Flow-Easy vibrator enhances safety and productivity at Townrow Seed Grading

752 1024 Enmin's Flow-Easy

Moama-based Townrow Quality Seed Grading Service is a family-owned and operated business that has over 23 years experience in the seed grading industry. Seed cleaning and grading has become one of the most important farming practices ensuring that weed seeds, chaff, dirt and other non-seed contaminants are removed ensuring the best seeds are sown whilst maximising seeding productivity.

The grading process removes only unwanted weeds and poor-quality seed from each load ensuring the heavier, better quality seed remains. Larger seeds generally have better vigour and are the best start to greater yield, thereby ensuring maximum returns for the farmer.

Jeff Townrow purchased the business from Fred Bridgewater in 1997, with son Clay joining in 2010 and taking over the business from Jeff in 2017. Jeff is still responsible for the organisation of the work and remains very active within the business.

Continued growth saw the company purchase a new Edmonds seed grader in 2016; these can grade and treat seed at up to 35 tonnes per hour. The company now operates three of these state of the art, high-capacity seed graders. A third Edmonds seed grader was purchased in March 2020 with Phil Fowler beginning employment – as well as a grain screener for harvest work. Today the company processes around 30,000 tonnes of seed per year.

As with all bulk material stored in a vessel, blockages and compacting are commonplace. A key part of Townrow’s work is emptying grain from silos, many of which are the older style with flat cones at the rear which are particularly difficult to fully empty. The usual solution was to bang on the cone or climb in through the top or bottom door and shovel or scrape the remaining grain – both time consuming and unsafe due to the proximity of the auger.

Clay Townrow felt there had to a better way and discussed this issue with Enmin Sales Manager Paul Leahy about using a Flow-Easy vibrator to alleviate the manual process. Flow-Easy vibrators are distributed by Melbourne-based Enmin, an Australian market leader in the area of material handling systems and vibratory equipment.

The relationship with Enmin is not a new one. Clay’s Edmonds seed grader already had an Enmin turbine fixed mount vibrator, organised by Sean Ratcliffe from Edmonds Engineering. This is installed on the grain hopper above the NoroGard seed treater.

A Flow-Easy vibrator is designed to fluidise the most difficult materials in a storage vessel and prevent costly blockages in bins and silos. The vibrators suit any industry that handles bulk material. The range is specifically designed to suit Australia’s environment and covers a multitude of industries.

Enmin are one of the few companies that can offer the complete package – not only the vibrator but also an engineered mounting plate and installation guidelines, pneumatic controls, filter and lubrication systems.

After a few discussions with Paul, it was determined a vacuum-mounted vibrator plate would be the optimum solution. The benefit of the vacuum mounting is that it enables the vibrator to be easily and quickly removed and transferred to other silos, essential given Townrow’s field of work.

Given this was something of a new application for Enmin, Paul was happy to loan Clay a unit on a trial basis. The vibrator proved an instant winner. “After only a few seconds of use I knew this was the solution to our problem. Silos are generally grain free in 30 to 120 seconds depending on the angle of the cone. I immediately ordered two more so we could have a unit on each of the trucks,” Clay said.

“In addition to speeding up the discharge and ensuring the silo is fully emptied, it’s the safety aspect that I find so appealing; no more climbing into silos in close proximity to an auger and no more dealing with the dust. As an employer it’s comforting knowing my employees are safe,” he said.

“Both myself and farmers alike have been very impressed with the ease in which the vibrator empties out silos. Two farmers have already purchased their own – they were that impressed!” Clay added.

Like all Enmin equipment, Flow-Easy vibrators are designed and manufactured to provide excellent reliability and outstanding durability when correctly installed and maintained. By performing regular preventative maintenance and depending upon the environment it’s located in, a Flow-Easy vibrator can last for up to 25 years.