All posts by Christian Burney

Announcement: Size Right Cylinder Lead Times

Oliver Customers,

We wanted to take a moment and give you an update on our Size Right Cylinder lead times. Our cumulative lead time is the result of internal production processes and outside hardening services.

We were informed on May 22, 2018 by our hardening supplier that they are exiting the hardening business. Regretfully, they gave us little notice and informed us that this decision will be effective June 1, 2018.

The good news is that we had already been looking for additional sources for hardening services, as we identified hardening as a constraint to meeting your expectations for delivery timeframes. However, we are still in the supplier qualification phase for these alternate hardening services. We are in the process of getting them to provide first articles for destructive testing to ensure the quality of their work will meet our standards and your expectations.

We have asked our current supplier to extend the end date of their hardening service offering to help us with this transition process. However, we have not had a confirmation from them as of yet whether they will be able to extend their end date.

Consequently, at this time we cannot communicate what our expected lead time will be on new orders for Size Right Cylinders. We hope to have some clarity in the next few weeks. We apologize for any delays and will keep you informed if any existing orders may be affected and regarding our progress on moving to alternate sources for hardening services.

Thanks for your understanding.

Oliver Manufacturing

Profile: Troy Jackson, Regional Territory Manager

Troy Jackson is Oliver’s regional territory manager. He’s responsible for regional sales and customer relationships in the United States, Mexico and Canada. Jackson has a pervasive knowledge of Oliver equipment; he can describe the mechanical components of any given Oliver machine inside and out. When approached with a processing challenge, if a viable solution is possible, he’ll figure out how to obtain it. But this skill, expertise and professionalism didn’t sprout up out of nowhere. Jackson gained his knowledge over a combined 19 years at Oliver Manufacturing.

Jackson began his career with Oliver in 1994. He started in the metal shop and, over time, transitioned up from one department to the next. Assembly. Testing. Woodshop. Press, Machinery. Nearly a decade after his first day on the job, Troy left the company for a role in sales. Five years later, he returned to Oliver in 2008 with sales experience and his welding certification.

Troy Jackson, Regional Territory Manager

It was after his return that Troy earned his current title of Regional Territory Manager. His sales experience and years of work with Oliver parts and equipment prepared him to take on a large sales challenge. “Everything north, south and west of Colorado is under my territory,” says Troy. “And Mexico. And Canada.”

Over time, Jackson’s defined the type of salesperson he wants to be. Some salesmen will try to grease up their customers; bend the facts to make their product look more appealing, or omit information that might dissuade a customer from making a purchase. But that’s not how Jackson rolls. “I’m not a typical salesman,” he says. “I’m more of a technical salesman.” Jackson enjoys what he does because he doesn’t need to sugarcoat things.

He’s free to speak intelligently and doesn’t shy away from technical details. He enjoys coming to understand a given product better and how Oliver’s solutions apply to it, and he can only reach that level of understanding through honest discussion with clients. His in-depth knowledge of Oliver equipment allows him to help his customers find the best solution for their needs– not something that is tempting to buy because it looks new and shiny, but something that actually works  as defined by the customer’s needs.

Jackson’s technical knowledge helps him assist not only customers, but agents and other Oliver employees, too. And with the ease of communication in today’s world of social media, Jackson really is only ever an email away. Though he travels less often than he used to, Jackson still prefers a face-to-face meeting over a direct Facebook message. “I’ve always been a firm believer in face-to-face,” says Jackson.

Press Release: Brandon Dickinson Promoted to Parts & Supply Manager

Good afternoon,

We are pleased to announce that Brandon Dickinson has been promoted to Parts & Supply Manager at Oliver Manufacturing. Fast approaching his eighth year at Oliver this summer, Brandon has been very involved with parts sales throughout his career. He started out on our production floor building decks for all of our machines and transferred into Oliver’s Parts Salesman in August, 2013. In this role he has been helping customers out with their needs and recording orders. Over time, he’s developed an extensive knowledge of our inventory, understanding of our design change history, and a working knowledge of our customers and Oliver’s production processes.  His combined experience and commitment to Oliver’s customers makes him more than qualified for his new position.

As Parts & Supply Manager, Brandon is responsible for directly controlling the information flow from end users to the factory floor. In other words, he bridges the information gaps between internal departments, and between Team Oliver and its customers. He is also responsible for prioritizing and managing repair order teams. With eight years of experience and an intimate familiarity with parts, customers and internal teams, Brandon Dickinson is the perfect employee for the role of Parts & Supply Manager. Congratulations, Brandon!

Sincerely,

Team Oliver

What Does Agriculture Mean to You? – A National Ag Day Introspective

How Agriculture Has Shaped Our Lives

 

March 20 marks National Ag Day, an American holiday created to celebrate the merits of agriculture and farming. This holiday means a lot to Team Oliver, and not just because we’re a business that services the agriculture sector. We are a business that was bred by the agriculture sector!

Many of us grew up among ranchers and farmers and have lived and breathed agriculture our entire lives. Our own Melanie Knapp, Controller, comes from Knapp Farms in Rocky Ford, Colorado. If you’ve ever visited Oliver in the summer, then you’re definitely familiar with Rocky Ford cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelons. Well, Knapp Farms is responsible for some of those melons, and, along with other local producers, they’ve given Rocky Ford the namesake of Melon Capital of the World.

Melanie says that agriculture was a part of growing up for her. “We never even thought of it as agriculture. We thought of it as a way of life,” she says. At Knapp Farms, the whole family chips in to the family business. Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, nieces and nephews — everybody had a job, whether that was manning the cash registers or unloading product fresh from the fields. “I think that’s what Ag is for a lot of us,” she says. “It’s a way of life!”

Executive Administrative Marketing Assistant Devon Ingo and her family breed cattle, and she was heavily involved in FFA (Future Farmers of America) and 4-H during her grade school years. In a way, National Ag Day brought her back to her youth.

“The 4-H and FFA programs are both youth programs that teach children responsibility, leadership and have a rural edge,” Devon says. “I was a member of the 4-H program for 10 years and the FFA program for all four years of high school. Through these programs I raised livestock (sheep and cattle to be specific).”

She made sure to point out that raising livestock was not a task to be taken lightly. “I raised my sheep all spring and summer, and it was my responsibility to feed and water them and clean up after them. Come mid summer, I would get another set of sheep and raise them ’till winter! Raising sheep taught me responsibility that I would have never learned anywhere else. Those animals depended on me to survive. As a 12-year-old, that’s a lot.”

Whether one grew up working on the family farm, participated in school and community ag-related events, or got a job at the local seed processing and conditioning manufacturer, one thing is clear: the agriculture lifestyle is one that rewards a hard work ethic and a strong sense of responsibility.

“The leadership skills I learned from both 4-H and FFA are priceless,” says Devon. “It taught me social skills, public speaking, being a leader to a large group, and taking full responsibility to projects and deadlines. All at such a young age! Not only did that help me in school, it helps me now in my career. Determination, dedication and knowing what it’s like to haul feed, stack hay, and make sure your animals eat before you puts a whole new perspective on life.”

What Does National Ag Day Mean to You?

National Ag Day is a celebration of all things agriculture — but it’s not just a party. It’s an educational experience, too! That’s why we’d love to hear how you became familiar with the world of agriculture, what you do for your particular industry, and what that industry has done for you.

Here’s to a Great Start to 2018!

Starting 2018 with a Bang

We wanted to thank our customers,  agents and dealers for a great start to the calendar year. The above picture represents a portion of the equipment we produced and prepared for shipment in January for our customers across the globe.

We produced a record incoming order volume in January, 2018.  Now, that equipment is shipping across the globe.

Combine that with a record incoming order volume in January and we are poised for yet another fantastic year! We’ve got a lot going on with school tours, SECO MFG Partnership activities and our work with the Colorado Hemp Processing Cooperative. It’s nice to be busy! So, thanks again. Team Oliver looks forward to providing you with best-in-class solutions for your processing needs.

Oliver Manufacturing to Host the Colorado Hemp Processing Cooperative

The Colorado Hemp Processing Cooperative (CHPC) is a new organization designed to support the emerging industry. It’s issuing an open call for  interested parties to attend a Co-Founder Shareholder Invitation Meeting. Oliver Manufacturing will host the meeting on February 24, 2018, at 1 p.m.

Continue reading Oliver Manufacturing to Host the Colorado Hemp Processing Cooperative

Cleanout Your Gravity Table with This Simple Guide

The cleanout process is an important feature of your Oliver Automated Gravity table. It allows you to make sure your equipment is free of any straggling product and ensures that your next batch is contaminant-free. While it’s a simple process, we understand that our user interface can be confusing for newcomers. So, we’ve put together this short tutorial to demonstrate how to properly perform a machine cleanout. If you’d like the visual version, be sure to watch our video here.

Before you begin your cleanout, you need to ensure that additional product is not discharging onto the deck from the feeder. Be sure to open the high side gates and rock trap as well if you haven’t already. It’s always a good idea to allow the machine to run for one minute before beginning a cleanout process. This unwedges residual product and makes the cleanout cycles more effective.

When you’re ready to begin, navigate to the Machine Recipes menu on your machine console HMI. You can load any created recipe from here. In our example, we’ve selected our Soybean Cleanout recipe for Soybean product. You can scroll through the recipes list using the up and down arrow symbols. When you’ve highlited the recipe you want to load, press the Enter symbol. Then, confirm your selection by pressing Load on the right side of the menu.

After loading the cleanout recipe, you wish to use, return to the main menu. Press Clean Out on the bottom left side of the main menu to be taken to the Clean Out menu. Here, three cleanout steps are displayed along with their run times. From this menu, all you need to do is press HMI Button “Press to Start Clean Out.” And that’s pretty much it! The Cleanout screen will display how much time remains in an active step, and each step will start automatically as the previous step concludes. Keep in mind that after final step, the HMI will load the last recipe before you pressed the “Start Clean Out” button and completely stop the machine operation.

Customer Feedback Helps Us Help You

Being a part of the Oliver Team is rewarding for a multitude of reasons. For one, we work on the front lines of seed processing technologies. It’s exciting to know that the industry standard of tomorrow is being forged in our factory. Another reward is the honor of working in facilitation of the agriculture industry. It feels good to know that we’re contributing to feeding millions of families, pets and livestock all across the world. But, nothing beats seeing the satisfaction on a customer’s face when they’ve placed trust in us and we deliver.

It’s the most rewarding part of the job, stronger and more meaningful than any abstract sense of global impact. The best way to guage our success and to prepare for our future is through customer feedback.  Each customer interaction we have builds upon the last one. And each enables us to improve our business and focus the development of our products and services. Thanks to a variety of feedback, some purely positive and plenty full of constructive criticism, we’re able to ensure that our customers continue to get the highest quality of separation achievable. Communication with our customers is what allows us to be a part of the agriculture industry. Our customer’s demands drive the fulfilling work that’s made Oliver Manufacturing an industry standard brand for over 85 years.

If you haven’t gathered by now, we love receiving feedback on how clients are handling our equipment. So much so, that we wanted to share this testimony from longtime customer and friend of the Oliver team, Fred C. Pond of Pond Seed:

I’ve been an Oliver customer for over 20 years and currently operate three pieces of quality equipment from the company.  I run two gravity separation tables and a Fluidized Bed Dryer on a daily basis.  All of them perform with great precision and efficiency.  When service is needed a Specialist from Oliver is on the phone immediately and many times the problem is corrected in a matter of moments.  On several occasions the Oliver Team has boarded a plane and or shipped parts here for a quick and efficient in-field repair.  I have also taken the time to personally visit the Oliver factory and seen firsthand the construction of the equipment.

I personally like the fact that each part is hand made locally in the La Junta facility.  Like any great company the true value of Oliver Manufacturing are the people behind the product.  The expertise and willingness to solve a problem by design, reliability, and service are why my next piece of processing equipment will be an Oliver.

– Fred C. Pond of Pond Seed, Scott, Ohio

Thanks, Fred. We’re always happy to help. And we’re always happy to hear from our clients. You don’t need a 20-year-relationship with us to share your thoughts.  Don’t hesitate to give us a call, email or reach out on Facebook. Whether we’ve worked with you for a month or a decade (or two), you’re a friend of Oliver and your feedback matters.

Manufacturing Partnership Discusses Drug Education and the Workforce

On July 11, members of the Southeast Colorado Manufacturing Partnership gathered at Oliver Manufacturing Company for their latest monthly meeting. The partnership includes prominent manufacturers and community members in Southeast Colorado, and serves to educate locals and motivate them to explore careers in manufacturing. Continue reading Manufacturing Partnership Discusses Drug Education and the Workforce

Is the Latest Tech too Intimidating? Oliver’s Engineering Dept. can Help

It was all hands on deck for Oliver Manufacturing’s engineering department as three representatives of Crop Production Services (CPS) visited company headquarters. They drove for about six hours from Levelland, Texas to meet with Engineering and explore the possibilities of upgrading their equipment. Continue reading Is the Latest Tech too Intimidating? Oliver’s Engineering Dept. can Help

Oliver Equipment in Metal Reclamation

Oliver Manufacturing’s focus lies first and foremost on serving the agricultural industry. Oliver equipment processes a variety of seeds, grains and similar products. But the same sorting process used for seeds can be applied to non-agricultural materials as well. In fact, the gravity separator was initially designed for processing minerals and was a staple of the mining industry in the early 1900s. Copper ore, other minerals and even plastic can and have been sorted with Oliver’s signature gravity separators. Continue reading Oliver Equipment in Metal Reclamation

Routine Maintenance Saves Time and Money

There’s nothing that can bring a good, productive work day to a grinding halt like an unexpected malfunction with one’s processing equipment. Even a small hole in one’s wire mesh deck, or some unmaintained fan bearings, can drag a Maxi-Cap 3600’s hourly processing capacity from 500 bushels per hour to zero. As naturally as water weathers rock, parts will wear over time. And as we all know, a single downed machine can stall an entire processing line; preventable issues cost time and money that would otherwise belong to the business. Thankfully, there is a simple and proactive way to avoid these situations entirely: routine maintenance. Continue reading Routine Maintenance Saves Time and Money

Revisiting 87 Years’ Worth of Innovation

Oliver Manufacturing’s industrial warehouse has all one might imagine of a factory situated in the midst of Colorado’s rural plains. The fine smell of dust hangs in the air; hot flashes of light burn from behind protective curtains as workers weld metal together; and the occasional rumblings of one machine or another echo on the east end. But in one small corner, tucked away from the more familiar factory turf, one can find something they may not expect: a museum. Continue reading Revisiting 87 Years’ Worth of Innovation