With around 9 million tonnes of grain milled per year, Germany is one of Europe’s leading producers of grains and oilseeds. Along with that, the country has one of the most developed inland navigation systems in the world thanks to all the rivers flowing through it, to or from other European countries.
In particular, the Port of Hamburg plays an important role today in the development of foreign trade in Germany, and also in Northern, Western and Central Europe thanks to the management of an important part of the freight to or from Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Germany and Denmark.
For instance, each year, around 185,000 tonnes of cereals are ground in Goodmills Deutschland Hamburg factory (formerly Kampffmeyer – Aurora Milling Group).
In recent years, the company has chosen VIGAN for its grain handling operations: a VIGAN stationary pneumatic ship unloader, type NIV, that discharges grain by gravity onto a wharf conveyor at a capacity of 170tph (tonnes per hour).
Indeed, VIGAN pneumatic unloaders are opting for a fast return on investment and are offering:
* most efficient cleaning of the vessel or barge hold: maximizing discharge efficiency (75% and more) leads to minimized demurrage costs;
* low energy consumption: 0.6kW per unloaded tonne;
* low maintenance costs;
* very low breakage of the products;
* no spillage, thanks to its totally closed circuit design;
* no dust, thanks to its filter with sleeves and automatic cleaning;
* low noise thanks to acoustic insulation;
* durability (machines with a life expectation of 30 years and more) and cost efficiency leading to long-term investment with short term pay-back; and
* easy operation (simple high-tech), meaning limited manpower and low operating costs.
Thanks to these numerous advantages, last year VIGAN increased its presence in Germany through the installation of a pneumatic ship-unloader in another large German port: the Port of Rostock.
Rostock’s favourable geographical location; easy accessibility both land-side and sea-side; as well as large investments in the infrastructure all contributed to Rostock’s port becoming the number two port among German Baltic Sea ports.
Power Oil Rostock GmbH (part of GETREIDE AG) is one of the largest oil mills in Germany. Its annual production capacity amounts to 400,000 tonnes of rapeseed oil.
In 2018, VIGAN installed at its plant a type NIV pneumatic ship-unloader with a gantry on rails and with electrical feeding, to unload vessels from 1,000dwt up to Panamax, with a capacity of 520tph for the handling of rapeseed with density of 0.65t/m³. The gantry is equipped with a chain conveyor of ±10m length with one outlet with a telescopic chute for the feeding of a wharf conveyor and two outlets for truck loading.
The machine is equipped with two turbo groups, each composed of one frame on silent blocs with VIGAN centrifugal four-stage turbo blower and with electric motor of 200kW, 400 Volts, 50Hz, controlled by a frequency inverter.
The machine is also equipped with a 28.5m-long hot-dipped galvanized suction boom with gangway for services, with hydraulic luffing and slewing, as well as a winch on the boom to enable it to lift up a six-tonne bulldozer.
These success stories have certainly helped VIGAN to boost its sales in Germany, where the company is currently working on other ship-unloading projects, namely in the port of Hamburg.
Short erection time
From initial drawings through to delivery of tailor-made turnkey installations, VIGAN’s multi-disciplinary team of experts supports the customer from project development until its completion. Its project management involvement includes: planning; design; engineering; manufacturing; and erection of reliable equipment with low operational costs, and which is also in line with all safety and environmental requirements.
From the manufacturing of the steel structure to the sand blasting and painting — passing through all the strategic components such as airlock, turbines, filter, electrical switch board, hydraulic systems, conveyors… —everything is designed and manufactured in VIGAN’s Belgian factory. All components are mounted and fully tested before shipment in the company’s electrical and hydraulic department.
In order to minimize erection time on site, and to optimize the finishing quality during erection, VIGAN is the only company that entirely pre-assembles the gantries in its workshop before dismantling them for transport. This is the only way to achieve the best quality in cabling, in hydraulic fittings and so on, as well as ensuring a smooth erection locally.
The VIGAN quality philosophy is to keep the complete process in-house to allow for extensive control. This system makes it possible to achieve safe and fast site erection and commissioning, even for tailor-made solutions.
Like any other VIGAN equipment, the pneumatic ship unloader in Rostock was erected successfully and in short time by VIGAN’s highly qualified team: ten days from the storage and preparation (day 1) to the erection of the loading chutes (day 10).