Monday, October 7, 2019

Bin sensor proving popular

The inventors of a sensor that keeps track of feed-bin levels is proving popular with feed-milling companies across North America.

Nathan Hoel and Randall Schwartzentruber of New Hamburg developed the technology and started building their sensors in a garage.

Now they employ 10 people in downtown Kitchener and are expecting rapid expansion; they have sold about 7,000 to 14 feed mills so far and expect to have 20,000 to 30,000 in feed bins within a year.

The sensors hang near the top of feed bins, checking feed levels every four hours via a light-sensor that sweeps the inside of the bin.

The data goes to the feed company that then knows when to replenish feed. It saves the feed mill trips to the farms and improves efficiency by three to four times the $40-per-month service fee that Bin Sentry charges.

One of the development challenges was keeping the lens of the sensor cleared of dust; a simple wiper blade is solving that challenge, reports James Jackson of the Waterloo Region Record.