Silo emptying, silo cleaning and silo inspection of a cement silo plant

Silo emptying, silo cleaning and silo inspection of a cement silo plant

Bulk material silo storage / silo systems are used to store a variety of bulk materials for further use. For the building materials industry, these are usually various types of cement and fillers such as fly ash and lime.

However, it is often the case that blockages or adhesions can occur in the respective bulk material storage facilities. As most silo systems have a certain age, it is necessary to maintain these systems and ensure that proper storage is guaranteed.

Damage to the silo system often leads to raw material blockages. If water ingresses unintentionally at one or more points in a silo system, this usually leads to cost-intensive material blockages. The ingressed water causes the mostly hygroscopic materials to clump together, which can block the silo discharge.

Fig. 1 – Material build-up on the silo wall. If the silo starts to vibrate, these

Particles fall onto the soft material without being crushed and later end up in the silo discharge and can clog it considerably.

However, this problem can be solved at an early stage by regular silo cleaning.

These material blockages lead to considerable costs for the plant operator if they have to be removed and cleared at great expense. Our teams are familiar with numerous examples and have already inspected and worked on countless systems. The problems identified were almost always identical. As a rule, a bulk storage system in the building materials industry is more than 20 years old and is rarely opened by the system operator. The cone of most systems is decorated with numerous hammer blows.

However, there comes a time when hammer blows on the cone are no longer sufficient to loosen caked material. When this point is reached, it is time for professional silo cleaning or silo emptying and, if necessary, silo repair. Recurring silo cleaning on and in bulk solids storage tanks is fundamental and extremely important for plant operators whose focus is on trouble-free operation. Only recurring silo inspections and silo cleaning measures can prevent operational faults affecting the bulk storage facility.

The most important thing, however, is occupational safety for those who enter such facilities from the inside. Access to such facilities is usually provided by CSE-compliant rope and access technology. For a specialist company, however, it is not only access that is relevant, but also rescue. Rescue concepts drawn up at an early stage and technically tested and trained ensure safety, which is of crucial importance in the course of such work.

All too often in the past, fatal or near-fatal accidents have occurred when the plant operator has sent untrained workers into such plants or when the respective workers have entered such plants under their own responsibility and contrary to any operating instructions, out of wantonness and recklessness. Many died in this attempt.

Fig. 2 – Raw material clumping in the material discharge area

Our company is well positioned in the building materials industry and has over 200 existing customers throughout Germany. These include building material manufacturers and ready-mix concrete companies. We are also present in Switzerland, Austria and Ireland and carry out inspections, silo cleaning and repairs.

Our teams are highly professional and excellently trained. We only deploy technicians or foremen on site to manage our teams. These teams make us the market leader.

Fig. 3 – Large clumping of material in the silo system at the level of the silo cone

Caution: If you try to loosen these clumps from the outside with a hammer, your silo system will certainly become blocked and completely sealed. This blockage would mean that your silo system would have to be actively vacuumed out before cleaning.

The personal motivation of our teams is based on an excellent salary and a good working atmosphere. Precisely because occupational safety is the most important constant in our company, our employees consider occupational safety in silo cleaning to be unreservedly the most important point.

Rating in our company:

Occupational health and safety: 75%
Building protection / plant safety: 20%
Constructive safety elements: 5%

Thanks to our extensive and long-standing experience, plant operators benefit from our expertise in the long term. We are familiar with almost all installed system types and designs.

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