Thursday, October 12, 2006
Cargill mill tower rises quickly
By SUE WATSON
Tucked under a hill in Byhalia a tower of concrete rose to meet the sky last week.
Cargill, in one continuous pour of concrete reinforced with steel, built the mill tower for its new Byhalia plant in under nine days - thanks to a seamless construction process that has been around for about 60 years.
John Dahl and Josh Breshears, both of Cargill, assisted Matt Kanz, project supervisor during the pour that, once started, could not stop until the mill tower was finished.
Younglove Construction, headquartered in Sioux City, Iowa, is the general contractor in charge of the pouring of concrete for the project. Johnny Lovelace of Premier Concrete Pumping supplied all the trucks used in the pumping of concrete structures.
Lovelace was proud to finish the mill tower last week
“Everything went off without one hitch,” he said.
To show their pride and patriotism, Younglove Construction flew a large American flag atop the construction crane.
The forms for the concrete are built on the ground and lifted as the concrete is poured, crawling about an inch every three to 10 minutes, he said.
Kanz climbed to the top of the pour level each day, a walk that became a little harder as each day passed and the tower rose higher. He said Cargill’s mill construction was modified somewhat from the basic slip-form method.
“This mill tower (silo) is reinforced with steel and some additional concrete to recognize the proximity of the New Madrid fault line,” Kanz said. “Two city concrete companies were needed to keep the slip going.”
That amounted to one concrete truck entering the plant site every 20 minutes. A total of 2,670 cubic yards of concrete went into the Mill Tower, he said.
Each twelve-hour shift employed about 75 workers to get the project finished. Good weather did lend a helping hand as there was no rain in Byhalia the last two weeks.
Kanz said concrete, rather than steel beams and steel siding, was used to build the plant due to the high humidity in the region. The tower is 164 feet high from ground level, perhaps the tallest structure in Marshall County.
The Byhalia plant is not exactly like the Memphis plant. Cargill, one of the larger animal feed manufacturers in the world, will deploy more modern technology at the new plant. The entire manufacturing process will be computerized.
Kanz said Cargill believes the new equipment and technology used in this plant will provide enhanced product quality that will help provide superior customer service in a safe and efficient manner.
The building height is determined by the storage requirements, he said. Most of the mill tower is used for storage of ingredients. Some screening and transfer equipment is located in the upper floors of the tower.
Raw ingredients will come in by rail and 80 percent of the finished mix will go out in bags. The rest will be shipped in bulk.
Kanz said the feeds will be marketed in the United States.
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