Mar 29, 2021

Engineering Out the Hazards

Understanding what it takes to maintain and operate a facility is critical in upfront design and engineering

For the past few decades, technology has played a critical role in the feed and grain industry’s growth, paving the way for increased safety measures, throughput, compliance and automation.

When selecting an electrical design-build contractor for a facility upgrade or new build, it’s important to review their qualifications and capabilities, as well as the industry experience they bring to the project.

Sure, hiring an electrical or automation contractor will get the job done, but hiring one with feed, grain and National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) knowledge is a game changer.

Safety procedures such as Lockout/Tagout (LOTO), energized work permits and arc flash/electrical safety policies were created as a secondary means of protection to reduce accidents from happening while equipment is being serviced or repaired. By properly designing the electrical and control system with NFPA compliance in mind, we can eliminate the risks for putting people in hazardous situations.

Installing smart motor control centers (MCCs) allows remote troubleshooting and monitoring via the plant control system or by a handheld interface, eliminating the need to open the MCC bucket or PLC cabinet.

Smart MCCs can monitor system voltage, amperage, reset overloads and view input status from machine-mounted sensors without the need of arc flash gear or using a meter.

Smart MCCs also allow your machine-mounted sensors to be wired back to the MCC bucket versus the PLC, proving one point for lockout of a 480-motor power and 120V control power.

This wiring can help eliminate the frequent OSHA violations through good design, such as failure to LOTO on 120V circuits and completing energized work permits required in NFPA 70E.

Installing remote-operated main circuit breakers in standalone sections isolated from feeder breakers allows you to isolate your highest rated arc flash equipment from the equipment that the plant will normally operate, mitigating the risk to them should an incident occur. It also allows the commonly labeled RHC dangerous main breakers to be operated remotely and out of the flash protection boundary.

Working with a knowledgeable design partner and taking the time to plan an upgrade or new facility build strategically will save you headaches, time, and money in the long run. ■

Karl von Knobelsdorff

Recently Added to Buyer's Guide

VersaMix Triple Shaft Mixers

  • For mixing applications requiring efficient powder dispersion and critical homogenization of medium to high viscosity slurries, pastes, gels, creams and suspensions
  • High-shear mixer with solids/liquid injection manifold (SLIM) technology rotor/stator

GUC-F Controller

  • Multichannel feeding and dosing controller
  • Control solution for feeding and weighing applications in powder handling applications
  • Flexible and modular design with analog and digital load cells


  • Offers accurate and reliable continuous mass flow measurement of bulk solids with an accuracy of +/- 0.5% full scale
  • Measures mass of flowable solids with densities of 10 to 100 pounds/cubic foot and flow rates from 700 to 7,000 cubic feet/hour


  • 10.1” touchscreen
  • Easy to install in new or existing systems

Sanderson Farms Feed Mill Expansion - Kinston, NC

  • Construction of a whole grain silo expansion (76’ diameter x 145’ tall) to hold 500,000 bushels
  • Expansion also includes a 12’x17’x22’ deep boot pit extension at the end of the existing receiving tunnel

Horizon Feed Ordering Automation Platform

  • Automates many processes within supply chain for efficient, sustainable and profitable production
  • Manage all bins and orders on a single software platform


Marketwatch: Jan, 18

US Corn Price Idx: ZCPAUS.CM

open: 5.7667
high: 5.8486
low: 5.7266
close: 5.8288

US Soybean Price Idx: ZSPAUS.CM

open: 13.366
high: 13.376
low: 13.2328
close: 13.2696

US Hard Red Winter Wheat Price Idx: KEPAUS.CM

open: 7.3061
high: 7.3384
low: 7.2334
close: 7.2454

US Soft Red Winter Wheat Price Idx: ZWPAUS.CM

open: 7.0114
high: 7.0566
low: 6.9566
close: 7.0014