For years, Loran Balvanz’s company has made money selling tougher, longer-lasting equipment to the people who grind garbage and recycling for a living.
Now, the same technology may be poised to revolutionize how farmers till fields.
Balvanz, president of Eldora-based USM Wear Technologies, has been working for years to bring his company’s patented CADEN Edge (Carbide Applied Design Edge Network) to tillage tools. The company says its process, which involves welding a bead with particles of tungsten carbide along the business edge of farming implements, can make tillage sweeps and ripper points last several times longer than untreated equipment.
“For some reason, the entire industry has accepted that these things just wear out, and then you replace them,” Balvanz said. “We’re giving farmers a sincere advantage by giving them equipment that lasts longer.”
Balvanz’s equipment is produced under a deal signed in March 2016 with Bauer-Built Manufacturing. The company says its massive robotic welding system in Paton, Iowa, is capable of making more than 1.5 million parts annually with a precision and uniformity that no human can match.
CIRAS account manager Sean Gallager said CIRAS materials experts have worked with Balvanz since 2013 to test metals and provide unbiased confirmation about the durability of parts.
“They seem to be on track,” Galleger said. “They’re building the company in sales and markets through new technological advances… They’re literally building a better mousetrap.”
As part of CIRAS-arranged research, Iowa State agricultural engineering professor Mehari Tekeste recently developed an optical scanning system to help USM Wear Technologies quantify how much metal has worn off tillage tools in the field. Tekeste also helped construct a vat and testing medium that will simulate real-world wear on tillage tools without using soil, which can vary even within the same field. Balvanz believes this process will speed development of new products.
USM Wear Technologies currently works with outside companies to purchase tillage sweeps from retailers, treat pieces with the CADEN edge, then sell them to farmers via websites. “Usually, ours costs twice as much as a standard sweep, and you can expect it to last three to five times longer,” he said.
CIRAS, Balvanz said, helped the product prove its worth. He expects sales to top $2 million within two years. Sales could top $20 million, Balvanz believes, if a major agricultural OEM that is now evaluating company products ultimately endorses them.
“ISU and the programs have been instrumental in helping us with things like quickly defining metals and engineering the angle of things,” Balvanz said. “If you had to have a laboratory to do this, it would have taken us overhead like you wouldn’t believe.”
For more information, contact Sean Galleger at Galleger@iastate.edu or 515-290-0181.
Carbide-Infused Sweeps Run in Wheel Tracks – Farm Show Magazine vol 41, No. 3
“The highest wear to field cultivator shovels occurs in the tractor wheel track, so we decided to design a product that would address that problem,” says Loran Balvanz of USM Wear Technologies. “The result is a patent pending field cultivator shovel we call the “Wheel Tracker”. The “Wheel Tracker” has a metal fin that extends 3 inches below the center of the shovel. The fin helps break up compacted soil and provides greater mixing action for better seed bed preparation and weed control.”
Balvanz goes on to say, “That combining the new shovel design with the company’s patented Caden Edge technology extends the useful life of a Wheel Tracker shovel by 3 to 5 times”.
“There are a lot of people out there who tell you that coating the top of a shovel is all you need to do, but our research shows that shovels wear out from the bottom,” Balvanz says “That’s the impact point that’s traveling through the most compaction. We address that problem by putting a small amount of Caden Edge on the bottom of the shovel, about 1/4 in. wide and just a few hundredths of an inch tall.”
They also apply tungsten carbide to the front of the shovel near the cutting edge and to other high friction locations on cultivator sweeps. Balvanz says that when they first tested the Wheel Tracker, the farmer running the cultivator told them the shovels went in the ground easier and the soil was more uniformly tilled behind the wheels. “When we dug behind a normal sweep shovel in the wheel track we could easily find a compacted area to the side of where the shovel worked. With the Wheel Tracker, that compacted area was broken apart and definitely looser,” says Balvanz.
Balvanz says the Caden Edge process is different than conventional hard surfacing. “We use a robotic welder that literally infuses the carbide particles into the base metal, making the edge much stronger than the other metal parts. We’re using the technology on shovels, grinding hammers, tines for harrows and other products subject to severe abrasion, “In 2017 Balvanz will have 2 seed companies run independent tests using Wheel Tracker shovels on half of a field cultivator and regular sweeps on the other half, “Our goal in to validate what we saw in the field last year and determine how it comes through into plant growth and overall yield. Even if it’s just a 1 or 2 percent increase, that’s astounding, and certainly worth the added cost of these huge performance shovels.”
USM Wear Technologies has been applying Caden Edge technology onto conventional shovels used for primary or secondary tillage since 2014. “We’ve got more than 200,000 units in the marketplace and not a single complaint,” says Balvanz.
Contact: FARM SHOW Follow up U.S. Manufacturing, Inc., 1707 21st St., Eldora, Iowa 50627 Phone: 1- 800-800-1812 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
ELDORA, IOWA (December 20, 2016) – USM Wear Technologies, LLC (USM Wear Tech) announced a new tillage tool called the “Wheel Tracker Sweep” with Caden Edge™ Technology that is designed for addressing wheel compaction issues in farming operations.
“We are excited about the shape and effectiveness of our new cultivation sweep called the “Wheel Tracker,” said Loran Balvanz, USM Wear Tech President and CEO.
Balvanz explained that Purdue University agronomy experts report that heavy farm equipment can cause soil compaction issues that can reduce corn yields by 50 percent depending on soil conditions.
The patent pending ‘Wheel Tracker’ sweep now can be ordered with a “yield fin” specifically designed to break up additional compacted soil and provide greater soil mixing action for improved seed bed preparation and weed control. The design of the Wheel Tracker is combined with the patented Caden Edge ™ technology that extends the useful life of the tillage products by 3-5 times normal life. Bottom line; a new superior long last cultivation tool for addressing compaction that improves water absorption and allows the growing crop rooting systems to have greater access to the available nutrients deep in the soil. Better weed control is another outstanding attribute minimalizing costly chemical applications.
“The Caden Edge ™ Wheel Tracker allows the farm operator to address soil compaction issues while running the cultivation equipment at a higher speed, saving time and money,” said Balvanz.
Tillage parts, especially in the wheel track, undergo substantial wear as they engage the compacted soils, so they need periodic replacement or repair. The CADEN Edge™ proprietary process strategically applies tungsten carbide applications to the leading edge near the cutting edge and high friction locations of cultivation sweeps to reduce the amount of wear and extend the useful life of the tillage tools.
The “Wheel Tracker” is longer lasting and more effectively engages the soil so the farm operator can cover more acres in less field time and with fewer tillage tool replacements. Many operators report running the entire season without changing sweeps
ELDORA, IOWA (March 3, 2016) – USM Wear Technologies, LLC (USM Wear Tech) is opening a new distribution center located at its Eldora, Iowa facility. The new Distribution Center will speed up the parts delivery process dramatically. The new Distribution Center will be a key element in creating more shipping capacity and more rapid delivery of Max Life agricultural, environmental and industrial parts to equipment owners and operators all around the world.
“With the new Distribution Center our customers will now have easy access to Max Life products for the agricultural, environmental and industrial markets.” stated Loran Balvanz, President and CEO of USM Wear Tech.
The success and popularity of the Max Life Carbide Edge treated grinder and horizontal feed wear parts have pushed USM Wear Tech to be the top manufacturer and distributor of replacement wear parts in the US. The Max Life Carbide Edge is now being applied to cultivator sweeps, ripper points and other ground engagement tools used in the agricultural markets. These equipment applications have resulted in rapid demand growth. Orders are coming from across the United States and Canada. We are now seeing agricultural producer interest from all continents around the globe. As our market demand expands, USM Wear Tech must expand manufacturing and distribution capacity,” Balvanz said.
Equipment operators know that value of their time and labor and don’t want equipment sitting idle because parts are delayed. Having machinery breakdown over the season represents more money out of pocket. Every day that equipment sits idle due to delays in getting replacement parts will negatively affect the bottom line.” said Balvanz.
Now with the new Distribution Center in Eldora, USM Wear Tech will be able to improve customer service by reducing wait time between ordering and delivery of parts. The experienced staff of USM Wear Tech is always looking for new ways to improve our distribution system and customer service. Time is money for our customers!
ELDORA, IOWA (March 3, 2016) – USM WearTech of Eldora, Iowa and Bauer Built Manufacturing, Inc of Paton, Iowa jointly announced a collaboration and manufacturing agreement that will result in the installation of a proprietary robotic system for manufacturing CADEN Edge applications to agricultural, biomass, and industrial equipment. CADEN Edge is USM WearTech patented tungsten carbide welding process that enables tillage sweeps and ripper points to last 3 to 5 times longer than standard equipment. The new first of its kind, CADEN Edge Robotic System will be located at Bauer Built Manufacturing facilities in Paton, Iowa. The USM WearTech agreement with Bauer Built Manufacturing was jointly announced by Loran Balvanz, President and CEO of USM WearTech and Vaughn Bauer, President and CEO of Bauer Built Manufacturing, Inc.
“The new agreement combines strengths of both companies and will provide a major boost in manufacturing capacity for meeting the growing demand for CADEN Edge agricultural tillage equipment applications,” said Balvanz.
“With the CADEN Edge Robotic System, we will be able to run “lights out and 24 hours per day. The robotic system expands capacity by tens fold and with accuracy never seen before. We will have capacity to produce over 1.5 million CADEN Edge parts per year,” said Balvanz.
“Bauer Built Manufacturing sees the collaboration as a promising opportunity with a good fit. We have been putting the finishing touches on our new manufacturing facility in Paton and the CADEN Edge Robotic System will be installed at our plant,” said Bauer.
“With the slow down in the agricultural economy, farmers are looking for better ways to make existing equipment perform well, last longer, and to save on costs. By lasting longer, the CADEN Edge technology eliminates costly downtime by not having to change out sweeps and points. CADEN Edge tillage sweeps hold original shape longer which results in more consistent weed control and better performance in seed bed preparation,” said Balvanz.
“ISU and local economic developers played a role in making the connections. However before any collaboration discussions began, I tried the CADEN Edge sweeps out on my own tillage equipment and farms in GreeneCounty. I wanted to see the results for myself and I was convinced by what I saw. So the discussions and initial collaborations began and here we are today announcing an agreement,” said Bauer.
With expanded CADEN Edge Robotic manufacturing capacity in Paton and the recently announced DistributionCenter in Eldora, our joint capabilities will better meet the demand for CADEN Edge parts by farm customers and dealer networks around the world,” Balvanz said.
CADEN Edge is the most advanced and economical hard surface treatment available for tillage parts. With more than 5 years of testing, CADEN Edge has been proven to increase the life of wear parts by 300% creating huge savings on replacement cost. CADEN Edge is available on Ripper Points, Sweeps, Harrow Tines and Chisel Points. See the CADEN Edge in booth 2601 – Ag Concepts at the 2015 Iowa Power Farming Show February 3rd-5th.
USM Wear Technologies joined Agriculture Concepts at this years Farm Progress Show held on
August 26, 27, and 28 in Boone Iowa showcasing the CADEN Edge. CADEN Edge, a tungsten
carbide edge treatment applied to tillage sweeps and ripper points increases the wear life of
ordinary sweeps and ripper points by as much as 300% for the best life extension application
on the market.