conditions require for the type of grain stored and the kind of aeration desired.

   Kepler Weber also introduced the Grainkontrol, which controls grain humidity levels during the drying process. The Grainkontrol acts on the dryer's discharge, releasing grain when the programmed drying point is reached, or stopping release when humidity increases above the established level.

   Also in 1993, Kepler Weber introduced new silos with capacities ranging from 3 tonnes to 17.7 tonnes that can be filled directly by the screw conveyor from a grain truck. Kepler Weber also introduced the KW Toasting System for heat treating of soybeans. The system enables the use of natural grain or whole soybean meal in feed components and concentrates and provides flexibility in feed formulations.

   Kepler Weber in 1993 began more than 10 projects throughout South America and in Mexico. One major project was the installation of a port transshipment unit for Richco Cereais Comercio e Exportacao at Porto de Vitoria, Brazil. The project consisted of two A-200 steel silos and conveyors, with total storage capacity of 45,000 tonnes. The intake capacity is 750 tph, and the outloading capacity is 1,500 tph.

   As of early this year, the company was involved in a total of 10 new projects in South America. Also in 1994, Kepler Weber plans to increase the capacities of its horizontal and vertical conveyor systems; capacities of belt conveyors, for example, will be as much as 3,000 tph. The larger units are designed for use in ports and large processing plants.

   Prive S.A., Chalons Sur Marne, France, which for 40 years has offered galvanized steel bins, has developed a new concept for flat storage to meet the need for economical, versatile facilities that are easy to erect. The product uses the building's frame to support the forces of grain against the sides.

   Prive's 1993 projects included a building of this type, which was completed three months after order, including two months for erection on site. The building is 40 meters wide by 76 meters long and stands 16.4 meters at its top. Storage capacity for wheat is 15,000 tonnes.

   Aeration is accomplished through ducts laid on tar macadam through the length of the building, and air is fed by mobile outside fans. The building uses a mobile 300-tph conveyor equipped with a blower at the end.

   Other 1993 Prive projects included providing steel bins to customers in Western and Eastern Europe and in Africa. This year, Prive's projects are in the same areas, although company officials detect increasing interest from Eastern European countries.

   The Rolfes Co., Earth City, Missouri, U.S., in 1993 featured several electronic products to improve grain storage and handling facilities.

   With the Scancenter Activator Card System, existing temperature reading systems can be modernized using 90% of existing equipment. The Scancenter uses one Activator Card connected to each existing switchbox, and each card is dedicated to retrieving and storing temperature data.

   Temperatures for all switchboxes are read simultaneously and are stored in the cards, which increases data retrieval speed. The system reports can be printed or displayed on a computer screen. Automated aeration controllers also can be connected to the system to engage or disengage fans as temperatures dictate.

   Another product is the trademarked “oneWeigh,” which consists of proprietary personal computer software and an interface that connects to a scale indicator for a platform, rail and/or bulk weigher. Rolfes developed “oneWeigh” in a joint venture with Agris Corp.

   The system eliminates manual processing of weighing tickets by allowing operators to generate the ticket electronically through the computer. Information gathered by the computer can be transmitted to other departments, eliminating the need to post or forward information manually.

   Rolfes also announced a programmable logic controller interface for its Scancenter Bearing/Belt Alignment Temperature Monitoring System. Through a signal from the Scancenter, the P.L.C. can shut down equipment in the event of hot bearings, belt misalignment, etc.

   Samplex, North Walsham, Norfolk, U.K., has designed a system called the Insectomat that offers a fast and simple mechanism to detect insects in grain. The system was developed in association with the U.K. Home-Grown Cereals Authority, a grower-financed organization whose activities include research and development.

   The Insectomat processes grain samples of up to 10 kg in 108 seconds. It can detect infestations at population densitites of as low as 0.2 insects per kg, and, in trials, it consistently recovered nearly 100% of the two most important grain pest species.

   Samplex also has developed a new Self-programming Option for its CS90 range of bulk sampling equipment. The option enables the user to program from one to 15 sampling points per truck. Alternately, the user may choose the three standard preset points. In either case, the CS90 will repeat the sequence automatically.

   In 1993, Samplex also became accredited under BS 5750/ISO 9002, an international quality standard.

   Scafco Corp., Spokane, Washington, U.S., offers large-diameter-bottom hopper silos, with diameters of up to 11 meters and capacities to 1,600 cubic meters. The silos are equipped with 40-degree hoppers, and the bin is supported on a circular compression ring, which rests on braced structural columns.

   Scafco also provides large-diameter, low-profile corrugated galvanized steel silos with capacities of up to 25,000 tonnes. This silo type is designed to store large amounts of grain on sites with low soil-bearing resistance, such as ocean and river ports, or where some additional labor can be substituted for mechanical handling systems. The silos are equipped with galvanized steel roofs supported by a structural system. The silos also include mechanical intake systems and some mechanical discharge equipment.

   York Manufacturing Co., York, Nebraska, U.S., offers commercial hopper bottom storage silos of up to 1,100 tonnes capacity and flat bottom silos of up to 15,000 tonnes.

   New this year to York's optional accessories group are eave- and peak-mounted catwalk supports designed for suspension of overhead fill conveyors rated at up to 100 tph. The new support system eliminates the need for ground support towers, reducing both erection time and total project cost.