Soybean Oil Extractor
Metal Fabrication & Installation Contractor 717-207-8985


Soybean Oil Extractor
Soybean Oil Extractor

An agribusiness facility in Bainbridge, PA contracted with GSM Industrial to provide and install parts for a soybean oil extractor and to modify the extractor and associated systems. The work marked the first time in 3 ½ years that anyone had been inside the extractor to perform measurements and modifications, which presented some challenges.

First, the required modifications were based on “sight unseen guesstimates” by the customer’s engineering staff and were based on the issues that were noted during and after start-up of the extractor. Secondly, most of the work had to be completed in a confined space and involved welding carbon and stainless steels.

The scope of work included:

  • Inspecting and adjusting the lower bearing in the housing in order to achieve proper bearing and cage seating so it no longer leaks.
  • Adjusting the gear mesh and backlash of the rotating mechanisms. This included lowering the height of the 13,520-pound drive motor assembly and support structure by removing shims.
  • Relocating the vent piping outlet to achieve better vacuum performance for hexane extraction.
  • Freeing up 16 safety rollers that were stuck. Safety rollers are designed to catch the cage assembly in case of lower bearing failure.
  • Adjusting the sweeper heights on the lower cage area to ensure solids are swept into the appropriate outlet conveyor.

GSM provided and installed custom shims, custom miscella diverters, SS diverter screens, and replaced and relocated 12” Vent and Sch. 10 SS vent piping. The extractor basket, weighing in at 107,000 lbs., had to be lifted several inches in order to adjust its set-up. The job took 692 man-hours of work that was executed in 8 days during a shutdown.

In order to successfully manage and complete the project, GSM proactively planned how to address all of the potential safety issues and critical path items. Daily coordination took place between the shop and field project management teams, and GSM crews worked around the clock for several days to ensure they would be ahead of schedule. As adjustments were made throughout the project, they were checked by the GSM crew and double-checked by the customer’s technical representative.

This project involved shop fabrication, on-site welding of both carbon and SS metals, and heavy millwrighting on a large piece of equipment. A lot of flexibility was required to respond to the changing scope of work. The field crew, in particular, adapted to frequently changing priorities and schedules.

At the completion of the project, the customer verified that all testing and final checks performed on the extractor were successful, and no leaks were found.

“GSM safely performed the work inside of the extractor well under the time allotted to them and with no need for re-work. We were pleased with their workmanship and professionalism!”

Soybean Plant Manager

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