NMI Industrial was contracted by Whiting-Turner in 2015 to design, build, and install a new series of conveyors for a new almond storage warehouse for Blue Diamond Growers in Salida, CA. The new warehouse was designed to hold 60 million pounds of raw almonds. Our conveyor systems needed to transport the product into and out of the warehouse as efficiently as possible, while minimizing damage to the product as much as possible.
Our scope of work consists of the following:
• (11) conveyors with catwalks ranging from 40’ to over 500’ in length
• (3) 50’ tall spiral chutes to allow the product to gently drop from the peak conveyor to the floor below
• (84) chutes with slide gates
• (24) ladders including (5) cross over ladders
• (4) ships ladders
• (2) sampler devices
• Dozens of chutes and hoppers
• Installation of (2) bucket elevators
• Installation of (1) box dump system
• Integration with existing conveyors
We were able to utilize Tekla software to create conceptual designs, produce presentations, collaborate with other trades, and build an accurate fabrication model with detail drawings. We were also able to import reference models for many of the buyout components such as motors, bearings, rollers, and the box dump system. We used SolidWorks to generate models of some of the smaller mechanical components. Revit models and AutoCAD models were also imported for reference and coordination.
We ended up using Tekla BIMsight for 3D model review rather than 2D shop drawings for a majority of our submittals. Once the reviewing parties got used to the program, they were rather excited about reviewing models instead of drawings, and were able to return comments to us much quicker. Due to the nature of the project, BIMsight was also very helpful for the field crew, as it would have been much more difficult to convey certain details through 2D drawings.
The entire project was conceptualized, designed, engineered, fabricated, installed, and commissioned in about 10 months. The model, consisting of 25,000 parts and nearly 20,000 bolts, was completed using only one Tekla seat. The strongest benefit of using Tekla was being able to communicate and coordinate with the design team, the owner, and the shop/field crews very quickly in 3D, when it would have taken much longer otherwise.