A Wimmera agricultural business is providing an example of how regional services are providing broadacre cropping farmers with opportunities to make the best of poor situations. Minyip grain-cleaning and packing business Wimpak Export Company is in the early stages of assessing pulse-harvest results across the region and starting to handle more samples. General manager Jo Cameron said expectations had gone from early hopes of a big harvest to making sure growers had access to reliable and efficient grain-handling services. “Importantly, we’re making sure our clients can get the most from disappointing yields,” she said. Wimpak, which buys and sells predominantly pulse grains, is already seeing the benefi ts of a new state-of-theart grain cleaner it is installing for this year’s harvest. Read More
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Steven Chivilo, the president of LMC Canada, located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, brought two gentlemen from ProAgroTech, Stavropol, Russia to Donalsonville this past week. While here, they were treated to tours of the American Peanut Growers Group’s peanut shelling plant in operation and the LMC factory.
Aaron Baldwin, the project manager, and Vitaliy Buzu, the managing director of North Caucasus Development Company of Essentuki, Stavropol Region, were here to complete negotiations for an LMC designed seed cleaning plant to condition soybeans, sunflower seeds and edible beans.
ProAgroTech currently farms 100,000 acres of soybeans and will be conditioning seeds for themselves and their neighbors. The plant will also produce edible quality sunflower seeds and beans for consumer markets.
ProAgroTech operates in the Stavropol region located in southern Russia between the Black and Caspian Seas. The plant’s design is based on those designed and constructed by LMC operating in Arkansas, North Carolina and Alberta, Canada. Plans are for the plant to be in operation in February 2015, preparing seeds for next Spring’s plantings.
Source: Donalsonville News
Contact: Mike Beeler, (209) 545-0740
Jeff Hamilton, (559) 665-1185
The next-generation almond huller and sheller – and the food safety and product quality advantages it provides – will be the center of attention Friday at an open house hosted by Minturn Hullers Co-op of Chowchilla.
The $24 million project took more than two years to design and build. It is the first of its kind in California’s $4 billion almond industry. It will allow Minturn to double its capacity and have a seasonal output of more than 150 million meat pounds.
Beeler Industries of Salida took the huller/sheller project from concept to completion. It features innovative separation technology from Lewis M. Carter Manufacturing of Donalsonville, Ga., and industry-leading “Process Air” and filtration equipment from Donaldson-Torit of Minneapolis. The machinery footprint is about the size of a football field. A 61,000-square-foot structure houses the process equipment, bulk shipping and warehouse.
“It’s one of the largest hullers and shellers in the valley,” said Mike Beeler, owner and president of Beeler Industries.
The open house is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, June 27 at Minturn’s plant, 9080 S. Minturn Road, Chowchilla. Lunch will be served and representatives from all four companies will be on hand to talk about the project.
For Minturn, the investment represents its strong belief that the state’s almond market will continue to thrive thanks to strong domestic consumption and the huge appetite for nuts among consumers in Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
“This project, in and of itself, pretty much states what our view of the California almond industry is and what we think of that future. It is very bright,”said Jeff Hamilton, Minturn’s general manager. “Our existing grower members are continuing to expand their operations. … This facility will allow us to take care of growers that have been committed to this cooperative for so many years.”
The increase in production volume was a key part of the decision to invest in the project, Hamilton said. The Madera County cooperative processed more than 80 million meat pounds of almonds in 2013, making it one of California’s top five huller/shellers.
The equipment features a cutting-edge approach to air handling, which will minimize dust, dramatically increase sanitation and allow the processed nuts in and out of shells to be loaded onto trucks in an environmentally controlled space.
“We’re trying to increase capacity and food safety at the same time,” Beeler said.
Quality is another important aspect of the new processor. Early removal of hull, LSK and foreign materials provide cleaner, high-quality products and increased output. The single-level, low-profile system also provides ease of access, allowing operators to quickly sample, adjust, maintain and sanitize equipment.
Hamilton said he will add two 10-person shifts to operate the new machine. The company’s two existing sheller/hullers will remain in production.
“We will be able to process our growers’ product in less than half the time previously needed,” he said.
Minturn Hullers began in 1966 and has grown from 120 members to more than 300. In the past two decades, its production volume has increased from 12 million meat pounds per year to more than 80 million meat pounds. In the past four seasons, processing has lasted until mid-January.
Beeler Industries was founded in 1989 in Salida and makes equipment for processors of almonds, walnuts and pistachios. The company has designed and built some of the most cutting-edge equipment available and continues to be an innovator in the agricultural manufacturing industry.
Chooses Baldor as its global partner
More than 70 years ago in rural Georgia, Lewis M. Carter developed the concept for the modern peanut sheller. Today, 100 percent of the U.S. peanut crop and a large percentage of the almond crop is processed by LMC equipment.
The company, still run by the Carter family, is now taking its proven technology and applying it into the growth markets of seed, grain, and other pulse crops like chickpeas, beans, and lentils. Currently 60 percent of LMC’s business is export, but with its rich heritage of innovation and a trusted global partner, LMC is prepared for major growth around the world.
L. Marcus Carter III is company vice president and the fourth generation to work at LMC. He says what makes the company unique is its systems approach: the capability to design, build, deliver, and install all of the equipment required to crack, hull, clean, size, and grade products directly from the field, preparing them as food ingredients. But the key to the company’s growth, according to Carter, is custom engineering.
“We take the time to listen to the customer to find out what they expect the machines to do,” says Carter. “We find ways to take their ideas and then build the machines to their specifications. We work hard to give the customer what they want, making sure they have what they need to efficiently clean and process their product.”
While the company was growing, the family determined several years ago that to prepare for major global growth, it needed to find one supplier that could meet all its needs, both in North America and around the world. One reason they chose Baldor, according to Carter, is that the family found a company that worked the same way it does and shares the same values.
“We both take the systems approach, which means we can rely on Baldor for the whole gamut of mechanical and electrical products we need,” says Carter. “Working with Baldor means we have one source for help, and we don’t have to go to eight or ten different people to get answers. Baldor supports us the way we support our customers, and that’s what makes us similar.”
Carter also says product reliability was another selection factor and says they can count on Baldor motors, gearboxes and bearings to perform without fail. But it was Baldor’s global reach that helped LMC reach its final decision.
“It’s great that Baldor has support worldwide, especially as a member of the ABB Group,” says Carter. “It’s one more reason why we chose to partner with Baldor. We want to work with a company that can not only provide global products, but also offer us global support.”
Product quality and reliability was another factor that convinced LMC to choose Baldor as its global partner. This Baldor•Reliance Super-E® motor is powering a vibrating conveyor that is sizing popping corn.
It’s engineering support that is important to Chad Snellgrove, LMC’s R&D engineer. He is working on the next generation of equipment that will meet the demands that customers are making for machines that will move more product and move it faster. He not only appreciates the engineering advice but also likes working with a company that offers so many different types and styles of products, giving him a lot of design flexibility.
But what Snellgrove says he likes the best about working with Baldor is the easy access to critical drawings and other engineering information.
“I know the gearbox type and ratio I want to use, but I need to know if it will fit where I want to mount it on my machine,” explains Snellgrove. “In the past, I would have to take the time to look up all the dimensions in a catalog and draw something myself. With Baldor, I can pull the CAD drawing I need from the website, whether it’s a gearbox, motor or bearing, and stick it in my drawing. I can’t stress to you enough how beneficial this is for us and what a time-saver this is.”
Mike Woodall, LMC’s production manager, has also had positive experiences working with Baldor engineers, most recently with the bearing team developing a new product to fill an LMC need. Woodall says from an operations standpoint, standardizing on one supplier has many obvious benefits, like simplifying the purchasing process and managing inventory. He believes it’s the relationships you build that make the greatest difference.
“I have had the opportunity to visit two Baldor•Dodge plants to learn about lean manufacturing practices, bringing back ideas to incorporate into our facility,” says Woodall. “We have a real partnership. We don’t just look at Baldor as a product supplier; we have a good relationship that allows us to learn from one another.”
In today’s business climate of emerging nations, and with increased global demand for food, LMC is well-positioned to take its business to the next level. Carter says that he has no doubt that his company, with support from Baldor, will have an impact on feeding the world.
In addition to Baldor’s motors, gearing and bearing products, LMC has also standardized on Baldor’s mechanical power transmission component offering, including Baldor•Maska® and Baldor•Dodge sheaves and bushings.
LMC’s Lewis Carter and Grant Bruner will be attending the 2013 Almond Huller and Processors Association Annual Convention. The 2013 AHPA Convention will be held from April 29 – May 3 at the Hyatt Regency in Monterey, California and registration is now available on the Almond Huller and Processors Association’s website.
“This is such a wonderful, informative assembly. LMC’s greatest benefit is to see everyone and renew years of friendships and relations,” said Lewis Carter. “While a lot of our original customers still call us the peanuts guys, 2014 with be the 30th anniversary of LMC ‘s starting to offer goods and services to the almond business!”
The mission of the AHPA is to provide information, ongoing education, innovative tools and advocacy for companies in the almond industry. LMC greatly values its membership in the organization.
LMC team members David Sandlin and Grant Bruner were recently in Australia for the annual Wimmera Machinery Field Days. Their attendance was covered by Farm Weekly Australia and you can read the article here on their website.
Key persons listed below have graduated the “Unlocking Hidden Costs of Welding” class held at Airgas South in Bessemer Alabama. Two key aspects of this class was reducing costs of welds and producing quality welds for a given weld joint. The primary concern regarding cost was over-welding, putting a larger weld on a joint than what was needed. Welds were made then the joint was cut and etched to show if proper weld penetration had been attained. Quality was addressed as well. Students learned that minor changes in welder settings could significantly reduce weld spatter and undercut. With these things in mind LMC is reviewing current weld specifications and developing new weld specification for all our weld joints.
Mike Woodall Production Manager
Bret Johnson Production Scheduler
John Kennamore Quality Control Manager
Mike Chancey Production Line Foreman
Stanley Brackin Production Line Foreman
Jacob Jackson Production Line Foreman
Patrick O’Hearn Parts Department Supervisor
LMC was recently featured by the local ABC affiliate out of Tallahassee, Florida. The story profiled LMC and how the company became one of the top-grossing industrial separation equipment manufacturers in the world.