Perfect to powder: why you need the right technology to handle grain
10 Jun 2020
Grain shipments require something special; their handling needs are like no other type of dry bulk material. The arrival of grain into ports is often dependent on harvests, volumes are not only dictated by demand, but also by the success of a crop’s season. Furthermore, the unpredictability of weather and ambient climate plays a major role from the field, to the port, and beyond.
Grain handling operations are located in a variety of settings, from deep in the Amazon rainforest to bustling, inner-city ports. Often, systems have to be small enough to fit under protective canopies and light enough to be installed on floating pontoons or barges. Ship unloaders, loaders and conveyors have to adapt to locations, but the qualities needed for the successful handling of grains do not change.
All-round excellence required
These systems must be able to cope with intermittent, continuous or huge surges in demand, but not only this, they must also handle grain gently. This is because the rough treatment of grains produces powdery fragments, smaller than the grain particles themselves, known as fines.
Fines can make the grain more difficult to aerate, increase spoilage rates and dust emissions, and their presence in high levels can mean that the quality of an entire grain shipment is downgraded. So, a once perfect grain can be turned to dust when not handled with care.
It is also important not to spill or waste grain cargo as this not only negatively impacts the environment, but also the efficiency of the whole terminal operation. Enclosed systems are therefore essential.
Furthermore, flexibility is frequently required. Grain handling systems must often be able to accommodate a variety of agribulk all at the same high capacities and through-ship efficiencies.
Selecting the right technology, therefore, against this backdrop of demands is critical, as it will deliver the highest profitability and the best return on investment for the terminal, and ensure the quality of grain shipments.
Bruks Siwertell is the only manufacturer of grain-unloading systems that can deliver a continuous rated capacity of up to 2,000t/h with minimal environmental impact, and handle grain gently enough that degradation and crushing are virtually eliminated.
Unlike any other available technology, the Siwertell screw-type ship unloader can reach all corners of a vessel’s hold, as well as the areas underneath the hatch coamings. This delivers the highest possible through-ship efficiency, and significantly reduces the need for payloader input. This is a stand-out characteristic, as other systems can only operate within the area of the hatch opening, ultimately requiring substantial payloader assistance to empty a hold, which lowers overall through-ship efficiency.
Our high-capacity systems are also more compact, lightweight and quieter than alternatives with equivalent rated capacities. This delivers benefits in terms of load-bearing requirements and lower investment costs for new jetties. The quiet nature of Siwertell units enables operations in very close proximity to populated areas.
Furthermore, the Siwertell screw-type ship unloader can handle multiple materials such as soya beans, meals and other non-free flowing foodstuff without any loss of efficiency when switching between them. Large-scale units can, in fact, discharge a vessel without assistance from payloaders when unloading any non-free flowing material like soya beans or similar meal roducts. Again, unique Siwertell unloader capabilities.
Bruks Siwertell’s grain handling excellence extends even further to conveying technologies. On the jetty, our high-capacity modular belt conveyors offer extremely efficient material handling. These jetty belt conveyors are coupled with a movable transfer trolley that connects the unloader or movable tripper car with a ship loader. The design of these accompanying technologies has been specifically developed to enhance the efficiency of grain handling on the jetty.
For other conveying needs, for example from storage silos, operators can use our ground-breaking low-friction air-cushion conveyors such as, The Belt Conveyor™, which can deliver significant savings in maintenance and operational costs.
Growing grain demands
With the United Nations predicting that 83 million people are being added to global population figures every year, food demand is growing. It has never been so important to ensure that systems that handle world resources do so sustainably, efficiently and without waste.
Investing in the right equipment is also a shrewd business choice. With our value calculation method, we can accurately simulate the impact of different technical solutions on the long-term profitability of an operator’s terminal. So, if you want a grain handling system that will deliver levels of profitability that you may not have even thought possible, why not get in touch?
Some highlights from Bruks Siwertell’s grain handling portfolio include:
For operators that receive grain at multiple locations or have terminals with minimal or no infrastructure we offer a range of Siwertell road-mobile unloaders. Based on screw conveyor technology, with a totally-enclosed conveying line for environmentally friendly, cost efficient operation, road-mobile unloaders are suitable for handling free-flowing dry bulk materials.
Mounted on a semi-trailer, they are all fully road-mobile for transportation between ports and it takes one operative less than an hour to complete the unfolding operation once the unloader arrives on site. Packing away at the end of unloading is equally rapid. Siwertell road-mobile unloaders are available in three different sizes – the Siwertell 5 000 S, 10 000 S and 15 000 S – the largest offering a grain unloading capacity of up to 400t/h for ships up to 15,000 dwt.
One of the latest additions to Bruks Siwertell’s market-leading portfolio of unloader products that serve the global grain industry is the port-mobile unloader. Optimized on many key levels from its stable, lightweight steel structure through to its gentle cargo handling, smooth cargo discharge, and total operational costs, the unloader offers full port mobility, excellent efficiency and rated capacities and reduced investment costs.
The Siwertell port-mobile unloader uses a heavy-duty wheeled gantry with an advanced steering system and is available as a 400t/h or a 600t/h unit. It is an ideal solution for operators looking for a port-based system to discharge vessels up to 60,000 dwt.
Our range of large-scale Siwertell unloaders is divided into three main groups; the F-type, M-type and D-type. Each is specified according to the size of ship to be handled, the rated unloading capacity required and the dry bulk commodity or commodities to be handled.
The main difference between these types is the supporting steel structure carrying the conveyors on the arm system. The steel structures can accommodate a range of conveyor sizes and can be fabricated in various lengths to suit different ship sizes, up to 200,000 dwt.
Siwertell unloaders have the ability to discharge non-free flowing materials like soya bean meal or similar meal products without assistance by payloaders. This multi-purpose function is unique to Bruks Siwertell.
Bruks Siwertell’s market-leading ship loaders are based on screw, or belt conveying technologies and are delivered as stand-alone equipment or as part of terminal systems.
Ship loaders are supplied as stationary or rail-traveling units with telescoping and slewing configurations. For even greater access to all parts of the hold, shuttling and slewing screw-type loaders can be supplied with a scissor-arm arrangement. We can deliver grain handling units with loading capacities as high as 2,000t/h.
Our conveyor technology is designed to ensure that grain terminals can maintain efficient, smooth, flexible flows of bulk material from their intake and export arrangements, through to their storage facilities and reclamation systems and on to the ship unloaders and loaders on their jetties.
We offer one of the most comprehensive ranges of conveyors on the market for handling grain. This includes technology from traditional belt and idler configurations and unique horizontal and vertical screw conveyors, to state-of-the-art, extremely efficient air-supported, low-friction systems such as The Belt Conveyor, which uses a patented pressurized air enclosure system.