GEAPS Exchange 2010

by Arvin Donley
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Wichita, Kansas, U.S., located in the heart of "America’s Breadbasket," is a fitting choice to host the 2010 Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) Exchange. Located just 50 miles from the world’s largest grain elevator, Wichita’s Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center is sure to attract a large number of local delegates as well as many grain elevator employees from other parts of the U.S. and around the world.

Organizers are expecting several thousand workers and managers from the grain storage and handling industry as well as more than 235 equipment suppliers that will display their latest products and services at the Expo.

The 81st annual international technical conference and exposition will be held Feb. 20-23 and will feature a wide range of educational opportunities including: more than 30 hours of educational programming; an opening workshop on workforce development; 18 technical presentations from industry experts; an Idea Exchange featuring new products and innovative ideas; and expo hall "pods" on dust collection systems and maintenance featuring small-group discussions and hands-on opportunities with equipment.

More than 2,000 delegates attended the 2009 GEAPS Exchange in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. and 255 exhibitors occupied 390 booths to display their latest equipment and services.


Workforce development will be the focus of this year’s Opening Workshop with Jim Doyle, a professional speaker and leadership consultant, giving the presentation.

The workshop, which will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. Feb. 21, will begin with an overview of how "Generation Y" employees operate in the working world. Doyle will emphasize the importance of taking time in the hiring process to choose employees who will fit in with the company.

The seminar will also focus on finding people who possess attributes that a company needs for long-term success as well as helping conference attendees evaluate their own leadership styles.

Other topics to be addressed during the workshop include: how to engage employees and assess them for strengths and weaknesses; how to establish trust in a working relationship; how to create a leader development program to identify candidates for promotions; and how to create a positive workplace environment of workers who "go the extra mile."

Doyle has done consulting and workshop assignments with over 400 clients in all parts of the world including Brazil, China, India, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, France, Italy, the U.K., Mexico, Germany and 40 states in the U.S.


This year’s educational program will include a special presentation by author William Brown, whose book, "American Colossus: The Grain Elevator, 1843-1943," was published in 2009. Brown will deliver a presentation entitled, "The Mechanized Elevator: How Did We Get There?" in which he will discuss what necessities led to the invention of the mechanized elevator, how grain elevators became so important to the development of the U.S., and how they have influenced grain handling in other countries.

Also included in this year’s educational lineup are 18 presentations on a wide variety of issues.

"In grain operations, ongoing education means the difference between a good employee and a great one, or between accident recovery and one that never happens in the first place," said GEAPS Exchange Programming Committee Chair Kathy Reading. "The knowledge of employees at elevators and processing facilities impacts everything from individual safety to the global food supply. Our committee is proud to present another year of relevant session topics that will help make our industry better, safer and smarter."

Here is a summary of the topics to be presented: "Shipping Grain in Containers: An Opportunity for Your Company?" Bo DeLong, The DeLong Company. This session will discuss the logistics, and the advantages and disadvantages, of shipping grain in containers. It will also focus on the mechanics of loading in containers, markets, economics, drayage and other considerations.

"Construction Project Oversight: What Do You Do When the Manager’s Not on Site?" Jerry Wille, Curry-Wille & Assoc. This session will look at how to create a detailed checklist, covering everything from the size of the excavation to the quality of the stairway handrails to the grades of the bolts utilized. "Asset Management of Concrete Structures," Richard Kobetz, Sunfield Engineering Inc. Methods and recommended practices for monitoring the integrity of concrete structures will be discussed as will different tools that managers use for recognizing potential problem areas and how to develop an effective structure-monitoring process. Topics will include a brief overview of the design of concrete structures typically used in grain elevators, developing a baseline review, the recognition and evaluation of serious versus less serious issues, and when to call in professional assistance and what to expect from it. "Bin Sweeps Versus Skid-Steer Doors," Ed Kovarik, Bratney Companies. The pros and cons of bin-sweep systems and skid-steer doors will be discussed during this session, with comparative information provided on material, labor and electrical costs, maintenance requirements, and manpower and safety considerations.

"Bearings: Installation and Preventive Maintenance," John Ahart, Emerson Power Transmission. This session will examine bearing types and designs, and how to install and maintain them. It will also cover mounted-bearing types and capabilities, radial and thrust loads, ring-locking mechanisms, seal designs, thermal expansion and misalignment, lubrication types and methods, and installation and removal methods.

"Dust Collection Systems: An Overview," Dinesh Mali, Caltex BMH Systems/Shanta Engineering. During this session, a fundamental overview of dust control systems will be presented and Mali will discuss what equipment is vented, CFM and velocity determinations, duct sizing, dust collector sizing, balancing ductwork, and other key dustcontrol considerations. "Getting More from Your Hazard-Monitoring Systems," Doug Forst, CMC Industrial Electronics. This session will discuss what types of data (including bearing temperature and belttracking statistics) can be retrieved from hazards-monitoring systems and show how it can be obtained in usable formats and applied for maximum value.

"Using a PLC for More Than Just a Push-Button Replacement," Steve Reed, Kasa Industrial Controls. Reviewed during this session will be the latest in monitoring, the advantages and disadvantages of web-enabled, humanmachine interface, what to look for in order to prevent problems from happening, and how remote access can help save money. Reed will also discuss how executives can use the data from a facility to make good business decisions. "Employee Orientation: Starting Off on the Right Foot," Jeff Frizell, MKC. This session will examine what companies should consider to set the stage early in the employment process — from the job offer through the first day, week and month at work. Topics ranging from simply taking the new person to lunch and touring the facility to explaining the employee handbook and establishing a climate of mutual trust will be discussed.

"Current Research in Grain Handling & Storage," Paul Armstrong, USDA-ARS; Leland McKinney, Kansas State University; Klein Ileliji, Purdue University; and Dr. Charlie Hurburgh, Iowa State University. This special two-hour, interactive session will cover practical applications of research relating to carbon dioxide monitoring, quality traits in wheat, distillers grains handling, and geographical mapping of grain-quality differences. "Developing a Fumigation Management Plan," Pamela Peckman, Industrial Fumigant Co. This session will provide background regarding FMPs and will discuss basic requirements, supporting documents needed, and safety monitoring. Information specific to railcar fumigations will also be discussed.

"Developing an Electrical Safety Program for Your Workplace," Mark Wirfs, R&W Engineering Inc. A basic overview of the requirements to set up and implement a plant electrical safety program will be presented. Electrical safety program requirements will be discussed as will electrical hazards and methods of controls for your employees.

"Dust Collection and Regulatory Compliance," Don Lear, Kice Industries. Recent revisions to standards of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) will be discussed and Lear will explain what facilities need to do to ensure that a dust collector is NFPA-compliant and provide insight as to what future legislation may be coming for the industry.

"What Should You Do Before the Ambulance Arrives," Gary Curmode, Sedgwick County Fire Department. This session will help grain facility employees start thinking about what their obligations, responsibilities and limitations might be before emergency help arrives at a facility to treat an injured worker. "DOT Safety-Rating Systems," Brian Hammer, Nationwide Agribusiness. Hammer will discuss the new Comprehensive Safety Analysis Method and how it works to help companies avoid receiving "unsatisfactory" or "conditional" ratings which can put the brakes on their trucking operations or make it more difficult to get insurance.

"It’s All about You," Chuck Martinek, LaMair-Mulock-Condon. Offered for the second straight year, this session is designed to motivate management and employees to develop a positive safety culture at their companies. "Food Defense and Regulation," Richard Ryan and Mark Cheviron, Archer Daniels Midland Co. Information concerning the current status of food-defense risk assessment, planning and regulation, as well as the process and implications involved, will be provided in this session.

"Operations Safety, Health and Environment Responsibility Forum," NGFA Safety, Health and Environment Quality Committee. This forum will feature a discussion of current, developing and emerging issues impacting grain handling operations.


Fourteen people with ideas or products new to the grain operations industry will make presentations at the Idea Exchange from 3 to 5 p.m. on Feb. 21.

The Idea Exchange has two parts. The "What’s New?" segment provides companies that offer products or services an opportunity to discuss their innovations. Products to be displayed at this year’s "What’s New?" include:

Safety Rail System, CEEC Inc.; 156-foot Diameter Commercial Grain Bin, Brock Grain Systems; 3D LevelScanner, BinMaster; Charm ROSA BEST Aflatoxin P/N Test Kit, Charm Sciences; The Corn Hog, Allatoona Machinery Co.; AgriDry Bullseye Roof Exhauster Monitor/Controller, AgriDry LLC.; First Strike Soft Bait, Industrial Fumigant Co.; Series III Auto-Extendable Sweep, Sudenga Industries Inc.; Polycan Repel Grain Envelope, Canamer International Inc.; AFC400 Air Flow Sensor, Lakeland Companies.; N-ViroMotive Locomotive, National Railway Equipment Co.; and Pro Model, Integris USA. During the "I Did! … Why Don’t They?" portion of the Idea Exchange, which focuses on innovations made at grain facilities that others can find useful, presentations will be given by Ed Kleinwort of St. Angsar Mills on "Grain Bridge Break-up Tools," and Roger Ward of The Andersons on "Rescue Tube Utilization."

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