It’s our design experience, problem-solving capabilities and diverse engineering specialisms that set Portasilo apart in the bulk-handling industry, giving customers in many sectors the assurance that their systems will be precision-engineered to deliver optimum performance when handling their specific materials. Our engineering specialists work closely with sales teams to ensure that system designs are carefully scoped from the outset. By providing engineering input and advice at the proposal stage, any technical issues can be addressed early on, allowing an accurate initial proposal to be developed for every project.
Advanced 3D design capabilities
Our design teams use sophisticated 3D design software to create detailed system and product designs on screen before any manufacturing work begins. The software enables designs to be manipulated and configured to create intricate models that can be scrutinised, reviewed and agreed between the customer and Portasilo ahead of the manufacturing phase. Take a look at our pioneering configurator tool, which is helping to automate and streamline the silo design process.
Portasilo design experts are split into three areas:
1. Process engineering
This team is responsible for engineering our handling systems, ensuring each one is purpose-designed for the demands of each material and site. The team has vast experience of designing handling systems for large complex plants. Our engineers carry out detailed calculations for each system and devise control philosophies and guidance for each plant. They specify all components, including Portasilo and third-party equipment. The team specialises in pneumatic conveying systems, using our full-scale test rig combined with technical knowledge to design efficient lean and dense-phase systems for conveying diverse materials over long distances.
2. Structural engineering
Our structural capabilities include silos, support structures, buildings, foundations and civils. We can design silos from small-diameter factory-built vessels to vast site-built silos up to 15m in diameter. Our silo design capabilities include, design for mass or core flow using advanced shear cell lab technology, a suite of automated structural calculations combined with finite-element analysis which allows us to predict the stresses and buckling failure modes, induced from complicated flow profiles. Our advanced capabilities in this area put Portasilo at the forefront of silo design and manufacture.
As an example of structural innovation, Portasilo devised a part-bolted assembly method for the large silos installed at Drax power station. Traditionally, such large silos were welded together on site, but the bolted system enabled individual parts to be manufactured and the entire silo pre-assembled at the Portasilo factory. Once assembled, the silos could simply be dismantled, taken to site and very quickly reassembled – dramatically reducing build time on site.
3. Product engineering
Our in-house product engineering team is responsible for designing the range of market-leading Portasilo discharge and conveying products, including the advanced Rotoflo discharger, precision-metering units (PMU’s), fluid cones and the Superflo dense-phase conveying system.
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