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Standards or Manuals for Silo Building and Mechanical Conveyors Assembly

12/03/2008 3:48 PM

Lately, I have been involved with the building of several grain storage facilities. The way the building/installation of mechanical conveyors and silos is done disturbs me as plenty of unsafe practices and little efficient.

I wonder if I could build the structures myself in a better way. So thinking of the most standards-ridden country in the world (as far as I know), I wonder if there is any OSHA, NFPA or some other institute that has developed standards for mechanical construction works. Maybe there are manuals from industry leaders that detail how to build silos and conveyors.

All I have found is very rough and doesn't contain details as what kind of scaffoldings to use and how to assemble them.

I know silos are usually built from top to base, using pulleys to lift it in each stage; but I have seen people doing it the other way, using scaffoldings and building it from the floor to the roof. Which one is better? How is each method supposed to be followed?

The same goes for bucket elevators. Which is the best method? Assemble in the ground and lift using a crane? Use scaffoldings and build from base to top? Maybe from top to base in some way I ignore?

Is there any place in the world where I might get some hands-on training on this?

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#1

Re: Standards or Manuals for Silo Building and Mechanical Conveyors Assembly

12/04/2008 3:28 AM

Hello gussosa:

http://www.voa.gov.uk/instructions/chapters/rating_manual/vol5/sect460/frame.htm

So I think I can see where you are coming from. You want a 3D drawing aid to help design your silo?

Good luck

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#4
In reply to #1

Re: Standards or Manuals for Silo Building and Mechanical Conveyors Assembly

12/04/2008 9:57 AM

Quite true. In this occasion I will be just helping an Ag Engineer of Argentina, but I am resolved to become an expert in this area.

I know that currently I am one of the three people who knows more of bulk material handling and grain processing in Uruguay (the others being the Director of the National Silos Plan and the President of the only cooking oil company), but that speaks badly of my country and not good of me. There aren't even books on the subject at the universities, and I have make my way through word-of-mouth, crash-testing and the internet.

I have designed smaller plants and have done projects for modifications, still on small plants. This one (the 45000 ton soy storage plant) gets me freaking scared. And the coffee to keep me awake only makes things worse :D


Great link!

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#2

Re: Standards or Manuals for Silo Building and Mechanical Conveyors Assembly

12/04/2008 6:09 AM

regarding assembly of grain elevator- First installed boot section and then go step by step of elevator,s casing. when u reach at the top installed drive section of he elevator and after that you go for belt. bucket to be fixed in the ground and then with the help of winch you fix the elevator belt. join the belt . after running of the elevator at least 48 hrs in full load once again check the slackness of elt. If it is loossen the tight it.in this method scaffolding is very useful .if u need any thing regading elevator s mail me hospet123@gmail.com also we take whole plant consultancy through erection,operation and maitenance.Feel free to write .

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#3

Re: Standards or Manuals for Silo Building and Mechanical Conveyors Assembly

12/04/2008 9:43 AM

Seriously though, if you are thinking of building on a large agricultural scale, I would put that in the hands of one of the professional design engineering firms that specialize in silos. The links above will lead you to several that will provide you at the level of service required, from plans only up through total installation. Good luck

Ahh!! That sounds nice. But this is a small company and I am the tech guy. I have to do this myself.

Thanks for all the info. I will hire someone else to build the facilities I am planning now, but in the long run I will have to form a contractor (contracting?) team. There are about 3 silo builders in the country, only 2 that have some idea of what to do, but it usually happens that all three are busy and can't take your job, or they take it but leave the workers alone at the site without any kind of guidance or supervision.

There are two engineering firms that do silo building work, but they are freaking expensive and can't be bothered for small works. One of them isn't reliable anyway, as they don't even reply to emails and phone calls requesting quotes. I can guess how they will act if something goes wrong at the site.

Any builder wants to open a branch in Uruguay? We can partner. (Just in case one reads this post)

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Standards or Manuals for Silo Building and Mechanical Conveyors Assembly

12/04/2008 10:00 PM

I do understand what you are up against, and wish you well.

I did quite a lot of reading last night and that is why I included the 4th link. It details the complete plans and instructions for a very real silo to be built by a team you have described.

The link about a much larger one that collapsed not only details the construction faults, but details how it should have been built to be correct. Drawings and specs included. This is probably a rare method of getting the engineered drawings free with expert engineering explanations.

I encourage you to look at the links to see if they will be of greater use to you than you first imagined.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Standards or Manuals for Silo Building and Mechanical Conveyors Assembly

12/05/2008 11:07 AM

I thank you very much for the reading material. Yesterday I printed and read Zallen's article. I have a customer who complained about a silo failure related to defects in the columns, so it came handy. His problem is actually related to defects in the foundations and the improper practice of side unloading. That is done taking the grain out through a spout in the middle of the wall. IF the silo is designed for that, it can be done. If not, it folds like a paper cup. His was not.

Where do American silo builders learn the trade? I have contact a few manufacturers of silos and mechanizations and none seems to offer training programs.

In the meanwhile, the docs you sent me and the manuals of GSI are my best bet.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Standards or Manuals for Silo Building and Mechanical Conveyors Assembly

12/05/2008 5:34 PM

Glad I could be of some help for what it's worth. Having recently retired I find a great deal of satisfaction in the sharing (both directions) of ideas.

I would think that the engineering schools within the colleges of states in the central part of the US where most of our grains are grown would be a good place to start in your quest for specific links and textbooks that focus on silo construction and related subjects. More than that, the companies here that actually build silos are the real source of the higher expertise. No college can teach to the level that real-world experience provides, as seen in the fallen silo article.

I would not hesitate to speak with the technical folks of the US silo building companies, because even though they desire to market their product, I am certain that they would be happy to share insight and offer useful suggestions, and get the same satisfaction as I felt from your response. It's possible they would have an affordable way to train your team at distance, since most technical expertise is learned in the field, not in school. That could be a win-win since they are the most likely folks to want to partner with you and expand into Uruguay, with benefits for both you and them.

From my experience with CR4 I can safely say that many experienced (and humerous) folks stand by to cheer you on.

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Standards or Manuals for Silo Building and Mechanical Conveyors Assembly

12/05/2008 7:24 PM

I have checked all of them: KSU, NDSU, Purdue, Minnesota SU, etc. They all publish the same articles. It was okey when I started in this business, but now I need higher and deeper stuff. And more than anything I need to start using my hands.

I already had training in rice milling equipment. Maybe next year I will do something on flour milling, but the opportunity to train in silos and conveyors building still hasn't showed up.

CR4 is the best place to get information from experience. Each time I have a doubt I ask it here and is like having dozens of godfathers to teach me the right way.

Thank you.

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