Heyl & Patterson Blog

Railcar Movers Keep Urea Processing Plants Pushing Forward

Posted by H&P Blog on Wed, Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

Urea, sometimes called carbamide, is a solid organic crystalline compound that is colorless, odorless and highly water soluble.  It is formed naturally in mammals, and serves an important role in the liver as the main nitrogen-containing product that breaks down amino acids, proteins and ammonia into waste.  The kidneys scrub the urea from the blood and deposit it into the urinary tract, and it then makes up the chief solid material dissolved in urine.  Urea can also be synthesized inexpensively from abundantly available inorganic materials.  Because urea offers wide-ranging uses in many different industries, it is produced regularly and is available in large quantities for use throughout the world.

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Tags: bulk material handling equipment, railcar movers, fertilizer, railcar indexers, CUB railcar mover, train positioners

Grab Bucket Barge Unloaders for Efficient Inland Waterways

Posted by H&P Blog on Wed, Oct 28, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

Each year, nearly half a million barge loads of bulk material such as coal, grain, wood chips, crushed stone, sand and minerals travel to delivery points along our nation’s inland waterways.  River transportation is the safest and most efficient method for moving massive quantities of materials.  Ports and other terminals along the rivers utilize various types of unloading systems to quickly and economically offload the barge traffic that comes their way.  One such system for unloading barges is the grab bucket barge unloader.

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Tags: barge unloaders, bulk material handling equipment, coal handling, grab unloaders

Heyl & Patterson Compares Railcar Unloading Methods in World Coal

Posted by H&P Blog on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Unloading railcars is usually accomplished in one of two ways:  a railcar dumper turns cars upside down in order to spill their contents, or bottom dump railcars drop their contents through chutes and gates. There are obvious differences between the two methods, but also some surprising similarities. Choosing between these systems calls for a number of factors to be considered, namely capital costs, maintenance, climate, versatility and economics.  Heyl & Patterson recently explored both sides of the matter in an article published in World Coal magazine's June 2015 issue, entitled "Which Unloading System?"

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Tags: bulk material handling equipment, coal handling, wagon tipplers, railcar dumpers

Fluid Bed Dryer Fundamentals

Posted by H&P Blog on Wed, Apr 22, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

The ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes is best known for inventing a screw pump mechanism to transfer low-lying water into irrigation ditches.  He also developed the scientific rule in which a body immersed in a fluid experiences a buoyant force equal to the weight of the fluid it displaces.  Archimedes' Principle basically means that objects will either float or sink in a fluid depending upon their density, and is considered one of the fundamental laws of physics.  This is one of the ideas behind the functionality of fluid bed dryers.  In fluidized bed systems, air or another gas streams upward through a bed of bulk material, lifting the material and causing the particles to float and behave like a fluid.  Archimedes may have been one of the most brilliant scientists in classical antiquity, but he likely never imagined how his principle would be applied toward industrial drying equipment.

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Tags: industrial dryers, process equipment, bulk material handling equipment, fluid bed dryers

Why Upgrade Existing Bulk Material Handling Equipment?

Posted by H&P Blog on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 @ 09:04 AM

An all-too-painful truth is that bulk material handling equipment breaks down over time, and whenever it occurs, it's almost always costly.  The most common problems that lead to breakdowns are actually quite preventable.  They include improper maintenance, overrunning a machine's capability, not replacing worn parts, poor electrical connections, and even operation by untrained personnel or not consulting the operator manual.  Almost all mean that someone has ignored the warning signs of an impending stoppage.  These problems account for most of the breakdowns seen in the field, and all are avoidable by taking some simple precautions.

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Tags: trade shows & conferences, bulk material handling equipment, power generation, upgrades

Heyl & Patterson Develops Equipment for Asteroid Mining

Posted by H&P Blog on Wed, Apr 01, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

There is a wealth of raw minerals above our heads, in the form of near-Earth asteroids and our own Moon. Iron ore, nickel, manganese, titanium and other minerals can be mined and processed on-site and then transported back to Earth, or used in space as construction materials. A number of high-tech tycoons, including Google founder Larry Page and Hollywood director James Cameron, plan to be the first prospectors in this new frontier by establishing a new paradigm for resource implementation.

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Tags: Heyl & Patterson, process equipment, bulk material handling equipment

Unloading Wood Chips for the Production of Paper Pulp

Posted by H&P Blog on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 @ 09:48 AM

Even in today's "paperless" world, there continues to be a huge demand for paper.  Paper is made from wood pulp, which is also used to manufacture a wide variety of products from diapers to particle board to textiles. The pulp itself is the cellulose, lignin and hemicellulose components of wood fibers, which are separated from one another through steaming, cooking or mechanical grinding processes.  Most pulp is made from a mixture of sawmill residue, logs, wood chips and recycled paper, and it is interesting to note that practically all of the fibers that end up as pulp originally existed as trees.

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Tags: bulk material handling equipment, wagon tipplers, biomass, pulp & paper, wood chips, railcar dumpers

How a Fluid Bed Dryer Operates

Posted by H&P Blog on Wed, Jan 21, 2015 @ 09:30 AM

The first industrial application of a fluid bed dryer was for a coal gasification project in 1922.  The design has been vastly improved over the years, and a modern fluid bed can process many types of bulk solid materials at a wide range of moisture levels and operating temperatures.  Drying rates can range from a few hundred pounds per hour to more than 100 tons per hour, with equipment size varying from a one-foot diameter circular pilot dryer to a rectangular production unit of 20 by 50 feet.

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Tags: industrial dryers, process equipment, bulk material handling equipment, fluid bed dryers

Frigid Conditions Call for a Hammermill When Unloading Bulk Materials

Posted by H&P Blog on Wed, Jan 14, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

The polar vortex is a year-round atmospheric cyclone centered over the North Pole, with low pressure centers stretching from northern Canada to Siberia.  It may seem to be a new term, but the polar vortex was first identified in 1853, along with an accompanying pattern over the South Pole.  In January 2014, a southward shift in the Northern Polar Vortex caused extreme cold over much of North America.  Minnesota became the coldest part of the United States at −37 °F, and even Texas experienced temperatures as low as 16 °F.  Such weather events can occur at least once a year.
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Tags: bulk material handling equipment, coal handling, hammermill

Variety of Choice in River Barge Unloading

Posted by H&P Blog on Wed, Oct 15, 2014 @ 09:28 AM

Prior to the Civil War, cities in the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys such as Pittsburgh and St. Louis were wholly dependent upon steamboats as a means of transporting bulk materials.  Even after barges entered service, they were unloaded by hand because unloading machines had not yet been developed.  Productivity improved along with technology, and new processes were developed for machinery production and mechanization.

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Tags: Heyl & Patterson, trade shows & conferences, barge unloaders, bulk material handling equipment, continuous barge unloader (cbu)