Silexport International of France manufactures a unique bulk
reclaiming system, the active floor VIBRAFLOOR.
Initially designed to clean grain silos, active
floors are being adopted in a variety of
industries handling bulk products, such as
sugar plants, refineries, cement plants, feed meals, biomass operators,
shipping companies etc...
A VIBRAFLOOR is the assembly of independent vibrating
modules, as illustrated above. Modules are typically 2.2m wide,
3m to 4m long and 45mm thick. Each module is powered by an
electric vibrator, ATEX certified, 400 to 700W.
Laid on slightly inclined floors, typically 8
to 12°, modules will entirely clean residual
slopes of bulk products, out of silos, ships,
railway cars, containers and so forth.
As a modular concept, there is no
limitation of either size or shape of a
Most bulk products, granular or powdery,
free flowing or cohesive, can be efficiently
handled by an active floor. VIBRAFLOOR is
now used on all types of cereals, including
soya beans, paddy rice, but also soya bean
meal, fish feed, sugar, flour, fly ash, sulphur, saw
dust, wood chips, wood pellets, serox and
VIBRAFLOOR first came to market in the
grain industry. Grain operators and farm
co-operatives value the unsurpassed efficiency
and ease of operating active floors. One
hundred percent clean-up, no maintenance,
negligible power intake and total safety are
major comparative advantages of the technology.
Recent references in the grain industry include 28m-diameter
wheat silos in the harbour of Sebastopol, with an unloading
capacity of 800tph (tonnes per hour). A 30,000-tonne barley silo
was commissioned last year in the harbour of Antwerp. Several
grain silos are equipped each year in France, for farm co-ops,
diester (biodiesel) plants, and feed meal plants.
When required, self-cleaning triangular aeration ducts are
interposed between spans of modules.
Five self-unloading vessels are in operation,
for the transport of crystal sugar, flour and
fish feed. A contract has recently been
awarded by a Chilean operator, to unload
wood chips barges at a rate of
An active floor was recently been fitted inside a new 14mdiameter
silo in a German sugar plant. The lay-out is ‘conical’,
with trapezoidal modules reclaiming the residual cone of sugar
towards a central opening.
A 52m-diameter fly ash dome silo is under commissioning for
a major cement operator in Poland. Eight concentric circles of
modules carry the residual cone to the centre of the dome, to fill
two pressure tanks located in a central underground pit.
With its core business in the grain industry, the company is
progressively expanding its market in other industries. One very
promising industry is biomass, where VIBRAFLOOR is positioned
for large harbour wood chips receiving platforms, and selfunloading
woodchip bulk carriers. The active floor is
also very attractive to wood pellets operators, as the
vibrating action gently carries pellets without
Another line of development is the stockpile
reclaiming of coal and minerals. As gravity does not
allow for more than a few percent to be reclaimed,
heavy-duty vibrating modules laid around the reclaim
openings can dramatically increase the initial flow.
Development in any sector of the industry can
only be undertaken with the support of enlightened
operators. The risk for such operators has been
minimized over the years, with the experience
accumulated by a highly competent and motivated
staff, very much client-oriented, dedicated to success,
come what may.
The company looks forward to meeting with coal
and mining operators, prepared to try VIBRAFLOOR
firstly in small scale projects, and gain the confidence
necessary to envisage large size storage facilities.