Case Study: New Automated Grain Plant Takes Pressure Off Farmer

John Greer of John Andrews & Co of Bridge Farm, Comber in Northern Ireland says he has experienced many benefits since overhauling his grain plant in 2017.

A new 10tph Svegma 3/2 continuous flow drier is at the core of the new system designed and supplied by BDC Systems Limited and installed by John Greer himself.  The drier is fed by a 30 tph Skandia intake conveyor and out loaded to storage in buildings by two Skandia 30tph elevators and two Skandia conveyors.   The system also includes the option to out load to trailers from one of the elevators from where the grain can be transported to other storage buildings on site.

Wet grain is tipped into the front of the building and then pushed into a pit containing the intake conveyor.  The pit holds sufficient grain to keep the drier fed for several hours (depending on moisture content to be removed).

The use of remote monitoring technology is a key element in the efficient operation of the plant.  A CCTV system covers the intake pit allowing Mr

Greer to see when more grain needs to be pushed up.  A BDC remote viewing system forms part of the drier control panel and feeds live information on the operation of the drier to an app on Mr Greer’s phone.

The equipment replaced two old 9 tonne batch driers which required constant supervision / intervention and took considerably longer to dry each load.

In addition to wheat, barley and rape from Bridge Farm, 100 tonnes of sub-contract drying is also undertaken at the plant each year.

John Greer commented: “Automation has revolutionised our drying capability, giving us a huge increase in throughput.  Having previously been tied to two old batch driers, I can now let the Svegma continuous flow drier run whilst I do other work and am even confident to leave it operating over night – when it runs out of grain it simply shuts down.  This has significantly improved my quality of life!

Andrew Lee from BDC Systems added:  “The plant was designed with future expansion in mind.  A plan is already in place to upgrade and add further conveyors to fill another adjacent building.  These buildings are currently filled via the trailer out loading option.”

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