D&E Equipment are specialists in designing and installing customised farm infrastructure solutions such as grain storage bins, grain elevators, dryers, augers and grain handling systems. With a reputation for quality and service, D&E Equipment’s highly experienced workforce collaborates with customers to fully meet their unique needs. While farms of the past would often sell each season’s grain once a year at harvest, today’s agricultural operations use on-site facilities to store and maintain grain, selling it in several batches throughout the year to help maximise returns.
Powerless to grow
This trend for batch selling has fueled the demand for larger storage and handling infrastructure. However, since many operations are located in remote rural areas, they can quickly reach an impasse in relation to their power supply that hampers their ability to grow. Many locations can only access single-phase power, so with three-phase power vital to running larger equipment related to increasing storage and handling capacity, farmers wanting to grow their operations have been forced to use costly and power-hungry rotary phase converters that push up bills and reduce profits.
Overcoming the issue
Fortunately, working with Mitsubishi Electric, D&E has been able to offer their customers a far more attractive solution in Mitsubishi Electric variable speed drives. Mitsubishi VFDs allow a single-phase system to run a three-phase motor on a single-phase supply without a phase converter, enabling greater horsepower. And, since they are only used on a specific piece of equipment, they are far more power-efficient and economical to run. Their impact can be huge and instantaneous. When a maximum of 15-hp single-phase power prohibits expansion, a VFD can be installed providing the customer with the capability to use larger, faster equipment and gain more capacity by increasing the size of their operation. With their 1-phase power supply, and VFD, they’re not limited on the equipment size.
A 700 bushels per hour drying system can be upgraded to 1200 or 1700 bushels an hour using a conveyor that requires a 30hp 3ph motor with the VFD providing an immediate and cost-effectively way to grow their operation. However, this can be just the beginning, with Mitsubishi Electric VFDs providing a host of other valuable problem solving benefits as well. Among them is the capability to allow a “soft start” gradual ramp-up of equipment power draw at start up, reducing the possibility of tripping the overload, reducing the possibility of damaging equipment and increasing service life.
Helping farms to flourish
Working with Mitsubishi Electric VFDs has created a whole new stream of business for D&E, and also stimulated their interest in helping customers apply additional Mitsubishi Electric automation solutions to grain handling applications,
including PLC controls, networking and grain temperature monitoring. But perhaps even more important, is the excitement they have seen VFD products generate among their staff. D&E service engineers are going to farms and
frequently seeing where customers can benefit from Mitsubishi VFDs. They are excited by the product because it quickly eliminates a host of problems and creates lasting value for their customers.