This client needed to top-offload rail cars of ethanol and pump them to their above-ground storage tank, which is some distance from the rail tracks; Sky Eye’s custom top access solution helped to bridge that gap. With the mandate to blend all of their fuel with ethanol by 2022 – this SKYRAK solution helps this client progress towards that goal.

In late 2020, the Sky Eye team was awarded a project to build an Ethanol Railcar Top Offloading solution with a top access platform in Eastern Canada. The Sky Eye team provided a comprehensive SKYRAK solution, including design, complete engineering work and pre-fabrication. The collaborative design wrapped up in May 2021, and the project was shipped and was on-site in mid-June 2021.

This SKYRAK project had a significantly compressed fabrication schedule, and ultimately Sky Eye delivered this project in just four weeks, compared to the original 12-week timeline. Sky Eye achieved this just-in-time delivery by utilizing a creative pre-fabrication workaround.

The Sky Eye team serialized and labelled every component before sending it off to the powder-coating facility. Once powder coating was complete, the provider could package components into pre-determined fabrication groupings and shop them directly to the client’s site. Sky Eye’s QA/QC team was hyper-vigilant in their processes: double-checking to ensure each component was perfectly fabricated and ready for smooth assembly once on-site.

This solution enabled the client to top-offload ethanol rail cars and pump them to their above-ground storage tank, which is some distance from the rail tracks; this custom SKYRAK top access solution helped bridge that gap. This client is responsible for moving ethanol for their end-user, who required a top-offload solution to meet their safety standards. Additionally, this SKYRAK solution helped meet the end-users mandate to blend all of their fuel with ethanol by 2022.

This SKYRAK Top Access system comprises a fully modular racking system with a custom gangway design. Sky Eye went with an innovative approach to the top offloader system and designed the system to stay primed when connecting and disconnecting the load arm.

Additionally, Sky Eye built an air detection system into the arm to detect when the rail car is empty so air doesn’t get pulled into the system. Generally, rail solutions companies will purchase a racking system from a third-party vendor; however, having Sky Eye fabricate this custom turnkey SKYRAK solution meant more flexibility and a quicker delivery time for our client.

Ultimately, the most significant benefit for the client is that this solution enabled them to set up a new site to meet their operational goals and create a new revenue stream. This site requires minimal oversight and a small on-site team from a daily operational perspective.

Projects like this one solidify Sky Eye’s place as a premier provider of SKYRAK Railcar Top Access Platforms from right here in Canada. Sky Eye is one of the only providers in Canada who can design, engineer and pre-fabricate a rail-top access solution. As demonstrated in this project, Sky Eye applies a creative approach and will do everything possible to meet timelines and budgets for our clients.