Father and son team, Ralph and Tom Catton of Catton Farms, Hertfordshire, are now in the second phase of updating their family run farm to a high specification drying and storage facility that has the potential to become a commercial operation within the next 12 to 18 months.
Catton Farms previously had a 40 year old drying and storage system which included 10tph handling, 12 ventilated storage silos (40 tonne) and a 7 tonne pit. They had a maximum storage capacity of 500 tonnes in that store. The system that they had installed was no longer adequate for the aspirations and needs of the company. Not only were the capacities not large enough, but the system was very labour intensive and highly inefficient.
Ralph and Tom approached Ivan Maggs of Concept Grain Systems Ltd. & Mike Callaghan of Perry of Oakley Ltd. to help them bring their handling and storage up to date. Concept Grain Systems Ltd. recommended that Catton Farms installed a range of Perry handling and drying equipment. Concept Grain Systems Ltd. and Perry of Oakley Ltd. worked together with Catton Farms to produce a plan that allowed for machinery and equipment to be installed for harvest, but also had the potential to be expanded later if required.
The first phase of the upgrade included demolishing two buildings and erecting one new large twin portal building, 60tph handling equipment (including various chain and flight conveyors, an aspirator cleaner, a belt and bucket elevator), a storage silo and a 29tph, PLC panel operated, continuous mixed flow drier, all of which was supplied and manufactured by Perry of Oakley Ltd. to maximise the efficiency of the store. With the new throughput capacity of 2500 tonnes per year at Catton Farms, the standard Perry equipment copes with ease. The machines selected were the Perry standard Agricultural range with a 3mm thick galvanised steel base and 2mm thick galvanised steel sides to ensure maximum machine life.
There were specific requirements to this instalment that Perry and Concept Grain Systems Ltd. had to work around. There were older buildings that needed to be used, and new buildings that needed to be designed and developed to work alongside the existing buildings. Thanks to the proposed layout and design by Ivan Maggs from Concept Grain Systems Ltd. and Mike Callaghan from Perry of Oakley Ltd. planning permission for the new twin portal framed building was obtained.
Due to a limited amount of space, the drier needed to be shorter than a standard 29tph drier, so an integral hopper was installed to keep the height of the drier down. Also as the drier is in a building the fans had to be side mounted to ensure the air was not directed over a roof or towards other building walls. The fans were fitted with dust shutters to minimise the amount of dust and chaff that leaves the drier when it discharges.
With the help of Concept Grain System Ltd. and Perry of Oakley Ltd. the current set up at Catton Farms now boasts a new 1400 tonne store including a 15 tonne below ground pit surrounded by concrete grain walling above ground to provide further storage of approximately 70 tonnes below a sheltered roof canopy, an internal 55 tonne ventilated storage silo, 60tph handling equipment and enough capacity throughput to keep six corn cart tractors and two combines working full time. The new system is far less labour intensive and helps to maximise the efficiency of the store with the transport of granular products and a reduction in labour costs.
Catton Farms have been so impressed with the Perry handling and drying equipment that they have decided to proceed with phase 2 of their upgrade plans and are currently in the process of installing belt conveyors to neighbouring buildings to further increase their storage facility and to reduce the amount of labour required further still.
Perry of Oakley Ltd:
- +44 (0)1404 890300
- http://www.perryofoakley.co.uk/?q=brochures to download a PDF version of this brochure
Concept Grain Systems
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