By Jason Rodriguez on May 5, 2020 1:33:00 PM
I get asked all of the time "why would I need silo-cleaning service?" There are several reasons and some have to do with emergency cleanout and some deal with preventative maintenance. Both have benefits!
Top 10 Reasons/Benefits:
1. Improve flow through storage vessels/chutes/hoppers/bunkers
2. Safely clean without confined space entry
3. Cleaned material can be recovered
4. Air-operated system
5. Various flails for whip head to meet demands of the material
6. Quick response efficiently gets storage capacity back
7. Around-the-clock coverage to get you back up and running when you need it
9. Nationwide coverage
10.Billing based on time and material
Silo Cleaning Successes
I have given you a list of how and why silo cleaning can be benefical to your operation, but here are some stories from recent jobs. I like to share these knowing I helped get an operation back up and running, SAFELY!
On a recent site, the silo was used to store salt for their production process. Water had contaminated the silo, causing the salt to harden and reduce their storage capacity. It was a relatively small silo so we were able to completely clean the buildup in a matter of a couple of days without any downtime for the plant. We restored the silo to 100 percent capacity.
At this site, we perform cleanout annually and sometimes even biannually. This plant utilizes slag from nearby steel mills to manufacture a type of slag cement. Because of the way their process works, the material tends to build up rather quickly in this raw-material silo. The material built up around the walls, reducing the planned capacity by at least 50 percent if not more. They find it beneficial to plan for preventative cleanout instead of waiting until it forces them to shutdown!
One plant that we clean biannually uses bituminous coal in their steam generation process. The last time we cleaned there, they had an unexpected outage a few weeks prior. When that type of coal sits for extended periods of time, it has the possibility of spontaneous combustion. In this instance, an excessive amount of coal sat in the coal bunkers during their emergency outage. This caused "hot spots" to form. When we began cleaning, the bunker areas were strictly monitored for the presence of CO2 gas. As the coal began to burn, the area was evacuated and the plant personnel took appropriate measures to extinguish the fires. We used thermal imaging to find the hot spots and used the whips to break them up and feed them into the pulverizer and ultimately through the steam generation process. In the end, we were able to identify and remove all hot spots, eliminating the possibility of bunker fires or combustible dust explosion. It always feels good to help keep a plant and their people SAFE!
We are often brought in to clean buildup from silo/vessel walls to not only restore their storage capacity but also to ensure safe working conditions for their workers. If there are repairs needed inside these silos, we remove anything that could possibly fall and injure workers below. It is important when you are considering hiring a cleaning crew that you look at their safety certifications and knowledge.