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Complete Guide to Cushion Boxes for Grain Flow


Cash crops — including corn and wheat — accounted for more than $193 billion in the United States in 2019. Globally, corn, wheat and rice production result in nearly $475 billion each year. The grain production, storage and handling industry can yield great profits, but quality management is critical for protecting your bottom line and producing a good product. Grain cushion boxes are an integral part of on-farm quality management.

What Are Cushion Boxes?

When you’re working with grains, they are susceptible to a wide variety of damage. As grains dry, they become more vulnerable to splitting or breaking. One of the most common sources of grain damage comes from surface impact. This occurs when grains are moving too quickly and hit against metal surfaces, equipment and floors, splitting or fracturing in the process. Broken kernels do not yield the same market value as in-tact grains, and they may cost you and your team a lot of time and resources to remediate.

The best way to care for your grains at each stage of the process is to eliminate abrasive equipment and choose tools and components — like cushion boxes for grain storage — that encourage less metal- or impact-related grain damage.

Cushion boxes are mechanisms you use during the grain flow process. They slow movement and create a natural buffer between where your grain flows into storage and the grain itself, promoting a grain-on-grain landing instead of damaging grain-on-metal.

How Cushion Boxes Prevent Damaged Grain Problems

We understand the importance of grain quality in every production. Delivering high-quality, consistent grains to consumers impacts operational efficiency and production sales. More than that, upholding a specific standard for grain quality means maintaining your business reputation.

Grain damage occurs for several reasons, mainly during the harvesting stage and handling process. When the grain undergoes handling, it goes through a series of procedures, including grain free-falling, transportation via conveyor and transfer of stocks in elevators. The grain stock is at high risk of damage during one of these steps.

This is where cushion boxes come in handy. Incorporating cushion boxes into your grain handling machinery results in superior grain quality. It helps in preventing grain problems such as:

  • Cracked kernels: Stress fractures on kernels happen when grain equipment does not work at the optimum level. A series of factors can result in broken kernels, like inconsistent capacity levels or the overall structure of the machinery itself. A cushion box creates an extra layer to seamlessly and safely collect the grains for higher-quality products.
  • Inconsistent grain quality: Inconsistency in grain texture and size compromises the overall grain quality. Cushion boxes work in various capacity situations, either full or partial. It offers optimal cushion for free-falling grain, protecting kernels from damage that results in inconsistent grain quality. So even with grain-on-grain impact during handling, there’s a lesser risk of kernels getting split open partially or entirely.
  • Grain shrinkage: Inefficient grain handling equipment makes the product vulnerable to shrinkage. Any mechanical issue in the machinery affects the key points of the grain handling process, resulting in lower-quality kernel texture. Another cause of shrinkage is due to improper temperature control. Grains that dry out excessively become lighter or at higher risk of breakage, impacting their value.

Along with these common grain damages prevented by cushion boxes, it’s also essential to consider grain problems caused by insects and pests. During the growing season, pests become a threat to grain production businesses. These pests invade storage facilities, feeding on stored grain and reducing product volume.

Our DBAR Adjustable Cushion Box

DBAR adjustable cushion boxes — or Dead Box Adjustable Round cushion boxes — from LCDM use a patented form of technology to minimize more than 50% of grain damage or even prevent it entirely. What makes them unique is the adjustable baffle inside the cone that collects and protects your grains, regardless of capacity level. The outside is constructed out of a durable 8-gauge galvanized finish, perfect for any weather conditions or work environments. They are available in various sizes from 6 to 24 inches (custom sizes also available).

With a DBAR adjustable cushion box, you also get your choice of liner, including urethane lining options, which are versatile and cost-efficient.

Advantages of DBAR Cushion Boxes
When you use a DBAR adjustable cushion box, you get:

  • More efficient operations: Our innovative system creates consistency in your grain pockets and a convenient, customized level of cushion to suit your crop’s specific needs. The most significant advantage of an adjustable cushion box is the ability to use it at both full and partial capacity, saving you time and simplifying processes. Setup is fast, simple and requires very little labor or assistance. Cleaning is also a breeze, thanks to the oversized service doors and self-cleaning inner cone.
  • Better quality product: With more efficient processes in place, you will produce a higher quality grain with less breakage and save time doing it. Less wasted product, more usable grain and faster daily operations translate to more profit and less costly waste. Since the inner cone cleans itself, you can even avoid cross-contamination.
  • More versatile applications: Since you don’t have to wait to reach full capacity to use your cushion box, you can open your operations to broader applications without fear of damaging sensitive kernels.

Though we construct each DBAR adjustable cushion box out of resilient materials, the inner components are replaceable for the duration of its service life. The ability to replace components instead of purchasing an entirely new unit will help you save money as your production increases.

Investing in the Right Cushion Box for Your Facility

As experts in engineering grain handling products, we understand that every application needs the right cushion box for better grain quality and improved productivity. For easy decision-making, we’ve gathered the main reasons you should pick a specific design for your facility.

Choose DBAR Cushion Boxes for:

  • Variable grain capacities: When it comes to different grain capacity situations, we highly recommend our DBAR adjustable cushion boxes that work well with versatile applications. The adjustable baffle enables a seamless collection of grains at whatever the capacity extent, whether at half or full level.
  • Superior grain quality: DBAR’s patented design revolutionizes how grain flow operates. It reduces grain damage by substituting flow retarders with an improved structure that is gentler on grains. It optimizes the speed to ensure high-quality, consistent grain products that meet strict facility requirements. Its self-cleaning cone also limits the risks of cross-contamination during operations.
  • More productive production: Since the DBAR performs at different capacity situations, it minimizes operational downtime. The sturdy gauge body and galvanized finish also add to its adaptability to various work environments and even weather conditions, resulting in more efficient production.
  • Longer service life: The replaceable inner components contribute to the cushion box’s improved service life. There’s no need to buy entirely new equipment if it regresses. You simply substitute the parts according to your current requirements, extending the overall life of your equipment.
  • Bigger stock sizes: If your equipment needs a cushion box between 8 and 20 inches in size, our DBAR fits your specifications. Choose from the extensive size range, along with outer liner options, such as urethane, kryptane or ceramic tiles. You can also customize the liner upon request.
  • Seamless maintenance: Each DBAR cushion box comes with two extra large doors that offer easy cleaning of the cushion box. The unique feature makes removing dust and other debris much more efficient. Plus, the inner cone facilitates cleaner, safer grain application.

Choose Customized Grain Cushion Boxes for:

  • More detailed facility specifications: If DBAR does not fit your existing grain facilities, don’t worry because we can assist you. Count on us for custom cushion box designs. At LCDM, we tailor grain flow products to meet your distribution operation and improve overall process efficiency.
  • Unique layouts based on your request: We have a dedicated team who will work hand in hand with you to create custom-designed products. We put your visions to life through our staff’s expertise and our in-house 3D design software. Beyond our extensive knowledge and skills, you can rely on us to be with you every step of the way, from initial contact to the design phase to product installation.
  • Custom pricing that fits your budget: Along with our state-of-the-art designs, we make sure our products match your expected costs. We will discuss all the key procedures and resources needed to manufacture the equipment, along with their corresponding costs, so you can assess and prepare your budget in advance.

High-Quality Results Whatever Product You Choose

LCDM is your trusted manufacturer of expert agricultural material handling systems. Whether you choose DBAR or customized cushion boxes, you can rely on our expertise to provide high-quality products. We are committed to manufacturing grain handling equipment that helps streamline the production processes to produce consistent, premium grains.

We utilize CNC lasers and brake presses to ensure product precision and quality. These innovative features give you the satisfaction of using an accurate, effective product for your operations. More than that, we strive to make every interaction a positive one. We pride ourselves in our quick, efficient service backed by friendly and accommodating staff. Our high level of customer care makes us different. We work with you not to sell grain-handling products but rather to help your business succeed.

Trust LCDM’s Solutions When Purchasing a Cushion Box

Using a cushion box for grain is the best way to keep your grains and kernels safe from impact-related damage, resulting in less waste, increased profits and less time spent on remediating outdated handling processes. Have a custom project in mind? Every situation is different, which is why we offer custom grain flow product designs for our equipment. Contact us today to tell us more about your facility, and we’ll help you create the right cushion box for your available space and budget.

When you pair a cushion box with other distribution equipment from LCDM — like flow valves, flow retarders, deadstops, distributors, spreaders, dust suppressors and level sensors — you’re setting your farm or facility up for success. Learn more about LCDM products or request a print catalog today!

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