The E-Z Clean corner simplifies management by permitting an easy visual check of the corner wheels and quick access to any problem.
The E-Z Clean corner simplifies management by permitting an easy visual check of the corner wheels and quick access to any problem.
Today’s livestock and poultry operations rely on electric motors for a variety of feeding and ventilation functions. Used in buildings that can be both dusty and humid, with fluctuations in voltage and varying workloads we subject our motors to a very hostile work environment.
When selecting replacement motors, it is important to select motors that are both efficient and designed with a “safety factor” that will allow them to last under harsh conditions.
While you may be familiar with the term Service Factor or S.F., there are a couple of important designations found on a motor nameplate that may need more clarification.
Service Factor is defined as a motor’s ability to operate under a short-term load. The higher a motor’s S.F. rating, the more durable the motor. Motors with high S.F. are expected to last longer. To illustrate, a 1-1/2 Hp motor with a 1.5 S.F. can provide 2.25 Hp for short-term use. However, it is not a good practice to continuously operate a motor above the rated workload. In other words, the same 1-1/2 Hp motor with 1.5 SF would not be selected to power a 60″ fan originally shipped with a 2 Hp motor.
Full Load Amps or F.L.A. represents the amount of current the motor is designed to draw at the rated horsepower. In the example nameplate, this means that when the motor is running under a full load at 230 volts, we can expect it to draw 5.4 amps. Motors with a lower F.L.A. for the amount of horsepower are considered more efficient to operate.
Service Factor Amps or S.F.A. represents the amount of current the motor will draw when running at the full Service Factor. In the example nameplate, the S.F.A. is eight amps at 230 volts.
Continually exceeding the S.F.A. shown on the nameplate can shorten motor life. Motors with a higher S.F.for the same horsepower have an increased “safety factor” and are expected to last longer under harsh conditions.
The most efficient, rugged motors are designed with a higher S.F., lower F.L.A., and higher S.F.A ratings. By comparing the information on a motor nameplate, we can select the best replacement motors for feeding and ventilation equipment.
Hog Slat designed the GrowerSELECT line of motors to help simplify a producer’s decision on selecting replacement motors. GrowerSELECT motors feature a high Service Factor (as high as 1.5) and higher S.F.A. rating to increase motor life. Each model number is a direct cross to the most popular brands of feed systems and fans used on producers’ farms. No matter what your existing brand of equipment we have a GrowerSELECT motor designed to replace it and save money while doing so. Shop GrowerSELECT motors.
Hog Slat’s newest feed drop hangs straight under the feed pipe to reduce twist. Available in two models; HSSD60C for mounting on Grow-Disk metal pipe or HSS55DC for model 55 PVC pipe.
The Center Drop is molded from UV stable polypropylene to prevent damage from sunlight and cold temperatures. An open-top design permits direct installation on feed pipe and a large access plug allows access to inside of the feeder. A plastic clip for record cards completes the exterior features.
The Center Drop features positive open/close shutoff.
Large adjustment dial permits single-hand regulation feed settings from one to eight pounds.
Nylon wheel reduces wear on lifter cord and the weighted ball securely seals bottom opening.
To order go to http://hogslat.com/hog-slat-center-drop-sow-feeder-8-lb
Hog Slat’s Drop Tube Assembly completes the installation to a metal pipe. Available in 2″ or 3″ models, the flared top reduces feed spillage and provides a flexible mount to sow drops.
One of the benefits we list for the Grow-Disk system is a “superior chain.” The feed chain with molded plastic disks is the main component of the system, physically moving feed to a feeder or sow drop.
I dropped in on Hog Slat’s engineering group to see what I could find out. I found Tim Hawkins, the project engineer for the Grow-Disk product line. Tim led me to a complicated looking run of 12 corners occurring in less than eight feet with intersecting vertical and horizontal corners.
“The drive unit is off of it now,” Tim explained, “but we ran different brands of chain through this setup to show accelerated wear. Look at this…..see the metal filings in the bottom of the corner? Those showed up when we ran the last batch of electroplated chain through the unit. The process of electroplating weakens steel causing it to wear faster.”
“This confirmed the difference between using hardened steel compared to galvanized or electroplated chain. Hardened steel is high carbon steel given heat treatments of quenching followed by tempering. The result is tough steel chain that resists wear without being brittle. We can run a hardened chain for days and never see filings like that.”
“With most chain feeding systems you have to adjust for “chain stretch” after the systems have operated for awhile. We don’t think the individual chain links stretch but as they go around corners constantly rubbing together they elongate because of wear.”
“The only reason, to galvanize steel, is to prevent rust. With the fat and oils in the feed, the chain doesn’t rust in the tube. Most brands of feeding chain is galvanized for it’s appearance before installation. A new bag of Grow-Disk may have some surface rust on it, not a big deal.”
We next looked at how well the plastic disks are fastened to the chain.
“We placed each brand of chain link in a load cell and attached it to a winch, measuring the force needed to pull the disks off the link.”
“Most of the disks pulled off at 300 lbs., although one slipped at only 160 pounds! We applied over 600 lbs. of force to the Grow-Disk disk before it slipped.”
“First of all, the disks are manufactured from nylon, a stronger, denser plastic instead of polypropylene.
Second, if you look closely at all the chains the connector welds are smooth, except on the Grow-Disk chain….see the little knob? That knob prevents the nylon disk from slipping…the nylon has to break instead of just slipping.”
“Most feeding chain suppliers buy general purpose chain with the knob removed. By using a chain fabricated “in-house” and designed specifically for feed systems, we can produce a superior product.”
“A strong plastic disk is important because the drive sprocket powering the entire system makes contact with each, single disk for a brief moment. If an individual disk slips this causes the chain to be slightly out of alignment causing possible jams.”
You can be confident using Grow-Disk chain knowing you are buying the very best even though the cost is usually less.
Hog Slat streamlined distribution system reduces margin stacking. We manufacture and source products direct to you….eliminating extra dealer margins.
Good product engineering does not add cost to a product but instead takes manufacturing processes into account to reduce costs. It costs no more to spec a hardened chain with knobs intact to provide a better contact for injecting the nylon disk. The result is a superior product that lasts longer on your farm.
Grow-Disk systems, read more…
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!
Every once in while you run across a product that is such a simple answer to a problem that you just have to say “Wow, why didn’t somebody think of that a long time ago?”
The severe winter of 2010 had us looking for an answer to monitor feed levels in bulk bins. Remember that winter? Record snow, cold, windy…feed outages were a real problem. Nobody can or should climb an icy ladder in that kind of weather. There are some existing solutions like load cells and sonar systems, but we were looking for a simpler, less expensive way to check feed levels and protect against feed outages.
So we started looking into a ways to accomplish feed level monitoring…electronic sensors mounted in the bin walls, electric sensor cables hung in the bins, sonar bouncing devices from a fish finder…
One of the biggest problems that we kept coming back to was that all these methods required power be run to the bins to operate them. Extra expense……harder to install…more of a chance for break downs and failure to occur.
Then along comes the Bin Flag….
A simple, mechanical device that uses a paddle inside the bin to rotate a sight cylinder to indicate when material is present. Primarily used in industry applications to monitor levels in hopper for materials like sand, gravel, plastic beads…… it is the perfect device to measure feed levels for swine and poultry bulk bins.
It meets all the criteria we had established
1) No electricity to operate
2) Installs from the outside of the bin and you don’t need to lift the bin to install
3) Low cost
4) Flexible: basic method would be install a unit just above the cone to know when it is critical to order feed. Producers also have the option of adding additional Bin Flags for more advanced monitoring.
5) Very visible: big added bonus. You can visually see the Bin Flag from up to 200 feet away. You know in a glance from across the yard how much feed is in the bins….drive by a site and check feed levels from your truck seat. It doesn’t have to be cold for that to be a bonus.
There are more details online….go to http://www.hogslat.com/bin-flag-feed-level-indicator to order today.
There’s even a way to hook up Bin Flag to your existing alarm to call you when feed levels drop to a critical level. We’ll talk about that in the next blog or so.
One of the newest tools utilized by Hog Slat’s engineering group is a 3D printer. About the size of a small refrigerator, the 3D printer generates plastic prototype parts from computer generated 3D models.
A member of Hog Slat’s engineering group, Andrew Mitchell took a few minutes to show us how it worked.
“Here’s a feed line drop adaptor we designed for the Grow-Disk™ system,” explained Andrew as he pulled up a 3D model on his computer screen. “We needed to develop a model that would work on both metal and plastic tubes. Since these tubes have slightly different diameters, we wanted to test the fit before proceeding with molding.”
The cube in the screen represents the printer’s chamber, and the white image is a digital model. The program divides the object into digital cross-sections and the printer builds the object in layers. The printer makes multiple passes spraying very thin layers of plastic until the final shape is complete.
“You can almost compare the printer to a giant glue gun that accurately places liquid plastic down in precise layers,” Andrew said, “The process can take from several hours up to several days depending on the size of the item. The maximum size part we can print is 10” x 10” x 12” tall”
“We were able to take the prototype drop adaptor and test it on both the metal and plastic feed tubes. We made a few small dimensional adjustments and proceeded with complete confidence that the final part would fit as we intended.”
Located in McLeansboro, IL, L&L Farms began their hog farming operation in 1994 raising 400 sows. Since then, Jeff and his family along with the help of quality employees have grown their breed to wean operation to 4,000 sows housed in 2 locations. We spoke with owner, Jeff Lueke:
Jeff, you have purchased several Grow-Disk™ systems, why did you decide to install this feeding system?
I really felt like we were gaining efficiencies in the farrowing department. We saw how it could provide advantages to our employees, allowing them to be more efficient and manage more sows. Within our operation we also set target goals. These goals consisted of narrowing down the wean to first service interval, drive a heavier pig out the door at weaning, and increase lactation length leading to subsequent larger litter sizes for pigs. In our management plan, we felt that these two products, SowMAX and Grow-Disk, would be a big help to reach our target goals by getting more feed to the sows.
How many Grow-Disk™ systems have you installed?
3. All have been installed into our farrowing barns, but I would not hesitate to install them into any application.
How do you use Grow-Disk™ to feed the sows?
We combine the Grow-Disk with the SowMAX. We feel that the combination of these products delivers a very good program. We basically want the sows to have access to full feed. Between these two products we feel that we can deliver that to our sows very efficiently. The system still gives us flexibility to limit feed intake because we include the Sow Drop. The Sow Drop allows us to limit feed intake if we want to, whether it is in early lactation, pre-farrowing, or for the first three days post-farrowing. In post-farrowing we schedule to feed five times throughout the day, in pre-farrowing we schedule to feed twice a day.
How have the Grow-Disk™ systems performed for you? What benefits have you seen?
I have no complaints; I do believe that we are getting more daily feed intake from our sows with the system. The system is hands-off, requiring less labor to feed. With this automatic feeding we are able to keep feed available, and produce less wastage.
Why did you choose Grow-Disk™ instead of a flexible auger system for your project?
My local sales contact, Carl Herrmann, shared with me some of the advantages that Grow-Disk can offer. Knowing that it was a new product, and knowing that I’ve had success with Hog Slat products in the past, it made me anxious to try it. I think its heavy duty, reliable, and I have not been disappointed.
Switching gears, tell us about your routine feeding with SowMAX.
The system that we set up is basically designed to keep feed available for the sow to access at all times, but not have so much feed supply that if there was a malfunction we would have a pit full of feed. The system allows us to make that work. At most any time there’s 12-20 lbs. of feed available to the sow. If that particular sow wants to get up at 6 a.m. and eat 15 pounds of feed, it’s there. If a sow wants to eat five small meals throughout the day she has the opportunity to do that as well. I think that we forget that hogs are somewhat individuals like people, and may all have a little different idea of how they want to eat. In the past when we fed with a scoop and cart, the sows got trained to jump up and eat whenever it was time to feed. Even if a litter of piglets just started nursing, the sow still jumped up to eat. The sows are much more content and apt to eat at their convenience than they are when you decide when it’s time to feed. For daily management of the SowMAX, we clean and make necessary adjustments to the feeders twice a day. We have been able to keep SowMAX feeders cleaner compared to other systems. The feeders are simple and easy to utilize and maintain.
What advantages have you noticed with SowMAX over how you fed sows in the past?
We have been able to accomplish our management goals by incorporating SowMAX into our operation. I do believe we have raised heavier pigs. We have noticed that SowMAX wastes less feed and requires less maintenance compared to a solid tube. Having the ability to keep fresh feed in front of the sow all day has been a great benefit.
Do you use any other Hog Slat equipment?
We incorporate Hog Slat’s concrete slats, penning, boar carts, Sow Drops, farrowing crates, and Tridek flooring, among others into our operation. I’ve found this equipment to meet my standards for over 20 years.
Do you have any suggestions for other hog farmers looking into the GrowerSELECT® product line?
It’s a viable program that should be looked at. I think it is cost efficient for the performance. It would be an asset to any building project.
Appropriate maintenance and troubleshooting of a Grow-Disk chain feeding system will lead to smooth operation and a longer lifetime of the components.
Use this inspection checklist as a guide to maintaining your Grow-Disk feed system.
**Caution: Disconnect power before performing any maintenance.
If you experience an issue with a Grow-Disk Feed System, initial machinery inspection is important. Any troubleshooting exercise should begin with a thorough investigation of the machine, process, design, operation, and system maintenance records. To assist in troubleshooting the Grow-Disk feed system, use the Grow-Disk Troubleshooting Chart.
To learn more about Grow-Disk feed system visit http://www.hogslat.com/grower-select-grow-disk-feed-system