Precise Bulk Terminal Controls, Accurate Truck Loadout

Run your terminal with fast, efficient touch-screen bulk material controls
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Bulk material control system with truck loadout at Baker-Hughes plant, Shafter CABulk materials such as grain, flour, cement, flyash and fracking sand, used in the extraction of oil and natural gas, are either milled on-site or shipped to the bulk terminals in rail cars and stored in silos.  The operator then loads materials from the silos into trucks for local deliveries.  The terminal can also include bagging, blending or batching into other products.  The bulk terminal software supervises inventory, selects the silos to be filled, runs the filling conveyors and monitors progress.

In truck delivery terminals, a truck scale under the silo discharge points connects to the control system.  Alternatively, the installers mount the whole silo on load cells to become a legal-for-trade scale.  The operator monitors incoming trucks, directs them to one of the silos and manages truck loadout.  This proceeds automatically to preset weight limits.  The Baker-Hughes terminal in Shafter, near Bakersfield CA is typical.  This terminal has 12 silos of 610 tons capacity with 3 truck scales for truck loadout, each handling 4 silos.  Read about it in a World Cement Magazine Editorial.

Control System

BatchTron bulk material controller screen showing 4 of the 12 silos at Baker-Hughes Shafter.

The BatchTron bulk terminal controls use a PLC and touch screen as the operator interface. They do not need switches or lights since everything is on-screen. This eliminates maintenance issues, also making them easy to upgrade. The screen is located at the operator's desk while the PLC is located close by or in a nearby building where most of the motors are located. This eliminates long runs of power cable and reduces the control wiring to a single ethernet cable . . . Read more

Loadout and Inventory Control

The main bulk material control screens at BHI Shafter, showing silo inventory

A PC computer runs the Bulk Terminal Controls version of the BatchLink software which shows the on-hand inventory in each silo. The BatchTron truck loadout control system loads trucks by automatically opening and closing feed gates to dispense material into each compartment as required. The weight values come from the truck scales . . . Read more

Camera System

The control room at BHI Shafter, showing the camera screen on the wall.

A multiple camera system monitors incoming and outgoing vehicles plus the rail car discharge and bucket elevator discharge to the various silos. In addition, the operators use it to guide trucks under the filling socks in the silos by mobile radio . . . Read more

Silo Inventory

Bulk material silo displays showing trend graph of material in one of the silos.

Silo inventory is calculated from deliveries minus the truck loading amounts. The SiloWeigh.Net system can be installed on all silos to further monitor actual silo loading as a cross-check on the calculated values . . . Read more