There are no two identical silos

Feerum is a leading manufacturer in terms of the technological advancement of the offered drying and storage teams as well as production technology. We talk about how we combine these two basic elements in the latest issue of the Polish Industry.

Feerum specializes in the design and production of drying and storage facilities and is known on the market for providing innovative solutions that ensure the best care, protection and safety of stored grain. “We offer comprehensive drying and storage teams based on unique, innovative solutions of our Research and Development Center and achievements of leading research centers, taking into account our experience of many years of cooperation with cereal producers in Europe, Asia and Africa. We take care to preserve the highest quality and nutritional value of stored grain at the lowest possible cost – says Daniel Janusz, founder and president of the board of Feerum SA, and adds: – In this way, the company ensures the right to proper food and adequate income from sustainable agriculture “.

Customer needs and innovative ideas

An interesting issue that the company must take into account in the implementation of subsequent contracts is that when one looks at the characteristic silhouettes of silos, one can have the wrong impression that all objects are similar and do not seem particularly complicated. Meanwhile, there are not really two identical drying and storage teams built exactly in the same way. “It is for this reason that the geological conditions are different, for example, which requires the design of appropriate foundations in the given area and selection of the correct composition of the concrete. I will give an example. In December 2016, a contract was signed for the construction of five silo and warehouse complexes by our company in Tanzania, and the revitalization of existing storage facilities with a total value of 33.1 million dollars. The company is currently awaiting the intergovernmental ratification of this agreement, carrying out intensive preparations for its implementation. In each of the five facilities in Tanzania, concrete will be prepared according to a different recipe “- explains Piotr Daniel, operational director of Feerum SA.

Feerum carries out contracts in various parts of the world. Therefore, it must take into account different geographical and climatic conditions. They are related to the amount and intensity of precipitation (including snow), strength and wind directions, the number of snow days and have a direct relationship with the requirements for the preparation of a structure resistant to these conditions. In addition, important factors that must be addressed by Feerum technologists include the occasional need for costly replacement of the ground in the place of future foundations.

In this context, it is not surprising that sometimes a lot of time is occupied by employees of the company with detailed arrangements with the client. “The thing is that a high-quality product also has its price. So often the design process is based on finding the best value for money – says Piotr Daniel and adds: – The advantage of Feerum is the fact that the project is created in record time, not only as a technical drawing, but also in the form of visualization of the future drying and storage team . Thanks to this, the client better understands and evaluates our offer. At the same time, there are no obstacles to making corrections or changes to the last moment, that is until the production of elements of the future object is started. “

This is important because at the current level of technological development the company is able to meet practically every expectation and provide its clients with the most functional and modern solutions. It is the only company in the industry in Poland and probably all over Europe that has its own Research and Development Center. It consists of a team of mostly young, talented engineers supported by scientists from the Wrocław University of Technology and the University of Zielona Góra. Polygon is their own drying and storage team with a capacity of 20,000. t, built at the production plant in the Legnica Special Economic Zone. As a result, new technical solutions are first tested not at the customer, but in this facility. The starting point for research work are customer needs and innovative ideas of the company’s employees.

One operator is enough

An important issue is how the manufacturer intends to develop the technology offered by him. The main development directions currently being worked on by the company are related to further improvement of the quality of stored grain and its nutritional values, reduction of energy requirements of complexes built, increase of their efficiency, failure-free operation and efficiency, reduction of negative impact on the natural environment by reducing the noise and dustiness associated with the process as well as the further automation of processes and the associated reduction of both costs.

In addition, Feerum uses in its drying and storage teams fully automatic control of a multi-stage process of grain collection, cleaning, drying and storage. To monitor this process, one operator is enough, even on large objects. The system not only informs about certain irregularities, but also is able to change the parameters of individual elements of the assembly itself to avoid failure.

Integrated production technology

ZThe competences acquired by the company allow for planning development in the long-term perspective. In the near future, the company intends to specialize in the construction of large drying and storage units with a capacity exceeding 15 thousand. t. At the same time, the manufacturer does not intend to resign from the implementation of either objects by half smaller, or five times larger, with storage capacities from 7.5 thousand. t to 80,000 t. “The size of the object is important because a large object requires a longer, but very efficient, reliable grain transport system, backfill and empty silos, then monitoring the temperature and humidity inside the silos and selecting the appropriate parameters of the air used to ventilate and cool their interior . Large objects are also the responsible work of designers who choose the parameters of the structure, so that it is stable and resistant to atmospheric factors “- argues Wojciech Marciniszyn, commercial director of Feerum SA. Sławomir Górnicki adds: “We are constantly expanding our offer, this year, for example, the intelligent horizontal and vertical grain transport system, which replaced manual performance controls. It often happened that the bucket lift (vertical transport) could not keep up with the grain delivered by horizontal transport. There was a physical burial of devices with grain and the whole process was stopped. It required a break, during which it was necessary to manually select the crop, test the equipment and restart. At that time, there was a problem with the collection of grain from the dryer, so this process should have been stopped. Today, in the situation of congestion of vertical transport, horizontal transport slows down, automatically adapting its speed to the work of a bucket elevator. This excludes the occurrence of interruptions in the production process.”

Thanks to introducing this type of improvements in its own offer, the company has become the world’s leading manufacturer in terms of technological advancement of the offered drying and storage teams and production technology. Annually, the company implements several dozen contracts for the construction of drying and storage teams with different capacity and stage of completion. At the same time, it invests in production technology, thanks to which it will be able to carry out further original projects.

The proof of this is that the company has a system that includes robotic production lines integrated on the basis of IT systems with the design and production preparation process. This is because the implementation of ERP with CAD / CAM has been combined in the pioneer-wide system. In this way, structures and projects implemented by the company are created in one program. When the customer accepts them, they are immediately sent to production. At the same time, the company also has full knowledge of the project implementation schedule. Thanks to the implemented system of works, they know, what elements and in what number they have to produce, and the time of order execution is shorter – Piotr Daniel emphasizes. – We have a total of five robotic production sockets. Works performed by robots are characterized by extremely high accuracy and quality. The robot does not let loose, does not get sick, and does not even need a breakfast break. This includes thanks to this we are able to realize virtually every order, of every size, at the highest level of technological advancement, he adds.

As a result, the company can observe what is happening on the market and react quickly to emerging challenges. In the coming months, the company intends to equip its drying and storage teams with devices with higher efficiency and lower energy demand.

Full responsibility

Feerum has been operating on the agro market for 15 years. It is now a well-known brand with an established position. Certainly, in this context, the ability to recognize customers’ needs well and advise them throughout the whole design process, which solutions are best for them is of great importance. This is important because often contractors choose more expensive solutions, but better suited to their needs.

“We design and manufacture 85% of the final investment ourselves. That is why we can take full responsibility for the quality of the drying and storage teams being built, offering 24/7 reliable service and online diagnosis – says Daniel Janusz and summarizes: – Every customer is important to us. All industries are important to us, characterized by the demand for good quality grain. That is properly accepted, cleaned, dried and stored. Grain that meets the criteria of healthy food is characterized by high nutritional values. And this is a fundamental issue for all of us.”

Although most of the revenue comes from the Polish market all the time, foreign markets are important for the company from the very beginning. Feerum is present, among others in eastern Europe: in Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia and the Kaliningrad region. The company has completed projects in Germany, Mongolia, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia. Undoubtedly, the prospective market for the company is currently the African market. In connection with the planned foreign expansion, the company undertakes a number of initiatives in this regard. “We work with local distributors who promote the company at trade fairs, B2B meetings and in their own advertising and promotional materials. Representatives of the company also take part in economic missions supported by the Polish government. In May this year, we participated in an economic mission in Ethiopia organized under the patronage of President Andrzej Duda. We participated in similar missions in Rwanda, Egypt, Zambia, Algeria, Senegal and Angola “- explains Dawid Pokrywka, director of Feerum SA export. In addition, the company represented Lower Silesia at the international exhibition EXPO 2017, which ended in Astana in September 2009. Together with other Polish enterprises, it encouraged the participants of the Polish-Kazakh Economic Forum to develop economic cooperation.

The article appeared in issue 40 5/2017 of Polish Industry magazine
Author: Adam Sieroń