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Bristol-based company installs twin-machine system for the manufacture of grain silos

The company also manufactures a wide range of galvanised-steel water tanks for a variety of horticultural uses, including rain-water harvesting; it also produces tanks for the rapidly expanding European fish-farming industry. Established in 1970, silo forming machine Brice-Baker has continuously developed its product range to meet the growing market demand for grain storage and grain-handling equipment. The company designs, manufactures, supplies and installs complete grain storage plants and counts Camgrain among its customers. The latter is the UK’s largest farmer-owned central storage business and has a total capacity of nearly 250,000 tonnes; Brice-Baker supplied not only the silos, but also conveyors and associated equipment.

The company’s silos — renowned for their robust construction and high galvanising standards — can be substantial structures. For example, its flat-bottom silos (for the shorth and long-term storage of grain, oil seeds and other granulated free-flowing materials) offer capacities up to 16,600m3 and can be up to 28m in diameter and 32.4m high. Meanwhile, its hopper-bottom silos (these provide temporary wet grain storage as part of a grain-drying plant and other ‘buffer bin’ applications in silo plants) can be up to 13m in diameter and 35m high.

Brice-Baker is an ambitious company and is gearing up to expand its business into Russia and eastern Europe over the next few years. This planned expansion is being supported by a multi-million-pound investment that will further modernise its production facilities and increase its manufacturing capacity. This investment includes the recent relocation to a new 5,000m2 bespoke manufacturing facility at Yate (near Bristol), as well as new production machinery that includes two Bradbury automated hydraulic rolling and forming machines and a Durma tandem press brake.

Supplied by Milton Keynes-based Axe & Status , which installed its first Durma tandem press brake in the UK some 18 months ago (at John Harvey Engineering, Ipswich), the tandem unit at Brice-Baker has an 8m 640-tonne capacity and replaces an ageing Rhodes folding press that took around 2hr to re-tool and re-set — a time that Brice-Baker process improvement manager Adrian White says is too long in today’s competitive manufacturing climate. The Durma tandem press brake installation, which weighs some 40 tonnes and follows the purchase of a Durma 3m (10mm) guillotine from Axe & Status last summer, comprises two Durma AD-S 40320 machines (each with a capacity of 4,050mm × 320 tonnes) and takes just 10min to re-tool and re-set.

Moreover, these two press brakes offer significant levels of flexibility and capacity improvements when it comes to manufacturing silo roof panels, because they can be operated as a single 8m unit or as two individual 4m press brakes running different jobs.

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