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A large cement storage terminal in Louisiana experienced a major discharge failure when the reclaimer system of their dome failed stranding approximately 20,000 tons of usable cement. Unable to discharge any product from the dome, they were faced with the dilemma of how to safely remove the cement to get the reclaimer repaired and operational. They had tried several other silo cleaning contractors who were unable to successfully complete the project before finally calling the IA Bulk Materials crew.

After arriving on-site, the IA Bulk Materials team saw the cement material in the Dome was de-aerated and compacted entirely. The flow aid system, used to transfer the cement to a loadout conveyor belt, was also in need of cleaning. The dome was equipped with emergency unloading hoppers that had remained untouched for over a decade; the cement within these hoppers had become fully compacted as well.

Cement Dome State Upon Arrival:


The crew was able to clear this material by using the access ports on the side and through the top of the structure while staying within OSHA, MSHA, and all safety guidelines the entire time.

Work Performed:

IA Bulk assesses all projects case-by-case and determines the best method of approach that is backed by experience. The crews utilize some of the following methods on each job: Pneumatic whip machines, hydraulic whip machines, bin whips, bin drills, compressed air, CO2 Cardox System, and Air lances. For this project, heavy duty remotely operated equipment was used to help move maximum amounts of cement every shift. As shown in the photo to the right, you can see one of the machines utilized on the job. However, what sets IA Bulk Materials apart is the countless proprietary tools and methodologies brought to each job site.

Clean-out Scope:

The IA Bulk Materials (IABM) crew, with over fifty years of in-plant experience, was dispatched to the site to assess the dome's situation. Following a comprehensive review involving collaboration with IABM and plant personnel, a plan was devised and subsequently approved by the customer, marking the commencement of the project. The crew then initiated the process by addressing the cement buildup from the top dead center and the central operating discharge point. To knock down non-flowing product at its highest points, access points were strategically created in different areas of the dome.

Prevent silo buildup problems in Chicago IL & Minneapolis MN

Simultaneously, crew members opened emergency hoppers to reclaim material from various points within the dome. IABM worked the material aggressively, utilizing proprietary tools from multiple angles of attack. Employing a top-down bottom-out process, they successfully moved thousands of tons every several shifts in a safe and efficient manner. Throughout the project's entirety, IABM adhered strictly to OSHA, MSHA, and company safety guidelines, ensuring the completion of the project with utmost safety and compliance.

Reclaimer Repair Scope:

IABM was tasked with the repair of the 7/8” reclaimer cable that had snapped, disabling the whole system. This 7/8” cable is the main support for the boom and reclaim auger. Once the cement was removed from the dome making it safe for our repair crew to enter the dome. IABM removed the old broken cable from the pulley system and installed the new lifting cable following the manufacturer's requirements. IABM also cleaned and inspected the pulley system and bearings for proper operation. The lifting system was tested and successfully put back in operation.

Client Testimonial:

“We want to personally thank you for the work you and your crew did, cleaning out the dome at our facility without any safety incidents or near misses. A job well done.” -Region District General Manager


Industrial Access Bulk Materials was able to completely empty the dome and facilitate the necessary repairs for our customer at the end of this project.

For additional information about our company and services we provide, please give us a call anytime

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