The Dos and Don’ts of Effective Silo Management
Whether silos are used for intermediate storage, bottleneck management, material blending or final product storage; their effective management is very important to ensure the smooth running of industrial processes.
Below is a list of some simple yet critical points that may assist plant managers to effectively manage their silo systems and avoid the numerous inconveniences linked blockages and losses in silo capacity:
- Ensure proper material quality analysis is always done before loading any material into a silo.
- Ensure that agitation systems use dry air; we strongly recommend the use of root blowers as opposed to compressed air.
- Avoid overfilling standing silos; in fact, we recommend that a silo be emptied to less than 75% of its capacity if it is going to be left idle.
- In the case of redundant silos, ensure regular rotations between vessels and avoid leaving any silo idle for too long.
- Ensure that any openings (e.g. side doors, roof access) are always tightly sealed.
- Closely monitor any cracks, and conduct proper root cause analysis.
- Timeously attend to any issues at silo extraction points; blockages tend to be easier to address earlier.
- Schedule regular silo operation procedure awareness and training for all users.
- Completely empty silos at least once every three years to monitor buildup and recalibrate sensors.
- Whenever possible have dedicated silos for different materials, should there be a need to load different material, ensure proper cleaning is done before the new material is loaded.
- Conduct regular silo system audits with reputable consultants to ensure that the system operates optimally and identify bottlenecks.