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Source: GSI news release

When GSI unveiled its innovative new FlexWave grain bin cleanout technology at the 2017 Farm Progress Show, many farmers had the same question: How could proper aeration be maintained with the system's inflatable liners replacing the perforated bin floor?

Initial testing by GSI has demonstrated no loss of aeration efficiency or grain quality with FlexWave. "Although more testing is planned to validate these results, the initial success is an important step in our plans to introduce this technology for the 2018 harvest season," said Jonathan Waits, Product Manager - Storage and Accessories for GSI.

Patent-pending FlexWave technology is designed to eliminate the current labor-intensive and potentially unsafe approach to grain bin cleanout involving bin sweeps, brooms and shovels. Instead, with FlexWave, two large liners alternately inflate and deflate, gently pushing the remaining grain following bin unloading into a centrally-located conveyor trough for removal. The result is 99.9 percent cleanout, without the need to enter the bin.

"The design of the conveyor trough also supports distribution of air through the grain column," Waits explained. "Test results showed that the same uniform cooling was maintained compared to conventional grain bin and aeration systems."

Testing process
This first phase of aeration testing was conducted on-farm using an 8-ring, 48-foot diameter grain bin filled to a 30-foot depth with corn from a portable dryer. Temperature cable sensors were inserted at different depths in the bin to measure how effectively aeration fans could provide air movement to cool the grain and maintain grain quality.

With this first successful test under its belt, GSI will next seek to validate the same results in bins of different diameters and capacities. Waits said this additional testing is important to enable development of multiple FlexWave offerings to meet the different needs of farmers and commercial grain operators.

A limited FlexWave offering is planned for 2018, involving hopper bins and smaller-diameter grain bins used for short-term storage. The first testing phase applied to larger-capacity grain bins for long-term grain storage, which GSI expects to introduce with FlexWave technology for the 2019 harvest season.

"FlexWave has generated a high level of interest and we have continued to receive many inquiries since the Farm Progress Show," said Waits. "We're very pleased by the success of our testing thus far, and look forward to the completion of this process and introduction of this innovative technology."

FlexWave also generated high interest at the recent 2017 Agritechnica farm show in Hanover, Germany, where the new technology, which is exclusive to GSI and the first of its kind in the agricultural industry, received a Silver Innovation Award. The annual event is billed as the world's leading trade show for agricultural machinery, drawing 2,900 exhibitors from 52 countries.

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