Cocoa beans and cocoa powder are stored in cocoa silos and warehouses. Sometimes beans are stored in their original sacks before they are processed. Eventually, beans are stored in huge silos, many of which hold more than 1,000 tons. For one BinMaster customer, cocoa powder storage and cocoa bean storage must be isolated from production to ensure good air circulation, cool temperatures, and regulated humidity. Beans are even sorted according to type.
Challenge 1: Storing pods
Cocoa bean storage silos tend to be large. Beans are prone to generating dust, making it difficult for sensors to measure the beans reliably and accurately. Cocoa beans tend to pile unevenly inside the silo, making accurate volume measurement difficult.
Challenge 2: Shell storage
Shell byproduct is stored in silos before being shipped for use in other products, such as agricultural mulch or fertilizer. Shells have a coarse texture and, when combined with humidity and temperature, can build up or create irregular topography in the silo. Build-up can potentially damage the silo and diminish the quality of the product. Internal temperature rises over time causing beans to mold and clump. Detecting buildup as it occurs and knowing material volume is crucial to the end user.
Challenge 3: Nib storage
Cocoa nibs are stored in silos prior to entering the cocoa production process. As the nibs feed the entire cocoa production process, end users need to accurately monitor inventory levels to ensure a continuous supply and avoid unexpected interruptions in the production process and avoid losses in time and reduced profitability.
Challenge 4: Cocoa powder storage
Cocoa powder is stored in silos prior to either being bagged or shipped in bulk. As the cocoa powder is conveyed into a silo, it can be extremely dusty and pile unevenly. The powder is prone to bridging and buildup in cocoa storage units and cocoa powder storage containers.
Accurate inventory measurement is necessary to provide an adequate supply of beans for production. BinMaster’s 3D Level Scanner multiple-point mapping technology overcomes these problems, enabling accurate assessment of the volume of the beans remaining in the silo at any time.