Do you need to clear blocked silos?

I started this blog to discuss information I've picked up in my new role, which might be useful for someone starting out in an industrial equipment supply role.

Do you need to clear blocked silos?

Do you need to clear blocked silos?

9 December 2021
, Blog

If your business uses any dry bulk materials, you will be aware of the challenges that can bring. Often moisture can be a particular problem, as even a small amount of dampness can cause many materials to stick together or to the edges of their container. When pouring solid materials from one container to another, you may notice that material starts to clog, and the flow slows until eventually, the flow stops entirely, and the material transfer stops.

Clearing the blockage

When faced with a silo blockage during the pouring process, there are several things you can do. You could try pounding on the sides of the silo. You might eventually free enough of the material to restart the flow, but you also risk damaging the silo. An alternative approach to clearing blockage might involve inserting a stick or a pole into the opening and breaking up the material blocking the entrance. Using a tool in this way can be effective, but it takes time. It can also be dangerous if it involves being in the way when the flow restarts. A better option is to use an air cannon.

What will an air cannon do?

An air cannon will free any blockages in your silos using a sharp blast of air to prevent the material from settling together rather than relying on a worker manually freeing any clogging. Taking this approach has at least three advantages.

Fewer stoppages — If you have a system that keeps clogging, you must pause your operations, clear the blockage and then start pouring again. If you employ an air cannon to prevent clogging, you can keep pouring all day without stopping. This increase in productivity enables your business to remain competitive.

Wider coverage — Clearing clogged silos is a labour-intensive procedure. It involves someone physically approaching a silo and using tools to free the material. Air cannons don't require any of that physical interaction. An air cannon can provide regular blasts of air at predetermined intervals without the requirement for anyone to be near the silo. Since the air cannon works automatically, you can have multiple air cannons blasting air into different silos with only a few workers on the site to oversee the operations.

Safer working — Unlike other flow aids, air cannons do not require physical contact with the silo. Keeping your workers at a safe distance from the material flow is the best way to keep them from harm.

Contact a local supplier of air cannons to learn more about their uses.

About Me
Industrial equipment supply chain learning curve

I have always worked in the supply chain department, but since moving to an industrial equipment supplier, I've been on a steep learning curve. We have so many pieces with multiple names or similar names, and I need to be able to work out which pieces can be substituted in an emergency and which pieces are not similar. It's been tricky for me to get my head around, so I started this blog to discuss some of the information I've picked up in this role, which might be useful for someone else just starting out in an industrial equipment supply role.