GSI FlexWave Technology Efficiently Cleans Grain Storage
Traditionally, grain bin owners have emptied bins using a combination of gravity and augers or bin sweep technology. However, these approaches leave grain on the bin floor that needs to be manually swept out. It’s a time-consuming, dirty job that can be dangerous if done while an auger is still running.
GSI’s new, patent-pending FlexWave technology eliminates this labor-intense, inefficient task. The system uses two large liners that take turns inflating and deflating to gently push any leftover grain into a centrally-located conveyor trough. A control system automatically senses the amount of grain and shuts off once the process is complete.
“FlexWave technology results in 99% cleanout and eliminates the risk of entrapment from falling grain or auger entanglement since it is truly a zero-entry bin unload method,” says Greg Trame, GSI director of engineering.
Since there are no exposed mechanical components, he adds that FlexWave is also more reliable than conventional methods. Perforated bin floors are also eliminated, which increases capacity.
Each liner has the ability to unload more than 100 tons of grain using less than 1 psi of air pressure. The liners are made of durable, commercial-grade material designed to last over 30 years under normal conditions. In case of a puncture, the liner can be easily repaired with a simple glue patch.
Conventional grain hopper tanks are emptied by gravity through a cone at the bottom. FlexWave enables a flat-bottom storage tank for use instead. This not only increases capacity but also eliminates the need to install legs since it can sit on the ground.
“FlexWave technology is another unload option added to GSI’s complete product portfolio and can be used with any standard current unload system,” Trame says. “This technology is exclusive to GSI for grain storage and represents an exciting advancement that supports our commitment to continuous innovation.”
Field trials are being conducted to ensure proper aeration is maintained for long-term, safe storage. There is also a lot of potential for future applications with FlexWave, notes Trame, since any equipment that relies on a hopper cone for gravity-flow cleanout can benefit from this technology.
FlexWave will be available in 2018.