Major New Grain Plant Completed by BDC Systems in Irish Republic

A Svegma continuous flow grain dryer is at the heart of a new grain store at Warrenstown Farm near Drumree, Co. Meath, Eire.

Supplied and specified by BDC Systems Limited and Irish Grain Systems Limited (IGS) the state of the art plant features a 27tph Svegma 5/4 grain drier, a Zanin PPR4/9 rotating drum cleaner and a Soby R60 Aspirating pre-cleaner.  Movement of the grain around the plant is achieved using five 60tph Skandia I Line conveyors, three 60tph I line elevators and a Cimbria GT400 60tph 30m long belt conveyor.

The Hobson family, father John along with sons David and Robert who are all actively involved in the farming business, purchased the farm from the Salesian brothers in 2008 who at the time owned and ran the well-known horticultural college.  The family has invested heavily in farming and this particular site in the ensuing years.  In total the family owns 620 hectares of land, 320 hectares of this are in Co. Meath growing winter wheat, winter barley, winter milling oats, spring barley, spring beans and winter oil seed rape.  Previous to the purchase of Warrenstown Farm, the Hobson family were located in Co. Wicklow.

The new grain plant was designed and specified by BDC director Andrew Lee in conjunction with James Connor director of IGS.  Their brief from John Hobson was to provide a plant that would allow better control of the grain.  Irish conditions at harvest can be difficult so a drier was necessary to ensure the quality of the grain which is often forward sold so needs to be stored for long periods in top condition.

Grain is fed into the plant via a Skandia KTIG curved intake chain and flight conveyor featuring a 6.0m trench intake set 1.4m below the level of the tipping trailers, which provides ample wet grain intake capacity and pre drier storage.

From the intake the grain has several routes it can take, but all routes go via the aspirating pre cleaner.  Should the grain not require further cleaning / drying, both or either part of the system can be bypassed before the grain is transported to the stores via the belt conveyor.

Grain exiting the drier has two routes it can take either to the stores or back to the drier to recirculate grain that is not yet dry. This route also allows the drier to be used as a batch drier when conditions demand it.

The control system is fully integrated and includes a PLC drier control panel with touch screen and a relay logic plant control panel with engraved mimic flow diagram and LED indication for the safety systems incorporated in the plant.  These include, pop up blockage flaps, capacitive proximity blockage probes, belt speed monitors and position indication of valves and the belt discharge car.  Sufficient space was allowed in the control panels for further expansion, with four machines planned for the future having been added to the mimic diagram and control included in the panel from manufacture.

The Zanin drum cleaner was an area of the plant that was discussed long and hard before the order was placed, but has proved very useful cleaning everything from camelina seed grown off site, to beans. The cleaner features 4 screens and the ability to both pre clean prior to the drier with only large particles being removed or to grade / fine clean products to a higher specification if required. All the aspiration is performed by the aspirating pre-cleaner mounted above the drum.

David Hobson says “The Zanin drum cleaner has opened up new avenues for the farm. We are actively cleaning and drying oilseed rape destined for the food market for crushing, which offers a premium price. Our customers are seriously impressed with the sample of grain produced from just one pass of the cleaner, significantly reducing trash. It has also enabled us to home save our seed, providing a highly homogenised sample, provided that the right screens are used.

“Trickier products like Camelina seed can be managed effectively by the system from changing the continuous flow drier to a batch drier, proving that the smart design can deal with almost anything.”

John Hobson continued:  “Our new plant is clean, fast and efficient.  It is simple to use and has many safety features which we find very reassuring”.

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