VOL 21 ISSUE #1
With storage silos, the worry of storing mix is eliminated, allowing proper use of the bin for every ton of mix produced by the plant.

Astec storage silos

Isn’t it always better to buy in bulk? When you are down to that last roll of toilet paper in the bathroom, it’s always nice to have more in the hallway closet for emergencies. But, food and toiletries are not the only bulk items at your disposal—you can also keep asphalt mix in bulk.

Today, it seems that trucks must be kept running all the time, yet any idol time is considered a waste. There are some ways to cut back on this waste, one of which is surge bins. When properly used, surge bins will eliminate three trucks and any wasted time and resources with it. Another way to cut waste is by investing in a long-term storage silo. Long-term storage silos are considered a surge with insurance, allowing the use of surge bins all the time.

A Good Investment

By investing in storage silos, it’s possible to keep the plant running continuously throughout the day, as opposed to the typical start/stop operation. It’s also possible to increase productivity and decrease downtime. For example, say the plant shuts down sometime around 5 p.m. with the silos completely full. Since it only takes one worker to load the last truck with asphalt, the rest of the plant crew can stop working—or can perform maintenance on the plant as needed—cutting down both labor and maintenance costs. The plant crew can then start the day at the normal time the following morning, filling trucks with asphalt from the 100 to 300 tons (90 to 270 tonnes) stored in the silos.

Of course, this type of storage makes a significant impact if the plant was to break down. A recent survey showed that approximately 95 percent of plant breakdowns occur at startup, in which case having just a surge bin would back up all the paving crews and trucks, eating into the company’s bottom line. With a silo, however, there is 100 to 300 tons (90 to 270 tonnes) of stored mix, ready to load. A typical plant breakdown lasts less than 30 minutes, so with mix already in silos there will be no delays to the first round of truck and paving crews.

The Details

The Astec long-term storage silos can store mix for four days without loss of mix quality. With storage silos, expect uninterrupted production runs—allowing maximization of equipment efficiency and reduction of material waste—reduced operating costs, and improved plant-operating efficiency.

A Necessity

Some plants in metropolitan areas are not allowed to operate at night, yet night is when these same areas must have paving done—when there is less traffic. To avoid this conundrum, filled silos can allow mix to be placed at night.

Helping overcome restrictions isn’t the only thing having a storage silo can do. Filled silos mean mix is always at the ready and no one has to wait. Additionally, silos filled on Friday allow a Saturday sale with no plant crew overtime. In these ways, storage should be considered insurance. So, why pay for overtime and wasted time when you don’t have to?

Better Than Bins

Surge bins can often be used to store mix overnight, but if the mix isn’t used the next day due to weather conditions or machine breakdowns, the mix might not come out of the surge bin. This causes more time and effort and is a waste of resources. A bad experience like this can make the plant operator reluctant to fill the surge bin at night again, causing him to start and stop the plant from noon to quitting time every day to make sure the surge bin is empty at the end of the day. This is a poor utilization of the systems and resources available to make plants more efficient. Storage silos eliminate the worry of storing and not using the mix, allowing for a more proper use of the surge bin for every ton produced by the plant.

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