Gravel Batteries - As green energy proponents address its intermittent nature, good old-fashioned gravel may provide a solution.
Renewable energy is becoming more and more popular these days. We recently jumped on the band wagon and had solar panels installed on our home in Anthem, Ariz. On average, we have 299 sunny days per year, so it is a pretty darn good investment.
The down side to energy from solar panels and wind turbines is their on-off nature. When the wind stops blowing or the sun stops shining, the energy production stops. That is not a problem for us, because we are still connected to the grid and can get power even when the sun doesn’t shine. But believe me — they know how to charge rate payers who have solar!
In order to make solar and wind commercially viable, there needs to be some method to store excess energy production for use when there is no sunshine, no wind, or during peak demand. Electricity cannot be stored easily, but construction of a new battery gigafactory in the United States, as well as other high-tech methods on the horizon, may be part of the solution.
While we wait for new technology to catch on, there are some pretty good solutions already in place. Some environmen-tally friendly methods use — you guessed it — gravel. In terms of supply chain, handling, and construction, few materials are as cost effective, easy to obtain, and simple to use as gravel.
The most common method to store energy is pumped hydro storage. During excess solar or wind production periods, water is pumped uphill into a reservoir. During low or non-production periods, the water flows down through a generator to a lower reservoir. Very simple; very easy. However, hydro storage takes up a lot of space. An idea is being batted around where the water and reservoirs would be replaced by huge buckets filled with gravel. Excess energy produced will be used to haul the rock uphill in a ski-lift kind of contraption. When energy is needed, gravity will carry the rock downhill, producing electricity on its downhill trip.
There are a few somewhat more sophisticated ideas in the works, where excess energy is converted to thermal energy and then stored in giant gravel “batteries,” thus evening out the intermittent nature of wind turbines and solar panels.
One example is in Steinfurt, Germany. Rather than build an expensive tank, the battery is constructed underground in a covered pit. The storage material is a mixture of gravel and water. The side walls, top, and bottom are heat-insulated. The pit has a double-sided polypropylene liner with a vacuum control to identify leaks, and the liner is protected from the gravel by a layer of fleece.
When excess energy is available, heated water (195 degrees F) ‘charges’ the battery, either by direct water exchange (right side of the illustration) or via plastic pipes (left side of illustration). The hot water is stored until it is needed, at which time the water flow is reversed.
The use of rocks for thermal storage is attractive because rocks are not toxic, non-flammable, and inexpensive. The main problem I see with gravel batteries is convincing my wife to allow me to tear up our entire backyard landscaping and fish pond so I can replace it with a big hole filled with gravel and pipes. Is that really too much to ask? AM
Read the original article here in AGGREGATES MANAGER April 2017, thanks Bill for contributing to our Mining Equipment Marketing blog. Have a great weekend.
Chain mills represent a cost-effective crushing solution for reducing a wide variety of materials. Stedman Machine Company’s chain mill crushers can handle a large volume of tailings per hour.
An especially effective fertilizer crusher, the Stedman chain mill crusher series is engineered to break up lumps in superphosphate, triple-superphosphate, granular and conventional fertilizer tailings. Other applications include animal bedding, sawdust and many materials requiring lump removal for conveying or processing. The single or dual rotor chain mill crusher features heavy-duty construction with a welded plate steel housing and removable back plate. Capacities vary depending on feed size, feed rate, operating conditions, desired product output, characteristics of feed material, and equipment configuration. Full-scale material testing available at the Stedman Testing & Toll Processing Facility.
(This week's post comes from the world of Burning Man, I went last year and learned a lot about how a community uses and polices social media. Just ran across this video of the Astec Dancers by fellow Earth Guardian Camp volunteer Martin Cline and on further research ran across their social media policies. I wanted to copy them here as an excellent set of guildlines for any company wanting to define their social media use for both their benefits and rules to prevent inproper use. Enjoy.)
These pages contain the Burning Man Project's policies, protocols and guidelines for the online activities of our staff and close volunteers, including the usage of official Burning Man email addresses, email lists, and social networking services in general.
As a staff member or volunteer for the Burning Man organization, you are expected to read and understand these policies. Any questions or concerns about them should be directed to your manager, or to the Burning Man Communications Department.
1 Social Media Guidelines For Burning Man Staff 2 Acceptable Use of Burning Man Regional Email Lists 3 Acceptable Use of Burning Man Aliases and Email Addresses 4 Best Practices in the Use of Burning Man Email Lists 5 Acceptable Use of Burning Man Email Lists
Social Media Guidelines For Burning Man Staff Last Update: December 2014
Burning Man recognizes that many of our staff members and close volunteers participate in social media services for their own personal use -- and often, to talk about Burning Man and their experiences within this culture. We feel this contributes to a richer voice about our culture, sharing an important story that we very much want to see accessible in the world.
And so to help you, our culture's leaders, to engage in with social networks and online communication without inadvertently causing any undue harm to the Burning Man Project or your fellow Burners, we've crafted a set of basic guidelines for for social media, including:
· Scope of Social Media · Personal vs. Professional · Who Are You Speaking For? · Who Are You Speaking To? · Basic Personal Conduct · Employees: Using Social Media at Work · What To Say? What Not to Say?
Scope of Social Media Social media includes websites and services that facilitate interaction and conversation between people online. This includes social networking sites (Facebook, Tribe, LinkedIn, etc.), content on media sharing sites (Flickr, YouTube, etc.), blogs, microblogs (Twitter, etc.), web comment sections, forums, wikis, and social areas of a website.
Personal vs. Professional You're generally encouraged to be mindful of and responsible for how what you say will reflect not only on you as an individual, but Burning Man as an organization and a culture. Because of the hazy line between the professional and the personal when it comes to being a part of this organization, even "unofficial representatives" online can reflect on us all and hamper our ability to fulfill our mission.
If you use a pseudonym, you should assume that some people know who you really are. Be transparent about your connection to the organization where appropriate.
Who Are You Speaking For? If you're saying something from your own perspective or stating your personal opinion rather than speaking officially for Burning Man, it's never a bad idea to specifically state that. Typically, you should not consider yourself a "spokesperson" for Burning Man, and sometimes (such as moments of crisis)? Definitely leave it to the spokespeople.
Who Are You Speaking To? It's best to assume Burning Man's worst critics, biggest fans, your supervisor, your coworkers, and your mother all likely have the ability to access what you write online, even if you're not directly "connected". Never underestimate the velocity with which information jumps across networks.
Basic Personal Conduct Your actions online should reflect Burning Man's values as presented in the Ten Principles, our Mission Statement, and all written policies for email list and alias usage. Walk the talk with how you behave, as well as what you say.
Employees: Using Social Media at Work It's between you and your manager to determine when / how much use of social media is appropriate during work hours, and/or when you should engage with social media in pursuit of your responsibilities.
What To Say? What Not to Say? We trust you to exercise common sense and good judgment in your communications. If ever you're not sure about something, check with your manager or Communications. Here are some thoughts:
- Don't Know? Don't Answer. If somebody's asking a question, and you're not sure of the answer, there's nothing wrong with saying, "I don't know," -- but there's a lot wrong with perpetuating speculation or rumormongering. Refer questions to somebody who knows the answer if you don't.
- Confidential Information. Never disseminate proprietary or confidential Burning Man information (things like unannounced policy changes, legal issues, and ongoing litigation). If you're not sure it's confidential, err on the side of caution, and check with your manager or Communications.
- Know Your Facts. While you might *think* you know something, there could be something in play you're not aware of, or a recent internal change. Ask around if you're not absolutely sure.
- Tell the Story. Feel free to provide unique, individual perspectives on non-confidential activities or anything that's publicly observable or not proprietary to your role. Telling stories is how Burning Man's values are shared in the world.
- Personal Privacy. It's common courtesy, before mentioning co-workers or other individuals involved with the Project, to check in with them to assure they're okay with being mentioned by name in association with Burning Man.
- Don't Feed the Trolls. Avoid engaging trolls (people who bait you with inflammatory statements to get a reaction), or participating in a flame war. Even if you "win" you lose. Burning Man is a widely misunderstood discussion topic, and negative PR and misstatements abound, but sometimes the best response is just to let them die out on their own.
- Don't Be *&$%# Offensive. If you use offensive or inflammatory language, you'll be perceived as offensive or inflammatory, and the rest of Burning Man will be too.
Once posted, social web content can stay in play and affect perceptions for a very long time. Think before you hit "Send". Any questions, concerns or ideas can be addressed to Burning Man's Communications Team.
Acceptable Use of Burning Man Regional Email Lists
The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines about acceptable use of Regional Burningman.org email distribution lists for sending and receiving email messages and attachments, or any Technology Department resources thereof. The policy describes the standards that users are expected to observe when using Burning Man Regional Announcement and Discussion lists for email, and ensures that users are aware of the consequences attached to inappropriate use of these resources.
Further, this policy serves to advise the users of those guidelines to provide a framework wherein users of these lists can apply self-regulation to their use of these resources.
1. Email groups are established for Burning Man Regional Contacts to utilize to organize local Burning Man communities and enable Burners to maintain a cultural connection to one another online. All email to a group should be consistent with the purpose of the group, and used to accomplish tasks related to and consistent with the values of the Regional Network and the Burning Man Project at large.
2. Burning Man's Technology Team, Regionals Team, or Regional Contacts/list managers may restrict access to these lists where there is reason to believe that laws or Burning Man policies have been violated. Unacceptable use of email lists includes: • Use of email to support any inappropriate commercial advertising or for-profit activity unrelated to the Burning Man Project or the Regional Network. • Use of email to initiate or forward chain letters. (NOTE: Most chain emails referring to viruses are hoaxes, and should be ignored/deleted.) • Failure to use “OT” to designate off-topic posts, or abusing the option of occasional “OT” posts. • Violations of copyright laws (unlawful distribution of copyrighted printed material, audio recordings, video recordings, or computer software.) • Sending messages to an individual or group that are unwelcome. This includes continuing to send such messages after being asked by the individual or group member to cease doing so, even though the material itself may not be considered offensive. • Use of email to lodge grievances that should be handled through existing Burning Man policies and procedures, such as the Conflict Resolution protocols. • Use of a false email address or “spoofing”. • Use of email to threaten or harass others, to cause annoyance, disruption, or needless anxiety. • Spamming – sending unsolicited material and/or material not related to Burning Man’s mission to the lists, or using the list to cull for addresses with which to do so. • Use of email to promote political or religious causes or events. (Note: Given Burning Man’s commitment to public service, the use of email lists to send information about governmental, civic, or charitable organizations or community-wide events such as memorial services may be an approved use.) • Use of mass email to publicly castigate, chastise, defame, or ridicule any person, particularly any member of the Burning Man community. • The willful introduction of computer viruses or other disruptive/destructive programs into the Burning Man network or other networks. • Disruption of activity related to the Burning Man mission or the mission of the user’s specific team. • Disclosure of personal information or violating the privacy of other users. This includes publishing to others the text of a message written on a one-to-one basis, without the prior express consent of the author. • Use of email lists to obtain individual email addresses with which to execute any of the above-outlined violations in an “off-list” manner, or to create separate lists for secondary or outside purposes.
3. List moderators and owners will monitor the use of these lists to ensure that the above-listed guidelines are met.
4. Managers will also act to restate the purpose and mission of each list on a regular basis to ensure that all members maintain an understanding of said purposes. Moderators will be responsible for assuring that new members are advised of those missions and of these stated policies, and monitoring the list for adherence to the above-outlined regulations and policies.
Misuse of Burningman.org Resources Suspected or known violations of this policy, or of the law, should be confidentially reported to the Regional Committee at Burning Man, who will collaborate and/or work with the local moderator to execute appropriate action or response.
Violations may result in revocation of email service privileges; management or staff disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from Regional Contact role; referral to law enforcement agencies; or other legal action.
Acceptable Use of Burning Man Aliases and Email Addresses Last update: December 2014
This Burning Man alias (email@example.com) and email address policy exists to provide guidelines for acceptable use for the purpose of sending or receiving email messages and attachments via a Burningman.org email address or alias. The policy is also designed to specify the actions that Burning Man will take in the investigation of complaints received from both internal and external sources about any unacceptable use of email that involves Burning Man’s technological resources.
1. Unacceptable use of said resources may include: a) Use of email to support any commercial advertising or for-profit activity. b) Use of email to initiate or forward chain letters. (NOTE: Most chain emails referring to viruses are hoaxes, and should be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org for review. If the content of the email is determined to be real and should be distributed to the Burning Man community, the Technology Department will take appropriate action.) c) Violations of copyright laws (unlawful distribution of copyrighted printed material, audio recordings, video recordings, or computer software.) d) Sending messages to an individual or group that are unwelcome. This includes continuing to send such messages after being asked by the individual or group member to cease doing so, even though the material itself may not be considered offensive. (Note: A user may not “unsubscribe” from lists used by Burning Man for official purposes, unless the user is separating from duties and affiliation with that group.) e) Use of email to lodge grievances that should be handled through existing Burning Man policies and procedures, such as the Conflict Resolution protocols. f) Use of a false email address or “spoofing”. g) Use of email to threaten or harass others, to cause annoyance, disruption, or needless anxiety. h) Spamming – sending unsolicited material and/or material not related to Burning Man’s mission to the lists, or using the list to cull for addresses with which to do so. i) Use of email to promote political or religious causes or events. (Note: Given Burning Man’s commitment to public service, the use of email lists to send information about governmental, civic, or charitable organizations or community-wide events such as memorial services may be an approved use.) j) Use of mass email to publicly castigate, chastise, defame, or ridicule any person, particularly any member of the Burning Man community. k) The willful introduction of computer viruses or other disruptive/destructive programs into the Burning Man network or other networks. l) Disruption of activity related to the Burning Man mission or the mission of the user’s specific team. m)Disclosure of personal information or violating the privacy of other users. This includes publishing to others the text of a message written on a one-to-one basis, without the prior express consent of the author. n) Use of aliases to obtain individual email addresses with which to execute any of the above-outlined violations in an “off-list” manner. o) Burningman.org email addresses and aliases are given for the purposes of representation of the organization for official purposes. They are not intended as “perks” and are limited in distribution to those whose roles require them to represent the organization accordingly. As such, users should bear in mind that when composing email from said addresses, one’s words can and are perceived as representing the organization, even, at times, when one claims to be expressing one’s personal opinion. Email users should take care to not give the impression that they are representing, giving opinions, or otherwise making statements on behalf of Burning Man or any team thereof unless they are expressly asked to do so. At times, statements such as the following disclaimer may be appropriate: “The opinions or statements expressed herein are my own and should not be taken as a position, opinion, or endorsement of the Burning Man Project.”
2. Email resources may be used for incidental personal purposes provided that such use does not:
p) Directly or indirectly interfere with the operation of computing facilities or email services. q) Interfere with the email user’s employment or other obligations to the Burning Man Project. r) Violate this policy or any other applicable policy or law, including but not limited to use for personal gain, conflict of interest, harassment, defamation, copyright violation, or illegal activity. s) Email messages arising from such personal use shall, however, be subject to access consistent with this policy and applicable law. Accordingly, such use does not carry with it a reasonable expectation of privacy.
3. If a user has been requested by another user via email or in writing to refrain from sending email messages, the recipient is prohibited from sending that user any further messages, until such time as he/she has been notified by the appropriate manager that such correspondence is permissible. Failure to honor such a request shall be deemed a violation of this policy.
4. If, due to latency, departure, or dismissal, a change in the user’s status with Burning Man occurs, email or alias privileges may be revoked at the sole discretion of Burning Man. This includes when the affiliation between the user and Burning Man comes to an end, by any circumstances.
Misuse of Burningman.org Resources Suspected or known violations of this policy, or of the law, should be confidentially reported to the appropriate supervisory level for the team in which the violation occurs. Violations will be processed by the appropriate managers, and/or law enforcement agencies as necessary.
Violations may result in revocation of email service privileges; management or staff disciplinary action up to and including dismissal; referral to law enforcement agencies; or other legal action.
Alias Format In order to promote consistency, professionalism and eliminate confusion, all new email addresses and aliases going forward in 2014 and beyond will follow this format: email@example.com
This policy doesn't apply to those who've already been assigned first name or playa-name aliases. Those already existing first name/playa-name email addresses are grandfathered and won’t have to be changed except in cases where, in the transition of email addresses from burningman.com to burningman.org, a duplicate exists. Then an evaluation and change to a firstname.lastname@example.org email address may occur.
Exceptions going forward may be made on a case-by-case basis for year-round staff with outward-facing customer service positions in addition to their internal roles. Examples of this could be those in the Communications Department, HR department, playa staff, or anyone else who has community-facing responsibilities. Any questions can be directed to your department head, who will make the final call on allowing first name or playa name aliases.
Best Practices in the Use of Burning Man Email Lists Last Update: December 2014
1 DO NOT send attachments to a Burning Man list. Attachments should be put on the Ultranet, and linked to from there. 2 Use the letters "OT" to indicate something is "Off Topic", meaning it's personal, or about a non-Burning Man-related subject. 3 Headers should reflect the subject of your email. In the midst of a long debate, check to make sure your header still reflects the subject you're talking about. 4 Avoid cross-posting to multiple lists. When people begin to "reply to all" posters from other lists will bounce, forcing the moderator to open every attempted post to ensure it's not actually from someone on the list who might be posting from another email address. One suggestion would be to post separately to each list, but indicate you've cc:ed the other lists at the top of the body of the email. 5 If you hit "reply" to an email, you will be replying to only to the original sender, and not the list. You will need to hit "Reply to All" if you wish to reply to the poster AND the list. When you hit "Reply to All", it's also good form to remove the email address of the original sender so they don't get two replies. 6 Do not EVER take a private email sent to you and put it on a public discussion list without permission of the original sender. This is basic internet etiquette. 7 Remember ALL CAPS means you're yelling, and we don't need to do that to family and friends on a Burning Man discussion list. 8 Don't be mean to each other ... take it off list. No one wants to see others arguing in public. 9 It's very easy to dissect a person's email point by point, and in some cases this is the best approach. Sometimes summarizing your thoughts at the top can be speedy for you and for the reader. 10 Rather than including all large number of email addresses in the CC: field of a message, use the BCC: function if you must send an email to any group over 20 people that don’t know each other.
Acceptable Use of Burning Man Email Lists
The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines about acceptable use of Burningman.org email distribution lists for sending and receiving email messages and attachments, or any Technology Department resources thereof. The policy describes the standards that users are expected to observe when using these resources for email, and ensures that users are aware of the consequences attached to inappropriate use of these resources.
Further, this policy serves to advise the users of those guidelines to provide a framework wherein users of these lists can apply self-regulation to their use of these resources.
1 Email groups are established for Burning Man committees, departments, and special projects. Email to a group should be consistent with the purpose of the group, and used to accomplish tasks related to and consistent with the Burning Man mission. 2 Burning Man’s Technology Department may restrict or suspend access to these lists where there is reason to believe that laws or Burning Man policies have been violated. Unacceptable use of email lists includes: i Use of email to support any commercial advertising or for-profit activity. ii Use of email to initiate or forward chain letters. (NOTE: Most chain emails referring to viruses are hoaxes, and should be forwarded to email@example.com for review. If the content of the email is determined to be real and should be distributed to the Burning Man community, the Technology Department will take appropriate action.) iii Failure to use "OT" to designate off-topic posts, or abusing the option of occasional "OT" posts after being given feedback by list manager. iv Violations of copyright laws (unlawful distribution of copyrighted printed material, audio recordings, video recordings, or computer software.) v Sending messages to an individual or group that are unwelcome. This includes continuing to send such messages after being asked by the individual or group member to cease doing so, even though the material itself may not be considered offensive. (Note: A user may not “unsubscribe” from lists used by Burning Man for official purposes, unless the user is separating from duties and affiliation with that group.) vi Use of email to lodge grievances that should be handled through existing Burning Man policies and procedures, such as the Conflict Resolution protocols. vii Use of a false email address or “spoofing”. viii Use of email to threaten or harass others, to cause annoyance, disruption, or needless anxiety. ix Spamming – sending unsolicited material and/or material not related to Burning Man’s mission to the lists, or using the list to cull for addresses with which to do so. x Use of email to promote political or religious causes or events. (Note: Given Burning Man’s commitment to public service, the use of email lists to send information about governmental, civic, or charitable organizations or community-wide events such as memorial services may be an approved use.) xi Use of mass email to publicly castigate, chastise, defame, or ridicule any person, particularly any member of the Burning Man community. xii The willful introduction of computer viruses or other disruptive/destructive programs into the Burning Man network or other networks. xiii Disruption of activity related to the Burning Man mission or the mission of the user’s specific team. xiv Disclosure of personal information or violating the privacy of other users. This includes publishing to others the text of a message written on a one-to-one basis, without the prior express consent of the author. xv Use of email lists to obtain individual email addresses with which to execute any of the above-outlined violations in an “off-list” manner.
3. List moderators and owners will monitor the use of these lists to ensure that the above-listed guidelines are met. They will also serve to re-examine list membership each year. Membership to each list is restricted to active members of that team, except as membership may be defined by an emeritus or consultant status; therefore, lists will be culled each year to ensure that membership is limited to those who have an active role in the missions of the team or of Burning Man.
4. Moderators will also act to restate the purpose and mission of each list on a regular basis to ensure that all members maintain an understanding of said purposes. Moderators will be responsible for assuring that new members are advised of those missions and of these stated policies, and monitoring the list for adherence to the above-outlined regulations and policies.
Misuse of Burningman.org resources Suspected or known violations of this policy, or of the law, should be confidentially reported to the appropriate supervisory level for the team in which the violation occurs. Violations will be processed by the appropriate managers, and/or law enforcement agencies as necessary.
Violations may result in revocation of email service privileges; management or staff disciplinary action up to and including dismissal; referral to law enforcement agencies; or other legal action.
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Trade show press conferences are a great way to improve your return on investment.
You advertise in the trade journals and have sent out a series of press releases to promote the show. The icing on the cake is holding a process equipment marketing press conference and making contact and thank all the editors you work with throughout the year.
We also saw one of the first vertical roller mills at the show. We're writing a primer on this type of equipment.
Everyone in the industrial market knows that the CONEXPO-CONAGG 2017 show is opening Tuesday March 7. The conference will be in Las Vegas from March 7-11 and is expecting over 125,000 attendees and 2,400 exhibitors. In terms of a conference, that is huge and provides quite the opportunity for any business.
The CONEXPO got its start here in Ohio in 1909, debuting as a ‘Road Show.’ The early exhibitors prided themselves on displaying ‘amazing new devices’ that could do the work of 15 horses. It continued to grow and did so at an unprecedented rate during the construction boom after World War II. In the 1970’s it opened its doors to the international community, as well as, the CON/AGG show, which also had began in the early 1900’s; by combining shows and creating CONEXPO-CON/AGG, both attendees and exhibitors alike we able to experience all the emerging products, equipment, and services in one place, maximizing time, money, and educational opportunities of the construction and industrial industries.
With so many people and exhibitions attending this show, most industrial companies recognize the importance of marketing their product or service. They know that this is an opportunity to reach other businesses, consumers, and influential individuals in the industry, which is why having a solid team, effective communication, and a game plan are so important for a trade show of this caliber.
Preparing for a Trade Show
This is the first step required for a good trade show exhibit. Everyone must be on the same page about what is required from him or her and how to, not just execute it, but to do so properly. This requires effective communication, clear guidelines, and stringent implementation.
Preparation for the show includes everything from how your booth will look to with whom you staff it; both should be of high quality.
Too many times have I been to a trade show that individuals are on their phones, talking to each other, or eating food when they should be grabbing the attention of the people passing by. This typically happens because stringent rules weren’t put into place to prevent such things from happening. Allowing such behavior to occur will only hurt the company and the reputations of those involved; possibly affecting your credibility and professionalism. Be sure to have educated employees and sales staff on hand who are dedicated to success and to achieving the purpose of the trade show: to gather leads and to make connections.
This is where effective communication comes into play. Let staffers know that they are there for a purpose and that purpose is to generate leads, not to eat McDonald’s in the back of the booth around noon. The typical trade booth staff will walk away from training with a good pitch to throw at people passing by, but an excellent staff will walk away knowing an immense amount of knowledge on the product as well as having a clear objective to what they are responsible for doing. Some booths include people who just catch the attention and move interested individuals to sales reps who know more about the product and while the assembly line is beneficial and provides an organized mechanism for all booth employees, reminding employees that everyone has the same objective helps keep everyone on track and can help prevent a lack of involvement from employees. Some companies sometimes implement contests, hoping to motivate employees and sales reps alike to drive in business.
Creating an Inviting Trade Show Booth
You want to make sure your booth looks welcoming, interesting, and clean. You don’t want something that is too ‘homey,’ people won’t take you seriously, but you also don’t want a both that results in looking so technological or industrial that a layperson can’t understand it and are too intimidated to stop by or don’t find it interesting. Having a well-balanced booth and a friendly staff of people who can clearly and concisely explain what you have to offer is the best route to go here.
Providing information, good information, is crucial to the success of your booth. Pamphlets are great and are very popular at trade shows, but how many of those make it to the plane ride home? Not many, most natives to the city hosting the trade show will tell you that most of them end up littering the streets once all visitors have left. This is where educated employees matter, reinforcing the point above. According to Skyline Exhibits 5 common Pitfalls to Trade Show Marketing blog, offering to take someone’s email address or telephone number on the spot and stating that they probably have enough to carry without you adding to their load can be a very effective means of gathering individuals’ information. Using technology, like a tablet for instance, in this situation can maximize your outreach. People may not have one of your pamphlets to throw away at the airport, but they will be able to check the email you sent or listen to the voicemail you left on the plane ride home; already making for a more personal experience and your booth, and more importantly your product, will stick out in their mind.
Effective Marketing of Your Trade Show Attendance
Standing out at a trade show is important and learning how can be difficult. According to Susan Friedmann, the Trade Show Coach there is more than one way to do this. One of the best strategies is having your company/client try and align new product announcements and trade shows together. Having a new product to premier at a trade show is a good way to get some press prior to the show. We have had a couple of clients take this route for the CON/AGG conference and we have been shooting out press releases and public relations left and right. Most publications, whether print or electronic, are willing to take such information and publish it. They too recognize the enormity of the show and know that many people are reading publications to ‘be ahead of the game’ and to know what to expect from the trade show exhibits. Also be aware that most publications need this information well in advance, so having your own deadlines to accomplish the media announcements is necessary.
Utilize social media. Make it known on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. that you will be there and that you have something new rolling out. This also will build an interest with your followers who aren’t going to the show itself and could even prompt them to come along too.
Schedule a press conference if possible. Many media outlets, local and international, will be covering the convention; such large conventions can get a lot of coverage time via the media and having a press conference about your new product or your attendance can really increase your popularity at the show; not to mention the publicity involved with media coverage.
Learning the trade show dance can be difficult, especially when the convention/show itself has been around for over one hundred years; that makes for an evolution of dance. But, surrounding yourself with a positive, well-motivated team who is willing to work hard, combined with effective marketing and a welcoming booth should create a successful experience.
Here's a three-year industrial marketing plan. The goal of the plan is to generate new opportunities and markets to apply the client's technology. Existing markets will also be targeted for new applications.
Our proposal starts with basic educational publicity as the foundation for a modern internet marketing campaign. Marketing today is based on the fact that customers are educating themselves well in advance, before contacting any potential suppliers. They are doing this almost exclusively on the internet. Unless a company plays a role in the engineer’s education, they stand little chance of being the preferred supplier for a new product component. Traditional technical journals, many still in print, are the gate-keepers of the best technical content. Good publicity campaigns work with the editors and publishers of the trade journals as well as technical conferences. If your educational publicity campaigns are picked up by the technical press, you can be assured that it is worthy of investment, because of the long life the educational material will have, and the many ways it can be repurposed as video, audio, slide shows, demonstrations and presentations.
PART ONE - Publicity
The first part of the proposal is a publicity campaign that would publish information to markets that already use the client's technology as well as a broader audiences of manufacturing engineers. This publicity campaign would also include managing free listings in buyer’s guides across print and internet media. The estimated cost for the year-long campaign is $25,000, billable monthly. (The VALUE of the product information placement in print and internet media for the year is estimated to be $35,000.)
PART TWO - Advertising
The second part of the proposal is advertising in existing industry buyer’s guides and manufacturing engineering company capability listings in print and internet media. This modest campaign will reinforce the product publicity and provide introduction to the publishers and editors of our markets that we are a contributor to the news and education of the industry. Advertisement writing, design and production will be quoted separately. The estimated budget for the year-long campaign is approximately $25,000. We estimate this budget will include four of five placements, primarily in the media’s directories or special editorial focuses on our markets. High domain authority links to your site are on of the best ways to get Google to rank your pages higher. It's great that we can purchase such links at affordable rates.
PART THREE - Technical articles
The last part of the proposal is the educational publishing phase. The publicity and advertising phases need to be in place first. Strategic topics will be chosen, and articles pitched to the print and internet media editors to meet their needs. A series of blog posts for the client's site will be published and promoted to the internet channels manufacturing engineers use for product research and development. You can expect a THREE TIMES ROI VALUE on the yearly investment of $25,000. We estimate two articles could be published and approximately 24 blog posts written. This estimate for articles and blogging doesn’t include 100 percent of the writing of the articles and blogs. Blog and article topics will be estimated based on content. If sufficient educational material is available for Lohre to edit, the majority of the cost can be included. The primary article and blog topics will educate manufacturing engineers about designing and selecting your product or service for their application. They will not be specifically about the client's company. This is a requirement of the print and internet media editors. Here is an example of an article we wrote for Stedman Machine Company. The editor, Darren Constantino, uses it as an example of appropriate writing for feature articles in PIT & QUARRY.
PART FOUR - Feedback and Improvement
Continual improvement will be the focus in the following years of the continued publicity, advertising and educational publishing program. After the first year, enough data from website traffic and company contact information should be gathered to estimate the investment required to meet marketing goals.
In summary, the industrial marketing plan focuses on promoting the educational material developed. The web site will need to be front and center for promotion and also used as a tool to gather prospects' email contact information for nurturing with material suitable for the consideration and decision stages of the buying cycle.
(This week's post is a recent article we wrote for POWDER BULK SOLIDS on a major factor in mining equipment marketing - trying before you buy! Thanks to Stedman Machine Company for the opportunity to work with them to create one of the finest marketing programs I've been a part of in my nearly 40 years in the business. Lohre also took the photos.)
Learn why it’s smart to try before you buy size reduction equipment.
By Chris Nawalaniec, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Stedman Machine Company
Selecting the right equipment is also a great way to save energy. Sure you could use a carpenter’s hammer to drive a railroad spike, but it is not very efficient, and while a sledgehammer is more common, an automatic spike driver can make the task nearly effortless. However if you are only driving a single spike, the additional energy required using the automatic option becomes cost prohibitive. A review of your material and process by the equipment manufacturer can help you avoid the pitfalls of under or over selection.
(Stedman Machine Company photo of closed size reduction circuit system with the Stedman Grand Slam™ Horizontal Shaft Impactor and a round vibratory screener.)
Testing helps determine the most efficient processing technology to meet production needs. The right equipment saves time and money in the long run. Full-scale testing provides precise size reduction solutions for the exact material/s and demonstration of a specific model before purchase.
While the nuances of size reduction are infinite, commonly encountered industrial size reduction applications use equipment that achieves reduction through one or more of the following:
Impact -- hitting a friable material to break large parts into smaller ones
Shear -- tearing or ripping material
Compression -- squeezing and pressing down on a material until it breaks.
Design parameters that drive size reduction crusher selection include production requirements, material characteristics, project location, climate conditions, capital cost, safety and environment, the life of product/expansion plans and maintenance requirements.
Some types of machinery can last decades. Buying the wrong equipment can have long-term consequences in the cost of consumables, lack of production and downtime. Yearly consumables alone could exceed half the cost of the unit. Size- reduction equipment is typically integrated into a large system. By choosing the wrong equipment, it could inadvertently create a bottleneck that affects the productivity of the overall system.
Test facilities have hundreds of reports on file that may match your application. Saving the expenses of preliminary testing or in the selection of the proper size reduction method. Frequently the staff has experience crushing your material or a similar material. New applications are compared to existing reference data for similar applications. Past tests provide valuable insight into how to configure equipment and plan tests.
Picking the right test facility
Simple devices like the mortar and pestle and technologically complex machines like giant mining crushers perform the same basic task: making big things smaller. Finding the right equipment for this critical process step should begin with the question, “Do we need size reduction equipment, knowledge, or both?”
Choose a test facility that has a range of different size reduction methods. A full complement of hoppers, mechanical conveyors and screens enable test plant technicians to replicate both open and closed systems. Full-size crushing equipment is best for dependable results. It is difficult to scale up crushing results from a lab-size crusher. Lab machine tests may not determine the actual horsepower and machine size the project requires.
Is the test plant set up to provide real-world conditions in which customers can view their materials being processed -- from feeding, through size reduction and discharge/separation? Does it have an open slot to allow for the installation of other machines on an as-needed basis? Are there cameras to provide live video feeds of materials as they are being processed?
Once the testing is done, toll processing, in the same facility, can produce enough product to test downstream processes, such as briquetting and extrusion, in the future facility to ensure that the process will perform as expected. Remember, the goal is to find an application solution rather than simply buying equipment.
(Stedman Machine Company photo of open size reduction circuit system with the Stedman Grand Slam™ Horizontal Shaft Impactor and a round vibratory screener.)
What the test plant needs to know
Size reduction process design begins with an understanding of the feed’s physical and chemical characteristics and ends with the product’s physical specifications and other unique product considerations. Five things are needed to evaluate testing possibilities:
Tons-per-hour capacity required
Final product size
Safety data sheets
A material with high moisture content may become gummy and build up on the inside of the crusher. Moisture has a cushioning effect and can cause the material to stick together reducing productivity. When material buildup is a concern, the addition of equipment heaters and air cannons can be used to reduce build up allowing for more efficient operation. Brittle materials are easily crushed, but the process may create too many fines. Heat-sensitive materials may need cooling systems.
Getting the material to the test facility may be a problem. Can the consistency of the material change during shipping to the test plant? Can the facility restore your material to its as-shipped condition? For typical tests about 200 to 500 pounds of material are required.
What to expect during the test
First steps are sampling of the raw feed to establish the input gradation, moisture level and creating a plan for crushing tests specific to the project goals. To achieve the desired particle size and consistency, the test facility will consider: particle size distribution (the percentage of lumps versus fines) as it enters the crusher, feed control (Will it become gummy or sticky?) and how material is taken away from the crusher. If the material has a large percentage of fines, it’s more efficient to separate the fines with a screener first. Only the oversized material goes through the crusher.
Plan to spend a few days observing the testing process and all the procedures necessary to produce the required end product including preparation, loading of your material and RPM sets for fine to coarse production. You’ll witness the real-time horsepower consumption through start up and full load.
Test plants are operated in either open or closed circuit. Open circuit means the material passes through the crusher once. Closed circuit means that material is re-circulated back into the crusher if it doesn’t pass through a certain screen mesh. In closed circuits, as much as 30 percent of material may re-circulate before meeting size requirements, which increases energy use by 30 percent.
If needed, the test facility will run your material through various crushing methods and/or determine how to fine tune the crusher’s configuration for your process. Two different type crushers may effectively reduce your material at the specifications you need, but one may require much less horsepower and less cost to operate.
(Stedman Machine Company photo provided of closed, air-swept size reduction circuit system with a Stedman Vertical Roller Mill.)
The data produced from the test of your material helps estimate operating costs from power consumption to wear parts and the information needed to select the right crushing and size reduction equipment. The written technical report provided to you will include the following:
Raw feed particle size distribution
Moisture content analysis
Product particle size distribution gradation analysis
Bulk density analysis before and after crushing
Abrasion Test to determine if an impactor is feasible for a particular application and to estimate hammer wear life.
Power requirements for startup and operation
Evaluating results and scale up
Performance data obtained on test plant equipment are scalable to accurately predict outcomes achieved on production models. Once your tests are done, the sales engineer will make recommendations for equipment type and size, open or closed circuits and other equipment like air cannons or heaters to loosen caking or sticky material. The equipment selected should produce the same particle size distribution as the test unit and the energy required at the production throughput rate is scalable from the test equipment.
Size reduction expressed in the simplest form is: “Material + Energy = Size Reduction.” Experienced, knowledgeable size reduction equipment suppliers will guide a customer through the correct questions and recommend the best-suited method for any specific materials. Reputable suppliers will refer customers to other equipment manufacturers with better-suited styles of equipment when their products are not suited to the application.
In conclusion, following these simple steps when and where you define your product and process, perform testing and consider your installation, you will succeed in buying a crusher that will provide years of trouble-free processing.
Stedman Machine Company, 129 Franklin Street, Aurora, IN 4001, 812-926-0038; www.stedman-machine.com, email@example.com
About the author
Chris Nawalaniec is Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Stedman Machine Company, the Aurora, Ind.-based manufacturer of size reduction equipment and systems, founded in 1834. Nawalaniec graduated from the University of Cincinnati (BSME, MBA) and has more than 30 years professional experience in size reduction and particle size separation. Nawalaniec oversees new machinery and system sales, as well as the full-service test plant that has been operating at Stedman for more than 90 years. (Read Chris' mining equipment marketing testimonial.)
About Stedman Machine Company
Stedman Machine Company works closely with its customers to determine the best, most cost-effective, efficient size reduction method and equipment for specific applications. Stedman’s line of equipment includes: Cage Mills, Grand Slam™ and Mega Slam™ Horizontal Shaft Impactors, V-Slam™ Vertical Shaft Impactors, Hammer Mills, Aurora Lump Breakers, Micro-Max™ and Vertical Roller Mill Air Swept Fine Grinders. Stedman operates a complete testing and toll processing facility staffed by experienced technicians with full-scale equipment, allowing customers to witness accurate crushing test results, predicted output capacities and processing data. Support services include system design and 24-hour parts and service
(Thanks to Trevor Hall, Founder, Clear Creek Digital, for this great article in the July/August 2016 STONE SAND & GRAVEL REVIEW. We thought it was just going to be another marketer that was selling industrial social media to accounts that didn't use it industrially themselves let alone actually have experience working in a quarry, but Trevor is the real deal and has some good tips for quarries to improve their community relations.)
Social Media Can Help Improve an Operation
OUR ONLINE NEWS FEEDS and social media accounts are more and more filled with websites and articles with catchy titles like "Top 5 Amazing Survivor Stories," "10 Apps for your iPhone," "8 Rocks That Look Like Celebrities." We all, myself included, get caught wanting to know more about these headlines. Many times we click and visit the information.
Called "listicles," these articles blend a list with short articles, and there are lessons to be learned from them. People read them because they appear - and typically are - quick to read, have an enthusiastic tone and spur creative disruption in our own minds. Most importantly, though, they grab our attention.
Everyone online is hammered with copious amounts of information every second of the day. Figuring out how to grab people's attention, even just for a few seconds, is a very challenging task. What is most daunting, especially for quarries, is understanding how to communicate a very complex process like aggregates production with many different internal functions and processes in a quick, eyecatching and engaging message.
Finding ways to incorporate the kind of content that catches the eye of our industry and our communities, including residents near stone, sand and gravel operations, is a vital part of any community relations plan.
Know the Social Networks
Social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube provide new tools for aggregates operations to tell their story.
Twitter: Posts are 140 characters or less, so it's important to link back to blogs or information on a different website.
Facebook: Users can share photos, videos and updates about a quarry or company with a "page" that is dedicated to that company or operation.
LinkedIn: A professional social network where users post their work experience and look for jobs. Companies also create pages on LinkedIn to share content.
YouTube: Users can share and comment on videos, which is one of the most popular and engaging forms of media today. These digital tools can/enhance a company's ability to engage neighbors, lawmakers and regulators. Also, these networks can be used to inform a public of something they may not know much about, including quarrying.
Online media's reach is huge and increasing. A majority of the global population is on some type of social network. With the growth of mobile technologies reaching even to rural Africa, many more people are likely to join. Further, the data shows that online social dialogues and information sharing are not just for a younger crowd anymore. Social media users 65 years of age and older have more than tripled in the past five years.
Recognize and Use Social Media Trends
It is vital that aggregates operations recognize the trends of the online audience and appreciate its huge and growing size. Notice, I did not suggest that companies become "masters" of digital marketing. But recognition of best digital communication trends can lead you on a wonderful path to exploring how to tell the story of your operation or your products.
Online and mobile video will also play an important role for every business and operation. It is predicted that by 2020, 80 percent of people will rely on video content to form opinions and/or support for businesses and organizations. Aggregates producers are not exempt from this trend, and can enhance traditional community outreach with videos and photos.
Print publications or text on a screen can be enhanced with multimedia content that is easy to share with people who both support or are critical of a quarry.
Short and Shareable is the Way to Go
Try to grab attention of an online audience by using powerful and quick information. This is especially true for social media networks such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram because they rely on images and photos in addition to text.
Photos and video play crucial roles in grabbing the attention of viewers. The more engaging your content is, the more likely you are to see an increase in viewers. YouTube, the popular video-sharing site, is the second largest social networking site behind Facebook. More people are turning to YouTube to share and gather information than ever before.
For example, every day people are watching YouTube to learn how granite is quarried and crushed, and there are videos with thousands of views on how limestone is produced.
Stone, sand and gravel companies can connect the value of their operations to the personal benefit of the reader and their community. Right now, there aren't many aggregates producers in the United States fully utilizing social and digital media to share company information. So there is a great opportunity for companies and quarries to produce quality and positive content about the industry.
Using Social Media to Build a Brand
In print and online communications, the words we use matter a lot. The recent presidential campaign has shown how audiences react to words used in tweets and images shared on Facebook.
Some people on social networks may negatively respond to a company's content, regardless of how informative and engaging posts may be. One of the best ways to safeguard one's messaging from these tribulations is to make your content fun. Allow your organization to pull the curtains back a bit and show the human and humanitarian aspects of your company. It is harder for positive and educational content to be perceived as anything but, and using facts and information is also a great way to address negative comments you may receive.
Staying positive, engaging and educational is a great way to highlight employees, the communities you work with and the dynamic ways that rocks are quarried and crushed and shipped to customers. After all, the adventures of quarrying are wonderful stories. It's up to you to share them. •
Trevor Hall is the founder of Clear Creek Digital, LLC, a digital communications and marketing firm focused on providing those resources to mining and engineering organizations. Visit his website at www.clearcreekdigital.com.
(Thanks Trevor, Having a high performance site is the number one industrial marketing challenge, get it right and your industrial social media will pay off big.)
(Thanks to Ken Maisch for this great article in the July 15, 2016 Cincinnati Business Courier. If you don't know the competition and the marketplace, you won't be able to grow your business.)
Recently I attended an economic briefing session to get some insight into where the economists saw us heading over a period of time. After the meeting, while I was reviewing the data we received, I began to think about TechSolve’s client companies and how they were preparing for changes in their customer’s needs, based on changing economics, and how they were and should be planning for future changes.
Over the last year, I have seen the business of some of my clients slow as much as 30%. On the other hand, I saw some of those client companies serving, growing, and thriving markets. I asked myself how each of these client groups was dealing with their particular circumstance. Our experience shows that client companies in a rapid growth mode are usually behind the curve and have to take exceptional steps to deal with this growth. It also shows that companies who see a drop in business usually go into a full blown pull back, as if their future will never be there again.
There will always be changes in our business cycles. There will always be new products and there will always be products that become obsolete. The “key” to sustaining a viable manufacturing company is based on its ability to deal with these changing environments. How nimble these companies are in changing times determines their overall ability to grow and continue a pattern of profitability.
There are twelve questions manufacturing companies should constantly ask themselves as they examine the future. Those are:
1) Are we intimately familiar with the market we serve?
2) How well do we know our competition?
3) What are the changing aspects of that market?
4) Is there a consolidation of players within that market?
5) How much of our overall revenue is represented by our top five customers?
6) Are we getting downward pricing pressure from that customer base?
7) Do we see increasing raw material costs?
8) Are we experiencing annual increases in our manufacturing costs that we can’t pass on to our customer base?
9) Are we consistently upgrading our equipment to maintain productivity?
10) Is “lean” thinking a part of our company culture?
11) Are we having difficulty in finding and keeping capable workers?
12) Is “productivity improvement” a part of our overall plan?
If you don’t know the answers to a majority of these questions I believe you will find life in a manufacturing environment to be difficult at best. Let’s take these questions and boil them down into three groups.
1) Market knowledge and marketing capability
2) Equipment capability and utilization
3) Productivity and cost control
Now let’s take a look at each area as they pertain to today’s manufacturing environment.
Market Knowledge and Marketing Capability
A thorough knowledge of your targeted market is essential. Knowing all the players, the competitive pricing levels each offers, and at what level you are competitive within this market enables more accurate quotations leading to a higher hit rate. We find this an area of weakness within some of our client base. Some know the names of primary competition, but aren’t sure at what level their pricing must be to earn new business. In the absence of this knowledge, companies price their products on what they perceive are the prices their competitors charge without a relationship between their real costs and the profit margins available at that level of pricing.
In addition to these pricing issues, it is imperative that companies understand the best way to address their target market. What is the best way to attract new customers? Is the internet and other electronic media the best way to find and get new customers? Is a more traditional sales approach preferable? Is direct customer contact better than a less direct approach. Does your product have an engineering or sales element? In all cases it is a must that you understand the “who” within your market. It is important to know who is the sales leader within your market, who is the “price” leader within your market, and which competitor has the strongest reputation and the “why” that is. Simply selecting a market in the absence of this knowledge can be a recipe for disaster. Growth in a new market or customer base can be much more successful if the answers to these questions are understood and addressed in the early planning stages.
Equipment Capability and Utilization
Businesses evolve and change over time. When manufacturing companies begin they usually locate and use the most economical equipment they can afford. Not always the most productive, but it gets the job done. Then over time they begin to invest in new technology and equipment that offers significant productivity advantages. They realize this is the long term answer to better controlling their costs. If new equipment is good, more must be better. Not always the correct solution. It is imperative that this new more productive equipment reach full utilization as quickly as possible. Otherwise the cost of having that equipment becomes a draw against profitability as our employees scramble to get it fully utilized and still keep the old equipment running.
New technology is only an advantage when it increases capacity and lowers cost. Owning and underutilizing the newest equipment will only increase cost, not improve the situation. As a process improvement company we understand and agree with consistently improving productivity, and when equipment is the answer, do the necessary economic justification and purchase the new equipment. Making sure that you understand your productivity levels and how it relates to your overall cost, is a must. And once you understand the importance of long term productivity improvements, budget to upgrade your equipment as your depreciation schedule dictates. The most productive companies we serve are those that justify and utilize the most efficient systems available and continually upgrade them as needs dictate.
Productivity and Cost Control
One of the greatest challenges manufacturing companies face is “how do I deal with the price reduction requests I get from my customers?” It would seem simple. We have to eat the loss of margin to keep the revenue. Well, you can only do this for so long. Sooner or later you run out of margin and unless you have taken steps to further control cost, you are suddenly in trouble. Once your organization has a firm handle on your real “fully burdened manufacturing cost/hour”, then cost control through productivity improvement is the answer. New equipment, as mentioned earlier, is part of the answer, but real productivity comes when our employees are empowered by understanding the real basis for our cost and the role they play in changing that basis. If your company is not actively involved in a Lean initiative, if you have not established “metrics” that confirm success, and if your company culture is not one of consistently improving performance then daily struggles can become a way of life. Having a thorough understanding of your manufacturing costs, and then implementing a plan to address those areas that need improvement, will go a long way in strengthening profitability.
In summary, our country has always been involved in “making stuff”. Our manufacturing capability is second to none. I realize this as I see companies who have off shored their production only to realize they need to come home. Back to where real efficiency is understood and embraced. Back where “being the best” is not a bad term. And Yes, based on what our economists tell us, we will have ups and downs in our business cycles. But the best deterrent to down business cycles is productivity and the ability to cost your costs to be able to meet changing price demands. Our manufacturing future has always been bright. But now it more important than ever to continue to take those steps that will allow us to continue to be most productive nation in the world.