Superior Inc. - Partnering with Producers to Feed the World
Published on Wed, 09/04/2013 - 11:53am
Superior Inc. has been partnering with producers to feed the world for more than 36 years. As contractors for the past 36 years, we have erected many different brands of bins. Our teams of erectors act as in the field engineers giving feedback on what works best. We continually strive to improve day after day.
Claire Rauser, the owner of Superior Manufacturing LLC made his start in 1977. As a sophomore at North Dakota State University, in pursuit of his degree in Agricultural Production, Claire started his own company as a contractor pouring concrete for grain bin floors. In the summer of 1978 Claire hired a team of college friends and started “Rauser Construction” pouring bin slabs for local bin dealers.
After graduating with his degree in hand in 1979, Claire moved from being a sub-contractor to selling and erecting grain bins for himself. At his start he was a dealer for Superior Equipment Manufacturing out of Mattoon, IL. In 1985, Superior was discontinued and Claire went from selling Superior bins to Westeel grain bins out of Canada. After Superior was discontinued Claire decided to pick up the Superior name. As a Westeel dealer, Claire became the largest dealer in the US selling and erecting 100-125 bins per year. In the mid-1990’s Claire made another switch joining the Sukup grain bin team. During his time as a Sukup dealer, Claire was able to private label his bins with the “Superior” blue and gold logo sheet. As a dealer for Sukup, Claire was limited on how many bins he could build in the area. Claire also saw a need for stronger roofs to handle the Dakota winds and snow loads. Claire decided to split from Sukup and start manufacturing his own bins. In 2007 Claire broke ground on an $8 million facility in Beresford SD. In 2008 Superior Manufacturing LLC was formed and started manufacturing Superior grain bins. Superior Incorporated continues to serve producers in sales and installation of Superior Manufacturing products. The “Superior” name has been in the grain bin business for decades and we plan to keep it for generations to come.
Superior Mfg. has two manufacturing facilities that produce our grain bins and grain bin accessories. Our facilities use highly automated equipment. Technology is a large portion of the success contributed to the growth of Superior Manufacturing. Automation equals consistency, quality, and efficiency. Great equipment is very important but having great team members like we have running the equipment is an even bigger key to the success we have had.
The home office is located in Kindred, ND. All accessories for the grain bins are produced in the facilities located in Kindred. Some of the key equipment in our North Dakota facility is our Trumpf, roll former and Stamptex. The Trumpf is a computerized punch machine that has the capabilities to punch 1200 hits a minute. The Trumpf also has the capability to run 24 hours a day without onsite team members. It loads the material, punches the parts out, stacks the parts on a new pallet, and discards the skeleton on an additional pallet. To reduce costs we use the scrap material to make our washers and other small parts for the bin. This utilizes all material for use in the bins and also cuts down on the scrap material. We estimate a $25,000 per year savings on washers alone! The Roll Former is the newest piece of equipment we have in place. This machine operates with the best of both worlds. We load a coil of steel on one end and it has a punch similar to the Trumpf punching out bolt hole locations and then goes to the roll forming section that has a progressive dye forming the part needed. We are able to make parts as long as needed or that will fit on a truck. We also have the Stamptex that uses multiple progressive dies to form parts. The Stamptex stamps out floor supports, roof steps, eave angles, anchor stiffeners, bin stair steps, and much more.
Our second facility is right off of Interstate 29 just 10 miles north of Beresford, SD. This facility manufactures our sidewall sheets, our roof sheets, and is our shipping facility. This facility is strategically located being 250 miles closer to the southern market. It is accessible by train rail and container shipping facilities. We have two main pieces of equipment at this facility. The first machine is our roof line. It is a 321’ work of art. It takes a 22,000 lb coil and forms and punches our roof panels. It starts by cutting off the length as well as cutting the sheet at the angle needed which gives us two pieces. It then pushes one sheet forward as it takes the second one and puts it on a staging area. As the sheet rolls down the line it continually pushes the part tight to the side ensuring each part is exact. It goes through a progressive die forming the roof rib. After the rib is formed it punches the bolt holes in the roof rib. This process is repeated pushing it up on the opposite side. We only need one operator to run this piece of equipment which lets us manufacture up to 40 complete roofs a day. Our second piece of equipment is the Sidewall production line. This line corrugates, shears, and punches our sidewall sheets. The punch on this line weighs 125k pounds and sits on 7’ of concrete with 4 spiral piers going 135’ down to the bedrock. Our setup ensures quality, consistency, and efficiency.
Superior Inc. has been partnering with producers to feed the world for more than 36 years. As contractors for the past 36 years, we have erected many different brands of bins. Our teams of erectors act as in the field engineers giving feedback on what works best. We continually strive to improve day after day. Our experience in the field gives us insight to improve current manufacturing designs leading to stronger parts, manufacturing efficiency, faster erection time, and more value. Some of the items we incorporate in our bins that make us Superior to the rest of the industry are our roof, anchors, floor supports, stair, and platform.
Many companies in the industry claim to have the strongest roof but we are so confident in our roof we back it with a lifetime warranty on all farm bin roofs! Combining engineering and innovation on our roofs is why we are able to give consumers industry leading warranty. Deeper roof ribs, continuous connections on wind rings, improved peak ring and eave angles are just some of the things that give us the strongest roof. Another great advantage with Superior is our bin anchor stiffeners. We have stiffeners attached to the entire bottom ring holding down the bin and also adding extra strength to the bottom ring. We back our bottom ring with a lifetime warranty as well. Don’t forget our floor supports. We added extra steel to our supports and put more breaks into the supports to add extra strength to them. Tested in a lab, we were 4x stronger than our competition. They have been engineered for easy floor installation. I remember climbing the ladders to check the grain in our bins on the farm; it is not the safest or easiest task to get done. We asked ourselves what we could do to help make it safer.
Our platform at the top of the stairs is a larger and safer platform. Our platform covers both the ladder going to the peak and the man hole punched into the roof panels. You don’t have to worry about coming down from the roof and missing the platform or trying to stretch over to step on the platform. With multiple adjustments, we are able to level each step making it safer to go up and down. No tripping on an unleveled step! The Superior circular bin stair is easier to install as well. These are just a few items that separate us from others.
We would not be able to accomplish all of this without great team members. Our team is dedicated to helping others no matter the project or issue. Our team is passionate about their jobs and the products that we manufacture. Our team comes to work every day with a can-do attitude. We know there is no challenge too big that we cannot conquer. We strive to have the best customer service in the industry. Our team is here to serve producers with the best service and best products possible. We have also teamed up with industry leading accessory companies to make sure we have everything a producer may want. Superior provides innovative grain storage, handling, and conditioning solutions through Superior customer service. Superior is your one stop shop for all your grain bin and grain conditioning needs. Visit us at www.superiormanufacturingllc.com or call us toll free at 1-866-822-9145.
The Future in Agriculture
Farming has been changing drastically the last decade. Farm sizes are growing, yields are getting better, and quality is more important than ever. Small farmers are disappearing at a rapid pace and the large farms are getting bigger and bigger. Back in the 1980’s the average bin size for farms was 12,500 bushels. In the 1990’s they grew to 25,000 bushels and today’s average is up to 40,000 bushels bins. Smaller bins are sitting empty because the time and effort to store and remove grain in them is not worth the effort. Farm bin sites are looking more and more like small elevators. 20 years ago a bin was simply a storage unit for grain.
With the technology in today’s world, a bin is now a storage unit and a conditioning unit. From temperature and moisture cables installed to the aeration floors and efficient fans that run only when conditions are optimal, technology has moved its way into grain storage. In the past farmers ran their fans for weeks, not realizing that the relative humidity and the temperatures play a huge role in conditioning your grain. Running fans when it is raining or high humidity does affect the conditioning process. Over drying the bottom rings of bins was a very common occurrence. Now computers assist us in controlling all aspects of grain conditioning. Fans need only run when outside conditions are optimal, saving electrical costs and helping to get the best conditioned grain. This gives you higher test weights and less damaged grain. Who would have ever thought you would be able to see your moisture and temperature in multiple bins from your smart phones and computers? Genetics in grain has also played a huge role improving yields. Genetically altered grain that can thrive with less moisture, handle chemicals better and shorten the time needed to grow. There are areas which would never have been able to produce corn without improvements in corn genetics. Technology is only going to improve, helping producers even more in the future. Having the capabilities to harvest earlier and drying to exactly the optimal moisture is money in the farmer’s pockets.
Why Grain Bins
Grain bins are relatively cheap to put up with a great return on investment in a very short amount of time. Premiums up to $1.00 per bushel are not uncommon with properly stored and conditioned grain. On a 40k bushel bin (average size), that is a $20k profit just for storing it. In less than three years it has paid for that bin. This does not include the profit gained by better conditioned grain giving you higher test weight and less damaged grain. By storing grain in farm bins you are ahead of the game. Other issues solved by grain bin storage are the long lines at the local elevators. There are times the wait in line to dump is well over an hour. This slows down harvest, leaving combines idle while waiting for trucks. Time is money in farming.
We are excited to announce the completion of the first Superior grain bin turned house. This 36’ diameter two story home is located in Brainerd, MN. The owner incorporated all the bin parts in the design of his house even using bin sheets for his awnings. The owner came to us wanting a maintenance free and sturdy structure that he would not have to worry about throughout the years. The owner turned our Superior grain bin into a beautiful home and a work of art. We now are working on a 60’ grain bin being turned into a two story hunting lodge in northern Minnesota. You can contact the owner at www.ahwoutfitters.com.