HOG SLAT BLOG – U.S.

North Carolina Broiler Farm Retro Improves Performance 0

Rodney and Brett Bowden with new Airstorm 54" fan

Rodney and Brett Bowden with new Airstorm 54″ fan

To the best of my knowledge, when we built them in 1989, these were the first tunnel/natural ventilated houses constructed in the state,” explained Rodney Bowden at his family farm near Clinton, NC.  “We’ve always had good results in the buildings, but the recent upgrades have improved our performance.”

Rodney added two GrowerSELECT 54″ AirStorm fans per house to increase airspeed and reduce the ambient temperature.  The durable AirStorm 54″ fans feature a fiberglass housing, plastic shutters, and a stainless steel prop.

GrowerSELECT Classic Flood feed pans

GrowerSELECT Classic Flood feed pans

The next step in the upgrade was to replace the original feed pans with GrowerSELECT Classic Flood feeders. Rodney said, “Installing the new pans helps minimize wasted feed when the birds are young and has improved my feed conversion during grow out.”

Bowden-control-pan(web)These investments have paid off with an increased bird performance and helped Rodney settle in first place among his group several times since the upgrade.

Click GrowerSELECT for more information about our quality feeding and ventilation systems.  

Hog Slat’s Wind Tunnel Key to Constant Fan Improvement 0

Management expert Peter Drucker is often quoted as saying that “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” We believe this is particularly true when it comes to developing, improving and testing ventilation fans.

Hog Slat's Wind Tunnel

Hog Slat’s Wind Tunnel

Hog Slat’s AirStorm and Windstorm ventilation fans are designed and tested using an Airflow Performance Test Chamber, or as it more commonly known, a Wind Tunnel. Measuring 10′ x 10′ x 28′ long, the Wind Tunnel was constructed according to AMCA standard 210 and installed at the Clinton, NC facility in May 2015.

Fans to be tested are fixed in place on one end of the Wind Tunnel.

Air Forcing fan powered by a 20 Hp motor

Air Forcing fan powered by a 20 HP motor

A 48″ axial vane fan, powered by a 20 hp motor, located on the opposite end of the tunnel, forces air into the chamber.

Nozzle wall

Nozzle Wall

After passing through a series of mesh straighteners, the air is then forced through a nozzle wall consisting of metal cones that can be opened and closed to change available square inches of space.

data transmitters feed

Pressure transmitters feed data to the automated recording system.

 

Two devices, called Differential Pressure Transmitters, measure and record the static pressure differential on each side of the nozzle wall.  To maintain precise accuracy, the transmitters are calibrated monthly and are also returned to the manufacturer for a factory re-calibration once per year.

One of the key features of Hog Slat’s test chamber is the automated recording system that records data without any manual input from an operator. The Wind Tunnel is ramped up from zero to maximum static pressure while up to two data points per second are recorded in real time. This automated recording system is a custom program developed by a team from Hog Slat’s engineering group. This allows Wind Tunnel technician, Matt Parker, to supply the engineering group with a complete fan performance graph instead of limiting the information to only a few selected data points.

Technician Matt Parker views display screen readouts.

Technician Matt Parker views display screen readouts.

Lead engineer for ventilation products, Tyler Marion explains; “Having a Wind Tunnel in-house allows us to quickly break down a fan by critical components and test multiple variables quickly. We are able to test different motor/fan combinations, shutter designs, and cone styles to constantly improve the fans Hog Slat delivers to our customers.”

QC testing fan blades.

QC testing fan blades

Hog Slat’s Wind Tunnel is not only used for fan testing and development, it also serves as a Quality Control check on products received from suppliers. The photo above shows a galvanized prop mounted in standard fan ring. In this case, the initial run of product from the vendor is being checked against the approved sample. This testing continues for each production run to ensure the same performance levels from lot to lot. QC checks are also run for completed fans pulled from inventory and checked against published standards for airflow, CFM/watt and motor amperage.

Matt tests Windstorm 36" Box Fan

Matt tests a Windstorm 36″ Box Fan using the Thrust Tester.

A new addition to our fan testing equipment is the device called a Thrust Tester. The Thrust Tester measures the amount of thrust (lbf or pounds of force) a stir or circulation fan develops.  It also measures the thrust efficiency ratio of a fan by dividing the lbf by kWs used. Although the Thrust Test is a stand-alone unit, it is tied into the Wind Tunnel transmitters to record the data. Matt also records centerline velocity at distances five times the prop diameter.

To see more on Hog Slat’s complete line of AirStorm fiberglass and Windstorm galvanized ventilation fans go to www.hogslat.com or call 800-949-4647.

 

GrowerSELECT…Change the Way You Buy 0

Broiler houses at a Georgia farm.

Broiler houses at a Georgia farm.

When it comes down to it, the cost of manufacturing a high-quality product is the same for most companies producing equipment for the livestock and poultry markets. Most companies have identified the most efficient methods to build an anchor bearing, motor, feeder, nipple waterers, etc.

 

The real cost difference comes from the delivery of those products to the end user. The standard model of distribution, in our industry, involves a manufacturer producing a product line, warehousing it, and employing a sales force to establish a dealer network.

 

The dealer network stocks the equipment, maintains a storefront, hires salespeople, installs, and services the production systems in a local area for the brand of equipment they represent.

This particular type of distribution model has changed very little over the history of the livestock and poultry production industries. Each member of this distribution model is an independent business entity and is free to add whatever margins they deem necessary (or possible) to the final cost a producer pays.

GrowerSELECT supply chain removes extra dealer margins to producer.

GrowerSELECT supply chain removes extra margins to reduce the final cost to end users.

 

 

Sold through a different type of distribution model, GrowerSELECT goes directly to livestock and poultry growers through our network of regional local stores. Because we own the distribution chain from top to bottom, we add only ONE MARKUP over our cost.

 

Our cost is based on finished goods plus ONE MARKUP vs. MULTIPLE MARKUPS from the typical distribution model.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, we would suggest that we are the low-cost producer for most products. Wait a minute; the first paragraph said the cost of manufacturing was the same for everyone.

 

True. But if a brand has a loyal dealer network, the pricing to the dealer network will not be challenged. A loyal dealer will continue to buy brand name products even if the cost is excessive.

 

GrowerSELECT auger motor with 2 year warranty.

GrowerSELECT auger motor with 2-year warranty.

Name brand motors are a perfect example of this. An auger or fan company buys a motor from a motor manufacturer, puts their logo on it and sells it to a local supplier. The local supplier sells the motor to the end user adding little value to the final price. A local supplier has few other options. Their volume of a particular motor isn’t high enough to go directly to a motor manufacturer, and they have little negotiating power with their chosen brand vendor. The brand company has little incentive to lower the cost to a loyal dealer network. In fact, a brand company can charge different prices in different geographical locations depending on market pressure.

 

 

Compare this with GrowerSELECT motors. Our network of over 70 store locations and turnkey construction business allows for large purchases of motors direct from a manufacturer. We forecast purchase amounts for each store location and ship directly with minimal warehousing cost. Local retail pricing continually drives us to buy at a more competitive price.

 

The conventional distribution chain is directed from the TOP DOWN versus the GrowerSELECT model which is driven from the BOTTOM UP. Lower pricing for comparable products is the result.

 

The GrowerSELECT distribution model also affects product responsibility. Because we interact directly with the end users, we deal directly with any problems arising with the installed products. We sell it; we service it, and the end user works with one company.

 

The traditional marketing chain allows room for some question regarding who is responsible for dealing with equipment failures when those problems arise. The manufacturer can blame poor installation, dealer system design, or a number of other reasons (excuses) for a product’s failure. A local supplier can blame the brand company for poor design or manufacturing flaws. The GrowerSELECT distribution system eliminates “finger pointing” and focuses on providing accountability to each and every customer.

gold-coins-on-calculator-with-GS-logoOur customers produce commodities. The lowest cost commodity producer is always the most successful. Our mission is to provide our customers long term value at the lowest possible cost.

 

Ask yourself this question; “Are all the manufacturers, distributors, dealers, installers, and service personnel creating ADDED VALUE in the distribution chain I buy from?” If you hesitated while answering that question, take the next step by changing the way you buy and implementing GrowerSELECT equipment into your operation.

To contact a sales representative in your area or find our nearest locations to you, click here.

Hog Slat to Exhibit at the 2015 World Pork Expo 0

Hog Slat will be exhibiting at this year’s World Pork Expo with many new and further developed swine equipment products, highlighting Hog Slat’s GrowerSELECT product line.

 

At the show, Hog Slat will have a large variety of equipment on display in both the exhibition hall (Booth V165 VIB) and at the Hog Slat hospitality tent (Tent G234). Equipment that will be on display includes Hog Slat’s Grow-Flex Feed System, Grow-Disk Feed System, Slats, and an introduction to Hog Slat’s AirStorm fans. We invite you to stop by the Hog Slat booth to see what’s new at the show.

 

Enjoy FREE ADMISSION to the 2015 World Pork Expo, courtesy of Hog Slat. You may redeem your admission voucher by registering online at www.worldpork.org by May 28th and use voucher code HogSlat2015. Or, present a hard copy of our voucher (available through the Hog Biz, local Hog Slat retail stores, or your local sales contact) during on-site registration the day of the expo.  Expo registration is located in the Animal Learning Center inside Gate 15.

 

Craving some good BBQ? Stop by the Hog Slat hospitality tent anytime during expo to enjoy Vinny’s BBQ, located in Dakota City, IA. Vinny’s will be serving lunch and dinner both Wednesday and Thursday of the expo.

 

The World Pork Expo is held June 3rd-5th in Des Moines, IA at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Visit us at the show in booth V165 in the Varied Industries Building and Hospitality Tent G234. We hope to see you at the show!

Hog Slat Launches AirStorm Ventilation Fans 0

airstorm logo

Hog Slat’s launch of AirStorm fiberglass fans continues our commitment to reducing the price swine and poultry farmers pay for production equipment. Manufactured at our facilities in Iowa and North Carolina, AirStorm fans offer dependable performance at very attractive prices. Here is a look at several key features illustrating the quality designed into AirStorm fans.

 

itm-as-36-img no shutter coneQuality starts with Resin Transfer Molded (RTM)  fiberglass housings. Fiberglass parts produced by a RTM process have two finished surfaces and high glass-to-resin ratio. The result is a very finished looking product with high weight-to-strength characteristics. A direct side-by-side comparison of competitive brands shows AirStorm housings to be noticeably thicker. Polyethylene discharge cones reduce weight and cost.

 

itm-as-36-img back shutter

 

True airfoil vanes on the PVC shutters reduce air drag to improve fan delivery. Full-length spring steel rods, instead of short endpins, keep the vanes securely mounted into the frame.

 

itm-as-54-img back gaurdHeavy-weight, stainless steel motor mounts, and hardware offer more protection from rust and corrosion than comparable aluminum mounts. Stainless Steel (36″ & 54″) or composite (24″) props outlast plastic or aluminum and stay “in-balance” through actual on-farm conditions. High service factor motors provide protection against varying line voltages common with rural power sources.

 

stack of coinsThe lower purchase price of AirStorm fans results from a different type of distribution model. The traditional marketing channel for ventilation equipment consists of a manufacturer selling fans to a local dealer who marks the price up before selling to livestock producers. The cost of AirStorm fans is lower because we manufacture and sell directly to the end user. Hog Slat controls the distribution chain from start (manufacturing and sourcing) to finish (sale to the end user) and can limit the amount of “stacked margins” in the final purchase price. (See more about Margin Stack) Our network of local stores provides service at a cost lower than typical dealer distribution systems.

For pricing and ordering information go to Airstorm Fans