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Amber Waves – Reducing the cost of Field Repairs

Our customer, Amber Waves, produces a variety of agriculture-related products, including large bin storage hoppers. These bins are built to hold grain or other ‘flowable’ material with extra heavy steel made-to-order and made-to-last. The combination of the welded steel and aeration prevent contamination of the material stored.

The Challenge –

Amber Waves wanted to reduce costly field service repairs and evaluate structural stability because the bin’s capacity can exceed 500,000 pounds. Their primary concern was the design. Specifically, where the side walls met with the bottom cone and connect to the rest of the structure. Physical prototypes were too costly because of the short run nature of each project and the size of each bin.

Critical Success Factors –

• Digitally prototype the bin assembly
• Set-up the analysis with the storage crop characteristics and grain loading
• Provide an accurate analysis to ensure product will withstand the stress, minimizing field repairs

Applied Engineering went to work and gathered the information to create the digital prototype using the product specifications, storage crop data, and grain loads. Applied’s experienced engineering staff used advanced 3D design and finite element analysis software to analyze the proposed design. Static structural analysis was used to verify and optimize the strength of the design to ensure field performance.

As a result,  creation of a digital prototype was less than 10% of the cost to build a physical prototype. In the end, Amber Waves now had the assurance the new design would withstand the unique crop loading conditions in the field at a significant cost savings.