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The Equipment You Need to Optimize Your Grain Distribution

In the grain industries, it’s essential to maintain efficiency so your product output meets demand. However, you must maximize your output without decreasing your stock’s quality. You can do this by incorporating the proper equipment into every step of your grain-handling process.

LCDM has the exceptional and reliable equipment you need to improve your product’s quality and your team’s productivity. Learn more about our custom grain handling equipment you can use to upgrade your grain bin and streamline your process.

Grain Flow Cushion Boxes

As grain loses its moisture content, it’s more susceptible to damage, like splitting and breaking. When grain free-falls down the spout, it can come into contact with equipment, floors and metal surfaces, causing it to break. Damaged kernels don’t have the same value as intact ones. You can prevent damaged grains by investing in a cushion box.

Cushion boxes act as a natural buffer between your grain and where it flows into storage. They also slow movement during the grain flow process. There are two key types of grain cushion boxes — Dead Box Adjustable Round (DBAR) cushion boxes and round cushion boxes.

DBAR Cushion Boxes

DBAR cushion boxes minimize grain damage by at least 50% or prevent it entirely. The unit has an internal cone that cushions grain as it collects it. There’s also an upper service door and lower inspection door on the equipment to allow easy access for maintenance and cleaning. Some unique features of the DBAR cushion box are:

  • Custom cushion level: What makes the DBAR cushion boxes unique is an adjustable baffle that allows you to customize the grain cushion level.
  • Liner options: You can extend the life of your unit with liners. They’re easy to replace and are available in three grades, so you can choose the best one for your grain type.
  • Replaceable parts: The unit’s inner components are replaceable, so you don’t have to purchase a new unit.
  • Various sizes: Choose from stock sizes ranging from 8 to 20 inches or request a custom size.
  • Versatility: You can use it at partial and full capacity.
  • Durability: The DBAR cushion box is built to last and function in all operating conditions and environments.

Round Cushion Boxes

Round cushion boxes are the same as DBAR cushion boxes but without the adjustable baffle. Because of this, round-style cushion boxes are ideal for grain operations that work at full flow. The advantages of round cushion boxes include the following:

  • Cost-effective: While the cost of the box depends on the size you order, including custom sizes, it can be more cost-effective for smaller operations to choose a round cushion box.
  • Various sizes: You can choose from stock sizes ranging from 6 to 16 inches or order a custom size.
  • Durability: Round cushion boxes can withstand extreme weather and operating conditions.
  • Liner options: Various liners are compatible with round cushion boxes.

Slide Gates

Slide gates are crucial for controlling the flow of grain or other bulk material at the different discharge points of grain systems. They control grain or material flow with slide plates that can open or close as needed.

You can place slide gates at emergency shut-off locations, beneath hoppers, on conveyors and in other areas as required. Their leak-proof inlet collars ensure a tight seal to prevent grain from leaking when the gates are closed. LCDM offers a dust seal kit to further prevent leakage.

These gates work as stand-alone devices or as a part of your bulk material handling system. The various slide gate options include rack and pinion and the hopper bottom attachment.

Rack and Pinion Slide Gates

Rack and pinion slide gates are steel gates with an easy-to-use design. When the operator activates the gate, its opener opens and closes the slide gate. These gates are cost-effective and flexible. The different operation types for rack and pinion slide gates include:

  • Manual: The most common rack and pinion slide gates are manual. Manual gates have the adaptability to fit various applications. They’re ideal for compact grain systems in tight spaces.
  • Electric: You use a programmable logic controller (PLC) to automate the function of an electric pinion gate. PLCs can control multiple slide gates, allowing faster response times and increased reliability and flexibility.
  • Gear drive: These pinion gates are popular for commercial settings where there are too many gates to open manually. Gear drive gates have an electric motor that automates the process.
  • Pneumatic: Pneumatic gates use an air cylinder to operate. You can add solenoids and limit switches to them. These gates work well in silos, mixers, screw conveyors and hoppers. Because pneumatic gates have more force and power than manual gates, they have faster response times. They’re most commonly used in commercial and feed mill operations.

Hopper Slide Gate Bottom Attachment

The hopper bottom adapter attaches to most hopper bins to control material flow at the bottom of the unit. Hopper slide gates can attach to three different hoppers:

  • Scale: Scale hoppers fill bags in bulk with a consistent weight. Hopper attachments start and stop the material flow during maintenance and processing.
  • Surge: A slide gate under a surge hopper shuts off material flow to prevent leakage. If the material leaks, it can pressurize the equipment or leak into the atmosphere. Surge hopper gates can have various flow settings, such as full-open, full-close and in-between.
  • Day bin: Day bin slide gates control material flow during the processing line.

Grain Full Flow Valves

Grain flow valves control how fast grain moves through the discharge points and how much grain moves through the system. They work with a rotating “pan” that advances and closes the valve or retracts and opens the valve. Full flow valves allow you to accommodate the spout flow to maximize grain flow when they’re open.

Like slide gates, full flow valves can operate:

  • Gear-driven: Gear drive valves are best for operations where cable controls are difficult or impossible to install.
  • Electrically: Electrical valves are for commercial settings where you can’t install cable controls.
  • Manually: These are the most common full flow valves. They come in varying sizes for flexibility.
  • Pneumatic: Air-powered pneumatic valves are standard in feed mills and commercial grain operations.

Contact LCDM for Custom Grain Distribution Equipment

LCDM provides grain flow products of the highest quality. Our superior designs and engineering help us create easy-to-use products that increase efficiency.

Some of our popular products are grain full flow valves, side gates and cushion boxes. Adding these products to your grain handling process will maximize your productivity and save you time and money. We offer various stock and customization options for our products so you can get the products you need for your grain operation.

Contact us online or call us at 888-963-9145 today to get started.

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