May 19, 2017

19/05/2017: Improving safety and efficiency when building or refurbishing marine grain terminals

Kastriot Halili photo: Flickr

 by Tanya Gaponiuk, Grain Capital, Ukraine 

 Over the past few decades, Ukrainian grain export has increased by 77 percent. Across 2013-2014, our country exported more than 30 million tonnes of grain and surpassed Canada, Brazil and Argentine to take third place among the world’s leading grain exporters. 

 Grain logistics predestined the building of marine grain terminals, as these are essential key points of the Ukrainian grain market. 

 The majority of grain flows are aimed at highly productive, technologically advanced, reliable and safe marine terminals with reasonable prices for transhipment. 

 Odessa National Academy of Food Technologies, together with the Grain Capital group of companies, have successfully performed an operational analysis of the entire inlet technological process system, as well as grain handling, storage and dispatching processes to guarantee high quality grain materials and the lowest possible energy cost. 

 Issues concerning lowering the environmental pollution level and maximising ecological safety are also addressed. 

 Grain yielding quality 
 Damaging grain during handling is one of the most important factors in grain- quality lowering prevention. 

 According to grain area enterprise analysis, corn grain shattering increases by between 4.3 and 6.5 percent for mass activity transport processing lines manufactured in the 1980s and 1990s. While more modern highly productive equipment with the capacity of 500-1000 tonnes per hour can reduce transhipping damage to between two and four percent. 

 This can happen due to technological processes rules violation. 

 According to the research results, corn seeds breakage is defined by speed of grain flow and slowdown barrier interaction. That is why the location of the slowdown barriers is defined by the intersection of maximum transportation speed and ejection pressure suppressing. 

 Decrease of grain breakage in grain flow is achieved by addressing the following issues: 
Grain drying with the appropriate intensity (not more than five percent in one cycle)
Transport length reduction
Using technical means to lower grain and transport tools that impact speed
Minimisation of chain conveyors and bucket elevators in transport processing lines 
Using grain movement speed brakes in gravity equipment and silos
Gradual speed regimes of lines, chains and bucket movement
Optimise geometry of bucket elevator inlet and discharge junction points, bulk trays and conveyor discharge boxes

 Our specialists together with Odessa National Academy of Food Technologies have developed execution modes and constructive parameters for equipment in highly productive transport processing lines that are recommended for use at acceptance, storage, handling and discharging. 

 Experience of technological and technical solutions used in the erection and reconstruction of marine grain terminals confirms possible grain breaking decreases by two or three times. 

 Energy efficiency
 An energy audit of Odessa, Illichivsk and Nikolaev seaport terminals has shown basic problems of irrational energy spending.

 Enterprises are divided into three groups according to their energy usage and efficiency:
- E-3- High; Lower than 1.5kW hour/tonne
- E-2- Medium; 1.5kW – 4.5kW hour/tonne 
- E-1- Low; More than 4.5kW hour/tonne

 The E-3 energy efficiency class is achieved in two stages that take place during seaport terminals projecting and utilising. 

  We can make effective layout solutions, shorten itineraries and equipment numbers, we can use energy effective equipment and mechanisms all whilst projecting. At the utilising stage, minimising marine grain terminal energy consumption is related to remote automated control systems and work efficiency. 

 The E-3 energy efficiency class also includes full synchronisation of technological transport and supplying system terminals. 

 You can expect from a marine grain terminal automation: 
Full grain itineraries control and monitoring inside the elevator
Synchronising of loading and discharging from automobile, railway, marine and river transport
Gravity transport conveyors, shutters, reversing gate and distributors operation, and ensuring their compliance with technical parameters 
Operating associated aspiration systems
Equipment data collecting, control and processing 
Emergency cases and parameters deviation from technological process diagnosis with alarm initiation and informing about the type of defect 
Actions prevent unapproved blocking of equipment or itinerary stoppage 
Engine load current and flow rate are controlled to prevent emergencies and ensure maximum productivity of transporting equipment
Control of product availability in grain tanks and silos 
Preventing grain crops mixing 
Reflecting technological parameters in different logical forms
Taking a record of enterprise operation

 Distributed equipment from Siemans and Pheonex Contact (Germany) is widely used to collect data from remote equipment.

 If it is necessary, we can use wireless Phoenex Contact and Weidmueller equipment. This leads to lowering of up to 30 percent of cabling and wiring usage. 

 Connections between automation equipment are set via ProfiNet protocol using fibrotic cable. A superordinate control level can be formed via a server-client structure and can work in hot standby mode, which leads to system reliability increases. New system architecture is designed in a way that means different mechanism malfunctions don’t lead to a malfuncation of the whole control system. 

 Module construction technology, simple editing mode and using open industrial protocols OPC and Profinet, let us easily modernise a system and add new elements to cover new production areas. Software applied lets us simply, quickly and without heavy spending implement all automation systems. All the components are easily applied and support all standard interfaces. 

 Automation is performed utilising Siemans, Weidmuller, Ritton, Eldon and Wohner, to guarantee high quality and reliability. Existing solutions ensure energetic efficiency of marine grain terminals within 1.5 to 2.5kW tonne/hour that corresponds to the level of terminals in the EU, USA and Canada. 

Read more HERE.

The Global Miller
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