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AGCO focuses on developing grain storage tech with GrainViz

AGCO recently acquired Firm 151 Research, in order to create new grain storage technology solutions. This fall, GrainViz will be released in a limited number of bins. GrainViz uses sensors to measure moisture content inside the grain bin.

AGCO and 151 Research previously had an exclusive technology partnership to develop GSI GrainViz precision grain monitoring, which gives growers and commercial operators advanced insight into the moisture content of the grain in their steel storage bins.

GSI, a manufacturer of grain handling and storage systems, is an AGCO brand. AGCO says GrainViz is another example of AGCO’s and GSI’s commitment to bring farmers technology innovation. According to AGCO, the acquisition of 151 Research will allow the company to continue development of GrainViz and expand into new solutions.

GrainViz

GrainViz helps farmers monitor to maintain the optimum moisture content of stored grain, which is a key to protecting grain quality .It brings growers advanced insight into the moisture content of grain in a steel storage bin.

Three dimensional moisture map

GSI GrainViz creates a three dimensional moisture map which appears on a computer screen or other device, using technology similar to that of an MRI or CT scan. According to AGCO, it’s based on imaging that was originally developed to detect breast cancer.

Using GrainViz, operators can see the moisture content of the grain, indicated by different colors, and its location within the grain mass. The initial focus will be on bins under 78 feet in diameter.

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GSI GrainViz creates a three dimensional moisture map which appears on a computer screen or other device, using technology similar to that of an MRI or CT scan.  - Photo: AGCO
GSI GrainViz creates a three dimensional moisture map which appears on a computer screen or other device, using technology similar to that of an MRI or CT scan. - Photo: AGCO

Save energy by optimising fans

AGCO says farmers save energy by optimising fans based on the condition of the grain and local weather to eliminate over-drying.

The detailed 3D image also provides farmers with a clear picture of their inventory and eliminates the need to enter a bin for physical measurement. Potential issues can be adressed before they become a problem and impact grain quality.

The system’s customer portal makes it easy to remotely monitor and manage grain conditions, and receive detailed inventory reporting via any Web-enabled device.

Sensors instead of cable systems

According to AGCO, GrainViz differs from other solutions in the way it uses sensors. Current technology largely relies on cable systems to monitor the temperature of grain in close proximity to the cables. That, however, leaves the majority of grain unchecked, says AGCO. GrainViz uses sensors mounted on the inside of the grain bin walls that send and receive signals, which are used to construct the 3-D image.

When a potential moisture issue is detected that could lead to grain spoilage, the system sends notifications via email, text message or phone calls. This means there is no need for anyone to enter a bin to check grain conditions.

Broader launch of GrainViz in 2021

AGCO intends to retain the 151 Research’s 45 current employees and to maintain the Winnipeg office as the smart grain technology center of excellence. The team is completing an initial release of GrainViz in a limited number of bins this fall. A broader launch is planned prior to the 2021 harvest. Pricing information has not yet been announced.

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