BKB Grain Co. is a nationwide leader in supply chain management, facilitating the efficient flow of produce from South Africa’s agricultural sector to the country’s food processors. The company has a long-standing commitment to traditional values and innovative agricultural solutions that has, over the years, made BKB Grain Co. a household name with a wide (and deep) footprint across the country.
Given the reputation of BKB Grain Co., it was a privilege to be called on board to help the company repair and rotate the pipes that feed grain into their storage silos. Over several years, the constant grinding of the grain against the inner wall of the pipes cause deep groves and wear-and-tear to develop. To prevent the grain from eroding all the way through the pipes (and ultimately having to replace them), we rotated them by 180-degrees.
Initially, this was a job Grain Co. anticipated having to hire a crane to do, which would have come at a considerable expense. However, using the ingenuity and experience of Ascend Rope Access’ lead technician, we were able to use multiple rope access techniques to be able to rotate the pipes (two six-meter diagonal pipes and another two 15-meter pipes) in place. By rotating the pipes, we ensure that they are worn down evenly over time, which prolongs their lifespan.
In addition to the rotations, Ascend Rope Access performed extensive repairs and maintenance on the pipes, which had become badly rusted and corroded. We did a mechanically prep before coating them with an industrial coating system. This in itself was quite a feat considering that the platform we worked from was fairly isolated and there were no higher structures to which we could rig. As such, the project took a fair amount of ingenuity and climbing to be able to reach the pipes.
However, we got it done within a week and, using multiple tension lines, we were able to work within Grain Co.’s budget, effectively saving them the expense of hiring a crane to do the job.