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Selecting a Provider for Comprehensive Silo Cleaning

Regular silo cleaning is needed to remove product buildup and to recover lost material.

Silos are used for a wide range of industrial applications to store cement, coal, aggregate, and many other bulk materials. Regardless of the material stored or the silo design, regular cleaning is needed to remove product buildup and to recover lost material.

Silo cleaning yields a cost-saving benefit that ensures proper product flow and optimal storage capacity while maximizing production, profit, and safety. Securing the right silo-cleaning partner is vital to the future production and profits of your organization. It is crucial to work with an experienced company that understands the needs of the industry and considers all aspects of your unique situation.

Typically, product inventory is stored in silos until it is needed. Over time, the capacity of the silo can be reduced by internal material buildup and compaction, resulting in flow restriction and potential inventory and revenue loss. Facility production goals cannot be met unless a silo is working efficiently: if it becomes clogged or blocked, production and storage capacity are reduced. Additionally, production losses, structural problems, and personnel safety can be compromised unless the silo is placed under a regular inspection and cleaning schedule.

While silo cleaning is often postponed due to the expense, production loss, and downtime incurred, regular cleaning removes buildup and increases productivity while improving workplace safety, minimizing the potential for work-related accidents.

Routine cleaning performed by a qualified, professional silo-cleaning company will help avoid excess costs associated with emergency silo cleaning and unplanned downtime. Regular inspections can lead to planned silo cleaning. If you experience a decline in product flow, you should schedule an inspection and plan for an immediate clean-out. This is a job best left to experience professionals. Silo cleaning using an untrained labor force can lead to injury or death, as well as silo damage since falling materials can lead to catastrophic structural failures and can endanger those inside the silo. Professionals assess your silos on location, providing guidance to help minimize costly repairs or future problems.

Things you should expect from a silo-cleaning company include:

* Rapid response time for all inquiries
* Proper problem assessment; selection of the most cost-effective solution
* Prioritization of open communication throughout the entire project
* Utilization of proper procedures and equipment
* Assurance that optimum safety is provided for the facility, materials and personnel
* Quick and efficient operations to minimize facility downtime
* Continuous improvement and innovation in all operations
* Regular cleaning services to prevent unplanned silo emergencies
* Professional handling of emergency silo cleaning, as well as regular routine cleaning
* Transparent, turn-key service, including a comprehensive project cost estimate
     
Professional silo-cleaning companies typically use remote, dry cleaning systems to remove stubborn material buildup. The systems should deliver safe, high-efficiency cleaning capacity designed to remove large volumes of material buildup in a short amount of time.

When evaluating the cost estimate provided a silo-cleaning company, the customer must verify that all project costs are contained in the bottom line, including items such as lodging and consumables often omitted by other companies. Professionals should supply a comprehensive estimate on the initial proposal, encompassing all anticipated project costs to assure customers that there will be no surprises at the completion of the job. An all-inclusive, comprehensive cost estimate may initially appear to be higher, but in fact, this accurate representation of anticipated costs often results in the lowest total project cost upon completion.

Planning for the Future

A clean silo is comparable to a clean bill of health: an efficiently working silo is essential to meeting production goals and can prevent silo structural damage and product cross contamination. A professionally cleaned silo is critical to maintaining workplace safety and decreasing the potential liability for work-related accidents. A valued partnership with your professional silo-cleaning company ensures smooth facility operation and helps to prevent future silo issues, maximizing production schedules while avoiding unplanned downtime.

Dennis Blauser is the owner/CEO of Marietta Group, which includes Marietta Silos, Marietta Inspection Services, and USA Silo Service.

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