Insights & Innovations: Hycontrol

An interview with silo safety expert Jim Mantz about Hycontrol’s Shield Silo Protection System

Each year, thousands of silo over-pressurizations occur in the U.S. – injuring employees, stalling operations and in some cases, costing millions to repair. If you work in an industry that uses powders – from cement to lime to fiber – you’re probably familiar with the risks. It takes only a small increase in internal pressure (as little as 1 psi) to rupture a silo or blow the filter unit off the roof.

The serious risks to your team, your equipment and your bottom line that come from powder-related ruptures make choosing the right silo protection system vital. Jim Mantz, silo safety expert at Standley Batch Systems Inc., shares his insights into selecting the right SPS for your plant and discusses the new SHIELD system from Hycontrol.

Q. TELL US ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND.
MANTZ: I started my career in the landscaping business, focused primarily on hardscapes (retaining walls and pavers); products that are produced by the plants that Standley Batch builds. All of that made joining the Standley Batch team a natural transition. In my current role as Hycontrol Sales Representative, my focus is on connecting plants with products that make their operation safer and more profitable.

Q. WHAT ARE THE TOP CAUSES OF SILO RUPTURE?
MANTZ: There are two main causes of over-pressurization. The first is filtration on the silo isn’t working properly, is clogged, or blinded. The second is a truck driver using too much pressure to off-load. It only takes a small jump in internal pressure (< 1 psi) – from either of those to cause a significant problem.

Q. WHICH INDUSTRIES BENEFIT FROM HYCONTROL’S SHIELD SILO PROTECTION SYSTEM?
MANTZ: Any industry that has powders pneumatically loaded into silos, from lime to cement, pharmaceutical ingredients to feed ingredients, can benefit from the SHIELD SPS. This system will work with any pneumatically filled silo.

Q. HOW IS SHIELD SYSTEM BETTER THAN TYPICAL HIGH-PRESSURE OR HIGH-LEVEL SENSORS?
MANTZ: The Shield Lite SPS takes away complete control of a silo from the truck driver and gives it back to the owner/manufacturer. A pressure relief valve is much like a parachute to a fighter pilot. You NEVER want to use it BUT it’s there if you need it. The SPS is failsafe. If there are any part failures, sensor alerts, power failures or other issues, the silo cannot be filled. The system runs through an automatic test each time the system is used, unlike other level controls, filters and PRV’s. Not only that, but the system records a log of all silo fills and notes any over-pressurizations and over-rides. It’s a true gamechanger for silo safety.

Q. WHAT’S THE PROJECTED ROI FOR THE SHIELD SYSTEM?
MANTZ: It’s really three-fold:

  • Safety – Death and injury have occurred as a result of over-pressurized silos, causing increases in medical and insurance costs among other financial side effects.
  • Environmental – Over-pressurized silos lead to loss of product into the atmosphere, which can result in sharp fines from the EPA and other environmental agencies. The SHIELD system decreases that environmental impact for production plants.
  • Asset Protection – Silos become damaged, bulged and even blown apart from over-pressurization. The SHIELD SPS prevents that from happening.

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HYCONTROL’S SHIELD SILO PROTECTION SYSTEM?
Standley Batch is proud to be a distributor of Hycontrol’s SHIELD SPS in North America. You can learn more about this game-changing product at www.standleybatch.com or contact Hycontrol Sales Representative Jim Mantz at jimm.standleybatch.com.

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