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PORTS - A global company reaches its 100th Anniversary

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2014 is an important year for Neuero. It is celebrating 100 years of manufacturering for the grain handling business. But when we arrive in late December, celebrations at the company were all about …

2014 is an important year for Neuero. It is celebrating 100 years of manufacturering for the grain handling business. But when we arrive in late December, celebrations at the company were all about Christmas, with a tree in the lobby to compliment the array of blue and sliver Neuero equipment and apparatus photographs. It was December after all. There were at least another three trees elsewhere in the building and a Christmas angel on the factory floor too!

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  • 1. Digital Re-print January | February 2014 PORTS - A global company reaches its 100th Anniversary Grain & Feed Milling Technology is published six times a year by Perendale Publishers Ltd of the United Kingdom. All data is published in good faith, based on information received, and while every care is taken to prevent inaccuracies, the publishers accept no liability for any errors or omissions or for the consequences of action taken on the basis of information published. ©Copyright 2014 Perendale Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owner. Printed by Perendale Publishers Ltd. ISSN: 1466-3872 www.gfmt.co.uk
  • 2. P PORTS “we believe in a culture of continuous improvement. We also value simplicity, the more simple a product while maintaining efficiency is always best. Easy to repair, maintain, clean and produce.” 2 014 is an important year for Neuero. It is celebrating 100 years of manufacturering for the grain handling business. But when we arrive in late December, celebrations at the company were all about Christmas, with a tree in the lobby to compliment the array of blue and sliver Neuero equipment and apparatus photographs. It was December after all. There were at least another three trees elsewhere in the building and a Christmas angel on the factory floor too! For the 50 staff at the factory in Melle, Germany, the 2014 celebration will be low key affair when they join with two other companies by the same name but which are each run independently, says Neuero’s managing director Tomas Kisslinger. “I used to think “wow 100 years!” but really, things go so fast that it is more important what you have done in the past five years. Companies are changing so fast, I agree that its good to say that it is 100 years. But you cannot rely solely on that – you are only ever as good as your last job. “We must always keep in front and never look back,” he says. GFMT are visiting the Neuero company manufacturing grain handling equipment. Three cheers for Neuero, Neuero and Neuero A global company reaches its 100th Anniversary GFMT interviews Tomas Kisslinger, Managing Director of Neuero The three used to be one, but in 1988 split into three individual identities; Neuero Industrietechnik, Neuero Farm and Neuero Technology. “We have all our bases here and share the same founding – it has caused a lot of issues with the post office. We keep the name out of tradition; we are planning a big event for our three companies and now just trying to decide on a day for our centennial!” Neuero has two key product lines: unloaders and loaders. The company places huge importance on its R&D effort, with a focus on better understanding their customers’ needs. “We are especially technically oriented,” says Mr Kisslinger. “The market for loaders is increasing due to growth in Eastern Europe, the Ukraine and Russia. It’s more spread around with fewer producers for exports, and more spread around with operators importing grain.’ The big equipment goes to seaports. But the company also serves the inland waterways of Europe. While Europe and Russia are the company’s key markets, the Middle East is also a good area for business with money for expan- sion. Other areas, including India can become important markets but have restrictions. “It is a potentially large market, there is a massive need, but there are other factors that need to be taken into account.” He points to manual labour where in other parts of the world automation and machinery would be more efficient. “The issue is that a machine would be more qualified for the job and more effective, but this causes unrest as there are so many people that need jobs,” he adds. A lack of market information “The bulk handling market is difficult to quantify – there’s no reliable statistic about equipment need in the market you can use to measure it. After all, what is bulk? It includes coal and sand as well as grain, which each present thier own challenges.’ Environment protection laws make permits hard to obtain for river operation, due to factors like noise, dust and oil pollution. “A big challenge is the need or willingness among industries to change the system they’re already using,” he adds. “However, politics in one country, or even one region, causes everything to founder.” Pneumatic handling systems have come
  • 3. 31 | January - February 2014 a long way since the sceptism by some in the past, indeed there still seems to be some unfounded propaganda within the industry, but this is based on outdated information not applicable to our modern systems. “We buy the steel structure, we developed new blowers - which is a key component we developed in the last few years - that make a big difference nowadays as they reduce things we had in the past: pulleys, belts and bearing blocks – all of these have wear and tear. “We integrated the motor shaft so there is nothing in between. “Eliminating mechanical loss as well as improving efficiency, control as well as safety. Sensors for temperature and vibration allow us to use bearings that can be controlled and monitored,” he explains. In mainland Europe, most of the market is grains, meals and other feedstuffs and some fertilizer. Alumina plays a part, but is mostly loaded/unloaded at bigger, specialized seaports. For non-free flowing material, you can use the Flexiport technology, which works a bit like Siwertell’s device but with pneumatic instead of screw conveying. There’s a bigger machine used for fishmeal in Norway with one under construction for Marine Harvest. For example, a boom used for grain unloading equipment is much lighter than the heavy-duty fishmeal kind. “Fishmeal is an unusual product to handle. It’s sticky, not very free-flowing, and can be Grain very complicated. Capacities will be around 300t/h. “When handling fishmeal you need to be active, not passive.” Stickier materials like fishmeal must be cut and placed into the feeder, instead of just flowing into the space left by grains that are removed. “You need stronger machinery for this, and more power.” The biomass challenge In 2002 a new challenge emerged – biomass. “There was a slowdown in the economy at the time, so we took on the challenge. Others followed, but only after us.’ Neuero found that for small ships unloading had to be continuous – with no stage where you take the nozzle out and then reapply it. “That method takes too long, and results in too low an average capacity. Biomass is transported in different vessel sizes around the world. The use of mechanical systems may only make sense if a single machine needs to achive over 1.000t/h. It is however in many cases better to have two smaller machines for same cost but increasing efficiency. In Indonesia, for example, Neuero recently updated two unloaders of 1.000t/h each that had been originally supplied 20 years ago. In this period of time no major part replacements took place. They extended some booms to get better reach, &Feed millinG technoloGy and updated the system back to original capacity. The miller coming from a company using mechanical unloaders wanted a mechanical system, but after the update, and realising that with 20 years of working the machines had required such an extremely low maintenance cost he is now totally convinced that the pneumatic system is the best choice for his company. "Some customers are very traditional, and request the use of roots blowers. We respect their experience, but many things have changed in recent years". Another example of listening to clients involved those wanting the electronics housed separately from the blower and suction equipment. Neuero built it in a separate room that was air conditioned and insulated from dust and sand. “You cannot avoid new technology,” Mr Kisslinger says. “The mentality is going away from ports and doing everything themselves. Mills are getting very automated nowadays. There’s not much willingness to take control of systems and maintenance. “A major mill said they didn’t want an ATEX system - for preventing dust build-up/ explosion risk -, they wanted to remove the dust at source.” The big engineering priority for pneumatic unloaders is to increase the suction power of the blowers. You can’t just increase the volume because losses increase as you do that. ite we b s ur i sit o gan.com V vi www. VIGAN manufactures dry agribulk materials handling systems: Latest references • Portable pneumatic conveyors or grain pumps (100 - 250 tph); • Pneumatic Continuous barge & Ship Unloaders (160 - 800 tph); • Mechanical Continuous Ship Unloaders (up to 1,500 tph); • Mechanical loaders (up to 1,200 tph). as well as complete storage systems in ports and the agricultural industries. PYEONGTAEK PORT From project design to complete turnkey bulk handling solutions and port terminals with mechanical and/or pneumatic reliable and cost effective equipment. South Korea 1 NIV 400 tph On rails with cable reels LATTAKIA PORT Syria 2 Mobile T200 2 x 250 tph SWINOUJSCIE Poland (BUNGE GROUP) 1 Loader 600 tph An affiliate company of VAN DE WIELE group. VIGAN Engineering s.a. • Rue de l’Industrie, 16 • B-1400 Nivelles (Belgium) Phone : +32 67 89 50 41 • Fax : +32 67 89 50 60 • Web : www.vigan.com • E-mail : info@vigan.com Ann A5 victam 0212.indd 1 21/02/12 15:37:04 P
  • 4. P PORTS PLCs allow online control The elbow bend, or any other part that diverts the direction of the flow, is the most energy-consuming piece of equipment. It also has the greatest wear, and it is important that it be checked from time to time. The bend itself is 100 degrees, not 90 – Neuero changed this because it’s more efficient and better utilizes the effect of gravity on flow rate. Wear reduction strategies: Neuero recommend you rotate a pipe by 90 degrees for every million tonnes of throughput. Although this figure can come up or down depending on the quality of the grain handled. Some varieties, for instance Indian, as opposed to cleaner Australian or Canadian grain, have a higher sand/impurity content, which reduces the life of the machinery. “This is not just a problem for loading and unloading equipment, but also for the mills.’ Improvements in technology: Neuero’s standard is to lower the boom closer to the ground for easy access to the horizontal pipe. Pneumatic vs mechanical “If you use only pneumatic, you have a good average capacity’ [throughput] Mechanical, not so much. “Using both systems together can be good, but in our experience it’s an extra complication and clients don’t understand why it’s necessary. It’s like travelling from London to Hamburg and then getting the train here to Melle. Better to have a solution that does the whole job in one. “And it’s better to have two 600t/h pneumatic unloaders than a 1200t/h mechanical unloader, with all the cleaning equipment that goes with it.’ In the Philippines a customer, a brewery, bought a 600t/h pneumatic unloader and a 600t/h mechanical one: A rare opportunity for a direct comparison between the technologies. “‘It will be interesting to see the comparison over time,” says Mr Kisslinger. Mechanical unloaders are less ‘plug and play’ than pneumatic, you can’t just unload the vessel and go. Cleaning is difficult when grain has been mechanically unloaded – but vital as otherwise the remnants rot and contaminate the hold. You must clean every detail to get the most out of some unloaders as well. And while it is not necessary to do it each time, it should be done, says Mr Kisslinger. “The problem with grain is if you don’t clean properly, then mycotoxins will cause contamination and the grain will become rotten. To help us, the ship industry must also make ships easier to clean. “Today, at least the bottom is smooth. You have some ships that have hull reinforcement in the transport hull, so how you mechanically deal with it is impossible as you may damage the ship,” he adds. Neuero’s USP “I believe that we’ve developed a lot of high-quality equipment in the past years. From bringing the horizontal pipe closer to the ground, to the pipes themselves". One area that the company saw as having great potential for improving thier customers experience, was in some of the ancillary equipment that was supplied alongside thier machines, and to this end made the bold descision to take the design and manufacture in these areas in-house. As part of this program Neureo have now developed thier own blowers and winches to ensure they meet the highest specifications possible. "Sometimes we need to develop and manufacture our own solutions when the market does not provide one to the very specific standards we are looking for. Today, Neuero equipment has even better mechanical efficiency: For example, fewer bearings, shaft connected directly to the impeller (removing belt drive) are developments that have come within the last 2 years The programmable logic controller (PLC) is another example of in-house development. This equipment can be controlled from the crane’s PLC programmable logic controller (PLC), which is more efficient from the user’s perspective. “All the troubleshooting can be done by our engineers.” The company offers the standard oneyear warranty with more for certain projects. “We fully warrant for one year, although some tenders require two years – so we must add a little extra for that; because we have to provide more components. This is when the contract can get complicated. “Even if the warranty is over and we feel a problem is something we have made – we will attempt to fix it. “A hydraulic tank, where there was paint on the inside mixed in with the oil causing a hydraulic problem. It was seven years old, so we split the cost with the supplier. Our approach is to first solve the problem then to see who is responsible, not the opposite way around.” “Every day brings new challenges in our business. “Sometimes our clients need a special conveyor for different heights. And our new loading system can accomodate this, using a counterbalance we can optimise it to the client’s set up. “It also has a dust suppression system built in. It slows down the air/grain mixture, concentrating the volume of product and expelling the air. If you limit the amount of air, you limit the amount of dust that can be caught in it and spread around, this is very effective as dust suppression,” adds Mr Kisslinger. “The other advantage to this system is that we get less wear. “Wear is conditioned by the square of the speed of the throughput, so the reduced speed reduces the damage done to the pipes. The best thing is that because there’s no air taking up the extra space, the volume of product flow is maintained.” He says it’s a popular loader, and that the company has sold quite a few in Russia and the Ukraine. “We have also had people ordering complete projects from us.” At the factory “We are driven to solve problems, not boast about them.” That’s the philosophy of the company and one that is promoted from the top. By working closer together, the company has developed a culture among the staff that is supportive. “Your company’s knowledge is based on its people. They’re the ones that make the difference. You can buy in your steel from elsewhere." Hiring a new generation of engineers helped Neuero take a step forward, he adds. A new factory extension was completed last year which helps with both assembly and on-site testing. Equipment is assembled and tested on-site, then disassembled and painted. “All important equipment arrives at the factory for testing before going out to clients.” Thursday at the Neuero factory is Sausage Day. They order in 100-150 bratwurst and have a barbecue each week. Everyone eats at a long table. “I have no special wurst,” he concludes brilliantly.
  • 5. LINKS January - February 2014 This digital Re-print is part of the January | February 2014 edition of Grain & Feed Milling Technology magazine. Content from the magazine is available to view free-of-charge, both as a full online magazine on our website, and as an archive of individual features on the docstoc website. Please click here to view our other publications on www.docstoc.com. first published in 1891 • • Having no choice is not reasonable The quest for a healthier snack Design of an efficient intake pit dedusting system Silos special: Bulk storage challenges • Contact the GFMT Team • Subscribe to GFMT NIR: • Keep running costs down the state-of-the-art in technology • Visit the GFMT website In this issue: • • • See the full issue Production control in rapeseed processing using NIR technology operating en-masse chain conveyors • Getting your dies and rolls re-worked locally to global standards INCORPORATING PORTS, DISTRIBUTION AND FORMULATION A subscription magazine for the global flour & feed milling industries - first published in 1891 To purchase a paper copy of the magazine, or to subscribe to the paper edition please contact our Circulation and Subscriptions Manager on the link adove. INFORMATION FOR ADVERTISERS - CLICK HERE Article reprints All Grain & Feed Milling Tecchnology feature articles can be re-printed as a 4 or 8 page booklets (these have been used as point of sale materials, promotional materials for shows and exhibitions etc). If you are interested in getting this article re-printed please contact the GFMT team for more information on - Tel: +44 1242 267707 - Email: jamest@gfmt.co.uk or visit www.gfmt.co.uk/reprints www.gfmt.co.uk