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


  • Industrial Ethernet Node offers remote monitoring interface
  • Provides sensor data to PLCs or other automation and control systems

GAC® 2700-UGMA

  • GIPSA-Certified as UGMA-Compatible
  • Field proven to work with all leading scale systems

PDDM Planetary Dual Disperser

  • Robust mixer offers unmatched shear intensity, rapid dispersion of dry powders into viscous batches
  • Two stainless-steel high-viscosity “HV” stirrer blades


  • Designed to sort grain lots, kernel by kernel, at industrial speed
  • Sorts up to 15 metric tons/hour, which is equivalent to about 125,000 kernels analyzed per second

Semi-Automatic Hand-Prompt Batching Station

  • Designed to eliminate bad batches resulting from operator error and interruption
  • Operator involvement through each step in the batching process

C-LEVER EVA HE Controller

  • For bulk solids, accuracy is not impacted by different material densities, irregular material flows or extreme friction
  • All connections available (Ethernet, Profibus, CANbus, etc.) as standard equipment to easily connect/coordinate with existing systems


Marketwatch: Aug, 08

US Corn Price Idx: ZCPAUS.CM

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high: 6.8936
low: 6.7243
close: 6.8512

US Soybean Price Idx: ZSPAUS.CM

open: 14.638
high: 14.7188
low: 14.4386
close: 14.5691

US Hard Red Winter Wheat Price Idx: KEPAUS.CM

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high: 8.1294
low: 7.9473
close: 7.9783

US Soft Red Winter Wheat Price Idx: ZWPAUS.CM

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high: 7.3501
low: 7.1751
close: 7.2359