4B Components Ltd., located in Morton IL, is part of the Braime Group. The British company celebrated its 130th anniversary in 2018 and has been a pioneer of the material handling industry, introducing the first pressed seamless steel elevator bucket back in 1909.
In January, Grain Journal spoke with President Johnny Wheat about 4B’s material handling and electronic products and what new developments are planned for 2019.
Our group of technicians and engineers continue to develop quality products to improve the safety and efficiency of feed and grain industry operations.
The new Milli-Temp complements the 4B range of 4-20mA analog sensors. This new adjustable depth bearing temperature sensor provides a direct 4-20mA temperature output without the need for additional external converters. This small and compact package allows easy installation in tight spaces and simplifies wiring.
With Class II Division 1 approval for the U.S. and Canada, Milli-Temp can be installed safely within dust hazard areas. This sensor, along with the 4B Milli-Speed with 4-20mA speed output, is fully compatible with 4B’s range of hand-held testing devices, providing users the assurance that their safety monitoring systems are working as expected.
4B in 2018 built additional classroom space for its new training facility in Morton. Customers can send employees for classes to learn the specifics about 4B products, and qualified electrical installers can enroll in a two-day course to become certified as a “Preferred 4B Installer.”
Also in 2018, we moved our plastic bucket injection molding plant into the Morton facility and took the opportunity to modernize and update machinery and equipment.
The recently introduced Watchdog Super Elite hazard monitoring system continues to increase in popularity with feed mills, grain processing facilities, and country elevators, where a simple and reliable standalone safety monitoring system is needed. The recently included expansion boards enable the Watchdog Super Elite to be used with up to 27 sensor inputs in total, with various combinations of bearing temperature, RTD, speed, plug conditions, and belt alignment sensors connected to a single control unit.
Today, we are seeing the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Industrial Ethernet (IE) come to the grain industry. These advances in technology will greatly improve system reliability and interconnectability. These technologies also create future-proof systems so plants can keep up with advancements easily and affordably. These trends will be phased in as sensors, nodes, and controllers become more advanced. This will allow for the next major advancement in future years, artificial intelligence, which ultimately will play a huge role in our personal and working lives.
The high level of customer support we have become known for requires continual focus and dedication. With all 4B personnel driven to this end, we will be able to maintain our strong customer bonds and continue to exceed our customers’ expectations.
Our certified ISO 9001:2015 quality system is a testament to these goals and as stated: By monitoring our systems and continually making adjustments and improvements, ultimately we will provide more value for our customers and our company.
Reprinted from Grain Journal January/February 2019