Garner Industries Inc., the maker of the well-known BinMaster level sensing device for bins, tanks and silos, also is a custom injection molder. And Garner has installed its first resin silos. Guess what they're equipped with?
This month, Best Practices takes you to Lincoln, Neb., where Garner put out a testimonial with this headline: "Managing Resin Inventory: It takes one to know one."
Garner runs 29 injection molding machines with clamping forces ranging from 35 to 500 tons — Niigata and Toyo machines — in a 75,000-square-foot plant. But Garner had been using gaylords to store resin at its in-site and off-site warehouses.
Then, late last year, the company added three smooth-wall steel silos. Resin is pneumatically conveyed from the silos to large surge bins inside the factory that feed three new 500-ton molding presses. The silos have a very deep cone to help the free flow of resin pellets out to the factory.
Thanks to the BinMaster-equipped silos, Dan Hurtz, plastic manager at Garner Industries, can view inventory levels on his computer in his office — or anywhere, thanks to the BinView application, using level readings sent to a cloud-based database.
"Real-time management of expensive resin helps ensure a continuous supply of raw materials for our operation that runs 24/7," Hurtz said. It also gives customers more visibility, and through a secure system.
And the silo-irony is not lost on Doug Hartzell, BinMaster engineering manager.
"BinMaster's been making point level indicators for almost 60 years. We were also one of the first companies to introduce integrated inventory management sensors and software," Hartzell said. "BinMaster has been installing inventory systems at plastics molders and resin manufacturers for decades. It was time to take our own system for a spin."
BinMaster certainly knows silos. All kinds of silos, for everything from milled ore and talc, wood biomass, flour and — being from Nebraska — crop seeds.
Plastics is an important market. Eliminating gaylords allows plastic processors to buy resin in bulk and have it delivered by truck or rail. And the silos allow a processor to monitor inventory using automatic counts instead of physical counts. Of course, silos also reduce the amount of handling that is required with gaylord containers.