Bühler mechanical ship unloader aids Japan’s recovery from 2011 tsunami


Ishinomaki Futo Silo K.K. Ishinomaki Miyagi district is based in an area which has been severely impacted by the historical tsunami March 2011, writes Vincent van der Wijk, Product Manager.
Ishinomaki Futo Silo specializes in the feed industry storing a variety of products such as maize, wheat, barley, and various meals. The silo is based in the port of Ishinomaki and was directly in the impact zone of the 2011 tsunami. Ishinomaki Futo Silo has been fortunate that no damage to the silos has been made, but all the electric equipment and infrastructure has been destroyed by the water.
After the mobile networks had been restored, Ishinomaki Futo Silo pressed hard to get a temporary solution in place and ordered the necessary power generators and electrical equipment to be up and running again. Due to the fast response and delivery of equipment, business was been interrupted for 17 days and Ishinomaki Futo Silo could supply feedstock to its customers again and played a central role in supplying the much- needed feedstock to stockbreeders in the area. 

With the last restoration work being completed in July 2013 on the pier conveyors and warehouse, Ishinomaki Futo Silo can again focus entirely on the business and its customers. Even though most of the customers have started operating again, feedstock currently handled is still 10% lower than before the tsunami struck Japan. However, full recovery of the feed business is progressing fast with most stockbreeders reaching pre-tsunami production levels again.

Ishinomaki Futo Silo is confident in a prosperous feed business and was already looking to expand its operations before the disaster which disrupted the business. To reduce costs and increase capacity, Ishinomaki Futo Silo considered replacing the old pneumatic unloader and Bühler was contacted as a supplier. Ishinomaki Futo Silo and Bühler visited two existing customers in Japan, both of which have a Portalink 600. The first visit was to the Portalink installed at Showa Sangyo K.K. Kashima; the second to Nisshin Butsuryu K.K. Isogo.

After the two reference visits, Ishinomaki Futo Silo was convinced of the unloader concept and especially of the vertical chain conveyer and associated low energy consumption. 

Bühler recognized the need for fast response and visited Ishinomaki Futo Silo right after the tsunami. It proposed the Portalink 400 with specially designed earthquake absorbers integrated in the chassis. After carefully studying the test data of the earthquake absorber, Ishinomaki Futo Silo confirmed that it will be able to withstand even stronger earthquakes. The Portalink has a nominal capacity of 400tph (tonnes per hour) and can handle bulk carriers up to 70,000dwt. The power requirements per tonne are only 0.38kWh which is the lowest available on the market. With the automatic sink in function, operating the Portalink is easy and optimal product supply is ensured, resulting in a high efficiency level. To avoid costly movements to supply supporting equipment, the Portalink is equipped with a jib crane capable of handling loads up to 12 tonnes. 


Ishinomaki Futo Silo was founded on 23 April 1968 and specializes in the unloading, storage and distribution of grain for the feed industry. Located in the Tohoku area in the port of Ishinomaki, it has a large customer base provides employment for 33 staff. Products handled are maize, milo, soybean meal, oil seed meal, barley, wheat, wheat bran, and DDGS.


Bühler is a global technology leader which specializes in the supply of equipment, systems and services for the conversion of renewable resources derived from food and synthetic substances into top quality functional products and materials. Bühler operates in over 140 countries and has some 10,000 employees worldwide. In fiscal 2012, the Group generated sales revenue of CHF 2,409 million. 
Cargotec mobile unloader destined for South American grain handling facility 

A Siwertell 15 000 S road-mobile unloader will serve a grain- handling facility for an undisclosed owner in South America; it will deliver reliable bulk handling at rated capacities of up to 400tph (tonnes per hour).

In December this year Cargotec will deliver its largest model Siwertell road-mobile unloader to an undisclosed owner in South America. The Siwertell 15 000 S will be used to discharge soya meal, corn and wheat at rated capacities of 250tph to 400tph depending on the material being handled.

The order is for a trailer-based, diesel-powered unit fitted with double-bellows, a dust filter and Siwertell safety features appropriate for handling organic material. “Safety is of course a paramount consideration in modern industrial process,” says Jörgen Ojeda, Siwertell sales director. “When handling organic material, dust mixed with oxygen and air can result in an explosive atmosphere inside the enclosed conveying system. Therefore, the Siwertell unloader’s safety system monitors any potential hazard and is fully-equipped to minimize the risk of an explosion.

“The provision of dual loading bellows means that road transport units or rail wagons can be loaded sequentially without the need to interrupt the unloading process. This maintains the unloader’s rated capacities throughout the discharge process,” notes Ojeda. “Compared to a single loading bellows system, the through-ship capacity is increased by 25% to 30%. It is also possible to connect the outlet to almost any type of receiving land-based conveying system.

“This level of safety and efficiency, along with the quality of our products and our reputation as a reliable partner, secured this new order,” he says.

The new unloader will be built at Cargotec’s Siwertell production premises in Bjuv, Sweden. It will have a totally enclosed conveying system, which eliminates dust and any spillages.

Siwertell is a major force in dry bulk cargo handling. Siwertell products combine efficiency and flexibility with environmentally friendly technology. This ensures that they deliver maximum productivity with minimal environmental impact.

Siwertell solutions can handle virtually all dry bulk cargo. They can be delivered as complete systems or as separate components for use in almost any configuration that an operator requires. The Siwertell portfolio includes ship unloaders, road- mobile ship unloaders, shiploaders, conveying systems, and terminal designs. Siwertell products are supported by an extensive service organization with local representatives worldwide.

Siwertell is a Cargotec brand. Cargotec’s sales totalled €3.3 billion in 2012 and it employs approximately 10,000 people. Cargotec’s class B shares are quoted on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki under symbol CGCBV. 
E-Crane: perfectly balanced ship unloading solution 

The E-Crane is designed specifically for barge and ship unloading, and is a proven and trusted solution in many bulk material handling industries. Most dedicated systems for offloading coal, limestone and other bulk materials are costly, inflexible, and require an expensive, hard to maintain infrastructure. E-Crane’s versatility, reliability and flexibility allows for tailor-made material handling solutions. These custom solutions, combined with E-Crane’s modular design, make E-Crane the ideal equipment for any bulk handling application.

The standard E-Crane product line consists of five series of balanced hydraulic cranes (E-Cranes): 700 Series, 1000 Series, 1500 Series, 2000 Series, and 3000 Series. The E-Crane is placed firmly between production line excavators (or material handlers) and large scale dedicated unloading structures. Even the smallest E-Crane offers much more unloading capacity than the standard

excavator, while the larger E-Cranes compete with dedication systems in terms of production but come in at only a fraction of theinstalledcostwithevenlessannualmaintenancecosts. The E-Crane series offers models with up to 50 tonnes duty cycle capacity and outreaches of up to 150ft (50m).

The E-Crane is a truly revolutionary material handling machine as its main design feature is a parallelogram style boom configuration which allows the machine to be in near perfect balance throughout its working range. This ‘4-bar’ design allows gravity to work for you instead of against you, reducing

horsepower requirements and power consumption. The design of the E-Crane also allows for durability and longevity, taking structural fatigue and component life into account, making it the ideal solution for dedicated tasks like ship unloading that require repetitive cycles.


A 2000 Series/Model 21382 GA-E E-Crane currently operates at the Nova Scotia Power facility in Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia. E-Crane and Nova Scotia Power (NSPI) worked with Montreal- based Savage CANAC Corporation to commission the crane on the dock at the Point Tupper Marine Terminal.

The marine terminal at Point Tupper is located directly on the shipping route between North America and Europe and is the deepest ice-free harbor in North America. This allows for ultra- large vessels carrying a variety of bulk cargo products to be unloaded at this terminal. The E-Crane on the dock is designed to unload panamax sized vessels using a 23m3 hydraulic coal grab. The E-Crane offloads these Panamax vessels with 50–70-second cycles, achieving offloading rates of more than 1,000tph (tonnes per hour) ‘through hatch’.

The E-Crane is mounted on a high portal rail undercarriage and features a connecting link to the receiving hopper. This link allows the hopper to travel along the rails with the E-Crane to assure a constant distance between the hopper and the crane for ease of operation. The dock itself is 134 metres long and 13.6 metres wide to accommodate a wide range of vessels. The small size of the dock was a limiting factor for the project, but the balanced design of the E-Crane allowed engineers to keep the dock size small. As there was no room to assemble the E-Crane on site, the E-Crane was put together on shore in Belgium and delivered to the site fully assembled with a total operating weight of 385,000kg. The entire crane was lifted onto a Jumbo Transport ship equipped with two, 800-tonne cranes, shipped, and then offloaded by the same vessel at the NSPI terminal. The E-Crane was successfully commissioned and continues to unload panamax sized vessels at high rates. NSPI operators are very happy with the E-Crane and enjoy operating it.