By: Editorial Team Reading time: 3 Minutes
Silos to feed the world
An integral part of all major harbor skylines, large silo batteries play a vital role in bulk goods logistics. Many of these giant tanks come from the Spanish manufacturer Symaga, which uses gases from Messer in its production operations.
Symaga is one of the world’s leading suppliers in this sector. The company’s silos are found in 145 countries the world over. Many of them play a key role in ensuring an adequate food supply. “In Egypt, we participated in the installation of a strategically important wheat storage facility. The new silos can hold two million metric tons of wheat,” reports Ana Garrido, who is in charge of purchasing and human relations at Symaga. “For the new soy storage terminal with a capacity of 240,000 metric tons in the Algerian harbor Djen, we built twelve silos with a diameter of 32 meters – one of the largest facilities ever erected. The Sudanese government implemented a grain storage project to ensure the food supply. It includes 90 Symaga silos with a total capacity of 300,000 metric tons.”
Many regions, many industries
The company is also active in other regions of the world. It has many customers in the Americas and in Asia. The largest market is Europe, however. A large share of Symaga’s silos are installed in Ukraine, where the Spanish have erected several large grain storage facilities. Along with grain and soy storage facilities, the company’s customers also include breweries, animal feed plants, harbor terminals, mills, ethanol plants, drying plants and grain mills. In addition, Symaga builds storage silos for biomass and biofuels as well as for the plastics industry. Overall, 90 percent of the projects are exported beyond Spain’s borders. The company has 200 employees, most of whom work at the company headquarters in Ciudad Real. They use a state-of-the-art process to fabricate the components for the storage tanks there. “Early on, when the silos were still manufactured for the agricultural sector manually, it took four people 38 hours to complete one unit. Now two people can produce a hundred silos per day,” explains Ana Garrido. “The separate parts are then assembled at the intended location. We are experiencing strong growth, both qualitatively in terms of increased efficiency and quantitatively in terms of the size of the workforce and of course in terms of sales.”
Ultra-modern production with welding robots
To achieve this efficiency increase, Symaga invested extensively in state-of-the-art technology and doubled production capacity in recent years. Today, more than 30 robots operate in the manufacturing operation; the record annual production level is more than 40,000 metric tons of steel forming. “Thanks to our automated production facilities, we are maintaining extremely high-quality standards,” emphasizes Ana Garrido. “And the gases from Messer also play a key role here.” Oxygen and liquid nitrogen are used in laser welding. Helium is provided for the resonator to generate the laser beam. Ferroline mixtures in cylinders and bundles are used in both automatic and semi-automatic welding processes. “We first encountered Messer at the MetalMadrid trade fair,” says the purchasing manager, recalling the start of the two companies’ collaboration. “Shortly thereafter, the Messer team carried out several studies at Symaga, to help us use gas applications to optimize our processes. We also received very competent technical advice. That soon convinced us to switch suppliers.”
Thanks to our automated production facilities, we are maintaining extremely high-quality standards...
Ana Garrido, Director of Purchasing and Human Resources at Symaga