All posts by Devon Bottini

Maximizing our Customers’ Gravity Separation

We recently had an opportunity to visit with a customer in Ohio to improve their gravity separation performance. We learned in our visit that on their Oliver gravity table they were not achieving this machine’s full capability. With the help of Oliver’s Service Manager, Dave Means, we took this opportunity to optimize the overall machine performance and assist operators in achieving optimal performance.

Upon our arrival, we took some baseline data on how the machine was performing. The customer was introducing soybeans to the machine at 460 bushels per hour. They were taking about a 235 bushels-per-hour cut on the heavy fractions and were not using the fast-flow blender. Their middle fraction was about 179 bushels-per-hour and sent back as a rerun to the air screen cleaner. This left about 46 bushels-per-hour in the light fraction for discard.

Those of you familiar with gravity separation know that there are factors that will affect your overall performance in grading seed by density coming off the end of the table. These four factors include controlling the air in each of the separation zones, the speed of your eccentric deck shake, and the angle of the side tilt of the deck. Based on optimization of these settings, you can then look at how you arrange your cutting fingers on the discharge side of the deck to capture the product being processed according to density separation.

Dave worked with this customer and their operators to optimize the gravity table. After being onsite for a portion of the day, the customer was able to achieve the following results: 354 bushels-per-hour between the heavy and blender fractions; 33 bushel-per-hour middle fraction for rerun; and 12 bushel-per-hour in the light fraction for discard. The below table represents the before and after from Dave’s interaction with this customer.

  Before After Results Improvement
  bu/hr bu/hr bu/hr Percent
Light / Discard 46.0 12.0 -34.0 -74%
Middle / Rerun 179.0 45.0 -134.0 -75%
Heavy / Good 235.0 354.0 119.0 51%

Total bushel-per-hour was reduced by about 10 percent. However, the volume going to discard was also reduced by 74 percent, the volume requiring rerun was reduced by 75 percent, and the first-pass-yield of good seed was increased by 51 percent.

If you need assistance with optimizing and maximizing your gravity separation results, please don’t hesitate to engage our team in helping your team.

The Oliver Team is Growing!

We have exciting hires to announce in addition to some other changes to the Oliver team. It’s been a busy year, and with some precision planning we’ve pinpointed how we’re going to approach 2019. First off, we welcome to the team Johnny Ortiz, Brian Butler, Brandon Madewell, and Patrick Gonzales. Ortiz is our Inventory Control Specialist. Butler and Madewell are working in Testing, and Gonzales has joined Welding.

We’d also like to announce promotions to the following team members: Tommy Carter to Production Manager; Patrick Lathrum to Logistics and Inventory Manager; Mike Crafton to Purchasing Manager; Michael Barela to Welding Team Lead; Sean Carter to Fab Team Lead; Johnny Gonzales to Fab Team Lead.  Congratulations, guys!

Lastly, we’d like to recognize Jeffrey Fawcett, Material Control Manager, for the years he’s given to this company. Fawcett, has worked with Oliver Manufacturing since 1981 and plans to retire on December 20, 2018. He earned the Mac Award for outstanding employees in 1987. The award is named after R. A. “Mac” McNutt, who’d worked at Oliver Manufacturing since the 50’s. He’d been Shop Supervisor for a long time, and after his retirement the Mac Award went to on employee annually. In 2016, Fawcett was awarded with the Most Valuable Team Member award, which is given out annually to an employee voted for by a committee of past winners.

Congratulations on your retirement, Jeffrey. Thanks for everything you’ve done for the company.