IPPE Essmueller booth
Essmueller said IPPE is its main show for meeting with international customers. 
Photos by Susan Reidy.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA, U.S. — With 30,000-plus attendees, feed processing and grain handling equipment suppliers find the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) a convenient way to connect with customers from all over in the world in one place.


IPPE started Jan. 30 in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., and continues through Feb. 1. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is scheduled to speak in the morning on Jan. 31.

The show is especially beneficial for meeting with international customers, several exhibitors said. IPPE offers a wide range of services to international visitors, including translation, import-export counseling, export directories and an Exporting 101 program.

“It’s become one of our two main shows and it is our main show for seeing international customers,” said Mike Resner, senior applications engineer with Essmueller, Laurel, Mississippi, U.S. “A lot of people come into Atlanta from overseas that we only get to see once a year.”

International business accounts for about 25% of Essmueller’s overall business. With its location close to New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S., the company is able to containerize many of its products for shipping overseas.

IPPE Essmueller booth
Essmueller showcased its Abel gates, a product it started manufacturing in Laurel, Mississippi, U.S., nearly two years ago. 
Essmueller was showcasing its Abel slide gates at the show, a product that it bought in 2016 and moved manufacturing from Wisconsin to Mississippi.


“We’re probably outproducing what they did when they were up in Wisconsin,” Resner said. “We will be marketing our conveyors as Essmueller conveyors with Abel gates in the very near future.”

Quoting volumes are very high right now and orders are starting to come in, said Matt Mclean, vice-president at Essmueller.

Resner said the economy has been improving and that usually means capital projects will do better.

“We look forward to it being another solid year for Essmueller,” he said.

Sweet Manufacturing Co.’s Brandon Fultz said it’s nice the show attracts customers from around the world, which saves the company the expense of international travel.

One trend the Springfield, Ohio, U.S.-based company is noticing are requests for customization.

“We have our core line of what we offer and we’re seeing customers ask to add different features,” Fultz said. “A lot of it has to do with safety and keeping the process flowing. Being a smaller company, we are a little more agile and can do the customization.”

IPPE Buhler booth
The Multimpact Max hammer mill by Bühler has intensive safety features. 
Bühler, based in Uzwil, Switzerland, had several pieces of equipment on display at its booth, including its AHHC/D pellet mill and Multimpact Max hammer mill.


The hammer mill offers coarse grinding capacities up to 60 tph and has several unique features, including unique screen character making screen changes easy.

“It has the most intensive safety features,” said Dan Lundt, sales director, feed and oilseeds North America. “We did an in-depth safety analysis to make sure it’s very safe in all operations.”

The pellet mill on display has a capacity of 25 tph, making it ideal for smaller integrator operations or companies that don’t have as many animals but have a need for high pelleting capacity at good efficiency, he said.

It has a hygienizing mode to help in the reduction of pathogens such as salmonella.

IPPE Buhler booth
Bühler showcased its AHHC/D pellet mill with capacities of up to 25 tph.
Chief Agri, based in Kearney, Nebraska, U.S., said people are starting to spend money, partly because of changes to the tax law.


“Owners and feed mill managers are looking to use the money they’re getting back on their taxes,” said Paul Allen, Lemanco product manager with Chief. “They’re either hiring people or buying new equipment.”

Internationally he noted there’s been growth in Central and South Americas as well as Russia and Ukraine.

AGI, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, said it’s seeing growth in Brazil, where it’s in the process of commissioning a new 300,000-square-foot manufacturing facility.

“We’re seeing great growth potential in Brazil,” said Shawn Conway, general manager AGI VIS. “The new facility is getting orders on a regular basis.”

In addition to Brazil, AGI has manufacturing and supply networks throughout Canada and in Italy, Australia, South Africa and the U.K.

“Being close to our clients and being able to provide a level of service around the world is very important to us,” Conway said.

AGI has been able to spread its network in part due to multiple acquisitions over the last several years. The most recent was CMC Industries and Junge.

“What we try to do is provide a full system solution to our clients, and make sure we’re diversified enough to grow the portfolio and help everyone,” Conway said.

Diversification also helps the company when business is slow.

“We’re looking across the globe and making sure we are strong in all the areas of the world,” he said. “If there’s price depression in the U.S., we can focus on the Ukraine or Australia. We need to keep our prices and manufacturing costs effective so we can give great priced and quality equipment to our customers.”