Main areas of activity in silo cleaning for companies in the plastics processing industry

Main areas of activity in silo cleaning for companies in the plastics processing industry

Main areas of activity in silo cleaning for companies in the plastics processing industry

Companies in the plastics processing industry are strongly represented in Germany. As part of the production process, high quality requirements must be met from the storage of raw materials to the finished product. This begins with the filling of raw materials into tanks or silo systems. Improper storage of materials, wear inside the silo and on the discharge equipment or external influences such as moisture or heat inside the silo can lead to chemical reactions. This subsequently causes problems in the production process.

It is even worse if defective goods are produced and delivered. But when is the right time to clean a silo or carry out an inspection?

Our experts at NT Service GmbH specialize in carrying out silo inspections, revisions and silo assessments conscientiously and in accordance with all regulations. More than 200 plastics plants in Europe are among our satisfied customers.

What hazards can impair the functionality of silo systems?

In the course of their use, silos and their discharge equipment wear at different rates depending on the abrasive (grinding or rubbing) properties of the stored material. The silo walls suffer under this load in terms of tightness. The same applies to the stability of the silo structure, which is also affected by weather conditions such as snow, frost, wind or standing moisture.

There are dangers when filling the silo, as overpressure can occur. The situation is the opposite during material removal, which is often associated with the development of negative pressure. This means that constantly changing forces act on the silo system. The functionality of add-on parts for the operation of the silo system offer additional potential hazards during longer periods of operation. These include in particular

  • Venting devices
  • Explosion protection flaps
  • filter elements
  • Level indicators
  • Overfill protection devices

External hazards exist if the support pillars are accidentally hit when loading the silo.

What potential problems does the ongoing operation of a silo system entail?

Due to their design, in which raw materials are usually removed through a narrow discharge device, silo systems tend to clump together. Depending on the bulk material or type of raw material, this clumping phenomenon is more or less pronounced. Hygroscopic properties contribute to the blocking of discharge elements on bulk material hoppers. As soon as moisture is detected in the silo system, it is usually too late.

In some situations, the bulk material in question can become highly compacted, completely compacted, moldy or ignite spontaneously. Some inorganic bulk materials tend to compact and subsequently outgas. This is the case with filter dusts in the building materials industry, for example. The risk of blockage formation is even higher with organic bulk materials due to their hygroscopic properties. If mold forms, the customer has a serious problem. There is a wide range of damage patterns in relation to the storage of bulk goods.

How can a longer interruption of operations due to a defective silo system be prevented?

In the plastics processing industry, an interruption to operations means the loss of valuable production time and high costs if delivery deadlines cannot be met. Regular inspection of the system prevents silo blockages and production downtime.

For a bulk storage system, regular silo cleaning with inspection of the entire system is absolutely essential to avoid longer downtimes. The aim here is to completely empty the silo for inspection. This is the only way to gain a comprehensive insight into all the details of the system. In the event of a possible silo malfunction, the compacted material is extracted from the silo system by our specialists in accordance with regulations until the stationary discharge path is uncovered. Once the silo system is completely empty, the silo inspection can begin.

What benefits do you get from a silo cleaning, silo fault clearance or inspection by the experts at NT Service GmbH?

Every silo cleaning is carried out by our Refa-certified experts. In this context, our certificates attest to the seamless storage of raw materials right through to the processed product. The work is carried out by proven specialists who have all the necessary qualifications. You can find out more about this on our website

The basic prerequisite before starting work is the creation of an exemplary safety concept before each assignment. The team leader compiles the necessary measures, which are strictly adapted to the relevant safety regulations. The agreed measures are then fully documented. The lives of our employees and everyone involved in the operation are always our top priority.

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