There are many things to consider when designing a new plant or upgrading a piece of equipment to achieve greater capacity and efficiency. The goal is for the product to seamlessly transition from each machine through the plant with little interaction from the operator. This can only be achieved if all these elements are considered: Adequate material staged above the machine to provide consistent flow, material-handling equipment sized properly, and proper storage down stream from the process as well as upstream.
In most processes, ceiling height is of utmost importance. The height is dependent on the size of the equipment as well as the capacity. The higher the desired capacity, the higher your ceiling needs to be. Any piece of equipment requires head pressure above the inlet to provide consistent flow through the machine. This is where the ceiling height becomes crucial. The product to provide the head pressure is staged in a hopper that connects in the inlet flange of each machine. Your largest staging hopper is typically at the beginning and at the end of your process.
The goal is to process 600 bushels per hour of soybeans. The proper air screen cleaner would be a Clipper Model Ceres 686. The height of this machine with a proper stand is typically 15 feet to the inlet. A properly sized hopper to accommodate this machine would need to be roughly four times the size of the hourly capacity, 2,500 bushels or 3125 Cubic Feet. If this hopper were 15 ft. x 15 ft. square with 45 degree side walls, it would be 19 ft tall. The total height with the cleaner, proper stand, and hopper is 34 feet. You also must allow proper height for material conveyor, usually a bucket elevator, feeding the hopper, which would make your ceiling height 40’.
Material handling equipment connects a process together. Each piece must be properly sized to accommodate the capacity requirements of the machine that is feeding the conveyor as well as the machine that is being fed from the conveyor. Potential growth is a very important aspect to consider when sizing material handling equipment. It is wise to size your equipment with you capacity projections you see down the road. This will save cost and headaches when integrating a larger machine in the process.
Storage capacities upstream and downstream from your seed cleaning process are integral parts of any seed processing facility. To justify upgrades to your system, you must first analyze storage. If you increase capacity of you processing line, you need proper storage upstream so you always have product available to run. The storage downstream is often not considered when making these changes. Once you clean and bag, you need a place to put it. Double your capacity, you double your storage. We want you to get full use of your equipment and we can help explore your whole process.