Agribusiness & Food

Kotzur leads feedlot design

Family-owned Kotzur Australia has designed and fabricated a major feedlot facility in rural Australia. ABHR speaks with Ross Murray, the project manager, to learn more.

Family-owned Kotzur Australia has designed and fabricated a major feedlot facility in rural Australia. ABHR speaks with Ross Murray, the project manager, to learn more.

When an agricultural company wanted to build a new facility, it contracted Kotzur for help.

Based in Walla Walla, Kotzur specialises in designing, manufacturing, and installing bulk solids storage handling facilities for the agricultural, mining and manufacturing sectors.

Ross Murray, one of the project managers involved in the project, says the client wanted a minimum of seven days of grain storage available on site with the ability to expand as required.

“Currently, the project is designed for 20,000 head of cattle at the feedlot,” he says. “As opportunities in the market arise, the customer wants to be ready to meet them.”

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“We drew on experience from similar projects and kept the design of the plant modular so an extension can take place with minimal interruption.

“Understanding what the customer’s needs are and then working with them to find a solution both parties are happy with is what Kotzur does best. In our initial design we found the end stage that could feed 40,000 cattle and then scaled it back from there.”

The overall facility consists of 4500 tonnes of grain storage in elevated silos, with a 250 tonnes per hour intake through a drive over pit. Conveyors feed the grain storage system and a reclaim system with 60 tonnes per hour of capacity is included. Two 60 tonne day bins were also installed along with advanced grain laying and a controlled wetting system for four stainless steel tempering silos.

Kotzur designed and manufactured much of the system, fabricated between Toowoomba and Walla Walla and transported across the country to the site. This included all the mechanical equipment, such as the bucket elevators, screw conveyors, rotary scalpers, and aspirators. The typical Kotzur project is made of more than 80 per cent Australian made products.

Murray says a lot of work went into making sure the feedlot could handle both wet and dry grain during the tempering process.

“The tempering process is essentially the grain absorbing the water so it’s able to be milled and produce a high-quality flake to optimise cattle performance.” he says.

“The more water the grain absorbs, the more it swells and the higher the loads the equipment needs to handle. We took that into account and used 304 tempered stainless steel to avoid corrosion.

“We also make sure all of our work is done to the Australian Standards, from windloading to seismic loads to handrails and access codes.”

Kotzur is no stranger to this kind of project and has developed a process for handling them. After it had received a tender from the client, the business worked closely with the customer to make a proposal that met the right requirements.

The company’s in-house engineering team includes structural, civil, and mechanical engineers, helping it handle complex design requirements. After a design is set, the business can then fabricate and deliver the rest of the project.

The feedlot is now in the final stages of completion, entering the commissioning phase. Murray says following the installation, Kotzur’s dedicated maintenance division will provide after sales support as required.

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