Instructors and participants in the GEAPS–KSU Hands-On-Training (HOT) Program stand on the platform of the bucket elevator on KSU’s Grain Science Complex and discuss the function and maintenance of the equipment. 
Photos courtesy of KSU.
MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. – New technologies are continuing to be developed within the global grain industry and often the challenge for technical professionals is how to keep their skills sharp. The new Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS)-KSU Hands-on-Training (HOT) program was held Dec. 12-14 to enhance skills. 

“We are very excited that after more than two years of preparing, we launched the first offering of the GEAPS-KSU Hands-On-Training program,” said Carlos Campabadal, course coordinator and IGP Institute feed manufacturing and grain quality management specialist. “This course helps industry professionals learn the importance of operating and performing maintenance on grain conveying equipment.”

The program provided participants with hands-on knowledge to safely operate and maintain common grain conveying equipment through demonstrations, practice and immediate feedback. The training also focused on topics including lubrication, preventative maintenance, open and enclosed belt conveyors, bucket elevators, screw conveyor and bin sweep, chain and incline conveyors, and workplace safety.

“Everybody has been very eager to learn in the program and I’ve definitely enjoyed the interaction with all of participants,” said Bob Marlow, owner of Operations Professional Service, in Walton, Indiana, U.S.

He was the instructor of the open and enclosed conveyors portion, and is a lifetime member of GEAPS.

“From my perspective, I really tried to bring my experience that I had in the industry and share it with others to help with education and training,” Marlow said. 

Bob Marlow, instructor for open and enclosed conveyors, demonstrates maintenance procedures on a conveyor system with course participants. 
The HOT program was designed for grain industry professionals who are responsible for grain facility equipment and maintenance and repair, maintenance training, maintenance program protocol or systems development. This course also benefited grain facility managers and supervisors with equipment repair and maintenance roles, and frontline maintenance workers.

“I have enjoyed the instructors in the program who do a really great job conveying what they know and not talking over anyone’s heads,” said Duane Geiger, operations a manager at Michigan Agricultural Commodities in Marlette, Michigan, U.S. “I’ve also enjoyed listening and learning from all of the other people here that may have different approaches to installing or repairing the different machines and equipment.”

The training was led by KSU faculty and staff, as well as GEAPS members and several other industry professionals.

GEAPS is an organization that supports domestic and international grain storage industry, providing forums for exchanging ideas and information about continual improvement in grain and oilseed supply chain infrastructure operations. The partnership between the society and the KSU IGP Institute provides a wealth of industry knowledge through numerous distance education courses in the GEAPS learning program that are offered at IGP.

“We are looking forward to continue offering this type of course with the goal of always helping the industry,” Campabadal said.