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Improvement of the Grain Elevator Receiving Operation by Means of Object Oriented Simulation

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  026011,  2002 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.9398) @2002
Keywords:   Object oriented simulation, grain elevator performance, logistic solutions, grain receiving operations

This paper investigates the option of enlarging the receiving pit holding capacity and dimensions to increase the throughput of the unloading operation for a country grain elevator by means of a simulation model. The model has been validated against the performance of a large commercial Midwestern grain elevator and has previously been used to verify the feasibility of different facility improvements. The parameter used to compare the performance of the different elevator configurations is the average service time per customer, expressed as the difference between the moment the truck enters and leaves the system. It includes all unit operation times and waiting times incurred by each truckload delivered to the grain elevator. Enlarging the pit size in order to simultaneously dump the two hoppers of a trailer carrying about 25 MT of grain without moving the semi truck back and forth would yield a 1.1 min.truck-1 time saving for each load. For the elevator surveyed, semi trucks represent about 80% of the total traffic. On a peak day, the enlargement of the existing two receiving pits would result in service times of about 32 min.load-1 for the proposed configuration vs. 59 min.load-1 for the present elevator configuration. It will also reduce the truck cycle time per load for farmers, which will increase their daily crop harvesting capacities without having to add additional transportation equipment. Consequently, also the grain received in the elevator could be consistently higher with this configuration. This aspect however is not investigated in this paper.

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