Bulk Handling News - Bruks Siwertell customer magazine issue 1, 2023

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21 Cost savings delivered through good design BULK HANDLING NEWS BRUKS SIWERTELL CUSTOMER MAGAZINE #1/2023 7 Pellet power feels the heat of global attention
2 BULK HANDLING NEWS 25 CONTENTS CONTENTS 4 News in brief 7 Pellet power feels the heat of global attention 12 Data analysis paves the way to improved profitability 14 Africa builds up its port technology base 18 Transformations: high-end products from waste wood fractions 21 Cost savings delivered through good design 25 Bulk Days: connect, share, repeat 30 A concrete commitment 35 40 years young: electrical upgrade rejuvenates long-serving ship unloader 39 Our People: Maria Johansson 35 7 14


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.

We design, produce and deliver systems for ship loading, ship unloading, conveying, storing, stacking and reclaiming dry bulk materials, alongside equipment for chipping, screening, milling and processing wood for the the bioenergy, bio-fuel, board, sawmill, pulp and paper industries.

An extensive global service team offers support to Bruks Siwertell customers whenever and wherever it is needed. bruks-siwertell.com

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Two heads are better than one

Dear reader,

For most, the times that we are now experiencing are the most turbulent of our living history. The pandemic shattered social norms and hugely impacted, and is still impacting, the way we do business. But sitting alongside this is global conflict, staggering energy price rises, food and energy insecurity, inflation and rapidly more apparent climate change.

Bulk Handling News is a customer magazine for the dry bulk handling industry. The opinions expressed by the authors or individuals interviewed do not necessarily represent the views of Bruks Siwertell.

Publisher: Bruks Siwertell AB P.O. Box 566 Gunnarstorp SE-26725 Bjuv, Sweden

Editors: Emily Brækhus Cueva emily.cueva@bruks-siwertell.com Malin Pekberg malin.pekberg@bruks-siwertell.com Lindsay Gilliland lindsay.gilliland@bruks-siwertell.com

Editorial assistant: Anette Andersson anette.andersson@bruks-siwertell.com

Layout and production: Metamorf Design Group AB

Image sources: Shutterstock and Bruks Siwertell

Printed by: @graphiken, Malmö 2022

The magnitude of these challenges means that we cannot tackle them alone, no country can stand in isolation. The world needs greater cooperation between nations to solve, or at least mitigate, the worst of the issues that global populations are facing.

For our part, I am heartened to see a firm place in the biomass market, doing something towards reducing reliance on fossil fuels. However, only raw materials from sustainable sources should ever enter this supply chain. You can read about our ongoing commitment to this industry on page 7. These technological capabilities are extended to other processed wood sectors, for example the panelboard industry. A recent new order for a particleboard production plant in the USA is featured on page 18.

We are also experiencing a significant uptick in demand for our enclosed screw-type conveying cement handling systems such as Siwertell ship unloaders, including road-mobile units, ship loaders and conveyors. These units eliminate waste in terms of spillage, minimize dust emissions and deliver very high efficiencies, with low energyconsumption demands.

Our research and development (R&D) strategy is also continuing at a pace, and this year will see the phased introduction of Siwertell Smartview, a cloud-based industrial Internet of things (IIoT) system designed to offer a better understanding of operational and component performance through enhanced data visualization and analysis (page 12).

These are just a few of the insights into the magazine, and as ever, I hope that you enjoy the read.



Digital advances enhance service support

In a collaboration with Swedish information technology specialists, Pulsen Integration, part of Pulsen Group, Bruks Siwertell has adopted an app-based system called digital report tool (DRT). It streamlines service reporting across Bruks Siwertell’s market-leading range of dry bulk handling equipment and ensures that customers receive expert knowledge quickly and efficiently.

With the new app, Bruks Siwertell’s service teams have access to the most efficient, comprehensive and consistent method of report creation. “The incorporation of this digital advance creates a fully accessible platform that promotes rapid knowledge transfer and even better customer service,” says Daniel Frostberg, Service Director, Bruks Siwertell.

“We have an extensive equipment inspection portfolio, where each machine is meticulously checked on a regular basis. This work is carried out at installations all over the world and by many different surveyors. Streamlining this process delivers a cohesive quality and saves our service teams an enormous amount of time,” explains Frostberg.

Previously, inspectors used a variety of reporting methods, which could prove time-consuming to produce the final report. Inspectors now fill in all the applicable fields, take pictures and then create the report with one click.

A new digital report tool ensures that customers receive rapid, consistent reports

US mill modernization underpinned by Bruks technology

A leading American paper and packaging supplier will shortly take delivery of a new woodyard designed to modernize its southern USA mill.

The new complete woodyard includes a package of Bruks technology such as a back-on truck dumper, a 127,425m3 (4.5 million ft3) fully automated circular blending bed stacker reclaimer (CBBSR), a bark screening and processing system, and a complete conveyor package feeding from the chipping line to the existing screen building.

It has a capacity to deliver 800t/h of wood chips from the chipping line and truck dumper to the stacker reclaimer, and wood chips at 400t/h from the stacker reclaimer to the processing plant.

“The new storage and reclaiming system is fully automated, replacing mobile equipment with a safe, highly efficient, and environmentally friendly solution,” says Christopher Duffy,

A fully automated Bruks circular blending bed stacker reclaimer (CBBSR) is included in the order

Sales Manager, Bruks Siwertell. “Our automated stacker reclaimers have a fraction of the carbon footprint of a manually managed pile, and offer much improved dust mitigation.”

Enclosed cement handling system ordered for Adelaide

Hallet Capital Pty Ltd has placed an order for a gantrymounted Siwertell 490 F-type ship unloader. It will provide environment-friendly cement handling in the South Australian port of Adelaide. The unit has been ordered along with a jetty screw-conveyor system feeding a dome silo and individual screw conveyors for installation inside the dome.

“Hallet Capital is a new customer for us, and part of its decision to choose Siwertell technology was based on Bruks Siwertell’s extensive experience with other cement import terminals,” says Jan Karlsson, Sales Director APAC, Bruks Siwertell.

“There were two main considerations for this contract,” notes Karlsson. “The first was environmental protection and the second was designing a system that could be moved away from the jetty when not discharging vessels, as the port of Adelaide does not allow any fixed installations to hinder other operations within the port. We were able to meet both.

“The ship unloader will be fitted with a rubber-tire wheelbase ensuring in-port mobility,” he explains. “Furthermore, the jetty conveyor system will be installed in a recess so that the jetty remains clear for other activities. The entire system, from material pick-up in the vessel’s hold to the dome silo, will be totally enclosed, providing a virtually dust-free operation in the port, with no spillage.”

The new Siwertell ship unloader will be suitable for discharging bulkers up to 40,000 dwt at a rated cement handling capacity of 500t/h. It is planned for delivery later this year and will be assembled on site.


Siwertell Smartview delivers expert knowledge direct to operators

This year, Bruks Siwertell will start rolling out the introduction of an advanced digital tool, Siwertell Smartview. Designed to optimize the productivity and profitability of dry bulk handling operations, and deliver a better understanding of components through enhanced data analysis, the cloud-based tool is the latest industrial Internet of things (IIoT) system planned for integration into Siwertell technology.

Siwertell Smartview is suitable for all Siwertell ship unloaders, including port-mobile and road-mobile units, and ship loaders. For more information see page 12.

Siwertell Smartview delivers a better understanding of an operation through enhanced data analysis

Siwertell loader secures cement capacity growth for Indonesian operator

A Siwertell screw-type ship loader has been ordered by engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor, PT Hutama Karya (Persero), for cement handling operations in Tuban, on the Indonesian island of Java. It will secure dust-free material transfers for the state-run operator, PT Solusi Bangun Indonesia.

“Environmental protection was a key concern for all parties, and one of the main reasons why this loader, with a totally enclosed screw-type conveying system, was chosen,” says Pierre Öhrwall, Sales Manager, Bruks Siwertell. “It will ensure efficient, high-capacity cement handling free from dust and spillage.”

PT Solusi Bangun Indonesia specializes in cement, ready mix concrete, and aggregate production. The Tuban terminal is a strategic new expansion, close to Indonesia’s limestone mines, and established maritime routes. It is also the operator’s first completely new terminal construction.

The HST 1000 1B-type ship loader has a continuous cement handling capacity of 1,000t/h and can load either open-hatched or conventional bulk carriers up to 50,000 dwt. It will be assembled on site and is planned for delivery at the end of 2023.



ALTHOUGH SLOWING, global populations are currently still on a trajectory to increase by two billion people over the next 30 years, according to the United Nations. This naturally translates into higher energy demands, but now that the world can no longer turn a blind eye to the climate impact of fossil fuels, it is likely that, sooner or later, their use will come to an end.

Since the start of human existence, people have burned wood fuel for heat and light. But it has just become more and more sophisticated, with the global biomass industry now commanding center stage for many countries’ energy mixes.

Although biomass, the general term for organic material used for energy, is not without its environmental toll, many believe that it is better to use raw materials that

can be renewed in a generation, rather than those that regenerate over millennia.

A booming market

According to a Future Markets Insight report, Quest for discovering Renewable, Environmentally Sustainable Fuel Sources revving up sales of Wood Pellets, the global wood pellets market was forecasted to reach a value of USD 9.21 billion by the end of 2022, and is further projected to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11 percent from 2022 to 2032.

By the end of this forecast period, the global market value for wood pellets is estimated to stand at USD 26.15 billion. To put this growth in context, in 2021, the industry was valued at USD 8.3 billion.

The balancing act of achieving carbon neutral promises against a background of energy insecurity leads many to the same questions: could biomass be the answer to the global quest for renewable power and can the producers keep up with demand?
TEXT Ken Upchurch PHOTOS Bruks Siwertell, Shutterstock

In line with these findings, the US, a net biomass exporter, continues to see industry growth. North American biomass, often bound for Europe to meet what seems to be an insatiable appetite, has a critical role to play in the global shift to renewable energy, and all eyes are on the industry to see how it will keep meeting demand.

Advocates for wood energy

Supporter of renewable wood energy as a sustainable, low-carbon power source is the US Industrial Pellet Association (USIPA). Founded in 2011, the USIPA has acted as a trade association for the wood energy sector, promoting sustainability and safety practices within the industry. “We advocate for wood energy as a smart solution to climate change, and we support renewable energy policy development around the globe,” says the USIPA.

Its members, including Bruks Siwertell as one of its original supporters, represent all aspects of the wood pellet export industry, including pellet producers, traders, equipment manufacturers, bulk shippers, and service providers.

“Bruks Siwertell is proud to call most of the key industry leaders customers,” says Ken Upchurch, SVP Sales and

Marketing, Bruks Siwertell. “These relationships have developed largely due to the influence of the USIPA organization and the annual conference.

“This year’s trade event in Miami was very active and boasted participation levels similar to pre-pandemic levels,” Upchurch continues. “The discussions around the future of the wood pellet industry further solidifies Bruks Siwertell’s belief that the industrial wood pellet market will remain robust for many years to come, and is doing its best to keep up with staggering rises in demand.”

Sustainability starts at source

The USIPA is far from alone in its advocacy for biomass as a renewable energy resource. An essential element in the environmental impact of biomass is the source of its raw material. If this comes from forests that are sustainably managed, with trees replanted and regrown within the timeframe of a generation, biomass pellets are deemed renewable. They must, however, not contribute to overall deforestation or negatively impact a forest’s ability to sequester carbon. It is the responsibility of pellet manufacturers to ensure that their sourcing decisions are sustainable.

If these conditions are met, it is generally accepted that sustainably generated wood pellets are carbon neutral when burned. This is because they are made from trees that have absorbed atmospheric carbon during their growth span, which is then released through combustion. In contrast, fossil fuels release ancient carbon, long removed from the current carbon cycle.

One of the most prominent and long-standing advocates for biomass is global renewable energy company, Drax Group. Drax has three critical messages when considering the use of biomass as an energy source. Firstly, it notes that biomass pellets produce 80 percent fewer CO2 emissions when combusted in comparison to coal, as well as lower levels of sulfur, chlorine, and nitrogen. Secondly, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), wood pellets have an energy density of 11 gigajoules/m3, compared to 3 gigajoules/ m3 from fresh wood or wood chips, and thirdly, when used in high-efficiency wood pellet stoves and boilers, biomass pellets can offer a combustion efficiency up to 85 percent.

We advocate for wood energy as a smart solution to climate change

Biomass pellets are formed from a huge range of organic materials, and often from forestry waste, end-of-life timber and byproducts from the sawmill industry such as wood chips, offcuts and sawdust; essentially wood that is unsuitable for other industries. Bruks Siwertell technology is able to handle, process and convey all forms of processed wood, including chippers, waste wood residue systems, such as milling and grinding machinery, and air-supported conveying systems including The Belt ConveyorTM and the TubulatorTM

The perfect pellet

Screening is an important element of pellet plants, along with the dryers that ensure wood fractions have a moisture content below 12 percent. Once this is achieved, all residues are converted to a fine powder and compressed, under intense pressure through a grate, to form the familiar short, dense biomass pellets, typically between 6 and 8mm in diameter and a maximum of 30mm long. The uniform shape of biomass pellets not only ensures the density of material required for combustion efficiency; it also makes it easier to transport.

Making the most of raw materials

Much of the value in biomass is tied up in the production and handling of the pellet. Not only is its contents-source critical in terms of its sustainability credentials, but so are these elements.

Pellet plants receive raw materials via a number of methods, this includes bulk truck deliveries. Trucks are offloaded using hydraulically operated tipping platforms, which lift the entire truck and allow free-flowing processed wood chips to dump out of the back of its trailer and into a receiving hopper, hence the name truck dumpers. Bruks Siwertell leads the market in both drive-on and back-on truck dumper versions. Due to the inherently dusty nature of these loads, the company has developed many ways to mitigate against dust emissions.

Primarily, dust is controlled by the truck dumper’s low-profile, end-pivot design, which ensures that cargo is unloaded at a low elevation, approximately 2.5m above the ground, and directly into the back end of the hopper, which is often covered.

Bruks CBBSRs lay down successive layers of biomass in a continuous 360-degree rotational pattern

This technology is just the start of Bruks Siwertell’s contribution to the biomass industry. From the receiving hopper, raw materials are conveyed to the woodyard, where Bruks stacker reclaimers are seen as the industry model for fully automated, high-volume wood chip storage and reclaiming.

For example, Bruks circular blending bed stacker reclaimers (CBBSRs) lay down successive layers of biomass material in a continuous 360-degree rotational pattern, using a stacking conveyor that pivots through a complete circle. With a true first-in first-out (FIFO) mechanism, with the oldest material in the pile always being reclaimed first and blending reducing any variation to a minimum, they ensure minimal material degradation and minimize the unnecessary loss of material through microbial action.

Biomass: a global stage

Some biomass operators, like Drax Group, use Bruks Siwertell technology that not only spans continents, but the entire supply chain from the pellet plant to the port. In the US, Bruks technology installations for Drax Biomass include two entire woodyards, two dry chip handling systems, a ship loader in Baton Rouge, and two dry shaving systems with two residual systems.

The pellets loaded in Baton Rouge take a transatlantic journey to the UK, where they feed the 4GW Drax power station, in North Yorkshire; one of the largest biomass plants in Europe. Pellets get to the plant from multiple sources, including via four Siwertell ship unloaders: one pair is operated by Associated British Ports at the Immingham Renewable Fuels Terminal (IRFT), and the other is operated by Peel Ports at the Ligna Biomass terminal in Liverpool.

Carbon capture and storage

Biomass’ low carbon emissions, even when factoring in its entire supply chain, means that the industry can go a step further than carbon neutral, and aim for carbon negative through the use of carbon capture technology, for example, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). Drax is trialing BECCS at the UK-based Drax power station.

Different raw materials produce different grades of pellets, with the densest wood-based ones destined as fuel for use by power utilities, including combined heat and power facilities. For example, Denmark’s Avedøre combined heat and power (CHP) station is one of the most efficient in the world. Its owners, Ørsted, embarked on a conversion from coal to biomass several

The shape of biomass pellets ensures the correct density for efficient combustion

Bruks Siwertell is in a prime position to help pellet producers and users keep up with demand

years ago as part of its target to phase out coal power completely by 2023.

An important part of its transition is a rail-mounted high-capacity Siwertell ST 790 D-type ship unloader, which has operated in the Avedøre harbor since 2013. Originally chosen for its ability to unload both coal and biomass cargoes interchangeably, it now exclusively handles biomass after Ørsted converted the plant for full-biomass operation in 2016.

The efficient use of both heat and power is not an unfamiliar concept in bioenergy circles. In southeast Asia, at the Tembusu Multi-Utilities Complex (TMUC) on Jurong Island in Singapore, wood chips, and palm kernel shells are part of the biomass energy mix. The facility also triples up as a power, desalination, and wastewater treatment plant.

Two ST 640-M rail-mounted Siwertell unloaders have served the TMUC since 2012, alternating between unloading coal and various biomass cargoes.

Every link in the chain

Siwertell ship unloaders have a global reputation for handling biomass. They are able to discharge vessels quickly and efficiently, with minimal material degradation and dust emissions, and no spillage. They achieve this while also mitigating biomass’ inherent fire and explosion risk.

Bruks Siwertell’s entire range of equipment ensures a true end-to-end supply chain for the biomass industry, and

with sustainability at the heart of the technology, the company is able to provide both pellet producers and end users with the means to minimize waste, maintain lower material costs and maximize efficiency and environmental protection.

“With forestry equipment, such as chippers, a whole range of wood-processing technology, truck dumper systems at receiving facilities, fully automated woodyards, advanced air-cushion conveying systems, and market-leading ship loaders and unloaders, Bruks Siwertell is in a prime position to help pellet producers and users keep up with demand, and make the best of opportunities presented by this growing market,” Upchurch concludes.

Siwertell ship unloaders have a global reputation for handling biomass


THE INFLUX OF DIGITAL TOOLS ON THE MARKET goes to show the value that data holds, but data for data’s sake is of little use. Only when something is understood can someone learn from it. It was this premise that drove the development of Bruks Siwertell’s latest advanced digital tool, Siwertell Smartview.

Awareness is essential; it is impossible for us as individuals and as businesses and organizations to know everything, but when we have a better understanding of something, we become able to make evidentially based decisions. These ‘smart’ opportunities are valuable to operators because they have the potential to drive higher levels of efficiency, productivity and profitability.

Data adds clarity

Starting this year, Siwertell Smartview is a cloud-based industrial Internet of things (IIoT) system planned for

phased integration into Siwertell technology. Developed as part of an ongoing research and development (R&D) project, it is designed to offer a better understanding of operational and component performance through enhanced data visualization and analysis.

Originally, the tool was specifically designed to provide an accurate overview of unloading operations, helping customers rapidly identify any potential bottlenecks and therefore improve operational efficiency and equipment availability.

However, it was soon realized that the IIoT system and its capabilities could be expanded to include much more.

Initially for introduction on new equipment deliveries, Siwertell Smartview will collect data during unloading and loading operations, which will provide detailed analysis of equipment performance, availability and reliability. In due course, the tool will be available for all Siwertell technology such as ship unloaders, including port-mobile and roadmobile units, and ship loaders.

The tool will be available for all Siwertell technology

In a world full of data, interpretation and accessibility are everything; Per Hansson, Sales Director, Bruks Siwertell explains how a new digital development, Siwertell Smartview, enables greater awareness of operational performance
TEXT Per Hansson PHOTOS Bruks Siwertell

Expertise on demand

The tool can monitor real-time operational parameters such as tons of material handled, average capacity, tons of material remaining in the vessel’s holds during unloading, and the overall duration of operations. All information can be simply accessed through a personal computer (PC), tablet or smartphone.

A significant element of the new tool is its ability to generate a number of different reports, which not only enhances operational awareness, but also brings Siwertell expertise directly into the terminal as and when it is needed.

Automated report functions also ensure that operators are able to make the most of any information gathered, including operational performance data, individual vessel reports, and details about equipment

availability, highlighting any downtime. Component-level data collection and reporting are also features of the new system.

Siwertell Smartview is able to identify areas that can be improved, leading to widely achievable enhancements in efficiency and therefore a terminal’s potential profitability. Furthermore, equipment IIoT-enabled with Siwertell Smartview means that other parameters can be analyzed including historical performance.

Historical data analysis is incredibly useful as it enables performance studies over different vessel types and sizes or commodities. By reviewing the performance of different shifts, it may also be possible to identify possible training needs. All these factors enable the ongoing, continuous improvement and optimization of our customers’ terminals.

Far-reaching benefits

As well as operational optimization, Siwertell Smartview will be able to provide comprehensive information about maintenance requirements. This includes everything from monitoring service intervals and remote support with assisted fault-tracing, up to a full service update. Also, as the tool tracks component-level data, it is able to analyze which parts need service attention and when.

This scalable remote service support will result in quicker response times, lower service costs and more readily accessible Siwertell expertise.

When looking at the combined capabilities of this IIoT system, the future looks very promising in terms of harnessing an operator’s own data to the benefit of its terminal. It is all in the interpretation and visualization. Siwertell Smartview is able to take complex data sets and present them in such a way that they can be simplified and understood, empowering terminal operators with much greater in-house knowledge and awareness, and all on demand.

Siwertell Smartview has the potential to drive higher levels of efficiency and profitability
Siwertell Smartview collects data during operations, providing detailed analysis of equipment performance


In building capacity, African countries have the opportunity to ‘leapfrog’ to the best dry bulk handling systems, enabling growth and development; even in ports with little or no infrastructure mobile ship unloading technology can plug the gap

WHAT DOES ‘INFRASTRUCTURE-LED DEVELOPMENT’ HAVE IN STORE FOR THE AFRICAN CONTINENT? Rectifying Africa’s “vast infrastructure deficit,” the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) says, will relieve a constraint on growth in African countries. Within this paradigm, it has the opportunity to build up capacity from a more technologically advanced starting point.

There are already a number of important examples of African nations “leapfrogging”, as the AfDB refers to it, developed counterparts. For example, the continent has circumvented wire telecoms entirely, straight to mobile phones.

Africa is also the only continent where cargo drones –non-piloted vehicles for moving important medical supplies and other non-military cargoes – are in routine use. Renewable energy in Africa shows exorbitant potential, too. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) says that Africa could provide 40 percent of the world’s global solar power, and 10 percent of its wind power.

There are still barriers which need to be addressed, but it may be that, like with telecoms, African nations can jump ahead to the state-of-the-art – and in so doing, bring about a better future for themselves, in a way that will turn out, paradoxically, to be more cost-effective.

TEXT Jörgen Ojeda and Per Hansson PHOTOS Bruks Siwertell, Shutterstock

Hit the ground running

From a dry bulk imports perspective, food security is one of Africa’s most pressing concerns. Grain, in terms of import volumes, takes the top spot, on a long list of cargoes including coal, salt, cement, sulfur, alumina and fertilizer.

Over decades, Bruks Siwertell has developed systems for handling these cargoes, with a range of ship unloaders designed to suit operations in the most costeffective, efficient way. One of them is the Siwertell road-mobile unloader, which features a low weight compact design, able to handle large volumes of cargo at sites with virtually no infrastructure.

Many African countries are modernizing at breakneck speed, and while it may be efficient to have a large-scale rail- or turret-mounted Siwertell unloader operating on a dedicated quayside, this is not always an option. The road-mobile unloader can deploy and repack in less than an hour, making it ideal for meeting vessels as-and-when needed. Compounding this flexibility, mobile unloaders can switch freely between dry bulk materials; an attribute shared with all Siwertell unloaders.

“Our mobile unloaders are perfect for ports that need to keep the jetty clear, they are also ideal in locations that lack essential infrastructure,” explains Jörgen Ojeda, Sales Director Mobile Unloaders, Bruks Siwertell. “For example, the cement market is quite unpredictable and demand may arise in regions that simply have not yet been developed, this could pose a serious obstacle to meeting that demand. Road-mobile unloaders can ‘hit the ground running’, enabling operators to start discharging vessels the moment that they have been unfolded.

“Siwertell road-mobile unloaders also have a reputation for being very reliable, often making them a preferred choice for repeat customers, but also for first time customers prioritizing quality and reliability over a slightly cheaper initial investment.

“In the long run, an initially lower-priced system might prove to be the most expensive one, as a result of longer downtimes, increased maintenance costs, including substantial spare parts requirements, and higher energy consumptions demands,” notes Ojeda.

Solution for every port

Siwertell road-mobile unloaders are available in three different sizes: the Siwertell 5 000, 10 000 and 15 000. The largest of which deliver a continuous rated unloading capacity of up to 500t/h and can discharge vessels up 15,000 dwt. A notable example of the latter is a Siwertell 15 000 S unit, which operates in Lüderitz, Namibia. Since its delivery in 2008, it has been used to handle sulfur for mining company, Skorpion Zinc.

Sulfur, used in the mining process for the production of pure zinc, is volatile and corrosive, posing significant pollution risks and handling challenges. Furthermore, Lüderitz is a busy fishing port, and protecting this industry from environmental damage was a key concern at the time of order. Also, installing a fixed unloader in the port was not possible as the quay needed to remain clear after each sulfur discharge operation.

Like all Siwertell unloaders, road-mobile systems are completely enclosed, eliminating spillage and

Since 2008, a Siwertell road-mobile ship unloader has been used to handle sulfur for mining company, Skorpion Zinc, in Namibia

minimizing dust emissions. They have also been designed to overcome the issues around sulfur handling with specially designed components and safety systems, such as the Siwertell Sulfur Safety System (4S). The system features water spray nozzles, explosion venting to direct hot gases away from personnel and property, spark and fire detectors, and a fire-extinguishing system.

“With all these capabilities combined, the Siwertell road-mobile ship unloader was an ideal choice, not just for the port, but for the commodity,” adds Ojeda.

The vital ingredients

According to the World Bank, there is enormous potential for agricultural self-sufficiency across Africa, with some of the world’s most fertile and productive farmlands. Currently however, those farmlands are used to grow high-value export crops such as coffee, cocoa, and cottonseed oil.

In addition, recent geopolitical tensions and widespread drought have made matters worse, leaving Africa more reliant on imported grain than ever before. In view of this, grain ports and the efficiency of their dry bulk handling systems are critical.

Morocco, a gateway to the continent, is home to the largest port in Africa, Tanger Med, and further along the coast lie the ports of Casablanca, and Jorf Lasfar. On the east quayside of Casablanca’s bulk terminal, two Siwertell ST 490 F-type ship unloaders handle import shipments of grain at a combined capacity of 1200t/h. They are ideal for the task, with zero spillage and a smooth conveying profile that prevents crushing, cutting down on waste and material degradation.

Each unloader features a double-bellows system, which, if needed, can load grain onto two trucks at a time, or four in total; but when not loading trucks, the systems feed grain onto a conveyor belt that runs parallel to the quay.

Some kilometers away, the smaller port of Jorf Lasfar features four Siwertell unloaders; two rail-mounted ST 490-F units, in a setup similar to the one at Casablanca, primarily for handling grain; and a pair of larger ST 940-DOB systems for handling coal, weighing in at 1,040 metric tons each.

With high continuous rated capacities of 2,400t/h for each unit, the two ST 940-DOB unloaders can empty a 120,000 dwt bulk carrier in just under two days, providing feedstock for the TAQA Morocco power plant. The machines handle all different grades and types of coal, meaning that TAQA, which buys its coal from a variety of sources, operates with maximum flexibility.

Support in the field

In Nigeria’s Apapa port in Lagos, two Siwertell 490 M-type ship unloaders serve the diversified agribulk company, Flour Mills of Nigeria. Delivered in 2001 and 2007, they handle multiple commodities including cement, fertilizers and wheat, switching freely between cargoes and discharging vessels up to 75,000 dwt.

Operating at a rated capacity of 800t/h each, the machines secure the import of grains for Lagos’ buoyant pasta manufacturing industry, which serves local and international markets. Dry bulk materials are fed onto an enclosed belt conveyor system running along the jetty, and covered by a layer of rubber. The rubber cover is lifted at whichever point on the jetty the unloader needs to access it, preventing the spread of dust both in unloading and in transit.

Recently, in 2021, Bruks Siwertell conducted a complete replacement on one of the two unloaders’ electrical control systems, including programmable logic controllers (PLCs). At the time, Bruks Siwertell Electrical Surveyor Martin Sabel remarked on just how well the machines had been maintained, even after 40,000 hours in operation. “The operator put a lot of emphasis on ensuring their peak condition,” he said. “Forward-thinking when it comes to maintenance is a good strategy.

Road-mobile unloaders are ideal in locations that lack essential infrastructure

“Exporting parts and support to this site in Nigeria can be a challenge with different regulations and long lead times,” Sabel added. “This is especially important as the unloaders ensure almost continuous pasta production.”

Room to grow

With infrastructure projects springing up all over the continent, today’s Africa is a substantial importer of cement. Taken together, the top ten African cement importing countries, in 2021, would come third in the world after the United States and China, with over USD 1 billion in imports.

Handling comparatively little for itself – it was not in the top 100 of cement importers globally in 2021 –Nigeria secures major cement volumes on behalf of neighboring landlocked countries, thanks, in part, to Siwertell unloaders.

Handling 800t/h of cement for Dangote Industries Ltd, in Apapa, is a Siwertell ST 490 F-type ship unloader. It operates along the quay using a robust rubber-tire gantry, alleviating the need for fixed rails.

Like all Siwertell unloaders, this unit leverages the unique advantages of the technology for handling its cargo, cement, with a fully enclosed unloading system and specially designed dust collector system that prevents clouds of cement dust and resulting pollution, keeping port personnel safe and reducing environmental impact.

“Apapa Port plays an important role as a key import route for vast volumes of grain, and other essential dry bulks, such as cement,” says Per Hansson, Sales Director, Bruks Siwertell. “With the presence of Siwertell technology, the port enjoys high flexibility, high capacities, market-leading through-ship efficiencies, and excellent environmental protection. It is not difficult to see why operators at this, and other locations, want to use them to meet growing demands.”

In terms of gross domestic product (GDP), Egypt is Africa’s richest country and the world’s eighth largest exporter of cement. Egypt’s Damietta Port, like Apapa, serves as a key waypoint for imports into its neighboring countries. It is the site of a large cement terminal served by a Siwertell ST 490-F ship unloader. Mounted on a stationary turret, the unloader discharges vessels up to 30,000 dwt at 800t/h. To enhance hold reach, this unloader was delivered with a specially-designed extender, which enables the unloader to reach into all ship holds while maintaining a small footprint at an otherwise crowded port facility, substantially minimizing the clean-up phase.

“These examples of installations demonstrate that, with the right equipment, Africa can start from a more technologically advanced base, and get key dry bulk materials into the continent efficiently, stimulating growth and meeting demand. Though there are barriers, investment in modernizing Africa’s ports at this point could be a major boost to gross domestic product (GDP), delivering enormous positive change to the continent,” Hansson concludes.

Two Siwertell ST 940-DOB ship unloaders serve the TAQA Morocco power plant


IT HAS NEVER BEEN MORE IMPORTANT THAN NOW TO MAKE MAXIMUM USE OF RAW MATERIALS and one of the most generously diverse is wood. Wood is not only renewable, it is also a critical element in carbon capture, and its uses span multiple industries from energy production to construction. Wood offers longevity and strength in the round and continues to deliver value even as dust.

The alchemy of producing high-end products from wood fractions is a commercially and environmentally sound strategy, and the panelboard industry makes admirable use of it. Like all process-driven manufacturing, every stage in wood-panel production, from receiving raw materials to their processing, such as debarking, chipping, flaking, drying, and screening, through to gluing, impacts yields. This highlights how the individual capabilities of equipment can influence the efficiency of the wider process.

Expanding plant capacity

Many panel manufacturers choose to start their production process with wood that has already been processed, for example receiving wood chips, dry shavings, and sawdust. For these operators, manufacturing starts with their raw material receiving systems.

Bulk trucks are often used to transport wood chips and other wood fractions to particleboard plants, and for these facilities, their truck-receiving systems dictate the speed at which raw materials can enter the plant. Expanding manufacturing capacity will invariably mean increasing the rate at which these materials can enter the plant.

One such operator looking to expand capacity is EGGER Wood Products LLC, which runs a 93,000m2 particleboard production plant in Linwood, North Carolina, USA. The facility has been producing particleboard and thermally fused laminate (TFL) for use in interior design applications since commencing operations in 2020.

EGGER Wood Products is part of Austrian-based EGGER Group, which operates 20 production plants in ten countries. The Linwood facility is EGGER’s first and currently only, North American plant.

It was initially served by two Bruks truck-receiving systems, which were commissioned in 2020 and comprise a back-on truck dumper, with a covered receiving hopper, and a radial stacker, which stores raw material ready for use. EGGER needed to meet the needs of a buoyant market and therefore approached Bruks Siwertell to supply a third system.

Engineered wood-panel production uses technology to transform timber offcuts and sawmill byproducts into incredibly strong, stable and versatile building materials, enhancing industry sustainability and capturing carbon in construction TEXT Christopher Duffy PHOTOS Bruks Siwertell

Lifted and lowered in minutes

Trucks at the Linwood facility back onto a Bruks lifting platform, which is raised at one end by a set of hydraulic cylinders. The entire truck is lifted and lowered in cycles of approximately four minutes. The new truck dumper will offer the same efficiency.

“Repeat business is a valuable endorsement of our technology,” says Christopher Duffy, Sales Manager, Bruks Siwertell. “We have been working with the company for some time, and together have found the right solution to achieve its plans for growth.”

Like its predecessors, the third package of Bruks technology includes a 300t/h truck-receiving system comprising a back-on truck dumper with a covered receiving hopper, and an 8,000 metric ton storage capacity radial stacker. The complete system was manufactured in North America and was delivered within six months in October 2022.

Designed to handle a variety of wood-based products including wood chips, sawdust, dry shavings and scrap wood, such as broken pallets, the system now supports EGGER Wood Products’ additional TFL production line, which was completed at the end of 2022. The company says that the third TFL line represents a 50 percent increase in TFL production capacity and shorter lead times for customers.


Ninety percent of EGGER’s products are derived from wood and although renewable, the company supports a bioeconomy, resource-saving approach to production. Its mission statement stresses that every effort must be made to maximize the use of raw materials, regardless of source.

Bioeconomy: valuable raw materials

Different types of panels require different raw materials and the secret to their success lies in understanding the properties of wood fibers, as not all wood will do. For example, particleboard, one of the oldest forms of manufactured board, is a multi-layered product. It has a dense outer layer made up from fine wood shavings, giving the board a high load-bearing capacity and a smooth surface. Beneath this layer, coarser

flakes are glued together. These are less dense, minimizing the use of materials and making the board as light as possible.

TFL panels meanwhile are produced by fusing decorative resin-based sheets directly to a particleboard core. Both heat and pressure activate the resin sheet, bonding it to the core. The compositions of particleboards vary, depending on the application, but the basic process remains the same.

Meeting environmental standards

Environmental impact and sustainability are deeply embedded within the EGGER Group’s business philosophy. Its most recent sustainability report cites that eightyeight percent of all the materials used in the manufacture of its products come from renewable sources.

“We understand how important environmental impact is to this operator,” notes Duffy. “Bruks Siwertell develops equipment with dust prevention at its core. Our truck dumper systems are extremely efficient and minimize dust by having a low-profile pivot. They are also perfectly matched to covered receiving hoppers. “These characteristics not only support EGGER’s drive for growth, but also its need to protect the environment and meet its sustainability goals.”

Repeat business is a valuable endorsement of our technology



Long-term operational costs are critical to the success of any business, and they can be minimized through good design and continuous development; David Ingvarsson, Sales Manager, Bruks Siwertell explains how

THERE ARE FEW ELEMENTS IN BUSINESS that are as important as daily operating costs. They fundamentally impact the profitability of a terminal and can make or break it. It is therefore important that suppliers to industry look to the long-term.

Everything from the number of operators that pieces of dry bulk handling equipment require; the energy that they demand; how quickly they can discharge a vessel and release the jetty; and how much cleaning up the vessel’s holds and jetty requires; all the way through to the life expectancy of consumable parts should

be considered. Each of these holds a cost-saving potential that can improve OpEx.

The cost of waste

The ship unloader is a key piece of terminal equipment, and its design and efficiency substantially influence OpEx. For example, by preventing spillage and dust emissions, and therefore the unnecessary loss of cargo, operators minimize waste and they receive all of a shipment. Furthermore, jetty clean-up costs are practically eliminated and the environment is protected.

The Siwertell screw-type ship unloader has a totally enclosed operation from its unique counter-rotating inlet feeder up to the jetty belt conveyor. Material enters the vertical screw conveyor from below the surface, minimizing dust creation.

Meanwhile, in comparison, grab cranes and bucket chain-type unloaders always work from the top of the material, and grab cranes can lose up to two percent of a load through spillage. Spillage and dust creation are often the reasons why operators choose to switch to Siwertell unloaders.


unloading operation continues; and its lack of flexibility in the hold. The lower efficiency for the bucket chain unloader is also related to its lack of ability to operate in the hold.

A ship unloader’s design and efficiency substantially influences OpEx

Efficiency drives profitability

Unloading efficiency has a huge impact on OpEx. Bruks Siwertell defines unloading efficiency by comparing the actual through-ship unloading capacity against the rated capacity. For example, a Siwertell screw-type unloader has a very high through-ship efficiency, above 70 percent. Its inlet device has vanes that deliver a filling factor of around 80 percent and its rotational speed is steplessly controlled by the operator to deliver a continuous, effective and efficient unloading profile.

Again, in comparison, the throughship efficiency of a grab unloader stands at around 50 percent. A bucket chain unloader typically has a higher through-ship efficiency than a grab crane, but substantially less than a Siwertell unloader.

The main reason for a grab crane’s lower efficiency is related to its non-continuous operation; its need to travel deeper into a hold as the

The Siwertell unloader’s higher efficiency translates into faster vessel turnarounds and improved jetty utilization rates, increasing the profitability of a terminal. For example, some operators switching to Siwertell unloaders report a reduction in unloading days of 50 percent, translating into a 50 percent reduction in berth occupancy, with returns on investment achieved in less than two years.

Furthermore, because of their higher through-ship efficiency, Siwertell ship unloaders need a lower rated capacity to reach the same average capacity as a grab or bucket chain unloader. This means costs savings on the initial equipment investment, and cost savings on the downstream jetty conveyors, because these can also have a lower capacity.

The energy consumption demands of dry bulk handling equipment should also not be underestimated when considering OpEx. Screw-type conveyors have minimal energy consumption demands because of their smooth operating profile and the steady rotation of the screw conveyor.

Capacity cost curves

Higher capacities generally demand higher investment costs, but this varies considerably depending on the type of dry bulk handling equipment specified. For Siwertell technology, it is mainly the maximum ship size to be handled that influences the size and capacity of the unloader.

Taking coal as an example, Siwertell ship unloaders can be delivered with rated capacities of up to 3,000t/h. Capacities for grab unloaders maximize at around 2,000t/h, while bucket chain conveyor-type unloaders are normally limited at a rated capacity of about 2,500t/h.

By preventing spillage and dust emissions, operators minimize waste

Siwertell ship unloaders are lower in weight compared with grab or bucket chain unloaders, so huge cost savings can be made on the jetty as it can be designed for much lower wheel and corner loads. Increasing the capacity of grab cranes and bucket chain unloaders significantly increases their weight, to an unfeasible level in some cases, and therefore the cost of the jetty.

It all adds up

Ship damage impacts OpEx. A grab is often slung to reach under the hatch coamings during unloading operations; a slinging grab is not easy to control, so collision risks are much higher than with a Siwertell unloader.

All Siwertell unloader movements are well-balanced, smooth and controlled. The vertical conveyor arm moves into and around the ship’s holds with minimal risk of collision with the ship’s sides.

The number of personnel needed to operate unloading equipment further influences OpEx. A Siwertell unloader can be operated by one person, either from an operator’s cabin or using a remote radio control on deck. Grab cranes are typically operated by a crane driver in the driver’s cabin, plus additional personnel at the hatch and sometimes one in the hold. A bucket chain-type unloader is often operated by two personnel, one in the cabin and one providing directions from the hold.

OpEx is improved by operational flexibility, including the ability to handle a variety of different materials, even compacted ones. The inlet feeder on a Siwertell unloader can exert digging forces and therefore

inlet feeder on a Siwertell ship unloader increases the filling factor of the screw by around 80 percent

discharge compacted materials, such as salt. They can also handle virtually any dry bulk cargo. This flexibility opens up opportunities for operators, enabling them to efficiently compete in commercially intensive markets.

Siwertell screw-type ship unloaders have few moving parts, continuous torque loads, and are extremely reliable. They deliver fundamental operational advantages in terms of energy demand, through-ship efficiency, reliability and service longevity and offer an impressive return on investment.

Big impact of small parts

Siwertell unloaders have hundreds of references worldwide and their industry progression and wide installation base enables Bruks Siwertell to have a robust and well-resourced research and development strategy. This ensures that the company leads the market when it comes to the guaranteed lifetime of wear parts, such as screws and tubes for the vertical conveyor.

Quality original equipment manufacturer (OEM) components improve OpEx, along with a commitment to continuous development. OEM spare parts benefit from decades of continuous development and are perfectly suited to the equipment.

Screw-type conveyors already provide excellent through-life efficiencies, but securing even lower maintenance costs, and therefore significantly improving OpEx through another technical route, is part of Bruks Siwertell’s service commitment. A recent R&D program, specifically designed to see if it was possible to extend the lifetime of the screw conveyor, concluded in early 2022.

Grain is the third largest cargo that Bruks Siwertell machines handle and this sector was taken as the program’s core segment for analysis. This was for several reasons, dry bulk handling equipment in this industry is operated very intensively, handling huge surges in demand as a result of the seasonality of crop harvests. Operations are often


Siwertell ship unloaders are low in weight, so huge cost savings can be made on the jetty

located in remote terminals so maintenance and spare parts availability are critical, and unplanned downtime is unacceptable. It is also an extremely competitive market that places substantial expectations on component lifetimes and through-life costs.

For this industry, Bruks Siwertell has Siwertell screw-type ship unloader references that discharge grain and other agri-bulk commodities at rated capacities of up to 1,800t/h and ship loaders that offer continuous rated capacities in excess of 3,000t/h.

With a lot of experience in this sector, and many customers that could benefit from through-life cost savings, the program, therefore, researched if it was possible to stretch component lifetimes while maintaining cost awareness, along with increasing maintenance intervals, decreasing supply lead times and the need to replace spare parts. It also included analyzing component materials and the production methods of vertical transport screw components.

Drive best practice

The results reveal that permitting a five to ten percent increase in component cost can triple the service life of vertical screws, and that the improvement of lifetimes of vertical screws contribute to around a 30 percent lower total operational cost per 1,000 metric tons or per hour over five to ten years.

These positive results are applicable to Bruks Siwertell’s entire portfolio of new and existing screw-type equipment including all transport screws on Siwertell ship unloaders, loaders and conveyors.

The findings are so convincing that Bruks Siwertell will also implement them as best practice in future product development projects.

When all factors are combined it is clear to see how technology, design and ongoing research deliver routes to improved OpEx, which, collectively, can have a significant impact on the profitability of a terminal. As operators expect decades of service from their dry bulk handling equipment, the projected OpEx of any investment should be considered from the outset.

Our research and development strategy ensures that Bruks Siwertell leads the market when it comes to the guaranteed lifetime of wear parts


It is vitally important that we regularly reach out to operators to share developments, listen to feedback and provide a platform for face-to-face connection; the pandemic stalled these interactions, but now they are back

‘BULK DAY’, AS IT HAS BECOME AFFECTIONATELY NAMED, is now a regular knowledge-sharing and networking event, held at least once a year in different countries. Organized by Bruks Siwertell and repeated twice last

year as a result of popular demand, it is designed to set aside dedicated time to meet operators, port representatives and engineering companies from all over the world, and provide a platform for connection.

With plans underway to repeat the event in Mexico this year, last year’s two Bulk Days were held in South America. The first in May in Rosario, Argentina, and the second in October in São Paulo, Brazil.

TEXT Patrik Henryson PHOTOS Bruks Siwertell

Encouraging industry dialogues

“Our customers know their operations best, and events such as Bulk Day allow for the free exchange of ideas and technology updates. The information shared is beneficial to all parties,” explains Patrik Henryson, Sales Manager Latin America and Caribbean, Bruks Siwertell. “Operators can use the platform to feed back, not just about the equipment, but about the industry as a whole, right down to discussing niche site- or material-specific issues and challenges with our dry bulk handling experts. We are also able to update operators with any technology advances or simply be there to facilitate industry dialogues between stakeholders.

“The formula for connecting with stakeholders, sharing information, and making a commitment to continue to do so is a simple, but effective one. Both events generated lively discussions about specific case studies and equipment capabilities. Stakeholders were engaged, we were able to share insight and we even received several

inquiries, including further interest in our air-cushion conveyors,” Henryson notes. “We could not have asked for more; they were great.”

In both Argentina and Brazil, each event was attended by around 30 invited participants. In Rosario, Argentina, the day was hosted by Patrik Henryson, along with Bruks Siwertell representatives, Julian Luna from South Point Engineering, Argentina, and Leonardo Lemgruber from Brazil, who was invited as a special guest to discuss barge unloading operations in northern Brazil, on the banks of the Amazon River.

In São Paulo, Brazil, the event was organized by Leonardo Lembgruber, and Per Hansson, Sales Director, Bruks Siwertell, took the helm. Other Bruks Siwertell personnel were on hand, including Mats

Jönsson, Key Account Manager, who discussed aftersales and service, and Björn Ohlsson, Senior Contract Manager, was invited to present a fertilizer handling project.

“Bulk Days are a good way to deliver regional insight,” Henryson continues. “Not only does Bruks Siwertell get to understand more about local markets and operations, operators get to take advantage of regional expertise and connections.”

Tough seasonal schedules

South America sees some of Bruks Siwertell’s busiest customers. “We have Siwertell ship unloaders that operate to incredibly tight schedules on a year-round basis,” Henryson explains. “For example, in Brazil, Siwertell installations regularly operate up to 4,000 hours/year handling grain, soya bean and soya meal. These systems work under very high use conditions and meet extremely tough seasonal schedules.”

Presentations showed how Siwertell ship unloaders can deliver operational advantages Mats Jönsson, Key Account Manager, Bruks Siwertell

Siwertell screw-type ship unloaders can discharge grain and other agribulk commodities from vessels up to 230,00dwt at rated capacities up to 2,400t/h, and loaders deliver the market’s highest continuous rated capacities, which are in excess of 3,000t/h. For other dry bulk materials, unloading rates can be as high as 3,000t/h and loading up to 12,000t/h for iron ore, discharging vessels up to 300,000 dwt.

Like Brazil, Argentina is also a significant agricultural hub, and ranks as one of the top five wheat producers in the world. Exports are big business for Argentina, with the South American country exporting over half of the crops that it produces, and in addition to wheat, these include soya beans, corn, barley, rice, flaxseed, sugarcane, and cotton.

A resonating theme for both events was the importance of servicing machinery and reliability. In Brazil, Mats Jönsson was able to present

customer case studies that highlight how the timely, regular service of Siwertell ship unloaders in Brazil, for example, enable them to remain competitive and also be relied upon to handle one year’s full intake of grain.

It was also noted that many Siwertell operators do not have any other equipment to unload incoming material, so planned maintenance stops are critical.

Both sides of the coin

The other side to handling grain, is handling the fertilizers needed to grow it. The Bulk Days allowed for Bruks Siwertell to demonstrate its capabilities in this arena as well, explaining that Siwertell unloaders can do this very efficiently and safely, given the volatile nature of fertilizers as a cargo.

One example of a fertilizer handler in Glomfjord, Norway, was presented. This particular operator was

replacing a Siwertell ship unloader that had been in service for more than forty years with a new one. The operator needed an environmentfriendly solution, which minimized dust, spillage and material degradation when handling various types of fertilizer, at a capacity of 600t/h.

Björn Ohlsson, Senior Contract Manager, Bruks Siwertell The events generated discussions about specific case studies and equipment capabilities

Bulk Day allows for the free exchange of ideas and technology updates

Other presentations included information about the significant benefits Siwertell technology can deliver to the alumina market from a steady conveying velocity that minimizes any material degradation. This highlighted just some of the advantages that Siwertell technology can deliver to specific dry bulks.

Continuous improvements

Another key message that Jönsson was able to share was the significant advances delivered by an innovative research and development (R&D) program, which was completed in 2021. It targeted improving the lifetime of the vertical screw conveyor and its component parts.

The grain handling market was taken as the program’s core segment because, as an industry, it has to meet some of the most challenging conditions, with dry bulk equipment exposed to huge surges in demand. Ship unloaders have to consistently

deliver high capacities for maximum profitability, but also maintain the quality of shipments through sensitive handling. It is also an extremely competitive market that places substantial expectations on component lifetimes and through-life costs.

Jönsson noted that by significantly improving the service life of wear parts, customers save money on through-life maintenance, without increased investment costs. Parts last longer between wear intervals,

which saves money and benefits the environment.

The continuous development of the Siwertell ship unloader’s unique inlet feeder was also discussed. When introduced, the counter-rotating device increased the fill factor of the screw conveyor by at least 30 percent. It continues to undergo incremental design improvements to increase the utilization of the screw conveyor even further in the most energy-efficient way.

Per Hansson, Sales Director, Bruks Siwertell

Unloaders have automatic regulation to ensure that unloading is being carried out at the right capacity and not overfilling the jetty belt. “The screw transports the material, but the inlet feeder sets the capacity,” explains Henryson. “The whole system is designed to achieve a steady, reliable discharge rate, regardless if at 20 or 100 percent speed.”

Several different inlet feeder solutions are available, depending on the commodity handled. These can include different drive technologies such as hydraulic or electric, which are all adjustable so that the operator can optimize capacity control. Also, different designs are available for handling compacted materials. For example, high humidity and lengthy transportation times, mean that some commodities, such as salt and fertilizers, form a hard crust in the hold, which requires equipment to withstand digging forces.

The imminent phased introduction of the new digital tool, Siwertell

Smartview, was also revealed. It is the latest industrial Internet of things (IIoT) system planned for integration into Siwertell technology. Developed as part of an ongoing research and development (R&D) project, it is designed to optimize the productivity and profitability of dry bulk handling operations, and deliver a better understanding of components through enhanced data analysis.

Like the longer-life screw, Siwertell Smartview will be applicable to Bruks Siwertell’s entire portfolio of screw-type equipment including Siwertell ship unloaders, loaders and conveyors.

Practical solutions explained

Anti-collision systems were also discussed. Siwertell unloaders minimize dust in the hold because of their layer-by-layer unloading principle, optimizing unloading efficiency, and avoiding deep trenches in the hold and therefore the potential for

material avalanches. However, limited visibility, as a result of dust, particularly in windy conditions with powdery materials, is sometimes problematic.

Dust makes it impossible to use traditional lasers for anti-collision systems. Furthermore, some operators use a water mist over the hatch, due to a zero-emission tolerance, which also makes lasers impossible to use.

To overcome these issues, the Siwertell anti-collision system uses specialist software integrated into the unloader’s programmable logic controller and human machine interface, along with features such as 3D-scanners that analyze the material surface, 2D sensors for anti-collision data, and GPS sensors as well. The whole system can be integrated into traditional close circuit television screens.

The anti-collision system will prevent the Siwertell unloader’s vertical arm and the horizontal arm colliding with the ships hatch coaming. It is manually activated and deactivated through the radio remote control or from the cabin, and will start to reduce the speed of the motion when the operator is getting close to the hatch coaming, or stop completely if too near.

“Every presentation delivered a valuable opportunity for discussion, showing that events like Bulk Days are some of the most important platforms for networking between customers, representatives and industry experts. We value and appreciate the time that operators spare to attend them, and very much hope that they gain as much from them as we do,” Henryson concludes.

In both Argentina and Brazil, Bulk Days were attended by around 30 invited participants


As the US embarks on a drive to improve its infrastructure, various companies equip themselves with enclosed Siwertell ship unloaders to assist with the growing demand for cement

IN NORTH AMERICA, INFRASTRUCTURE IS A BIG DEAL. While there are enormous cities throughout the United States (US), the population, in general, is far more spread-out across suburbs and rural communities. Of the top ten biggest cities in America, just four have over two million people. Compare this with Paris, Europe’s tenth biggest city, with 2.1 million; or Wuhan, China’s tenth largest, with 7.9 million.

This ‘sprawl,’ as it is known, places an outsize importance on infrastructure for getting people from one place to another. There is a reason that the Pacific Coast Highway and Route 66 are so iconic; in the US, the open road is the main way of getting around, and trucking is the main method of getting goods around, as well.

In the 1950s and 1960s, building new roads was considered a national defense matter; the 1956 National Interstate and Defense Highways Act enshrined into law the importance of highways for evacuating cities and

deploying troops, and set off the largest public works project in the history of the country. Those highways and bridges were built to last, and last they have; today, most of a century later, they are still standing. But in many places, American infrastructure is reaching or has even exceeded the end of its life; and to make matters more complicated, it is now having to contend with extreme weather events its builders could not have known about or planned for.

In recognition of this, announced in July 2021, the US’ Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocated USD 110 billion for repairing and upgrading roads and bridges, USD 50 billion in ‘weatherization’, and interestingly, also invests USD 66 billion for building and upgrading rail lines.

There is one thing that is needed to support all this work: concrete. The US uses a great deal of cement every year; around 103 million metric tons of it as of 2019. The vast majority of this material is provided by domestic

TEXT Ken Upchurch PHOTOS Bruks Siwertell, Shutterstock

producers; in 2019, 89 million metric tons of concrete was produced domestically, with around 15 million metric tons, or 14 percent, imported. According to a 2021 report authored by PEC Consulting Group and PENTA Engineering Corp, many domestic plants have been closed due to lower costs for imported cement combined with concerns over pollution, but those that are open are now reaching capacity.

If the US is to embark on a massive spree of infrastructure renewal, then, it will need more cement than domestic producers can provide. If America’s ports are to make intelligent decisions about what sort of additional capacity to provide, they must examine the global stateof-the-art in handling of cement and clinker. Fortunately for them, they will not have to look far.

A high bar

Siwertell screw-type technology has a worldwide reputation for high-capacity, environment-friendly cement handling. Almost since the very beginning of the Siwertell brand, the cement handling industry has taken advantage of the totally enclosed conveying lines that Siwertell screw-type ship unloaders offer.

The first Siwertell ship unloader was delivered to the cement industry in 1975, with today’s unloaders able to reach continuous rated capacities in excess of 2,000t/h. The US has numerous, long-standing references for Siwertell unloaders, including a pioneering delivery in 2006 to Houston Cement Company, in Houston, Texas. The operator could sell more cement than it could

Houston Cement Company’s Siwertell ship unloader has now handled more than 10 million metric tons of cement
Siwertell screw-type technology has a worldwide reputation for high-capacity, environment-friendly cement handling

import and needed to replace an existing pneumatic ship unloading system. It ordered a rail-mounted Siwertell ST 640-D unloader, which delivered cement unloading rates of up to 1,500t/h, setting a new world record at the time.

Its high-capacity capabilities meant a reduction in unloading days of 50 percent, translating into a 50 percent reduction in berth occupancy and the possibility of higher annual intakes; return on investment was achieved in less than two years. The unloader has now handled more than 10 million metric tons of cement.

Now standard, the unloader was also one of the first to feature an auto level mode, which ensures peak efficiency by keeping the vertical conveyor’s counterrotating inlet feeder at an optimum level; not digging too deep, or too shallow.

The Houston Cement Company order was a catalyst for many more Siwertell cement handling ship unloader orders in the US, most recently received is a new Siwertell 490 M-type ship unloader contract for the cement and ready-mix concrete producer, ARGOS USA. It offers a continuous rated capacity of 800t/h and is

designed to accommodate vessels up to 65,000 dwt. The unloader will be assembled on site and is planned for delivery in February 2024.

Cleaner, higher capacities

Also in Houston, Sesco Cement elected to make a transition under consideration by a number of operators to boost import volumes; switching from bagged to bulk cement. Sesco Cement chose a Siwertell ST 640-M ship unloader for the task at its new import terminal.

Commissioned in 2020, the unloader handles cement at around 1,500t/h, discharging vessels of up to 80,000 dwt. “In performance tests after installation, the ST 640 M-type unloader handled cement at a throughput of up to 1,650t/h,” says Ken Upchurch, SVP Sales and Marketing, Bruks Siwertell. “Since making the switch from bagged to bulk material, the port has experienced a complete step-change in efficiency.”

Other US facilities to benefit include Colonial Group’s Georgia Kaolin Terminals, in Savannah, Georgia, with the completion of a new high-capacity Siwertell ship unloader installation.

Enclosed dry bulk material conveying ensures no dust emissions or spillage

Ordered to support the company’s strategy for sustainable cement import growth, the Siwertell 490 F-type ship unloader offers high through-ship efficiencies and a rated cement handling capacity of 800t/h, discharging vessels up to 55,000 dwt.

This was another company that was looking to transition from bagged to bulk deliveries of cement, significantly increasing the terminal’s unloading capacity, which in turn delivers faster vessel turnarounds on the jetty, and with that, cost-savings.

Environmental considerations were also a key factor in Colonial’s choice of equipment, and because the Siwertell unloader has an enclosed dry bulk material conveying line, ensuring no dust emissions or spillage, it is permitted to operate within this historic port and complies with its strict environmental regulations.

Containing the clouds

These units serve as effective showcases of all the features that make Siwertell unloaders ideal for handling cement. One of the most important is the mitigation of dust emissions, which is a serious issue for many powdery cargoes, but particularly for cement. Cement is formulated to react with water, cure and solidify, making it detrimental to health when breathed in and negatively impacting the environment.

“People who have worked on a building site, or lived or worked near one, will likely be familiar with yellowish clouds of cement dust; the reason why construction workers wear masks when handling it,” explains Upchurch. “Moving cement is only a part of the operation in these places.

“Now imagine a facility where unloading, storing, and moving cement around is the entire point, and you can see why we must place such an emphasis on protecting the environment from the effects of dust.

“In this context, it is not difficult to see why the continuous, enclosed handling offered by Siwertell technology is preferable to open handling,” he notes. “Once the rotating inlet feeder is submerged beneath the material’s surface, the system is fully enclosed, with cement only moving inside the unloader’s conveyor system.”

Houston Cement Company’s Siwertell ST 640-D unloader delivers unloading rates of up to 1,500t/h
“Since making the switch to bulk deliveries, the port has experienced a complete step-change in efficiency

Opportunities galore

It is not only large-scale systems that are needed. In 2020, Bruks Siwertell delivered a Siwertell 5000 S road-mobile ship unloader to US operator Ozinga, following an investigation by the company into the best cement handling technologies available.

Ozinga needed a piece of equipment that would help it answer vessel calls with high throughput, but also be able to redeploy and move to where it was needed. As well as being able to deploy and repack within an hour, the system can handle large volumes of cement for its compact size. The dust filters on the Bruks Siwertell unloader add an extra layer of certainty against dust emissions.

Ozinga specializes in concrete, dry bulk materials, and natural gas energy solutions, and has an extensive network of truck, rail, barge, and ship terminals. Its operations are predominantly focused in the US Midwest, where the new ship unloader is making its mark, delivering a continuous rated unloading capacity of 300t/h for vessels up to 5,000 dwt.

The trailer-based, diesel-powered system is fitted with dust filters and a double-bellows discharge arrange-

ment with an automatic shifting function. It features advanced digital technology for diagnostics and troubleshooting as well.

Advanced digital capabilities are also included on a pair of new 5000 S Siwertell road-mobile ship unloaders destined for an undisclosed US operator. They will provide a flexible, environmentally friendly solution for unloading cement at planned future sites in the US Midwest and Southeast, enabling better access to barges and port facilities.

Their commissioning is due for completion later this year, and to reduce environmental impact even further, will have electric as opposed to diesel-drives.

These and many others offer clear signs that the US’ infrastructure renewal drive is already stimulating demand. “In the US, the cement market is huge right now,” Upchurch says. “We have systems operating all across North America, so it is not surprising that terminal operators have heard of our technology’s capabilities. But to be able to help terminal operators bring online the most efficient, clean, and high-capacity systems, at a time when this is sorely needed – and ultimately, to be part of helping America to rebuild itself – what an opportunity!”

Siwertell road-mobile ship unloaders are offering a flexible solution to cement handlers in the US
In the US, the cement market is huge right now


With attention to good service, Siwertell machines have the capacity to run and run; a long-serving unloader in the port city of Duluth, Minnesota, provides a good example of this and a recent electrical upgrade promises many more years of reliable service to come

SIWERTELL SHIP UNLOADERS ARE RENOWNED FOR THEIR RELIABILITY AND LONGEVITY, with some unloaders clocking up decades of active service. As with all machinery, there is always a point where the refurbishment, replacement or exchange of parts is no longer economically feasible, and a new machine becomes the best choice. But for many, upgrades are an ideal option, leaving equipment in great condition.

Bruks Siwertell helps operators navigate this process and the availability of spare parts, including those that have become obsolete. Sometimes, certain elements can no longer be incrementally changed, which means replacing larger parts with updated, compatible versions. This was the case with a longserving Siwertell ship unloader in operation in Duluth, Minnesota, USA.


Hard-working machine

The rail-mounted ST 440-C screw-type ship unloader was assembled and started operations in 1982; it was the 27th Siwertell unloader delivery. For over forty years, it has secured environment-friendly cement handling operations for Ash Grove, a leading American cement company and part of the global building materials corporation CRH. Headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, Ash Grove operates 12 cement plants and 43 terminals located throughout the Midwest, Texas, and Western United States. In 2019, it became one of the largest cement producers in North America with the addition of operations in Florida, the United States Great Lakes, and Canada.

One of Ash Grove’s United States Great Lakes’ locations is the port city of Duluth, located on Lake Superior in Minnesota’s Arrowhead Region. As the largest US city on the lake, and accessible from the Atlantic Ocean, Duluth is a strategic hub port for a number of dry bulk commodities. As well as cement, these include coal, iron ore, grain, limestone, salt, and wood pulp.

“Ash Grove’s port equipment has a high utilization rate and because of booked slot times through all locks crossing the Great Lakes, the operator has to meet very precise port arrival and departure schedules,” explains Mats Jönsson, Key Account Manager, Bruks Siwertell. “As a result, all maintenance work must be planned and organized well in advance, minimizing downtime and disruption to scheduling.”

Ash Grove’s Terminal Manager, Jason Roy, notes that: “Ash Grove takes a proactive approach to service and maintenance, which is why we have a ship unloader that has served the port well for four decades. Over the years, we have enlisted expert service support for various tasks. In 2018, for example, the winch that controls horizontal arm system movements was replaced with a new model with better safety performance.”

Following the work, the first vessel was discharged under Bruks Siwertell’s supervision

Peak performance required

The Siwertell ST 440-C ship unloader offers high through-ship efficiencies and a continuous rated cement handling capacity of 600t/h, discharging vessels up to 32,000 dwt. To keep up with current cement demands in the port, the unloader needed to be in peak condition, and that meant a new electrical motor control center (MCC) housing.

“Ash Grove knows that we are committed to service support throughout the life of the machine, and when it was time to look at the unloader’s electrical system, we were happy to help,” continues Jönsson.

“The old electrical relay system and many of the system’s parts were no longer manufactured. Following an inspection and owner discussions, we suggested a new electrical housing that met today’s standards,” he says.

The upgrade work was carried out in 2022, and also included a human machine interface (HMI) with touchscreen. This offers improved visual information, giving operators better control and an enhanced overview of unloading operations and performance.

Complementing these upgrades, to improve control over the unloader’s movements, modern variable frequency drives (VFDs) were fitted. These are very efficient and offer stepless speed control. In addition, the inlet feeder gear and electric motor were updated from direct current (DC) operation to alternating current (AC) with VFD-control. Other work included new travel drive units, which also feature VFDs.

We are able to work with operators to a timetable that best suits them
With a rated cement handling capacity of 600t/h, the Siwertell unloader feeds the operator’s downstream conveyors

A three-step approach

In total, the project took three weeks to complete and was carried out in three phases, as Ash Grove needed the unloader to continue working. During the first phase, arrangements for the frame were made, and then it was mounted onto the machine’s structure. The container for the electrical housing was then lifted and secured in place on the frame. At this point the operator was able to discharge two vessels using the old equipment, but with the new container in place.

In phase two, all the new cables were positioned, and in the final step, all the new and remaining cables were connected with the new electrical housing. After completing the work, the upgraded unloader was commissioned, with the first vessel discharged under Bruks Siwertell’s supervision.

“This project showcases how we are able to work with operators to not only bring machines back into peak performance, but also schedule work to a timetable that best suits them,” highlights Jönsson. “We hope that our customers feel that we are on hand to help not just from delivery but decades down the line.”

As part of the upgrade, the inlet feeder’s gearbox and electric motor were updated from DC to AC with VFD control
Ash Grove takes a proactive approach to service and maintenance, which is why we have a ship unloader that has served the port well for four decades


Maria Johansson

Having first joined the company in 1997, Maria Johansson has seen a lot of changes over the past twenty-six years; enjoying her job every day, she uses her sharp mind to manage many administrative tasks in the busy finance department

FOR THE BEST PART OF TWENTY YEARS , I have worked for the company as an administrator in the finance department in Bjuv, Sweden. I started in 1997, had a career break between 1998 and 2005, and have been here ever since. Although my job does not mean that I travel all over the world, I do metaphorically; we are an international company with worldwide customers and colleagues.

Connecting the company

I am like a spider in the center of a web, connecting the company to our suppliers and doing my best to make sure that all invoices that enter our system are booked and certified, and get paid on time. I also manage our bank account. This is a position of honor and trust, and one that I take incredibly seriously.

With so many elements to consider all at once, it is important to have a sharp, methodical mind, which has the ability to hold all these different administrative pathways together. I believe that my role is an essential one; the flow of finances and the competent

management of them keeps everything running like clockwork. It is with great satisfaction that I carry out my job. I love my work and find enjoyment in pretty much all aspects of it.

There are so many career-progression opportunities within Bruks Siwertell. We are supported to pursue roles that really appeal to us, and if you want, you can always apply for new positions within the company when they become available.

Wonderful colleagues

I feel incredibly lucky to have the role that I have at Bruks Siwertell and feel enormously proud of the company as a whole. I have many wonderful colleagues and really feel that we are taken care of in the best way possible.

I live in a small fishing village on the Kulla Peninsula, and when not at work I enjoy time with my friends and family, including four wonderful grandchildren. I put my analytical mind to the test every Monday when, for years, myself and four close friends play each other at cards.



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 ship loading, ship unloading, conveying, storing, stacking and reclaiming dry bulk materials, alongside equipment for chipping, screening, milling and processing wood for the bioenergy, biofuel, board, sawmill, pulp and paper industries.

We are global and local. You will find our main offices in the USA, Sweden, Germany, China, the Philippines 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 customers whenever and wherever it is needed.

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