GEAPS Exchange '99 offers 'something for everyone'

by Teresa Acklin
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   Bright ideas. New products. Opportunities for learning. That's what awaits those who attend the 70th annual international technical conference and exposition of the Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS), March 6-9 at the Convention Center in Tampa, Florida, U.S., said organization president, Doug Jensen.

   “GEAPS defines itself as ‘A World of Operations Excellence.' The organ-ization's annual Exchange is the one time each year when the grain world gathers together for education, exposition and so much more,” Mr. Jensen said.

   The conference will begin with an Idea Exchange, a fast-paced two-hour program highlighting six operations ideas and 13 new product innovations. The “Why Don't They? … I Did!” portion of the program recognizes operations personnel for their ideas or solutions for day-to-day challenges. Presentations will include “Millwright Truck,” Chuck Babcock, Collingwood Grain; “Bumper Extension,” Roger Brouillette, ADM/Countrymark; “Housekeeping and Preventive Maintenance Schedule,” Gary Imhoff, Farmers Cooperative Co.; “Grain ID Mirror” and “Service Platform and Cage for Truck Grain Probe,” Marvin Reeves, Moultrie Grain Association; and “Supervisor's Guide — Housekeeping Plans,” Kim Smith, ADM/Growmark.

   The second portion of the Idea Exchange is a series of “What's New” presentations by suppliers. These will include “Explosion Suppression Cannons,” Air Solutions; “Tri-Lobe Blower,” Blower Engineering; “One Pass Wheat Cleaning System,” Cim-bria/Bratney; “GMS SmartCar,” CompuWeigh; “GrainSMART,” dbc SMARTsoftware inc.; “Reinforced Concrete Storage Dome,” Domtec International; “Watchdog Elite,” 4B Elevator Components; “2 Weigh Scale,” Gamet Manufacturing; “Bin Sweep Auger Unloader,” Laidig; “Tiger-Tuff Maximum Duty Elevator Bucket,” Maxi-Lift; “Scancenter LX,” Rolfes Co.; “Multi-Port Diverter,” Salina Vortex Corp.; and “Circ-Air,” Westeel.

   The heart of the Exchange is the educational program. Presented by professionals in the grain handling industry, the sessions offer something for everyone, Mr. Jensen said. Selected topics will be translated into Spanish.

   The Facility Management forum will include sessions on “Evaluating Grain Facilities for Upgrades, Lease or Purchase” and “Aeration System Design and Re-Engineering.” The Facility Operations forum will include sessions on “Bridging the Gap Between Handwritten Scale Tickets and Elevator Automation” and “Efficiency Improvement Through Scale Design.” Topics in the Grain Handling and Storage forum will include “Identity-Preservation: Operational Aspects of a Value-Enhanced Marketing Strategy”; “Genetically Modified Organisms: What Can They Mean for You?”; “Rodent Control: Using Biology to Your Advantage”; and “Transportation of Grain by Pipelines: Technical and Economic Assessment.” A Nuts and Bolts forum will include topics on “Mineral Oil Application for Dust Suppression” and “Identifying and Selecting Power Transmission Components.” Other forums will address International Operations, Interpersonal Communication, Operations Issues and Safety, Health and Environment.

   A sold-out trade show is being expanded to accommodate supplier demand, Mr. Jensen said. Nearly 300 booths have been reserved in what is known as the “marketplace of grain operations equipment, products and services.” Mr. Jensen said the GEAPS Exchange also offers many opportunities to network and socialize. “From the get-acquainted party to optional networking events to buffet lunches and a gala closing banquet, delegates find ways to get to know each other and renew old acquaintances,” he said.

   For more information about GEAPS Exchange '99, telephone the GEAPS office in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., at (612) 339-4625 or fax (612) 339-4644. The group also can be contacted by e-mail at