2007 GEAPS Exchange preview

by World Grain Staff
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by Arvin Donley

Featuring what organizers have described as "one of the largest and most ambitious educational programs" that the Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) has offered in many years, GEAPS Exchange 2007 will be held Feb. 24-27 at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas, U.S.

GEAPS’ 78th international technical conference and exposition will include 24 hours of educational presentations and hands-on learning opportunities, all focused on topics of special interest to the grain handling and processing industry.

The event, which typically draws more than 1,500 attendees and features more than 200 trade show exhibits, will include a four-hour workshop on the boom in ethanol production, a twohour session on finding and retaining good employees, and presentations on 17 other topics.

New to this year’s Exchange are hands-on educational sessions featuring equipment, demonstrations and small-group discussions in curtainedoff areas on the periphery of the Expo Hall. This year the sessions will focus exclusively on hazard monitoring sensors-specifically belt alignment, motion-speed detection and temperature sensors. It will be offered twice on Monday, Feb. 26 and once on Tuesday, Feb. 27.

"The point is to give small groups of people a good, close-up look at specific pieces of equipment and provide them with an opportunity to talk informally with the experts," said Pat Greer, chairperson of GEAPS’ educational programming committee.

Ethanol, arguably the hottest topic in the grain industry, will be the subject of this year’s special workshop.

The program, set for 7 to 11 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 25, will feature presentations by some of the country’s top ethanol experts, and it also will include an hour-long question-and-answer session with the audience.

"We believe that this is a timely and important subject for virtually all GEAPS members," said Kathy Reading, educational programming committee vice-chairperson. "What are the impacts on corn prices? What are we going to do with all the DDGS? What will be the impact on the grain industry of the future?"

The workshop will include three presentations:

• An overview of the ethanol industry, assessing its rapid growth and current size; covering its impact on corn production, transportation, demand and prices; examining where growth has occurred and where it will likely occur in the future; considering viable ethanol business strategies and attempting to gauge what the industry will look like in the future.

• An assessment of corn-ethanol byproducts, especially distillers’ grains, focusing on the special handling and transportation challenges that they present. This segment will also consid- er current research on operational problems, as well as the economics involved. The presentation will include a look at the volume of distillers’ grains that might be on the market if the boom continues and how grain companies can deal with them.

• A panel discussion featuring ethanol specialists and the audience. "Everyone attending the ethanol workshop will have questions and opinions," said Deb Good, chairperson of the educational programming committee team that put the ethanol program together. "There’s going to be a real wealth of knowledge available to facilitate opening up discussion and receiving input from as many people as we can." The workshop will be free to all registered Exchange delegates, and seating will be available on a first-come, firstserve basis.

Another program sure to draw a crowd is the Idea Exchange, which will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The Idea Exchange has two parts. First are the "What’s New?" presentations in which new products and services are discussed. This year’s presentations include: • "Modified Rope Gripper" — Harris International Elevator; • "I-Safe Intelligent Safety System" — Seedburo Equipment Co; • "Tensioneer" — EBM Mill & Elevator Supply; • "Diacon II Dust Formulation" — Industrial Fumigant Co.; • "High-Capacity Modular Uniflow Inlet" — Carter Day/ Jacobson; • "LoadaRail" — Cimbria Bratney; • "Bolt ‘N’ Go" — 4B Components; • "Quick Disconnect Control Box Kit" — GSI Group; • "Liberty Grain Rescue Tube" — Mill & Elevator Supply Co.

Next is the "Why Don’t They? …. I Did!" program, which features innovations that grain operations managers, workers or suppliers put into practice to improve efficiency or safety at their facilities. This year’s topics and speakers are:

• "External Backstop" — Slav Waplak, Agricore United; • "Photo-Cell Choke Detection System" — Lionel Helweg, Kraft Foods.

This year’s educational program includes 17 sessions on a wide variety of issues including employee safety, grain quality, pest control, equipment maintenance, automation and commodity risk management. Here is a summary of the topics to be presented:

• "Emergency Response: What to Do if Disaster Strikes Your Facility" — Using a devastating explosion at a Toledo, Ohio, U.S. facility operated by The Andersons as a real-life lesson, this session will discuss what a facility needs to consider — and how it needs to respond — if disaster strikes. The session will cover incident command, helping emergency responders become familiar with your facility, preventing secondary explosions and best fire extinguishing options.

• "Everyday Grain-Quality Management" — This session will examine important items that grain operations professionals need to add to their "list of things to do." It will cover specific tasks such as grain bin cleaning and inspection, preparation for fumigation and equipment checks.

• "Nuisance Bird Prevention in the Grain Industry" — Birds can be dirty, costly and time-consuming nuisances at grain facilities. This session will provide a detailed how-to guide for bird control called the EDCIF (Evaluate, Disperse, Clean, Install and Follow-up) method. Discussion will center on evaluating structures and equipment for bird control, going over equipment clean-up procedures and reviewing "exclusion product" selection and efficacy.

• "Who are These People I’ve Hired? Understanding the Generations at Work" — This session will focus on the different generations that are in today’s workforce and how each has different needs. Topics to be discussed include recruitment, retention and motivation strategies that appeal to each generation.

• "The Art of Negotiation" — How to conduct successful, long-term negotiations between vendors and clients will be the focus of this session.

• "Commodity Risk Management — What Grain Facility Operators Need to Know" — Facility operators and merchandisers share an important role but don’t always work together smoothly. This presentation will focus

on the basic concepts of how grain merchandisers operate and what grain facility operators need to know about merchandising.

• "How Do Your Scales Measure Up" — The evolution of scale products, the total cost of ownership, their expected lifespan, choosing the best products for an application and maximizing scale efficiency will be among the topics discussed.

• "Rail Safety" — With an emphasis on safety and compliance, this session will focus on facility rail operations including track, motive power, written procedures, training, maintenance and the role of remote control.

• "Grain Sampling Systems" — This presentation will look at selection and installation considerations for sampling systems. Among the topics to be discussed are: sample division; sampleline venting; sample quality; installation guidelines; sampling limitations; and operation/timing considerations.

• "Corrugated Grain Bins: Use and Misuse" — A brief history of corrugated bins, current large-diameter bins and changes in grain weight and properties over the years will be discussed. The session will also include information on the types of bin damage that occur; engineering, design, erection and assembly issues; effects of weather, fill systems; aeration, emptying systems; temperature cables and more.

• "The Biodiesel Industry: Past, Present and Future" — This session will provide an overview of biodiesel’s history and assess its future, discuss the development of the current industry and review processing technology and technological trends.

• "Natural Insect Enemies" — Information will be provided on the role of biological control in a pest management program. New scientific research, legal authorization for use of beneficial insects and biological control strategies for stored grain products also will be discussed.

• "Country Elevator Automation: Is it Right for You?" — The basics of automation at both new and existing grain facilities will be discussed in this session. It will include information on scales, cables, networking, PLCs, cameras, bearing systems, remote programs and the Internet.

• "From Barley to Beer: Driving Value Through a Vertical Supply Program" — This session will explore Coors Brewing Co.’s vertically integrated and identity-preserved supply chain for barley, and in the process demonstrate how other companies might consider organizing a similar program.

• "Ground Pile Management and Design" — Types of temporary storage facilities, their design and construction and management programs will be discussed. The session will focus on facility maintenance, storage management techniques to help maintain grain quality and how to effectively use aeration systems.

• "Hazard Monitoring Equipment: Selection, Installation and Maintenance" — This session will examine the latest available hazard monitoring sensors and controls for bucket elevators and belt conveyors, provide information on how to correctly specify the equipment and offer basic installation tips and sound maintenance advice.

• "The Grain Industry in Ukraine"

— Ukraine has experienced its share of political and economic turmoil over the years. But with a moderate climate, fertile soils and vast expanses of farmland, the country’s grain-producing potential is enormous. This session will explore Ukraine’s long history as a grain producer and assess its future capabilities.

The expo hall grand opening ceremony is at 11 a.m. Sunday, with a lunch buffet scheduled for noon on the trade show floor. The trade show will be open from 11:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. on Sunday, 10:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Monday and 9:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday. WG

To register for the GEAPS Exchange, visit www. geaps.com. GEAPS has negotiated a special room rate at the Gaylord Texan Resort. To obtain the reduced rate, you must call the hotel directly by phone (1.817.778.1000) or use the hotel website (www.gaylordtexan.com). The cut-off date to receive the special rate is Feb. 2, 2007.