5 Steps to Choosing the Right Grain Conveying Equipment

Moving dry bulk grain from one location to another may sound like a simple concept. But if you work in the grain industry, you are likely well aware of the daily challenges that can hinder productivity.

From equipment maintenance concerns to multiple destination challenges, the list of issues that can slow your production is anything but simple.

Fortunately, you can eliminate many of these challenges by choosing the best grain conveying equipment for your application.

How to Choose the Best Grain Conveying Equipment

By taking the time to survey your needs and carefully evaluate your options, you can give your productivity a well-needed boost.

Below is a step by step guide to selecting and moving your dry bulk grain with pneumatic grain conveying equipment.

Step One: Identify your top challenges

The path to successful grain conveying begins with a thorough evaluation of your plant and operations. Schedule a day to conduct a comprehensive walkthrough and inspection of your existing equipment.

Be sure to speak with your supervisors and ask them to outline any process-related issues that are preventing them from achieving their goals.

While every facility is unique, here is a look at some of the most common operational challenges:

  • Product accumulation in conveying lines
  • Space constraints
  • Challenges moving product to multiple locations
  • Dust production
  • Frequent equipment breakdowns
  • Recurring parts shortages
  • Difficulty cleaning equipment
  • Poor support and service from equipment providers
grain conveying

Step Two: Define your budget

Now that you have identified your key conveying challenges, it’s time to review your budget and determine how much you can afford to spend on a grain conveyor.

If you are replacing an existing conveyor, remember you might be able to sell your old equipment if it’s in good working order. You also could be eligible for equipment leasing or special payment plans depending on your credit history.

Step Three: Compare types of conveying options

As a grain manufacturer, you have a variety of equipment options from which to choose.

Choices range from puck cables to belts, to pneumatic conveyors. To determine which method is best for your facility, carve out some time to compare pneumatic conveying with other options so you will enjoy the greatest return on your investment.

As you compare equipment options, remember to look for the following:

  • Distance capabilities: If you are seeking a longer distance grain conveyor, a pneumatic conveyor is the best choice.
  • Ease of installation: Augers, belts, and puck cable designs typically take longer to install, as they have more moving parts.
  • Spatial constraints: Today’s top pneumatic grain conveying equipment is designed with a small footprint to help maximize space.
  • Cleaning concerns: Pneumatic conveyors are best if you are seeking a conveyor with a “clean-in-place” design.
  • Conveyor maintenance: Augers, belts, and buckets require frequent maintenance, while pneumatic conveyors are lower maintenance.
vacuum grain conveyor

Step Four: Validate your selected method

The advantages of pneumatic conveying are difficult to ignore. But conveying equipment requires a sizable financial investment. So it’s important to confirm once and for all that you are making the best choice.

The most effective way to do this is to have your grain tested in a conveying test lab. The process is simple.

All you need to do is submit a sample of your grain to an experienced test lab and outline your application. The lab will then examine your dry material and provide you with their recommendations.

Having your grain tested at an in-house lab is a simple process that costs very little. But the long-term benefits of taking this step are sizable. By enlisting the help of a specialist to evaluate your grain, you can determine whether pneumatic conveying is the best option for your business.

Doing this before you commit to a purchase is a great way to ensure that you receive the best return on your investment.

Step Five: Select a trusted equipment provider

Once you decide to move forward with pneumatic grain conveying equipment, it’s time to choose a trusted provider.

If you are not sure where to start with this process, here are some qualities to look for when selecting an equipment provider:

  • Industry experience: Look for providers with a proven track record of success and decades of experience in the conveying industry.
  • Installation capabilities: You can purchase the best conveyor in the world, but without proper installation, you could face problems.
  • A focus on service: When your equipment has problems, you deserve swift service and support
  • Readily available parts: Replacement parts are critical to your equipment, so choose a supplier with an impressive parts inventory
  • Clear equipment quotes: A clear, comprehensive quote is essential to ensuring you receive the pneumatic conveyor you order.

As a final phase in the step, it’s a good idea to request references. Ask your top choices to send you three references of customers in your industry who have used their products and service. 

For example, if you are looking for brewery grain handling equipment, ask for references in this industry and then call them.

Be sure to ask each reference if they are satisfied with the product quality and responsiveness of the provider. 

What is the single best way to solve your grain conveying challenges?

Moving dry bulk grain is not always easy. By following the steps above, you can help avoid some of the day-to-day issues confronting businesses in the grain sector.

However, the single best way to resolve your challenges is to seek the guidance of an expert in the grain conveying industry.

central powered grain system

For over 50 years, Pneu-Con has worked with leaders in the grain market to deliver durable conveying equipment.

No matter how complex your dry bulk application is, Pneu-Con has a solution to meet your needs. From straightforward, economical equipment to customized engineering solutions, we will put our five decades of expertise to identify your challenges and provide you with the best solution for your facilities. 

We invite you to contact us today to discover why grain manufacturers and distributors across the globe turn to us for their project needs. We look forward to becoming your trusted solution for all your grain handling needs!

BV Sarma

Director of Technical Services
BV Sarma is the Director of Technical Services at Pneumatic Conveying and has over 25 years of experience in the industry. BV's expertise lies within the product lifecycle and engineering custom solutions that meet organizational goals from vision to launch.