SMART Conveyors™ Corn Test

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Our goal at BE&E is to manufacture the world’s best drag conveyors—for biomass, pellets, grain, and whatever other materials our equipment moves. Yet to this end, we’re never satisfied. We’re always looking to improve because we know we can do better.

Grain handling is no exception in our quest. We haven’t assumed our SMART Conveyors™ will work perfectly for grains as they’re currently designed. So, we’ve tested them.

Corn Conveyors

We recently built a test carousel consisting of two 18S SMART Conveyors™, one configured as a bottom-drag conveyor and the other configured as a top-drag conveyor. We poured corn kernels into these and then observed the results.

First, and most importantly, our conveyors successfully cycled kernels through the system, proving that our paddles do move grain despite not touching the floor or sidewalls. One of our most unique designs—our paddles—works for materials other than biomass, the material they most often convey.

We did, however, observe kernels passing through the gaps around the paddles on inclines. This behavior isn’t unique to corn, but the kernels’ small particle size and free-flowing nature exacerbated it. Some kernels also remained stationary under the paddles in horizontal sections, which may be problematic in applications where cleanout is required.

Furthermore, we noticed that kernels collected on the flat, horizontal surfaces of the paddle frames. The kernels fell off the frames as the paddles rounded the head and tail, but nonetheless, we want to prevent the product from collecting anywhere inside the conveyor.

Grain Handling Results

After noting our observations, we brainstormed solutions to these issues, the simplest of which was to add a tail scoop and paddle brushes. Tail scoops are something we’ve already designed and implemented in several applications. The scoops consist of a panel that closely follows the curvature of the paddles as they round the tail, preventing material from collecting there. Brushes, on the other hand, would sweep material from the trough in horizontal sections and increase the paddles’ efficiency on inclines.

The test proved highly informative to our team and spurred numerous ideas about how we can modify SMART Conveyors™ to perform optimally in grain applications. We’re confident our equipment can do the job not just well but better than other drag conveyors on the market. We’re always learning, always adapting, always innovating—and that’s ultimately what makes our conveyors SMART.

Contact BE&E today about equipping your grain facility with our conveyors.

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