Case Study: Custom Storage Tank Fabrication for a Global Leader in Dry Solids Metering and Handling Technologies

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Manufacturers make the products that build America, whereas shipping and trucking professionals transport these resources to keep our country moving. But, steel bulk storage tanks and silos are the backbone of our country’s industry and agriculture. Without bulk storage, there would be no way to house our dry food, our water, our cattle feed, and other essential dry and wet goods that sustain our daily lives.

A world of planning, design, engineering, and manufacturing goes into fabricating every deceptively simple-looking bulk storage tank. Many tanks require one or more discharge mechanisms that have to manually or automatically dispense material into trucks. Some require custom accessories, such as steel legs or bracing, or skirted bottoms.

Whether the tank will be used for liquid or dry solids, every industrial application has its own unique specifications and applications, such as the following bulk storage challenge that Southern Metal Fabricators helped a customer meet head on.

The Manufacturing Challenge

A leading global provider of dry solids handling and metering equipment sought out Southern Metal Fabricators for their in-house capabilities and expertise in taking a bulk storage tank project from design to delivery. The customer required a complex, bulk storage solution with multiple components to be fabricated and then assembled into one 40×60 foot unit.

Southern Metal Fabricators was tasked with successfully delivering and installing a fully functional storage unit on a tight deadline. The large storage tank also required a fully insulated skirt with ground level access.

The Fabrication Solution

With more than 130,000 square feet of under-one-roof capability, Southern Metal Fabricators’ team of designers, detailers, engineers, and quality control inspectors presented the right resources to tackle this large-scale storage challenge.

First, the team was tasked with creating custom grating for tank access. The grating had to meet numerous, stringent requirements, including:

  • Water, corrosion, and slip resistant
  • Lightweight for handling
  • Comfortable enough for regular foot traffic

The fabrication team created a custom FRP grating with triple rubber coating to meet all the requirements for safe and easy access. But, fabricating the right insulated skirt required a bit more R&D testing.

In addition to the client’s aesthetic requirements, the tank’s unique functionality meant significant heat could be generated during material processing. Both the storage unit and the material inside had to be protected from potential temperature fluctuations. After testing three different compositions for form and function, the team was able to create the ideal insulation solution that met the client’s exact specifications.

The Right Fabrication Capabilities for the Right Bulk Storage Solution

For nearly 30 years, Southern Metal Fabricators has solved similarly unique bulk storage challenges such as:

  • Pressure testing water metal pipes to ensure leak resistance
  • Designing discharge columns and cones to prevent material flow blockages
  • Fabricating custom steel legs and bracing for elevated tanks
  • Engineering custom ports to interface with conveyors, chutes and hoppers
  • Adding a heated water source to keep stored syrup warm and flowing

Our full house of designers, engineers, detailers, and quality control inspectors are ready to discuss any custom bulk storage fabrication, including the unique accessories and features specific to each industry.

To learn how Southern Metal Fabricators can help you solve your exact material handling or containment challenge, give us a chance to say, “Yes, we can do that!” by contacting us today.