4 years ago, a farmer-Colin, brought in some stainless-steel tube with the hope that we could bend it for him. He was hoping to replace some steel tubes on his seed cart that were rusted out. Colin was trying to innovate a solution to a common seeding equipment problem. We have a CNC bender and thought we could give it a try.
Our first trials were unsuccessful as these were tight radius bends in thin-walled tubes, but we were convinced that additional tooling would make this possible. We invested in some additional tooling and found success. We called Colin and said we could make the parts for him. It didn’t take long, and we received a call from Colin’s neighbor hoping we could make similar parts for him.
See link below for CNC bending
Word spread and we started fielding other calls for other parts. Many Air-Seeders used flexible hoses to carry seed and fertilizer from the Air Cart to the distribution manifolds on the seeding unit. When the seeder is folded in transport mode, the hinging points require flexibility in this hose. Some large units use upwards of 700’ of this hose. The problem is that UV, time, and abrasion wear out this hose and at $7-$10 per foot, replacing the hose can be a costly and regular maintenance requirement.
Another farmer-Bruce asked us if we could form supply trunk lines with long sweeping curves from stainless-steel tubes to travel down the hitch of the seeder thereby replacing a good portion of flexible hose. We measured his frame, being careful to allow for flexibility and clearances for when the unit folds into transport mode and we came up with a retrofit kit that replaced approx. 400’ of hose with stainless steel tube. Bruce was very pleased. Not only did the kit replace half the hose on his seeder, but the air delivery balance at the point of seed delivery was greatly improved. Flexible hose drapes and sags and when routed and will have varying radii making product delivery potentially different in every line.
Since that first kit, our team went out to farms in the Prairies and took some measurements from different frames and designed more new Atlas Kits and so far we’ve added more frame designs and variations such that we now have a catalogue of kits for 9 different units installed on seeding equipment from 4 provinces and 2 states.
See link below for Atlas kits
Recently we purchased a new piece of CNC equipment to assist in producing the Atlas kits. It has brought increased accuracy and efficiency to kit production.
This is all the result of problem-solving in the field – literally! Farmers are inventors and innovators asking the question: Is there a better way? How can we improve this? We are pleased to have direct contact and support the people who are so critical to our prairie economy. To date, we have over 100 Atlas kits in the field assisting farmers as they feed our world.