by Silo Construction Engineering, Belgium

 

During these uncertain times, consumer shopping behavior has shifted to meet the needs of more time spent at home with the whole family. Milling companies for the feed and food industry will be a crucial link to keep up with this demand.

So early in the value chain, in milling facilities for both food and feed, we have to take responsibility to ensure a sustainable approach. Challenges will be producing food and feed much more efficiently, significantly lowering the energy consumption usage in production, minimising downtimes, utilising valuable raw materials even better, increasing the nutritional value of feed, improving tracking of products and responding faster to changing markets.

In any milling facility, up to 80 percent of costs are caused by raw materials. Our modular buildings are, therefore, designed to produce high-quality products and maximum yields. If you increase yields by even a fraction, it goes straight to your bottom line.

The impact of the food industry on our planet is getting bigger because of the ever-increasing global consumption. We, therefore, want to support our customers to build, store and produce in a greener, faster and smarter way, eliminating any form of waste.

Our goal is to be the leading modular construction partner for the global animal and human food industry. Together we are engineering a better world.

SCE wants all its customer stakeholders to succeed in answering the challenges ahead:

  • The end customer will be loyal but will demand proof of healthy 'sustainable' feed manufacturing. So, the need is there to increase the company reputation and invest in a facility built to avoid any form of 'waste'
  • Engineering teams will ask for a waste free processes that demands less space, time and energy. So, they will look for an experienced and innovative building partner that understands their process needs
  • Investigating new designs and technologies will increase PM time pressure so they will want to work with reliable partners who can minimise budget and time overruns
  • Construction schedules will demand for new installation methods without compromise on quality and safety, and that's why more and more companies are choosing the modular 'kit' installation of SCE
  • Facility users will ask for 'cleaner' plants to show to end customers. Output also needs to be reliable and thanks to the newly patented butterfly hoppers of SCE, they deliver mass flow storage facilities which have a low maintenance process.

Why square silos?

SCE designs, produces and delivers modular square building components with the needs of clients in mind. With these dynamic square parts, you can easily integrate our square silos in any production unit. Tailor-made in function of your building, you choose the components you want, and we will create customised pieces of your silo building. And you can always easily expand your building depending on your evolving needs.

What if mass flow in silos can make your life easier?

Hoppers are a crucial part of a mass flow silo and thus designed with the greatest care for your product. We will ensure a perfect transfer from the silo to the machine process. Every product requires its own type of hopper, which are always completely tailor-made. The newly patented innovation in SCE has a name: butterfly hopper.

Project 1: Upgrade for feed producer AGRI-V by SCE

On 22 June 2019, AGRI V celebrated the opening of its new feed plant in north-west Germany. The previous facility was burnt down in a major fire in 2016, so it was crucial for AGRI V to be up and running again as soon as possible. The animal feed producer therefore decided to work with SCE, as its modular square silos can be put up particularly quickly. Detailed project planning and close interaction with the customer, for which SCE has by now built up a reputation, once again ensured that delays were avoided.

A tight timetable

A tight timetable was presented at the start of the project which is still being adhered to today; in this way, an entire new plant has been developed in just nine months. No fewer than 91 brand-new square silos will soon have animal feed pouring into them. AGRI V opted for the butterfly hopper to ensure a smooth outflow. SCE developed and built the entire steel structure of the new feed plant, including floors, stairs and so on, as well as renovating and upgrading the silos that it had built in 2005 and that had survived the fire.

Project 2: A state-of-the-art salmon feed factory

MOWI is an internationally renowned salmon farm operator and processor, managing the entire chain from fish eggs to sliced and packaged fish. In 2014, the company opened a first factory for the production of its own specialised salmon feed, and plans were soon being made for the construction of a second site in Scotland. To this end, contact was made with SCE. It represented one of the most prestigious projects ever handled by the square silo experts from Lichtervelde.

From its new site in Scotland, MOWI has recently supplied feed for salmon in Ireland, Scotland, Norway and the Faroe Islands. It is a completely new factory, with its own specially adapted jetty and equipped with the most advanced technologies.

Sustainable location

In its search for the location for its new salmon feed factory, MOWI considered its options carefully. Eventually the choice fell on an old quarry in the village of Kyleakin on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. The entire plant is situated just above sea level and, thanks in part to the surrounding hills, this greatly reduces the visual nuisance of the 40-metre-high structure for local residents. MOWI's custom-built sea-going vessels have a direct connection to the Atlantic Ocean via the converted jetty; the ships supply the salmon farms at sea from here.

In just 18 months

SCE has built a new plant on this immense site in which no less than 170,000 tonnes of fish feed can be processed every year. As well as a 40-metre-high unloading station for vessels and trucks, a connecting bridge at a height of 35 metres, 31 dosing silos and 34 large bulk silos for finished products, a warehouse with a floor area of 5,774 square metres was also developed. All this was done in just eighteen months.

Advanced butterfly hoppers

The new MOWI square silos are equipped with the advanced butterfly hoppers. These specially manufactured bulk silos ensure that the pellets do not break (generating dust) under the immense pressure of the mass of product, thanks to a combination of smooth and sheet pile walls. Together with the butterfly hoppers, these walls ensure that the product flows out smoothly and completely. SCE has now built up quite a reputation as a result of this innovative silo technology. The new salmon feed factory, one of the most efficient and sustainable in the world, required an investment of 110 million euros by MOWI.

'Solution minded- That's how SCE works'

To supply feed for salmon in the region, MOWI, an internationally renowned salmon farm operator and processor, built a new factory on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

'A big challenge, but the dedicated team of SCE helped us to realise it,' says Mick Watts of MOWI.

In the small village of Kyleakin in Scotland, SCE completed one of the most prestigious projects in its 30-year history: a state-of-the-art salmon feed factory. SCE installed the most innovative silos on the market and built most of the site.

'The construction of this plant was a very specific job,' says Mick Watts of MOWI (formerly known as Marine Harvest). 'SCE is known in the industry as a company capable of realizing projects of this size and complexity. We were in contact with four different supply companies as a partner for this aspect of the project. We checked references of all four of them, and also visited their factories.'

'When I was in Lichtervelde visiting SCE, I was really impressed. Impressed by their innovation skills and the quality of their products, but also about the people who work at SCE. I immediately had a good feeling. We got in contact with a dedicated team and impressive resources. From day one we worked with Tom acting as project manager, Koen as sales manager and Steve as site supervisor. This team never changed. When you work on a project of this size, you often work with partners that send you different people all the time. You lose time because you need to inform them over and over again. That never happened with SCE. Koen, Tom and Steve were with us from the beginning until the final day.'

On site

'At SCE they know very well what they are good at, and what they are not good at. They don't improvise. They don't offer a very wide range of different products, they stick to what they are good at. They provide this with big quality as well. We needed such a reliable partner for the complex mission we had here. This was a brown field site, so we built everything from scratch. We started with the 40-metre-high intake tower, but had to interface with the bins and the machinery while building it.'

'Steve, the site supervisor of SCE, was always very clear and honest. We got all the important information on time. When there was a problem, we moved around it together. I was impressed by their site organisation and the discipline of the team. In total 15 different companies were active on the site, 50 electricians, 20 programmers… Communication is crucial for a project like this and was handled fantastically by SCE.

'Every morning we had a meeting: we talked about the past 24 hours and the next five days. Steve acted as a brilliant team player, always focused on the job, always ready to solve problems, always in control of safety and also just fun to work with. When you work on a plant in the weather conditions that we had to work in, you need people who keep up the morale in the team. I can assure you, this weather doesn't make people happy.'

Challenge

'The biggest challenge was definitely the weather. We completed the construction in 18 months, which is pretty fast, but in any other place in the world we would have built it even faster. Every day we had to consider the weather forecast. Over here in the north-west of Scotland, almost every day is a rainy and windy day. We worked with five cranes. When it was impossible to use the cranes, we worked round it as much as possible.'

'Steve and Koen and everybody at SCE were always solution-minded in their work. They would never say, 'I don't know'. They looked into it and the day after they came up with a solution.'

'We have plans for the future, and I can tell you for sure: SCE will be involved. It's a customer-oriented, attentive company that delivers quality. What they say they are going to deliver, they deliver. And when they deliver, it's of a high quality.'

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