Bulk Handling News - Bruks Siwertell Customer Magazine issue 1, 2019

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Port-mobile unloader: see how it could enhance your operations


Bulk Handling News 1






Grain handlers take note It is possible to try out a virtual reality environment for the Siwertell port-mobile unloader and see how its capabilities could deliver significant benefits to your grain-handling operations (page 10).

bruks-siwertell.com 2 Bulk Handling News



Editorial 04

News in brief


Better together: Bruks Siwertell


Port-mobile unloader sets new standards

Effective integration delivers wide-reaching rewards Dear reader,


Coking coal challenges met with ease


Simulation-based design and training sets new safety and efficiency standards


Air-cushion conveyor delivers considerable commercial rewards


Specialist training keeps systems running smoothly


Our people: Victor Lundberg

Bulk Handling News is a customer magazine for the dry bulk handling industry. Publisher: Siwertell AB, P.O. Box 566 Gunnarstorp, SE-26725 Bjuv, Sweden Editors: Emily BrĂŚkhus Cueva (emily.cueva@siwertell.com), Malin Pekberg (malin.pekberg@siwertell.com), Anette Andersson (anette.andersson@siwertell.com) Layout and production: Malin Pekberg Cover: Bruks Siwertell Printed by: Tryckaren Engelholm The opinions expressed by the authors or individuals interviewed do not necessarily represent the views of Bruks Siwertell.

ABOUT BRUKS SIWERTELL GROUP Bruks Siwertell is a market-leading supplier of dry bulk handling and wood processing systems. With thousands of installations worldwide, our machines handle raw materials from forests, fields, quarries and mines, maintaining critical supply lines for manufacturers, mills, power plants and ports.

It has been just over a year since Bruks and Siwertell were integrated into one market-leading group, and I am pleased to say that the process has been efficient and has delivered substantial benefits for our clients all over the world. Together, our market reach is so much deeper, giving customers greater access to our sales and service teams, and at the same time we have enabled sourcing and combined operations on a global basis. In terms of markets, we are seeing particularly strong growth in the forest and wood-related dry bulk industries. Bruks Siwertell is extremely well-positioned to support these expanding sectors, with its ability to deliver a complete range of equipment and services to process, convey, load, unload, store and reclaim processed wood products. In this first issue of Bulk Handling News you will have the opportunity to read about our combined capabilities. We have introduced new innovations to the market such as The Belt Conveyor (page 22) and the port-mobile unloader (page 10). Both deliver significant operational advantages to customers. We also highlight our unique installation at the Ha Tinh steel plant in Vietnam, where two Siwertell unloaders showcase their ability to handle coking coal; a difficult commodity to convey, particularly when wet (page 16). These features and many more can be found within the magazine and online on our new Bruks Siwertell website. Since its launch earlier in the year the site is proving popular, increasing our interaction with customers, partners and suppliers.

We design, produce and deliver systems for loading, unloading, conveying, storing, and stacking and reclaiming dry bulk materials, alongside equipment for chipping, screening, milling and processing wood for the biofuel, board, saw mill, pulp and paper industries. An extensive global service team offers support to Bruks Siwertell customers whenever and wherever it is needed. bruks-siwertell.com

Peter Jonsson Group CEO Bulk Handling News 3

NEWS in brief

New air-cushion conveyors serve state-of-the-art wood pellet plant Work is well underway to deliver an industry leading airsupported conveyor network to Barrette-Chapais’ new highcapacity wood pellet production facility in Canada. At the end of 2018, Bruks Siwertell announced that it was awarded the contract to design and supply two high-capacity air-supported conveyor systems for Barrette-Chapais. They will support the Canadian company’s new wood pellet production facility currently under construction in Saguenay, Quebec, Canada. “We are delighted that Barrette-Chapais has ordered both our new air-supported belt conveyor system and our popular

The Belt Conveyor offers excellent low friction conveying efficiencies

air-cushion Tubulator conveyors,” says Christopher Duffy, Area Sales Manager, East Coast USA and Canada. “They are an excellent choice for this new plant and their low-friction conveying capabilities will deliver significant commercial advantages.” Bruks will deliver its new air-supported belt conveyor system for retrieving the wood pellets from two covered pellet domes at a rated capacity of 800t/h. The pellets will then feed directly onto a 305m (1,000ft) long Bruks air-supported Tubulator conveyor to the dock. As a result of Bruks’ innovative suspension cable tower technology, the Tubulator system will only require four supports over the conveyors’ entire length, ensuring minimal foundation and installation requirements. “We worked closely with the company to develop a design that would not only deliver maximum conveying efficiency within the plant, but also would ensure environmental protection, negligible material losses and degradation. “Ultimately, Barrette-Chapais liked the advantages that low-friction conveying offered, and opted for a conveying system that capitalized on the distinct advantages that both systems could offer. This is an excellent example of how we are able to customize a solution based on operational needs with technology that is inherently designed to offer a competitive edge,” Mr Duffy adds. The new wood pellet plant, called Granule 777, will have an annual production capacity of 210,000 metric tons of wood pellets and is expected to come on line later in the year. The pellets are primarily for export, with the majority of pellet plant supply coming from sawmill byproducts.

Tubulator systems only require minimal support and installation requirements

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Bruks Siwertell Bruks Siwertell’s signs three-year new joint website service contract with Pagbilao Energy Bruks Siwertell has signed a three-year Siwertell Care service contract with Pagbilao Energy in the Philippines. The agreement will see Bruks Siwertell undertake annual mechanical and electrical inspections and be on hand to offer maintenance support and training for Pagbilao Energy’s Siwertell ST 790-D rail-mounted ship unloader. The unloader has a rated capacity of 1,400t/h and has been in operation since last year.

Bruks Siwertell’s new joint website showcases the fusion of two strong brands and the group’s wide variety of bulk handling and wood processing solutions.

“Our service agreements secure equipment’s optimal performance and reliability,” says Tony Aronsson, Area Manager APAC, Siwertell Service Division. “These proactive contracts also build up an operator’s own service skills, something that Pagbilao Energy is particularly keen to do.” Siwertell’s commitment to customer service and support was recently recognized, winning an industry award at the end of 2018 for its dedication to service. “Our aim is to forge long-term partnerships and continuity of support with our customers,” adds Mr Aronsson. “As well as ensuring customers have a safe, efficient dry bulk handling system, we dedicate a specific person to each customer, offering customized care and extended service support.”

The new joint website includes all product areas of both Bruks and Siwertell products, allowing you to see clearly what type of solutions we offer and how our machines and installations work. We publish all our news and updates on the website, and then share it in our social media channels. You can find and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. You can also sign up for our Bruks Siwertell monthly newsletter to get the latest news sent directly to your inbox. One of our website features, where visitors can get useful tips and advice from our experts sharing their knowledge, is the Bruks Siwertell blog; an information hub for all aspects of the dry bulk cargo handling and wood processing industries. You’ll find the latest news, trend spotting, information about different bulk cargoes, port operation, bulk terminals, and the biofuel, board, saw mill, pulp and paper industries, along with important issues such as environmental protection and safe operations. The blog is a platform to highlight potentially challenging areas linked to bulk handling and wood processing operations.

As part of Pagbilao Energy’s service package, it will have access to 24/7 telephone support, a spare parts management program, and will also receive a discount on all spare parts.

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Joint venture

Better together:

Bruks Siwertell The merger of two world-leading brands, Bruks Holding and Siwertell AB, combines complementary strengths and extends capabilities far beyond traditional boundaries, offering customers unique access to an unprecedented range of products and services text PETER JONSSON & PER K ARLSSON photos BRUKS SIWERTELL


or many in the dry bulk industry, both Bruks and Siwertell have become fundamental elements in their value chains. In May last year, parent companies JCE Group AB in Sweden and Cargotec Corporation in Finland, signed a deal in which they merged, forming the Bruks Siwertell Group, of which JCE Invest owns 52 percent and Cargotec the remainder. “Bruks and Siwertell both felt that the current industry climate and the potential for growth meant that a joint venture would be a success,” says Bruks Siwertell CEO Peter Jonsson. “We worked together to ensure the merger process was efficient and mutually beneficial and I believe that the integration of the two companies has been seamless.” Both companies have their roots firmly in Sweden and have successfully grown through the development of high quality customer-driven solutions. Their respective growth has seen Bruks become a mainstay of the American and European timber industry, with a strong product portfolio of woodprocessing, conveying, storage, and stacking and reclaiming systems, and Siwertell leading the global dry bulk handling industry with screw-type ship unloading systems, extremely versatile road-mobile and port-mobile unloaders, loaders and bulk terminal solutions.

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“Bruks and Siwertell are two strong brands that complement each other very well, both in terms of product portfolio and market coverage,” says Per Karlsson, Siwertell President. “Siwertell will benefit from Bruks’ strong position in the US market, whereas Bruks will gain access to Siwertell’s Asian network, knowledge and exposure. “I am delighted with the progress and opportunities that it is already offering our customers and our wider organization,” he adds. The joint venture between Bruks and Siwertell offers customers unprecedented access to a portfolio of products for complete dry bulk terminal solutions of any type. “Our merged capacity has created a diverse strategy that will see us continue to focus on developing specialized solutions for customers,” continues Mr Jonsson. “For example, we plan to grow our sea terminal business by providing the most comprehensive range of equipment that these specialist terminals require.”

Growth in Asia “Our new business arrangements are already paying off in Asian markets,” notes Mr Jonsson. “Prior to the merger,

the Bruks US group was focused on exports, substantially supporting wood pellet producers by exporting their products, whereas Siwertell was very involved in the import side, supplying the equipment to offload the pellets coming into Europe. “Now that we are one unit, we are capitalizing on both sides of the spectrum in the Asian market,” he explains. “We have several large utilities in Asia asking for our help on the unloading side. The close relationship that we have with customers in the US has meant that we have been able to introduce them to these utilities in Asia. In some cases, the US pellet manufacturers were unaware of these opportunities. We have brought them to the table, informing them that a particular utility is looking to import millions of tons of wood pellets. If they are not talking to each other, we offer to make the introductions.”

Booming biomass markets “Although the number of large-scale wood pellet industry projects varies from year to year, the wood pellet market remains an important and significant part of Bruks Siwertell’s business,” says Mr Jonsson.

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Bruks and Siwertell have become fundamental elements for many in the dry bulk handling industry

The merger has come at a time when the appetite for exported American biomass pellets is substantial. Bruks’ position in the US market, providing systems for handling and processing timber, has meant it has been a major beneficiary of this growth. “Bruks has a longstanding commitment to providing optimized solutions to the wood pellet industry,” says Mr Jonsson. “The company has designed a complete product line to handle timber in the forest and process excess materials at saw mills. Equipment includes hammer mills to create sawdust from woodchips, as well as products to produce, transport and store wood pellets.” Siwertell’s position in the biomass market only serves to complement this, with its vertical screw-type ship unloaders offering the best cargo handling capabilities in the business; qualified by the high capacity continuous transfer of biomass pellets from cargo vessels without dust, spillage or material degradation. “Siwertell’s screw-type ship unloader offers unique capabilities for handling wood pellets,” he notes. “It is also currently the only continuous ship unloader on the market with the capacity to efficiently handle both coal and wood pellets, seamlessly switching between them without any adjustment or loss in performance. This is especially advantageous currently as power plants are looking to diversify fuel supplies, particularly in Europe, and are making transitional moves from coal to wood pellets for energy production.”

Showcasing capabilities A notable example of Siwertell’s superior performance in the fuel handling sector is at the TP Utilities’ terminal, a subsidiary of Tuas Power, on Jurong Island in Singapore. The facility

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is served by two screw-type Siwertell ST 640-M unloaders, installed between 2012 and 2013, which instantaneously handle alternating shipments of coal and biomass destined for Tuas’ Tembusu Multi-Utilities Complex (TMUC). A further showcase, demonstrating the combined strengths of both companies, is highlighted at the industryleading Avedøre combined heat and power (CHP) station in Copenhagen, Denmark. The coastal facility has led the power-generation industry for decades, having reached an efficiency of over 90 percent thanks to its advanced wasteheat-recovery systems, which also supply the local area with piped heating. Owned by Ørsted, formerly Denmark Oil and Gas (Dong Energy), the power plant has eliminated coal use entirely and Ørsted plans to replace it completely with biomass in its other plants by 2023. Avedøre’s fuel supply is secured with a Siwertell ST 790-D ship unloader, which has been in operation since 2013. It now exclusively unloads biomass, having made the switch effortlessly in 2016. For its part, the biomass pellets that feed this world-class power station, which are prominently sourced from North America, have, in some way, been handled and processed by Bruks equipment. “Now, Bruks Siwertell captures the entire export chain from North American lumber mills to European power plants, and contingents in Asia, the Middle East, and South America,” adds Mr Jonsson.

Extended customer relations A combined installation base means that Bruks Siwertell products are in operation on almost every continent.

The joint venture between Bruks and Siwertell offers customers unprecedented access to a portfolio of products for complete dry bulk terminal solutions of any type”

“Siwertell’s unique ship unloader is undeniably the most efficient and environmentally friendly equipment to continuously unload ships on the market today,” Mr Jonsson explains. “Coupled with Bruks’ conveying and dry bulk material storage solutions and strong product portfolios for ship loading, Bruks Siwertell provides significantly more innovative solutions for its customer base, which has embraced the new company. “Capitalizing on our combined global market coverage enables both brands to extend customer relations and create a wider geographic reach, and the group is seeing new business opportunities and developing new leads worldwide” Mr Jonsson highlights. “Our dynamic new company also provides an extended service network to its customers worldwide.”

From a single mobile wood chipper to an impressive customized Bruks stacking and reclaiming system or a high capacity Siwertell ship unloader, all share a common thread. They are designed to meet customer needs, and their high quality manufacturing ensures a long, safe service life, offering their owners the best return on investment and maximum environmental protection. “Developing our range of customized systems has made both Bruks and Siwertell very good at solving problems. Each new customer benefits from the problem-solving capabilities that we have built up over decades,” Mr Jonsson explains. “Neither Bruks or Siwertell has gained just a portfolio of products from the other,” he continues. “We have secured decades of industry knowledge and technical expertise for each other.

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New product

Port-mobile unloader sets new standards

Are you looking for a highly agile, extremely efficient, port-mobile system that can champion the performance of a pneumatic unloader? If you are, here are six reasons why Bruks Siwertell’s new port-mobile unloader might be just what you are looking for text PETER GÖRANSSON photos STUDIO E

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nvesting in any new technology is a major decision. Most importantly, bulk handling equipment owners want it to meet their operational needs; they, as in any other business, want maximum return on investment, the highest efficiency, and the lowest running and maintenance costs. They also want to know that their choice of investment

The port-mobile unloader inherits benefits common to all Siwertell screw-type unloaders. One of these is the flexibility to handle many different types of cargo with a single machine, and without modification. As a result, the port-mobile unloader is not limited in the types of cargo to be handled. Unlike pneumatic systems, which are only suitable for fine grains, Siwertell machines can gently and efficiently handle all manner of grains as well as larger soya beans and feedstuffs.

“ presents the very best of what the market can offer. Every new investment should be scrutinized against these expectations, but not every new technology will deliver them. Margins are tight, especially for grain-handling operators having to respond to variable import quantities, or for those whose import volumes do not justify the economies of scale delivered by large, fixed unloading installations. For this reason, Bruks Siwertell has developed the port-mobile unloader. Available in two sizes, a 400t/h and a 600t/h version, the unloader range serves vessels up to 60,000 dwt. Here are six good reasons why operators should be considering them.

It is equipped with a self-propelled rubber-tyre system and an advanced steering solution for full, easy maneuvrability between operations�

Reason 2: impressive efficiency and environmental protection High through-ship efficiency and therefore fast portturnarounds was a key development driver for the port-mobile unloader. The result, the through-ship efficiency of a portmobile unloader is better than that of a pneumatic system. In part, this is ensured by how the unloader operates within a ship’s hold.

Reason 1: outstanding flexibility The new port-mobile unloader offers unmatched flexibility and has been optimized for use in ports. The weight and dimensions of its steel chassis has been minimized so that it has a lightweight and small footprint, ensuring that it takes up as little precious space on the working quay as possible or when it is stowed between jobs. It is equipped with a self-propelled rubber-tyre system and an advanced steering solution for full, easy maneuvrability between operations. Its movements are operated manually or by using any of the pre-programmed driving modes and can travel straight ahead, in reverse or diagonally, both to the left and to the right. It is also able to smoothly rotate up to 30 degrees both left and right. When stationary, the end pairs of axles, both on the sea-facing and land-facing sides, are turned by 90 degrees to secure the gantry in all directions when parked. During operations, the port-mobile unloader is supported by hydraulic jacks for increased stability.

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Unlike a pneumatic unloader, which can only operate its intake nozzle in a vertical direction, the Siwertell port-mobile unloader can move its vertical arm +/- 30 degrees and reach all areas of the cargo hold, including the troublesome area underneath the hatch corners. This maximizes efficiency rates and minimizes any cargo left for the payloader at the end of the unloading operation, ultimately improving through-ship speed.

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Even where the finest grains are concerned, the portmobile unloader offers the best environmental protection on the market. It has a totally-enclosed conveying line to eliminate dust emissions and as its vertical intake nozzle is submerged in the cargo, dust creation from cargo avalanches is completely avoided. The port-mobile unloader is also extremely efficient to run. It uses the latest diesel engine specifications and these also meet the strictest environmental regulations on exhaust and noise emissions.

Reason 3: unbroken cargo flows Any interruption to the flow of material negatively impacts efficiency. Therefore, to minimize the impact of truck changeovers or an irregular truck supply, the unloader is equipped with a large-volume intermediate surge hopper. This hopper allows for discharge operations from a ship to continue even if no trucks are available immediately.

Cargo degradation is a concern for many commodities, but within grain handling it can really impact profits. If not handled gently, grain cargo breaks down, causing the production of fines, which are powdery particles. These fines can pose some significant financial and safety concerns. They can mean that the whole grain shipment is downgraded as fines make it more difficult to aerate the grain, which increases spoilage rates. They also have to be removed before milling; therefore their presence has a significant

One of the greatest advantages of unloading grain with screw-conveyor technology is the low degradation rates of the material”

A dual truck-loading system, with the option for a third loading system, keeps the unloader working as continuously as possible during truck loading, operating independently of one another to deliver the fastest loading operation possible.

knock-on effect on grain processing as a whole. Furthermore, the greater the number of fines produced, the greater the dust emissions, raising the risk of fire and explosion in storage silos and other confined areas.

Also designed to minimize any cargo flow interruptions, a separate fuel tank, including an automatic fuel-replenishment system, is incorporated into the unloader.

Bruks Siwertell’s claims for extremely low material degradation rates have been independently validated many times over decades, both by customers and by third-party inspectors, using comprehensive testing regimes and measurements before and after unloading.

Reason 4: profits from gentle handling One of the greatest advantages of unloading grain with screw-conveyor technology is the low degradation rates of the material. A low conveying velocity and a gap between the screw and the casing prevents the kernels becoming crushed during unloading. Siwertell unloaders therefore avoid the cargo degradation concerns that traditionally accompany the high-conveying velocities of pneumatic unloaders, but maintain equivalent throughputs.

Reason 5: lowest total cost of ownership The port-mobile unloader offers an extremely competitive total cost of ownership. From the outset, it has a very lightweight design, which avoids any costly infrastructure or preparatory quay-reinforcement work. In terms of operational costs, these, in part, depend on total unloading times and therefore it is important to maintain high average through-ship capacities. This also reduces any demurrage costs. The port-mobile unloader achieves these high through-ship capacities with its continuous material handling rates and superior reach into a ship’s holds. The new port-mobile unloader shares the tried-andtested technology of other Siwertell grain-handling units and uses simplified, standardized technology, which keeps maintenance and wear parts costs relatively low compared with other unloading systems on the market. Its robust, simple mechanics also translate into very low maintenance costs, especially in comparison to the high-intensity demands placed on a pneumatic system’s key components. This is because the continuous low-velocity motion of the counter-rotating screw places little strain on working components. Unplanned downtime is brought to a minimum, and predictable forces within the unloader make it

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possible to accurately plan for maintenance intervals and the timely replacement of wear parts.

Reason 6: exceptional support The fundamental aim of Bruks Siwertell’s service work is to ensure that its customers have a safe, efficient dry bulk handling system that they can rely on, but key to this service is the bridge that the company builds with its customers, dedicating a specific member of staff for each and every customer. It believes that this, along with good teamwork, assures customers that they can rely on Bruks Siwertell.

These dedicated connections are backed-up by expertise and resources. Experienced personnel, with excellent technological knowledge, are behind its commitment to customer care. This experience delivers many benefits to a customer. For example, during a service or inspection, a surveyor can rapidly assess a system and quickly determine its condition. It also means that Siwertell is often able to assist with temporary repairs, which can keep a machine up and running until new spare parts arrive.

It is possible to try out a virtual reality environment for the port-mobile unloader”

Bruks Siwertell’s lifetime customer commitment is delivered through a global service network offering on-demand and emergency support and planned service agreements. Bruks Siwertell believes that customers should not only benefit from the advantages that their Siwertell unit offers today, but continue to do so in the years to come. It is possible to try out a virtual reality environment for the port-mobile unloader and see how these capabilities could deliver significant benefits to your grain-handling operations. If any of the above reasons have made you curious, then why not get in touch?

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Coking coal

Coking coal challenges met with ease

Continuous ship unloaders offer the highest throughship efficiencies, Siwertell screw-type units prove their capabilities on a daily basis, and the tight scheduling of two unloaders at the Ha Tinh steel plant demonstrate their advantages, even when handling coking coal text PER K ARLSSON & PER HANSSON photos BRUKS SIWERTELL


etting a new industry standard, Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corporation (FHS), owned by Formosa Petrochemical Corporation (FPC), is the first steel producer to operate separate, dedicated unloading systems for coal and iron ore; key commodities required for the production of steel. This capability is debuted at its world-class Ha Tinh steel plant in Vietnam’s Son Duong Port. Meeting the plant’s coal demands is a pair of railmounted Siwertell ST 940DOB coal unloaders. They were commissioned in 2016 and in addition to their primary function handling the steel plant’s coking coal demands, are also used to discharge

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thermal (steam) coal for Ha Tinh’s 2,150 MW powergenerating plant.

First-hand feedback The Vietnam-based company, Long River Engineering Co Ltd, part of An Chi Invest, operates and maintains the unloaders on behalf of FHS and has done so since they were commissioned in 2016. This is Long River’s first experience of operating a Siwertell ship unloader and when asked if the unloaders functioned exactly as anticipated when they began operations, Long River’s Vice Director, Nguyen Thanh Long, replied: “Yes, the unloaders have functioned well, as anticipated. Their performance is smooth and the efficiency of

the Siwertell continuous ship unloader is good.” “The unloaders were perfect, despite a difficult assembly process,” adds Per Hansson, Siwertell Contract Manager. “Their capabilities have now been proven in operation many times.”

Confirming performance capabilities Siwertell’s contract with FPC guaranteed a through-vessel capacity equal to 70 percent of the rated capacity, meaning a discharge rate of 1,680t/h per unloader, or 3,360t/h for both. On average it will take about 60 hours to unload a 200,000 dwt Capesize vessel.

Thousands of operating hours Ha Tinh’s annual intake of coal is around five million metric tons; 90 percent of this is coking coal, of which eighty percent comes from Australia, with the remainder from Canadian imports. The plant’s thermal coal is mostly imported from Russia.

“A few minor adjustments on the belts and transfer section were needed,” he adds. “But other than that, all parameters were spot on. We ran at a capacity of 2,509t/h for the first hour, with peaks up to 2,700t/h.”

The first vessel berthed at Son Duong port on the 22nd of February 2016. The discharge process started at 16:12 pm and by 17:12 pm the Siwertell unloaders had already passed the first two performance tests for rated capacity and power consumption in handling coal. “As the port has not accommodated very large vessels, performance tests were conducted on Panamax bulkers, sized at around 80,000 dwt,” continues Mr Hansson. “Therefore, we readjusted the agreed rate of 70 percent down to 65 percent. The first unloader passed the test with an achieved rate of 71 percent of the through-ship capacity and the second unloader passed the test with an achieved rate of 68 percent throughship capacity. All the tests were conducted using coking coal.

To date, the largest vessel to be discharged is a 160,000 dwt Capesize bulk carrier. Long River says that for the popular-sized 80,000 dwt vessel that it receives, through-ship time is around two days. “This confirms our continued capabilities of maintaining an equivalent through-ship operating efficiency of 70 percent for these smaller vessels,” says Mr Hansson. As a result of pendulum movement restrictions set by the owner, Long River comments that, with larger vessels of 100,000 dwt and above, it is marginally harder to discharge on the seaward side. Therefore, excavators are used earlier than usually necessary to move material into the centre of the hold. “However, the early use of the excavator delivers an additional positive advantage,” comments Mr Hansson. “They can work to pile up coal while the ship unloader operates at full capacity in another hold; a combination that is efficient and speeds up hold clearance.”

“As long as there is coal on a vessel, the Siwertell continuous ship unloaders discharge it,” says Mr Long. Currently, on average, each unloader runs for around 50 hours per week. In terms of their operating schedules, in February this year, the total running time for one ship unloader had reached around 3,000 hours and the second unloader in the region of 2,600 hours.

Impact of moisture content The last two years in operation at Ha Tinh have only proved the unloaders’ capabilities even further. “They continue to perform very well,” Mr Hansson highlights. “The original design was for all varieties of coal, but with some of the extremely wet and sticky coal types that the plant receives, we have needed to enhance the transfer section on both unloaders to improve operations and avoid all clogging issues.” The main challenge when handling coking coal is quality. “The coal comes in many different forms, which can vary significantly from vessel to vessel, and within the load on one vessel,” says Mr Hansson. “Everything from powder to more normal chunky coal is found, and the coal can be extremely wet.

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“Moisture makes the coal very sticky and build-ups are easily formed during unloading within a short period of time. This only gets worse the further down in to the hatch you dig. The client buys coal from all over the world, so one vessel can contain at least two types of coal. Regardless of type, we handle it with our continuous ship unloaders without any adjustments or actions needed,” he says. Long River agrees that the water content of the coal poses one of the biggest challenges. “Water makes the coal sticky and can cause blockages in the horizontal conveyor, hopper and sometimes in the inlet feeder, triggering the unloaders’ autoguard feature. After removing the damper, blockages have stopped,” explains Mr Long.

coking coal had been prone to build-ups and as a result of the modification, this issue was successfully resolved. Scrap metal, damaging the screw or causing it to stop rotating, has also meant a few incidents of unplanned downtime. “Siwertell quickly sent supervisors to help,” comments Mr Long. “Siwertell has handled all the normal warranty items. Scrap material has caused a few issues, also, there was one incident of the vertical arm being damaged quite badly during a collision with the vessel,” Mr Hansson explains. “This was handled very well by our Service Department, who not only got the unloader back in operation, but also repaired the damaged arm and screw set, straightening, machining and balancing. This set is now installed again and running well.”

Flexibility on the quay “Like all installations, Siwertell unloaders ensure flexibility,” notes Mr Hansson. “In this case, not only by handling coking and thermal coal, of all qualities, but also iron ore; so the client has a solid back-up if the bucket-type unloaders should break down. We are planning to test and prove this function for the client within the first half of 2019.” Currently, the conveyor arrangement on the quay consists of four belts, all situated underneath the unloaders. Extension plans are in motion for an additional two belts to be built behind the unloaders, in parallel with the existing conveyor system. This will ultimately deliver the ability to handle coal on three belts and iron ore on a further three. “The unloaders’ existing shuttle belt configuration discharges coal onto the first two conveyors closest to the ship, but in line with future extension plans, it is designed and prepared to be able to discharge coal onto a third dedicated coal-handling belt, which will run in parallel to the existing arrangement,” explains Mr Hansson. “It will also be able to discharge iron ore onto a fourth conveyor when capacity requirements expand.“

Importance of good service “Currently we do not have a formal service agreement in place, but as the client already owns seven Siwertell unloaders, across its operations in Taiwan, China and the USA, it knows what to expect from a Siwertell unloader and is very familiar with our machines and their maintenance needs,” Mr Hansson points out. “We do however help them occasionally with larger jobs, such as providing supervision and training with screw exchanges and alignment. “Furthermore, with two machines, it is easy to plan maintenance, as one machine can be taken offline and operations continue with the remaining equipment.” In terms of service and maintenance over the past two years, the unloaders’ vertical chutes have been modified and all wear plates have been exchanged for stainless steel versions. Long River notes that previously, the very sticky 18 Bulk Handling News

Customer-driven technology “We have been partners with FPC for almost two decades and it knows our equipment very well, with many operating and maintenance hours ‘in the vault’,” says Mr Hansson. “Together we have developed many improvements on an already great product; enhancements often derive from operational feedback. For example, Long River operators’ never use the cabin on the unloader and suggest that it could be removed. In part, this is because the facility mostly receives smaller vessels, with corresponding smaller holds, and hazards, such as onboard cranes, need to be negotiated more carefully on compact vessels. The operators are therefore more comfortable standing on the hatch for a better view of the unloading operation. This is quite normal for many of our installations, especially in warmer climates.” Also, although a 25 metric ton-hoist was originally ordered, Long River proposes that, as the weight of the excavator and lifting spreader is already 22 metric tons, this should be increased to 27 or 28 metric tons to provide some leeway in the maximum load as wind or vibrations can cause an overload fault.

Long River has suggested that the sensitivity of the autoguard system should be adjusted for coking coal. Siwertell has carefully considered these parameters when working with this material. “In general, the autoguard function is doing its job and protecting the equipment,” notes Mr Hansson.

Superior track record “The main reason for FPC opting for this unique arrangement of dedicated coal unloaders was because of Siwertell’s superior track record for handling coal, and for the commercial advantages that it would deliver,” highlights Mr Hansson. “FPC trusts our judgment when it comes to material handling; we have mutual respect. “From the outset, the company was quite clear of the benefits of our equipment used in this arrangement and our primary discussions for this project related to technical solutions and additions. “I believe that the unloaders have proved to be as cost effective as anticipated and in light of experiences at Ha Tinh, I would anticipate that other steel producers will follow suit. The advantages are there in terms of flexibility and capacity, but most importantly from an environmental perspective. With dust and emissions eliminated with our totally enclosed conveyor system, we are not only an effective solution, but also a very green one.”

Expanding operational requirements The Ha Tinh plant is increasing its production steadily, and according to plan, the port handled 30 vessels during the first two months of 2019. Eventually, FHS hope to treble capacity at the Ha Tinh site and are awaiting government approval for its expansion plans; the Siwertell unloaders are expected to meet this anticipated rise in demand.

Assembly on a greenfield site:

a tough challenge, but a great achievement As with many Siwertell installations, the steel structures for Ha Tinh’s unloaders were manufactured in China, with other equipment produced in Sweden and the rest of Europe, and delivered as a break bulk shipment for assembly on site. “This was an interesting time,” explains Per Hansson, Siwertell Contract Manager. “The new discharge quay and port did not have wave breakers fitted at the time, as it was still under construction. Luckily, we knew of another port close by, although it was heavily congested. “During the first day of discharging the unloader shipment, a typhoon hit, forcing us to stop instantly. It was three weeks before we could return to port, but eventually the parts were unloaded and transported on trailers to the site. “As this was a greenfield project, the assembly zone was a field, effectively an area of pure mud, clay and stones. It was situated just behind the quay, where construction was still ongoing, and where the unloaders would ultimately be positioned. “Although Vietnam enjoys good weather, it can be extreme, with very high temperatures in the summer, cold and windy conditions during winter, not forgetting what rain does to a mud field. Before anything could commence, we had to prepare the ground, leveling and reinforcing. “After this, we started one of the more difficult assemblies ever seen in our company’s history,” he continues. The unloaders had to be positioned over a series of four belt conveyors, 21m-wide and at a height of 5.5m, hence the unloader’s impressive rail span of 28.8m. This arrangement put extreme demands on the lifting and rigging equipment because of the heavy weights at vast outreaches. “Initially we developed a lifting plan based on two cranes, but altered our approach when we found a single crane capable of the task and imported it for the job. “In short, you could say that this was a tough challenge, but it is also one of our greatest achievements. We navigated our way through all the local laws and regulations, overcame all technical complications, challenging terrain and weather difficulties, worked with personnel who had never built a machine like this before, and together assembled the two largest ship unloaders that we have ever produced. This project really showed the dedication, willpower and technical expertise that is present within Siwertell,” Mr Hansson concludes.

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Virtual reality

Simulation-based design and training

sets new safety and efficiency standards From structural analyses and operation planning to equipment installations and service personnel training, Bruks Siwertell is creating value through simulation and virtual reality text ZOLTAN HABONY & VIK TOR ÅKESSON photos 123RF STOCK PHOTOS


he changing nature of the dry bulk handling industry has created an environment that demands innovative and flexible design and training solutions. To meet these demands, Bruks Siwertell combines long-standing industry knowledge with the latest advances in simulation-based technology to deliver a complete package of market-leading equipment, cutting-edge training techniques and troubleshooting tools.

A new perspective For example, during the design phase of all new installations, as well as to ensure successful outcomes in upgrade projects, Bruks Siwertell carries out structural and flow simulations. “The main advantage of using simulation in the design process is the ability to identify and fix any potential problem areas to prevent real-life operational issues,” explains

20 Bulk Handling News

Zoltan Habony, Calculation Engineer at Siwertell. “In recent years, the development of new technology has provided the tools necessary to simulate and analyze the strength properties of larger machine components.” Fatigue and corrosion are key factors in the deterioration of ship unloaders, which can lead to equipment failure and costly repairs. A crack in the structural steel can be fixed in a vast number of ways, but if it is not carried out correctly, the fix itself could cause even greater damage than the original problem. “By using simulation, we can evaluate the options and employ the best solution,” Mr Habony notes. “We can also test the dynamic load resistance of a machine exposed to fast loads for short periods of time, such as during an earthquake.”

Smoothing material flows “Flow simulations are not new to us, but we have traditionally used manual and other skilled methods, for estimating elements such as engine effects and chute material flow transitions. We have now begun to simulate flows numerically using the discrete element method (DEM). “Predominantly used as a research and development tool to get a better understanding of material flow in conveyors, transfer points and chutes for the design of standard equipment, numerical flow measurements also help us determine the cause of equipment problems. These can include plugged chutes or inefficient conveyors, and provide a clear solution. “Using DEM, we can rule out designs that are not effective, saving time and money in the long-run, making it possible for engineers to peer into

the material flow in ways that are not possible in real life,” Mr Habony adds.

Data quality dictates outcomes When it comes to simulation, selecting the correct input parameters for replications is crucial. “Input data for simulation models is simply the details entered into the system for analysis, such as equipment problems, geometry, material properties, boundary conditions and loads. The quality of the input data is the greatest influencing factor on the quality of the output; the questions we ask in the simulation,” he stresses. “Experience is very important to correctly interpret the results from a simulation, but if the simulation is based on incorrect input data, no amount of experience can salvage the simulation. In short, you only get out what you put in. Therefore, it is vital to collect data from the actual material handled on site.” Currently, there is no open database for DEM simulations. To ensure the input data is correct, Siwertell has a specialized laboratory where it gathers input data from material samples from live sites.

Wider potential of VR Siwertell is also planning to introduce virtual reality (VR) training for its service personnel and for operators. This is designed to enhance knowledge and thereby improve safety and efficiency. Using VR headsets, users will be able to explore a simulated ship unloader, which is positioned in a realistic 3D landscape almost 30m above ground level. “Advanced simulation provides invaluable training opportunities,” says Mr Habony. “By imitating real-life working scenarios, users learn how to operate equipment safely without the risk of damaging the machine or the ship. We also see that VR has much wider benefits besides training and design simulations.” VR capabilities are currently being employed for the new Siwertell portmobile unloader (page 10). “We have

developed a VR environment where you can experience the feeling of walking around the machine; where all movements can be simulated using a handheld controller,” says Viktor Åkesson, Calculation Engineer, Siwertell. “The environment is so realistic that many of those who have tried it have felt the same fear of heights that one might experience on a real Siwertell ship unloader. “The VR environment opens up a multitude of possibilities,” Mr Åkesson continues. “First and foremost, it is a simple way to show a customer the port-mobile unloader that it has ordered before it is built or delivered. The software can also be used as a virtual training platform for operators,

eliminating the risk of any costly novice errors and making training available when it is convenient, for example, even if there is no ship to unload. “More widely applicable, the software presents an easy way for our employees to virtually visit a machine prior to an upcoming service visit, helping to plan any actions, to ensure best practice when performing a task, and ascertain if, for instance, special tools are needed. Furthermore, a main feature of the software is that it could be used for virtual commissioning, enabling an unloader to be verified virtually prior to assembly. This can shorten delivery times as any programming ‘bugs’ can be fixed much earlier on in a project,” concludes Mr Åkesson.

Bulk Handling News 21


Air-cushion conveyor delivers considerable commercial rewards

Bruks Siwertell’s new air-supported conveyor offers some of the most significant advantages that the industry has seen in years including extremely low maintenance needs, dramatically reduced running costs and superior environmental protection text STEVE BENNET T photos BRUKS SIWERTELL


t has been three years in development, but Bruks can now offer a conveying system that stands significantly apart from any others on the market. Known as ‘The Belt Conveyor™’, it innovatively combines the use of air-cushion technology with Bruks’ standard belt conveyors, ensuring low friction, high

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capacity conveying that offers minimal equipment wear and very low operating costs. “This development is long overdue,” says Steve Bennett, CEO and President of Bruks Siwertell Americas. “Belt conveyors are some of the most widely used systems in the world and are found

in just about any manufacturing and processing facility. Fundamentally, little has changed with the technology for years, but that does not mean to say substantial improvements cannot be gained from rethinking the basics of the belt conveyor. This was the driver for our new air-supported conveyor system.”

Innovation at the heart of

pressurized air delivery

Key areas ready for improvement “There were four key areas that we identified as opportunities for improvement: safety, maintenance requirements, running costs and environmental impact. Any new development had to tackle these,” continues Mr Bennett. “These areas are interlinked, because a design resolution for one aspect can have a far-reaching impact. For example, a fundamental element of the new conveyor is that it does not use idlers to support the belt over the conveying distance; therefore significant gains can be made. In terms of safety, many companies have faced idler cans seizing up and creating friction fires, with them removed, the risk of fire is almost eliminated. “Their absence creates other advantages,” he explains. “Maintaining hundreds of idlers to ensure that they do not seize is a fairly continuous task, by removing them from the system, including belt sag, pull cord switches, and lights, maintenance costs are radically reduced. “Maintenance savings, in addition to minimal energy-consumption requirements, translate into extremely low running costs,” Mr Bennett notes.

Extremely smooth ride surface The elimination of idlers, in favor of an air-cushioned belt, offers other advantages as well, namely an extremely smooth ride surface, ensuring material is discharged in exactly the same condition as when it was loaded onto the belt. It virtually eliminates the production of fines, which are common with other conveying methods, and negatively impact downstream processes.

Central to the belt conveyor system is the innovative way that air is delivered to support the belt. Unlike other air-assisted conveyor technology, including Bruks’ Tubulator systems, which predominantly use a series of in-line fans to generate the cushion of air, Bruks’ belt conveyor uses a patented pressurized air enclosure system. Each three meter section has access to a common header of pressurized air, and under the carry-side pan is a pressurized air enclosure system, otherwise known as a plenum. Each independent plenum delivers air through a series of holes at an exact pressure and airflow to lift the belt and ensure almost frictionless travel. Air pressure sensors and flow meters are installed to monitor and maintain optimum pressure. The plenums of air can be individually set for each installation, so they can exactly match the delivery of air for each application. This patented air delivery method allows the Bruks air-supported belt conveyor to carry a wide variety of materials with diverse physical properties.

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New technology in a familiar form Unlike other air-cushion conveyor systems, rather than using a pipe as the key containment method, the belt conveyor uses a simple modular cradle that supports a formed carrying trough and covers, and a central air manifold provides the air pressure to suspend the belt. Basic components include the head and tail unit and three meter-long intermediate sections. The only moving parts are the head and tail pulleys.

The shape of the pan also mimics the geometry of a 35-degree idler conveyor, but without the rollers, therefore it still meets the industry-standard calculations for the USA’s Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association (CEMA).

Far-reaching rewards The environmental gains that the air-supported belt conveyor offers are also far-reaching. Low-friction conveying means that its energy consumption demands are minimal in comparison with traditional systems, but more directly, a fully enclosed cover and integrated air-supported return, provides dust-free operations, eliminates product losses and minimizes any noise production. It also means that dry bulk material is protected from the weather. The air-supported conveyor is tailored for each application, including specific air flow and pressure, so that a wide range of materials can be carried. It can also be easily incorporated into a wide variety of structural support systems, including elevated positions, making installation simple and quick. “Installation and commissioning times are significantly reduced in comparison with idler conveyor systems,” Mr Bennett says. “This is largely due to the fact that there is virtually zero belt training required. “Conveyors are essential elements for many processing facilities and power-generation plants and their reliable, continuous smooth running is the most important focus of any new development. In part, this goes hand-in-hand with a commitment to high-quality manufacturing. For this reason Bruks Siwertell has built a unique test facility to not only showcase its capabilities, but also demonstrate its performance in comparison to other available systems,” he highlights. 24 Bulk Handling News

First-of-its-kind test facility confirms conveyor capabilities A test faciliity in Whitesburg, Georgia, USA has been specially built to showcase the performance capabilities of the new Bruks air-supported belt conveyor. The belt conveyor is designed to overcome many of the drawbacks of traditional idler belt conveyors, including friction fires caused by rollers seizing up during conveying operations. It also offers some of the most significant commercial advances in conveyor technology that the industry has seen in decades. Bruks Siwertell has celebrated the opening of its new test facility that accurately compares the performance of Bruks’ innovative air-supported conveyor against other commercially available designs, enabling operators to make informed choices. “We understand that this is new technology and some operators might need to see it in action, running alongside other available systems, before they can commit to adopting it,” says Zack Hood, Manager, Conveyor Technology Solutions, Bruks Siwertell. “For this reason, Bruks Siwertell has built the first-of-its-kind test facility that actually compares the performance of Bruks’ new conveyor to other designs that are currently on the market.” The test facility is located near Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport, about one and a half hours from Bruks Siwertell’s office, which is located in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and is open to the public upon request. It will be used for continuing research and testing products in various applications with different materials. “The test facility opened its doors towards the end of last year and it has been a busy time since,” adds Mr Hood. “Customers have been bringing their own materials to run at the facility, and we have been able to answer questions about the new design and show its superior performance through live demonstrations. It is certainly impressive when you see it in operation and it is a very practical way for customers to test its capabilities using the materials they handle on a daily basis.”

Bulk Handling News 25


Specialist training

keeps systems running smoothly Bruks Siwertell offers dedicated training packages so that operators not only maximize the lifetime of equipment, but also benefit from minimized downtime and high degrees of operational efficiency text FREDRIK GUSTAVSSON photos SIWERTELL


arge Bruks Siwertell deliveries come with an introductory level of operator training, but more specific training on certain aspects of equipment can prove a valuable investment. For example, this can be targeted at maintenance regimes, so that equipment service life is maximized and unplanned downtime is minimized, or at certain operational procedures to enhance efficiency and performance. Siwertell surveyor, Fredrik Gustavsson, is a keen advocate of customer training programs and believes that they are important not just for understanding a machine’s overall function, but that specific maintenance methods get a longer lifetime out of components.

Broader skills add benefits “When equipment is delivered, it is usually accompanied with operator training at the point of handover. The level of training is dependent on a number of factors, including whether or not a customer already has some experience of working with our equipment,” Mr Gustavsson explains. “More in-depth training

gives the operators a wider range of skills or takes existing skills to new levels, delivering advantages such as more efficient operations, time saving techniques and advice about how to avoid operating the equipment in ways that can result in unnecessary component wear. “If an operation has just started or in fact a refresher course is needed because of operator changes, for example, our training programs are always a good investment,” he continues. “Our representatives are highly skilled and have a great deal of experience covering all aspects of a machine’s operation. Our customers can expect to reinforce the skills of their operators and maintenance personnel. “Ongoing training is very important to ensure that a company’s personnel maintain their high level of knowledge and can skillfully evaluate situations and identify the need to service different components. In-time replacement of wear parts is always cost effective and reduces downtime,” stresses Mr Gustavsson. “Our products are delivered to almost every continent of the world. Many problems can be avoided or solved by customers themselves if the customer has undertaken specific training for its equipment. Good knowledge of the equipment is also beneficial for communicating with service engineers,” he points out.

Valuable customer feedback A customer that has benefited from specific training not long ago is Jurong Port, a leading international multipurpose port operator in Singapore, which had recently taken delivery of an inclining Siwertell horizontal screw conveyor (HSC 1000) system. “Jurong Port has lengthy experience of Siwertell systems, operating our equipment since 1996. It carried out its own HSC installation and then contacted Siwertell for a tailored training program not only to ensure that this was carried out correctly, but that its operation and maintenance were also being performed in an optimum way. “The training was carried out over two days and in two separate sessions to cover the company’s different shifts. This ensured that all relevant personnel were able to attend, enabling the training knowledge to have the widest reach possible.

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“The reflections of the participating personnel were that they had not only learnt new things, but that this new information would add value to the service activities that they perform,” he concludes.

Our People Victor Lundberg Warehouse Operator and Quality Control It is a meticulous job, parts are painstakingly checked for tolerances and quality before they are packaged and leave the warehouse; Victor Lundberg, Warehouse Operator and Quality Control, Siwertell, Gunnarstorp, Bjuv, Sweden, explains why this is so important


think that it is evident from all the people that you speak to within Siwertell that they are incredibly proud of Siwertell as a company and of the products that it offers the dry bulk handling industry. We know that each and every one of us plays an important role in the final system working successfully on the quay and performing well for its owner. At the heart of this success is our attention to quality. As I work in quality control, I have handled just about every Siwertell product since I started working with Siwertell in 2018. When the parts arrive at our warehouse, we make sure that all their measurements are comfortably within the set tolerances. I then securely pack them into their corresponding boxes and crates.

The importance of every part The sheer magnitude of our products is fascinating. Just as we all play our part within the company, each and every component in these impressive machines must also play theirs. The first thing I do with any shipment of parts is assure their quality. This includes accurately measuring parts with traditional tools, such as micrometers and calipers, but also more advanced methods such as 3D scanning and measurements using our FaroArm Edge. This is a great tool for meticulous and effective precision measuring that enables production speeds to be maintained.

Once I am happy with quality control, parts are sent to the next company location, usually the warehouse, where they are stored in preparation for shipping. When they are required, parts must again be made ready for transport. The parts and their quantities are usually different every time we prepare a shipment as Siwertell unloaders are built as individual units and tailored for each customer. Therefore, it is very likely that they will differ in how they need to be packaged each time. All elements must be taken into consideration when we pack them. This ensures that they arrive in optimum condition, ready for assembly.

Problem solving The quality control work that I do means that I must be able to read a technical drawing and understand how the different tools for measurements work, and as a warehouse operator, I also have to be able to operate forklifts and traveling cranes. You need good communication skills as well. I work with personnel from all departments and meet a lot of truck drivers as I also unload and load their trucks. I love to solve problems, many of them mathematical, and come up with solutions to fit parts into a crate or a new way of measuring something. I also love the freedom that I am given to work and the responsibility I get to carry on behalf of Bruks Siwertell.

Bulk Handling News 27

BRUKS SIWERTELL GROUP Bruks Siwertell is a market-leading supplier of dry bulk handling and wood processing systems. With thousands of installations worldwide, our machines handle your raw materials from forests, fields, quarries and mines, maintaining critical supply lines for manufacturers, mills, power plants and ports. We design, produce and deliver systems for loading, unloading, conveying, storing, and stacking and reclaiming dry bulk materials, alongside equipment for chipping, screening, milling and processing wood for the biofuel, board, saw mill, pulp and paper industries. We are global and local. You will find our main offices in the US, Sweden, Germany, China, Philippines, Russia and Taiwan, supported by a dedicated network of hundreds of representatives and dealers worldwide. An extensive global service team offers support to all Bruks Siwertell Group customers whenever and wherever it is needed.











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