Grain News

IAOM's 2007 Tri-District Meeting Draws a Crowd to Grand Rapids, MI

Date Posted: September 17, 2007

Sherri Ford
Grand Rapids, MI--The Wolverine District played host for the International Association of Operative Millers' (IAOM) annual Tri-District Meeting, which includes the Wolverine, Ohio Valley, and Niagara Districts.

More than 150 millers and members of the allied trades convened at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, MI for the annual conference and mini-expo.

Near the start of the meeting, IAOM Interim Executive Vice President Melinda Farris introduced Sherri Ford as IAOM's new director of meetings and exhibits.

The technical session featured 13 presentations from a variety of speakers.

The presenters could be divided into several categories, including Food and Facility Security, Milling Products, Milling Company Progress, and Biofuels and Employement Strategies.

Food and Facility Security

Lance Reeve, AIB International, Manhattan, KS, kicked off the technical session with a presentation on "Bio Terrorism and Food Security, Five Steps to Developing an Effective Security/Defense Program."

Reeve briefly discussed the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS)intent to release of list of 340+ chemicals, which are considered hazardous, and therefore must be reported to DHS.

In the future, flour mills may be required to register chemicals such as fumigants with DHS within 60 days after the list of hazardous chemicals is released.

Kevin Dooley, CompuWeigh, Woodbury, CT, discussed CompuWeigh's "Smart Radio Frequency Technology for Grain Management Systems."

Using Compuweigh's radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, growers are able to deliver grain and receive a printed receipt faster, which results in less time at the elevator and more time in the field.

Dooley explained innovations such as a Smart Scale, which automatically identifies, weighs, and snaps a photo of the driver before he dumps the grain.

As the grower leaves, he picks up his receipt from the automatic outdoor printer.

Brad Playford, ROK Systems, Belmont, MI, explained his company's "Internet Based Door and Video Control and Monitoring System."

As Playford described it, ROK Systems is an integrator of security and monitoring technology.

Using various technologies, ROK delivers a system where facility managers can keep an eye on the plant from the comfort of their own office.

Managers can also access the system through any internet connection, which allows for random audits and checkups, even if on vacation.

Milling Products

Steve Weil, Siftex Equipment Co., Windsor, CT, explained how to "Get Better Connected with Siftex."

Weil, who purchased the company in 2006, discussed how Siftex can offer millers a selection of flexible connectors.

One of his products, Clear-Flex, is a clear connector that millers can use to see if there is a choke developing in the milling process.

Weil also introduced the BFM fitting, which is a snap in hose fitting that eliminates the need for hose clamps.

Jan Levenhagen, Mennel Milling Co., Fostoria, OH, presented the "Annual Soft Wheat Survey."

"Overall, it was a very good crop," Levenhagen said.

There were very few reports of damage, and crop yields were typically up from last year.

Dr. Dirk Maier, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, presented the results of eight commercial fumigations on three different mills in his "Sulfuryl Flouride and Methyl Bromide Fumigations Study."

Seven of the fumigations used sulfuryl flouride, while one was fumigated with methyl bromide.

In his presentation, Maier stressed sealing the mill as the main factor that will result in higher kill rates.

He also said that circulation fans are good for circulating the gas so that it reaches all areas of the mill.

Reudi Weiss, Buhler Inc., Minneapolis, MN, introduced the "New MYRB On-line NIR for Flour."

The MYRB is an improved design of the MYRA, which is used to analyze flour characteristics such as protein, moisture, and ash.

Improvements over the old machine include a new light source that lasts longer, a screw conveyor for re-inserting flour into the product stream, and a dual lamp design.

Keith Adams, Kice Industries Inc., Wichita, KS, presented an "Update on NFPA 68 Safety Standards for Filters."

With the new standard, filters are required to have an explosion vent.

The standard explains in detail the required size and location for the vent.

Adams said that while filters are currently not required to have vents, once the safety standard is put into place, it will be necessary.

Gerald Richardson, CETEC Cereal Technologies, Millersville, MD, introduced new options for "Heat and Hydration in Flour Milling."

The HTX machine raise the temperature of incoming wheat for reduced condensation in the milling process, which results in a better-flowing product.

The Hydromax allows millers to mill wheat at a lower moisture content, then add moisture back to the finished flour.

Milling Company Progress

Frank Herbes, Mennel Milling Co., Dowagiac, MI, presented the "New 10,000 Cwt. Mennel Mill at Roanoke, VA."

Herbes detailed the construction process, which included unique challenges.

T.E. Ibberson was the general contractor, with Ocrim SpA as the primary equipment supplier.

The mill sits on 27 acres, which was purchased over 10 years ago.

Construction began in January 2006 and concluded in August 2007.

Stephen Doyle, King Milling Co., Lowell, MI, provided a "King Milling Company Review."

The first mill in Lowell was built in 1844, with a second going up in 1867.

The King family subsequently purchased both mills, while the Doyle family first purchased stock in the company in 1900.

Biofuels and Employment Strategies

Bob Boehm, Michigan Farm Bureau, Lansing MI, presented a summary look at "Bio Fuels—How Grain Based Energy Demand Will Affect the Future."

Boehm's overview of ethanol industry included a brief look at cellulosic ethanol.

While many estimates of biomass prices are at approximately $35 per ton, Boehm said the price will likely be around $75-$90 per ton as growers would have to justify planting it in the place of other traditional crops.

Dave Smith, The Employers' Association, Grand Rapids, MI, spoke about "Leading and Motivating a Multi-Generational Workforce."

With four generations currently active in the workforce, Smith's presentation examined how each is different.

Despite the differences in generations, Smith said that every employee should be held to the same standard.

Josh Flint, Milling Journal editor

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