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Why use silos instead of accumulating the grain in warehouses?

Unlike warehouses, this is a vertical type of storage, which provides certain advantages:

  • The first advantage lies in the occupied ground surface.  This method requires less ground space, which is important if space is not available of if its cost is high like at ports.
  • Another advantage lies in how easy it is to keep the optimum storage conditions for the grain, by controlling the temperature, insects, mould, birds, which in long term storage facilities could result in an important economic loss.
  • The third advantage consists of lower costs than that incurred from using warehouses, which entails the automation of the grain transport equipment. The loading as well as the unloading can be completely automated using a SCADA system and at a lower cost.
  • Another advantage is lower assembling costs, since this element is designed specifically for this purpose and weighs less than a storage facility.
  • Finally, we have the fact that it is less expensive overall, and this is probably the main advantage in comparison to grain warehouses.
What are hopper silos used for?

Hopper silos are mainly used for the storage of delicate products, which could deteriorate during the unloading process (using augers).

Another important reason for using hopper silos is the foundation. The hopper silo only requires one foundation slab while the ground silo requires a perimeter ring and slab for the bottom of the silo; also ventilation and unloading ducts must be built. If several large capacity ground silos are required, then a tunnel would have to be built underneath the silos in order to house the machinery.

What are the different silo capacities?

Hopper silos are divided into farm or livestock types, with standard capacities of 4.6 to 63 m3 (3 to 41 T feed base 0.65 T/m3) and agro-industrial silos with capacities from 95 m3 to 2,100 m3 (70 to 1,600 T grain base 0.75 T/m3).

Flat bottom silos have standard capacities ranging from 100 to 41,500 m3 (75 to 31,000 T grain base 0.75 T/m3).

For the purpose of meeting the different storage needs of our clients, at Silos Córdoba we manufacture a wide range of elevated and ground silos, which are available here aquí.

Are silos only used to store cereals or can they be used to store other products as well?

Agro-industrial type silos are primarily designed for storing cereals and oilseeds.  In specific cases, nuts or other similar types of seeds may be stored.

Farm type silos are primarily used for storing compound feed for animal feed or oilseed flours. In specific cases additives for the feed such as carbonates or phosphates can also be stored.

Do silo installations require a large infrastructure?

Civil works are required for the silo foundation. Access roads for trucks and electrical power are also required.

Are silos recommended anywhere in the world?

Silos are manufactured taking into account the specifics of each country, such as the weather (high temperature, snow and wind).

The seismic activity of the area and the proximity to the ocean are also considered.

Can different products be stored in the same installation?

Yes, it is common to have silos that are used for storing different products in a storage plant. The most common example is a factory where different products are milled and mixed to manufacture compound feed.

Can product loading and unloading operations be carried out simultaneously?

Yes, the normally storage plants are designed for both operations to be independent and therefore they may be carried out simultaneously.

When product is being received at a silo, it is common practice for the unloading of product to be carried out from a different silo.

Does grain need to be protected from water inside the silo?

Yes. It is essential to protect the grain from humidity in order to guarantee optimum storage conditions. This way, the silo is supplied with putty to seal the joints between the ferrule sheets; and rubber washers are used for the screws. Therefore, it is recommended that the foundations of ground silos be built slightly raised from the ground.

Do silos maintain stable grain conditions regardless of the season?

Yes, as long as the silo is properly equipped to protect against adverse weather conditions using temperature control systems, ventilation, ceiling extractors, double ceilings, etc.

Are the processes automated or manual?

Both methods are possible, depending primarily on the use of the plant and thus, on the investment that is to be made.

What is the useful life of a silo installation?

The useful life of a silo installation varies since it depends on the weather conditions of the area, as well as on the characteristics of the stored product and the use that is made of the silo.

An international standard exists that quantifies the annual loss of zinc according to the different environmental conditions, which can therefore be used to carry out a theoretical estimation for each particular case, but considering optimum conditions of the product as well as of the use of the silo.

Does a silo installation use a large amount of electrical power for its operation?

It depends primarily on the transport capacity required for the product.

Hopper silos can be completely unloaded by gravity and a large part of flat bottom silos can also be unloaded by gravity, which hardly requires any electrical power.

Storage in itself barely requires any electrical power; only that required for maintenance ventilation.

Therefore, it is the loading of the silo that determines the electrical power capacity that must be installed.

Does a silo require auxiliary installations for supplying water, gas, etc.?

Plants equipped with a dryer are the ones that require a fuel supply system. In some cases, a compressed air installation may be required.

What kind of maintenance does a silo installation require?

The main requirements include periodic inspections of the transport equipment; mostly the parts that are subjected to wear.

It is recommended that the silo be emptied periodically in order to carry out a visual inspection and for cleaning if required.

For this purpose, at Silos Córdoba we provide a user manual for the plant as well as maintenance manuals for supplied equipment such as transport equipment, pre-cleaning equipment or dryers.

Can I install my own silo?

Yes. If you decide to contract the installation to a third party, you must contract the supervision from Silos Córdoba. The guarantee provided for our products will be valid only if we supervise the installation.

Can the silos be supplied in different colours?

Although our standard is a galvanized finish, as an option, silos may be supplied in several different colours.

Thus, thin sheet metal is available with galvanized + lacquered finish. Therefore, small capacity silos (up to approx. 60 m3) or the ceiling of large capacity silos may be manufactured using this type of sheet metal. The thick parts of the silo can be manufactured using galvanized steel plates, which may be painted afterwards at an additional cost.

All silos are made of metal?

Yes, they are all made with high elastic limit steels.

Is there a required safety perimeter due to a risk of explosion or sudden spill?

No, since as an option, equipment certified according to the ATEX explosive atmospheres directive may be supplied.

Are there any required environmental licenses relative to visual impact in farmlands?

It depends on local regulations, although it is common for local administrations to require these and for this reason, we may need to supply silos with a green paint finish.