CHS – St. Charles, Minnesota

CHS – St. Charles, Minnesota

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  • November 13, 2015

Summary

CHS wanted to combine its two dry fertilizer facilities in Minnesota into one. In addition, the company wanted a blend system that would produce an accurate mix fast, using both macro and micronutrients.

The result was:

  • 12,000 tons of dry fertilizer storage capacity across 12 total bins: 10 main bins and 2 micronutrient bins
  • A 4-ton High Intensity Mixer (HIM) and dual weigh hopper system
  • Capacity to blend 240 tons per hour (TPH)
  • Product loadout of more than 400 TPH
  • Ability to impregnate with 14 different liquids; 6 can be added simultaneously

CHS can now blend and loadout fertilizer at much faster speeds as well as produce advanced prescription blends that many farmers are using today.

Challenge: Speed, Accuracy and Capacity

CHS wanted to combine its aging Chester, MN, plant with its St. Charles plant, which was built in 2009. Because the Chester site didn’t have room for expansion, the company decided to close that facility and expand the St. Charles facility so it could accommodate the increased demand.

There were other goals as well: speed and the ability to produce advanced prescription blends with up to 14 liquids to be impregnated.

“We needed a blend system that could produce an accurate mix fast, using both macro and micronutrients,” says Jason Frinack, plant manager for CHS-St. Charles. “We also supply a high volume of impregnated fertilizer to our customers and needed to be able to do that quickly and accurately.” 

Results: Sophisticated Blending, Fast Loadout and a “Turbo-charged” HIM tower

“With the high volume of impregnated fertilizer we supply to our customers, A.J. Sackett seemed to be the best fit for us,” Frinack says. “A big advantage we found with the Sackett system over other blend systems was the speed of the impregnation system. With the Sackett system we were able to provide our customers with the blend accuracy they require, uniform coverage of impregnated fertilizer and speed.”

To meet the need for speed, Sackett engineers “turbo charged” their HIM tower. For speed, a 4-ton HIM and dual weigh hopper system was used. Gates were increased to the max level to still achieve down to two-pound scale breaks. The combination provides blend speeds of more than 240 TPH and straight product loadout of 400 TPH.

A very sophisticated liquid feed system designed by Kahler Automation addressed CHS’s need to create highly complex prescription fertilizer blends with speed and accuracy. It feeds a 6-nozzle spray system in the HIM mixer where 6 liquids can be sprayed simultaneously so speed is not compromised when impregnating. To keep up with these speeds, a 300 TPH reclaim system was designed that feeds a 250-ton overhead hopper.

CHS is pleased with the additional speed and capacity its new facility has.

“As our customers continue to increase the speed they are able to plant their crops, we believe the blend system from A.J. Sackett will allow us to continue to meet their needs now and in the future,” Frinack says.

CHS

The CHS St. Charles, MN location is an approximately 28,200 square foot expansion of the existing facility.

CHS

At left: The HIM 3600 precision blender mixes in 30 seconds or less, no matter the size of its batch, due to its unique blending style that eliminates “dead zones” in the blender and proprietary rotor design. The HIM provides industry leading blend quality for granular and powdered fertilizers, and also near-perfect distribution of liquid additives. At right: The HIM provides the flexibility to use nearly any liquid additive. CHS utilizes 10+ types of liquids for coating and impregnation, which the HIM incorporates and distributes evenly during its 30-second blend cycle.

CHS

The impregnation system

CHS

At left: The PFB tower system has 250+/- tons of overhead storage in 11 bins. At right: Twin 4-ton NTEP weigh hoppers are used to achieve extremely precise dosing  at very high rates of speed, an overall 240+ TPH blend speed and up to 400 TPH straight product loadout.

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