January 24, 2015

Alfonso Garrido - sales director, Symaga, Spain

Symaga specialises in the design, manufacture and supply of steel silos for storing cereals, oilseeds, grains and pellets, rice for the agriculture, agro-industry, biofuels and biomass industries. With more than 30 years' experience and over 15 million m³ of storage built worldwide, the company is one of the world’s leading storage experts.
But Symaga is not just silos; the company is divided into four individual divisions. The Livestock Division focuses on farm silos and livestock equipment, the Agriculture Division, provides water tanks and vineyard posts, and the Steel department is dedicated to any steel work.
In the Silos division, Symaga supplies a wide range of silos, flat bottom up to 25,000 m³ and hopper silos, reaching 12 m diameter with 45° hopper and 2,700 m³ capacity, completely galvanized and with double welded compression ring.
Alice Neal spoke to Alfonso Garrido, sales director, about the family-run business.
Garrido began his career at the company as a child helping out in the manufacturing department. He has an understanding of all aspects of the company, having spent time working in the logistics department and administration before joining the sales team three years ago. Despite having so much hands-on experience, Garrido understands the value of formal education and has a degree in business administration and speaks several European languages.

What have been the biggest changes to silos (both in terms of design and demand) since Symaga was founded in 1985?

The biggest changes we have tackled are bigger capacities for our silos, and higher galvanization requirements. Customer requests are becoming more and more specific and specialized, so we need to improve our products to satisfy their needs.
One of the biggest changes was silo designing according to new norms (EUROCODE); we had to design completely new products. Moreover, the technology on manufacturing silos has changed, so we have updated ourselves to be always competitive.

What makes a Symaga silo special?

A Symaga silo is manufactured with the best raw materials in the market, all of them certified from the top steel millers in Europe.  Calculations make Symaga silos one of the strongest in the market, if not the most. Further, our production is automated, so that we can guarantee our quality is standardized. Moreover, we would like to remark that is not only the product, but also the service that makes a Symaga silo special.

What new features are your customers asking for?

Our customers are now asking for bigger capacities, and for new accessories. For this reason we have developed new products such as ventilated cone, full aeration floor and many others.
What features do your silos have to withstand extreme temperatures and weather?
We understand extreme situation as standard situation. For this reason, we updated the galvanization to Z600 as our standard. We are able to design our silos counting extreme factors, i.e., wind (200 km/h) and snow loads (300 kg/m²), and as seismic coefficient of 0.4. For extreme climatic condition, and to avoid the condensation which is one of the main headaches, we have developed accessories such a FOAM eave close.

What improvements do you expect to see in silo technology in the next few years?

The improvements we expect are based on better raw materials (more structural quality, more galvanization for example), and new improvements in the production processes. Our stakeholder’s view of the business allows us to have good relationship with suppliers, customers, etc. to offer better products and services.

Which areas are you targeting and why?

Nowadays, we are targeting CIS countries, where we already have important presence, and also the Asian market and South America. The growth in these areas is becoming so huge at the moment, and the potential is even higher.
Safety inside silos is an important issue, what safety features do Symaga silos have?
Symaga can offer silos according to anti-explosion international safety regulations, ATEX. Moreover, all accessories such as ladder, temperature control, switch level controls etc are according to these regulations.
Recently new accessories have been designed to increase security on silos, for example, eave handrails, closed catwalks, anti-slip catwalks. Security is a must in Symaga.

What predictions do you have for the milling industry over the next 10 years?

According to predictions, the population is growing. So, this means more people to be fed. For this reason, storage needs to be increased. Moreover, the global economy is increasing the trade, so storage need to be built at every stage, from farmer granaries, logistic areas (such as ports and trains) and agro-industries.

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