GEAPS Preview 2001: Bright Ideas

by Emily Wilson
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One of the most beneficial aspects of the GEAPS meeting is the chance to sit down with your peers in the industry and discuss how to solve problems or talk about new products that can make your life — and workplace — easier. The Idea Exchange at GEAPS 2001 is one such forum. The "What's New?" portion of the program gives supplier companies the opportunity to highlight new products. The "Why Don't They? I Did!" segment is presented by people who work at grain handling facilities and who have come up with often unique ideas to solving problems. The program begins at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, March 4, so schedule an early wake-up call!

What's New?

The Uni-Cleaner, Environmental Solutions International, Batavia, Ill.

A three-in-one cleaning tool designed to give users the ability to safely and effectively clean with air, water, chemicals or grit in an environmentally friendly manner.

Three-Way Truck Sample
Juan O. Hajnal SA,
Buenos Aires, Argentina

A mechanical spear collects the sample and conveys it to the sample chamber where a diverter valve distributes the sample in three chambers: from the top, mid-section and upper levels of the load.

NS Rotary Screen Cleaner, P33 Series, Northland Superior Supply Co. Ltd., Winnipeg, Canada

The P33 series screen cleaner provides traditional scalping and sifting functions as well as in-line sifting. The machine also negates the effect of over-cleanout as a result of burden depth in a real-time industrial environment.

Computer-Animated Grain Transportation Model, Manitoba Industry, Trade & Mines, Winnipeg, Canada

Without actually being at a terminal, the viewer using this program can obtain a basic understanding of its overall operations, varied components and technology.

Compudraft CD-4000, CompuWeigh Corp., Cheshire, Connecticut, U.S.

The CD-4000 is a multi-function, computerized weighing controller with full color graphics, and is designed to handle all types of bulk weighing applications.

Advantages and Application of Field Bus Technology, CMC Industrial Electronics, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada

Field-bus technology is used to reduce the amount of cables and connections in a factory. By using a single cable to collect and control many field devices, miles of wire can be removed. Many field devices connected to the field bus also will have enhanced operating and reporting functions.

U-Trac-It System, Industrial Fumigant Co., Olathe, Kansas, U.S.

The system enables users to track repair and maintenance schedules for all types of equipment and provides comprehensive maintenance information to ensure that equipment is maintained on a regular schedule.

Why Don't They?… I Did!

Aerial Photographic Site Plot Plans, Tom Lechtenberg, Collingwood Grain, Hutchinson, Kan.

Aerial photography provides a quick and easy way to develop a plot plan for plant design and site layout. Present aerial photographs can be shot from directly overhead at 5,000 feet and used to position new grain bins and study traffic patterns when no blueprint-type of plot plan is available. The cost is less than $100.

Safety Networking – Competitors as Partners, Kevin Danner, West Central Co-op, Ralston, Iowa

Safety directors from 11 separate agribusinesses, plus insurance representatives and their risk-management support staffs, gather every three months to share ideas and concerns about safety and risk-management. Outside the formal meeting structure, participants periodically call each other to ask questions or bounce ideas off one another.

Air Distribution System,
Michael Hoffer, ADM Growmark,
Decatur, Illinois, U.S.

The system collects back pressure and dust from several grain bins and belt-loading points, using grain distributors to assign when dust collection is to be applied when unloading dust. The system provides a clean working environment with a maintenance-friendly mechanical system.

Bin Sweep Safety Cable, Rich Hamilton, ADM, Morris, Illinois, U.S.

The bin sweep safety cable is used as an added safety device inside large bins running sweep augers. The cable is run across the top of the sweep auger, and attached to a pull switch wired to the motor. When the cable is pushed down, the sweep auger will shut down and a red tab on the pull switch will come up. The sweep auger will not start until the pull switch is reset and the dead-man switch, outside the bin, is pressed down. A person inside the bin can shut the auger down immediately.

Digital Mapping for Integrated Crop Management, Vasilis Sotiroudas, AgroSpeCom Ltd., Thessaloniki, Greece

Digital mapping allows people to find fields included in an integrated crop-management program, although they may be unfamiliar with the area. The mapping can be done with a laptop computer, a GPS and software to draw the fields for about $1,000.

Under-Car Spill Detector,
Tom Price, United Grain Growers, Winnipeg, Canada

The unit detects grain leaks from improperly closed gates on rail cars, giving an early warning about a possible problem and minimizing cleanup and loss. It costs about $500.

Reverse Training, Daryl Watts,
Pro-Compliance, Eagle Grove, Iowa, U.S.

Efforts for safety training meetings are directed toward getting the employees to talk and contribute. One way is to ask wide-open questions, such as "Has anyone ever had a near miss with electricity? Confined space? Fire?" "Almost everybody has, and they all like to talk about it," Watts said.

Reverse training usually includes verbal confirmation of how these storytellers would avoid their dangerous situations in the future. "Most of the time, they'll tell the group what they did differently," Watts said.