Garner Industries was founded in Lincoln, NE in 1953 and began op- erating as a small tool and die business. Approximately 10 years later, a local seed company asked the company to design a device to detect when corn seed bins were full. As a result, Garner began developing an automated grain bin level monitoring system that ultimately gave birth to the BinMaster line of level control technologies.
The first BinMaster product was a diaphragm switch that sounded an alert when pressure from stored material came into contact with the switch. “It’s a very simple product and one we still offer today,” says Scott Hudson, executive vice president of sales and marketing.
Hudson says the company’s history, growth, and success over the years are largely due to its ability to develop new products and continually improve upon them to the customer’s benefit. “We have a long, rich history of producing these products, and we just keep building on that year after year. We’ve been doing this for a long time.”
Today, BinMaster is a leading U.S. manufacturer of point and continuous level indicators and inventory management systems used for monitoring the level of bulk solids or liquids in bins, tanks, silos, and hoppers worldwide. Material management technologies include aeration devices, particulate monitors, flow detection sensors, and complete systems of wireless devices and web applications to send data to a control room, console, smartphone, tablet, or PC.
BinMaster and its parent company, Garner Industries, employ more than 140 people in a 115,000-square-foot state-of-the-art manufacturing and warehouse facility in Lincoln.
BinMaster takes pride in providing high-quality products along with personalized service. While it’s safe to say every company tries to put customers first, BinMaster does so by ensuring that its highly experienced staff works with clients to configure the right solution for each application. In other words, they will not just hand a customer an off-the-shelf solution simply because they have one to sell.
“I think the number one value we offer is understanding our customers’ applications and bringing our knowl- edge about those applications and tailoring them to their specific needs,” Hudson explains. “That happens not only in the sales process, but even after we’ve sold shipped, and installed it. We aren’t going to sell a product just to sell product.” he says.
BinMaster takes it a step further by applying this philosophy out in the field as well. Hudson explains how if the company encounters an unforeseen issue that wasn’t discussed with the customer upfront and realizes a different product is better suited for the application, BinMaster will switch out the product after installation – to make it right for the customer.
“Getting these things right is a process, and we understand that. We’ll make sure that we get each customer the absolute best fit for their facility and operation,” Hudson says.
“This is where having that advanced knowledge about the application and technology really pays off,” he adds, “and I think that’s what differentiates us from a lot of companies.”
BinMaster products are designed to help people and processing operations be safer, more efficient, and profitable. The company designs and manufactures solid-state point and continuous bin level indicators, control systems, and sensoring devices for the grain and feed industry and beyond.
One of the company’s flagship products, SmartBob, works like an automated tape measure. “Our SBRX continuous level sensor system was the second product we ever developed, and it remains a best-selling product,” Hudson notes.
According to Hudson, it works by counting pulses on descent and again at ascent, then converts the pulses into a precise measurement.
Another one of BinMaster’s top products includes the 3DLevelScanner, which uses acoustics for measuring and mapping bins containing unevenly piled materials, guided wave radar using a cable suspended into the bin, and non-contact radar for measuring even the dustiest solids and challenging liquids.
BinMaster also offers laser level sensors that are designed for level monitoring in narrow vessels. “We have a three-year lithium battery-powered model that doesn’t require wiring and is very easy to install and connect to the internet,” he adds. Other models of laser level sensors can be used in silos of varying heights and offer a variety of mounting options for aiming and angled roofs.
Finally, point level sensors alert users when material reaches a certain point in the bin and are most often used for high-level detection to prevent over filling. “Rotaries, capacitance probes, and vibrating rods alert to high and low levels before there is a problem,” adds Hudson.
Rob Nieminen, contributing writer