Drive technology for the agricultural industry

Agricultural products such as wheat, barley, rye, oats, maize and rice pass through many stages from field to factory. Specialized processes such as harvesting, storing, conveying, cleaning, drying, sorting and handling use sophisticated logistics to ensure that seasonal products reach the mill, malthouse or other processing plants in perfect condition.

A bird's-eye view of agricultural logisticsT
  • Discharging, loading/unloading using screw conveyors
  • Gathering and storing using bucket elevators
  • Discharging, loading and unloading using vacuum pumps
  • Cleaning and sorting using rotary gate valves
  • Drying using fans
  • Port handling and final processing using belt conveyors
  • Storage, port handling and final processing using cranes

Discharging, loading/unloading using screw conveyors

Discharging, loading/unloading using screw conveyors

After being harvested from the fields, the grain is stored initially in silos. This transfer can be performed using screw conveyors. You can choose from our wide selection of helical, parallel-shaft helical and helical-bevel gear units combined with cutting-edge energy-efficient motors to drive the worm.

Drive packages for bucket elevators, screw conveyors, discharge screw conveyors, chain conveyors, tube conveyors, belt conveyors, rotary gate valves and vacuum pumps are also used in this area.

How can we help?

Gathering and storing using bucket elevators

Gathering and storing using bucket elevators

Bucket elevators are used for the vertical transportation of bulk materials into silos. Depending on their width, the bucket capacity and the height of the conveyor line, these elevators require high drive power. For this, we offer a range of helical-bevel and bevel-helical gear units with DRN motors for you to choose from.

In addition to this application, we can also provide drive packages for screw conveyors, chain conveyors, tube conveyors and belt conveyors, among other things, in the field of gathering and storing.

How can we help?

Discharging, loading and unloading using vacuum pumps

Discharging, loading and unloading using vacuum pumps

When discharging and transporting the bulk material by truck or railroad, a vacuum pump is used to suck it out of the silo.

The majority of vacuum conveying handling tasks involve speeds of 10 to 6000 kg/h, conveyor lines of up to 80 m and conveyor heights of up to 30 m, frequently far below that.

Our helical gear units with DRN motors are among the potential solutions for this.

However, other drive packages are also used for discharging, loading and unloading, e.g. for bucket elevators, screw conveyors, discharge screw conveyors, chain conveyors, tube conveyors, belt conveyors and rotary gate valves. Our large selection of drive technology is available for this.

How can we help?

Cleaning and sorting using rotary gate valves

Cleaning and sorting using rotary gate valves

One key processing step in agricultural logistics is cleaning and sorting. This is where foreign particles are removed and the bulk material is cleaned.

Rotary gate valves are used to remove the silo pressure from the material and ease the load on downstream discharge systems such as conveyors.

However, they are also used for volume-controlled tasks or feeding the bulk material into mixing and processing procedures.

In the case of flammable bulk materials, the rotary gate valve can be used as fire protection, reliably preventing a biomass boiler from backfiring into the pellet store, for example.

How can we help?

Drying using fans

Drying using fans

To safeguard the quality of the grain in storage for as long as necessary until further processing, it must be dried appropriately, as well as being cleaned and sorted. This drying occurs with the help of stationary and also mobile drying systems. SEW offers energy-efficient motors of various sizes in the DRN series for this purpose.

We can also provide drive packages for fans, fan motors for continuous dryers and turnkey systems.

How can we help?

Port handling and final processing using belt conveyors

Storage, port handling and final processing using belt conveyors

In export ports, the bulk material is stored temporarily in silos awaiting onward transportation.

The material is discharged for loading onto freighters using belt or chain conveyors.

This is where our parallel-shaft helical and bevel-helical gearmotors come in.

How can we help?

Storage, port handling and final processing using cranes

Storage, port handling and final processing using cranes

Once it arrives in the import port, the grain is unloaded and transported onward.

When bulk material is transported in “big bags”, for example, cranes are used.

Depending on their power rating and use for other kinds of bulk material, we can provide our high-performance X-series industrial gear units.

How can we help?

The agricultural industry in motion

On the journey from harvest to consumer, reliable logistics are the be all and end all.
On the journey from harvest to consumer, reliable logistics are the be-all and end-all.
On the journey from harvest to consumer, reliable logistics are the be-all and end-all.

As always, nature sets the rhythm in agriculture, and therefore in the entire agricultural industry, even though logistics in the industry has now become a globally networked process. The raw products such as grain are gathered, stored, prepared and sorted and packaged for further processing regionally after harvesting. For example, rice or grain then starts its journey in trucks or ships to mills, where it is ground into flour. After this, it is transported to food manufacturers around the world. This process never stands still, since it is harvest time somewhere in the world all year round.

That is why the technology – especially the drive technology – used has to be ready to go at all times and designed to cope with high loads, sudden extreme stresses and demanding environments. Failures can result in rapidly spiraling costs and put product quality at risk.

Achieving sustainable success in such a tough environment requires top-class, robust and reliable drive technology throughout. This is precisely where SEW-EURODRIVE comes in. Our drives are like marathon runners, built for stamina and reliability – and they’ve been that way for decades. As a tried-and-tested partner to the agricultural industry, we know your applications. Whether you use screw, belt or chain conveyors, bucket elevators or rotary gate valves, SEW‑EURODRIVE delivers that all-important added value for agricultural logistics throughout the entire life cycle of the system.

Safety first – dependable components for demanding ambient conditions

Explosive mixtures of dust and air can form when grain is being transported, stored or processed. Depending on the substances involved and how fine the dust is, between 60 and 2000 grams of dust per cubic meter of air can be enough to produce a dust explosion when a suitable ignition source is present. These ignition sources can also include conventional electrical drive technology. To ensure no sparks are generated that could trigger an explosion, we consistently use explosion-proof drives in systems that are operated in these high-risk conditions. Our explosion-proof gearmotors satisfy the requirements set out in EU Directive 2014/34/EU (ATEX, formerly Directive 94/9/EC). They comply with the IEC/IECEx and HazLoc-Na® standards, too, which makes it much easier to use our drive technology worldwide. We also offer degree of protection IP65/66, surface protection OS1 to OS4 and surface protection as an XCO® drive package.

Find out more about explosion protection

The drive experts at your side - system availability in safe hands

Agricultural logistics is characterized by periods of highly intense peak activity that can't always be planned. We ensure your system can meet these stringent requirements and that it works when you need it, whether during startup, repairs, inspection, maintenance or when retrofitting the latest technologies. Leave nothing to chance – leave it to the service staff of SEW‑EURODRIVE. Your personal contact person is there for you whenever you need them. Our services are an integral part of our portfolio and are closely intermeshed with our products to ensure you can get everything you need from one place! SEW‑EURODRIVE has been synonymous with drive and automation technology expertise for more than 87 years. If you can't afford any more breakdowns, turn to the professionalism and tailored support of our services. For reliable assistance that ensures you can depend on your production processes.

Find out more about Life Cycle Services

Protecting the environment with drive technology

Energy-efficient drive technology protects the environment
Energy-efficient drive technology protects the environment
Energy-efficient drive technology protects the environment

Companies in the agricultural industry rely on an intact environment for successful and sustainable production. It goes without saying that many factors play a role in this. One of those we can influence, and which also saves you money, is the use of energy-efficient drive technology – whether in normal environmental conditions or in potentially explosive areas. In non-optimized systems, energy costs can account for up to 90% of total life cycle costs.

With our energy-efficient drive solutions, from IE1 to IE4, you can therefore do something for the environment while also saving precious money. We can help you unlock your energy-saving potential and reduce both your energy costs and your direct and indirect CO2 emissions. Our energy-saving concept ensures a comprehensive review and consistent implementation of all the energy-saving factors that come into question. With our energy-saving tools we can help you select and calculate energy-saving drive solutions.

What do planetary gear units have in common with sugar production?

Sugar cane plantation

Sugar producer successfully upgrades its mill drive