November 05, 2019

Expansion project garners Allstate valuable experience

by Erin Schmitt, Media Director, Pittsburg Tank & Tower Group, USA

Allstate Tower has undertaken thousands of projects since it was formed in 2003, and in 2016, was eager to accept the challenge of a project for Grain Processing Corporation that is set to be completed this fall. 

Founded in 1943, Grain Processing Corporation is a privately held corn wet milling company based in Muscatine, Iowa. GPC’s products include maltodextrins, corn syrup solids and starches for the food, nutraceutical and personal care markets; ethyl alcohol for beverage and industrial use; starches for the paper, corrugated box, textile and wallboard industries; crude corn oil and corn germ; and animal and pet nutrition ingredients.

In 2015, GPC approved a project at its Muscatine plant. Not long afterward, an Allstate salesperson reached out to the project’s millwright, Carl A Nelson & Company of Burlington, Iowa.

The project was eventually awarded to Allstate Tower in two phases; with the first phase totaling about 1.53 million pounds and the second one coming in around 800,000 pounds.  Allstate Tower provided all of the steel support structures associated with this project.  Throughout the two-phase project, Allstate has provided a total of 30 towers or vertical supports and more than 2,000 feet of catwalk to support the conveyor systems. 

“When all is said and done, Allstate provided over 2.3 million pounds of structural steel,” said Ray Fulkerson, Vice President of Manufacturing for Allstate Tower.

For reference, a tower and a 60-foot catwalk are in the 20,000 to 40,000-pound range, said Fulkerson.

Allstate played a role in designing part of the structures for phase one, Fulkerson said.  The in-house team of professional engineers employed by Allstate Tower is well equipped to tackle a project of this magnitude and has decades of combined experience designing all types of steel structures.  All of the support equipment was fabricated and manufactured at Allstate. 

“The catwalks were very large on this, so we used a different material, a custom style of catwalk specifically designed for that project,” said Mr Fulkerson.

The large catwalks supporting most of the conveyors were a custom design that utilised WT-shapes for the top and bottom chords. WT-shapes are made by splitting W-shapes, or I beams, down the middle to create a “T” shaped structural member. This shape proved to be the most effective choice for the heavy top and bottom chords required for these catwalks. 

Most of the steel has a hot-dipped galvanised finish.  The OSHA-compliant handrails were painted safety yellow.  

Read more HERE.

The Global Miller
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