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FlowconSales-Info. System_Features

System Features

Flowcon PC-Batch System for feedyards

Full featured, PC based cattle-feed batching system, which controls the weighing of feed, and dispensing of finish feed, either:
To a waiting truck, or
To finish feed bin storage, by routing the feed.

Standard features include:

Full inventory,
Numerous printed reports,
Data files available for host processing.
Systems are custom built to your application.


Simplicity by design:
While the Flowcon PC-Batch system utilizes advanced technology, it is still:

Simple to use. Menus and graphics guide your operators through the process. Every key-in is checked and filtered. Non-English speaking operators can run the system by watching the screen graphics, identify red status as an alarm condition, and select rations by menu position.
Simple to maintain, because it uses standard components. You can service failed parts using local talent, minimizing down time waiting for parts. The cost savings of local support is a bonus.


Weighing of ingredients:

Single or multiple augers per ingredient, with automatic jog.
Weighing ahead as scales become available. Concurrent weighing of multiple scale systems for faster control.
Ingredient free-fall compensation is automatically updated. User adjustable free-fall wait times and free-fall values.
Numerous Weighed rations are mixed to specified times, which can be unique to each ration.


Typical System Configurations:
Truck System:

Dump into waiting mixer trucks, one batch per truck.
All rations for a feeding can be scheduled using the stack, downloaded from a bunk reader, or the batcher can run batch by batch, controlled from a host.
Bunkreader/host control makes it easy to transfer pen and weight information to the batcher, which can then be transmitted to the truck as you load.

Finish Feed storage (routing system):

Feed is routed to finish feed storage. A typical system might use a mixer, surge, cross-auger, leg, and a turnhead or slide gates to drop into the finish feed bins.
The program can confirm manual routing, or fully control it with automatic switching using your high level bin indicators.
While filling of the delivery trucks is typically under manual control, we can provide a Delivery System.
All proofs must be satisfied before material is released from the mixer.
A high limit in the finish feed bin will inhibit further production to that bin.
Automatic switching to an available bin on hi level (optional).
Cleanout timer insures a clean switch between rations.
Can transmit the batched amounts to a DELIVERY system or a host, for full inventory control of stored feed.
DELIVERY system option can automatically control the batch system, by ration, and priority, to have feed weighed ahead and waiting to load trucks.


Production stack:
Controls production with manual entries, and/or by data transmitted from a host.

Lists each ration showing batch size, number of batches, id, and destination.
Truck system production is typically downloaded from a bunkreader, and destination may contain pen and weight information, as information for trucks.
Routing systems are typically entered manually, or downloaded from a DELIVERY system (which can get its data from a bunk reader). The destination is used for finish feed storage control.


Host Interface :
This allows a bunk reader or other host resource, to download an electronic record of tasks for the batcher to perform.

On a dump to truck system, this interface is always active. Simply send data down the serial port, and the batcher will collect it, concurrent with batch operations. The operator will be alerted and allowed to insert the newly loaded work at the desired location in the production stack.
Data usually includes ration id, total batch size, and distribution information such as pen, lot and weight values for use by the driver for delivering the load.


Software Features:

Real-time graphics representing the actual condition of every relay in your process.
Simple operation: color status screens and pop-up menus allow operators with limited reading skills, to run the system by position recognition and color flags.
Unattended operation: stack the day's production for automatic building of next ration.
Filtered data entries: pop up menus minimize typing, cannot enter illegal entries, speeds production scheduling.
Virtually unlimited number of formulas and ingredients.
Perpetual or Usage Inventory: each ingredient can be designated to track usage, receipts, and current balance, or can be designated to track usage against target.
Password protection for data files.
Stacking of formulas with all routing information allows unattended operation.
One Formula per ration serves all sizes with weight multiplier and multiple batches.
Process holds can be requested after any ingredient, batch and formula.
Three operating modes: automatic, semi-automatic, manual for maximum control during unusual circumstances.
Full tracking of both weighed and non-weighed ingredients.
Active process monitoring with audible and printed alarms, and automatic responses to specific failure modes.


The Flowcon system provides accurate, timely reports to effectively manage your mill.

All Parameter files: system, bin, ingredient and formulas.
Inventory reports.
Production stack: schedule of formulas to be run.
Start-of-run formula verification, may be disabled, or enabled to visually check rations before running.
Batch Results: of each batch, in long or short report formats.
Formula run summary: Summary of all batches (multiple batch formulas).
Production run summaries: at end-of-day, provides a complete report of each ration, showing start and end times, delays between rations, target, and actual weights.
Alarms: Hard copy for review and corrective recommendations.
    Note: Most reports can also be displayed on-screen.


Data files:

Inventory modes: usage only, full with receipts, or adjusted for moisture.
Inventory usage comparisons of target usage vs. actual usage.
Production history by rations.
User adjustable definition files for rations, ingredients, bins, and system parameters.
Hard disk storage of rations, ingredient, bin and system information files.
Numerous special purpose reports and data files.


System Capability:

Support for multiple scales (up to 12), simultaneous weighing, and weigh ahead of next batch as scales become available.
Printer for process reporting, alarm tracking, and end of day reports.
Battery backed computer for reliable operation during unstable power conditions.
Remote truck button - dumping controllable from the truck.
Remote displays and/or additional printers for conveying information to trucks for delivery information, or to operators for filling or loading operations.
Integrated micro-ingredient control from Lextron - MicroTech for control of drug and vitamin additives to a resolution of 0.001#. Uses the same batching keyboard, screen, and printer, and is automatically sized to the finish feed batch, with combined reports, and fully interlocked operation.
Spare computer, switchable in minutes if batching system should fail.


Flowcon's history:
Technically well qualified:

Only use of sound methods will yield bug-free applications.
Since 1973, we have developed applications as diverse as automated board testing, missile tracking, submarine test systems, industrial and consumer robotics, train safety systems, conveyor control software for the Radio Shack/Tandy distribution center, feed mill control, blending control using analog controls, cattle sortation systems, and cattle monitoring systems.


We are experts at cattle feeding systems:

Pioneers in the feedyard batching industry since 1969.
In 1985 we introduced our third generation, PC based batch system, five years before any other vendor.
DOS based control for reliable operation in a feedmill environment.
Can run under DOS, or as a DOS shell under Windows, for network access to data files.
Easily maintained without the complexity of Windows. Our custom Executive gives the application real-time accuracy, unlike Windows which does not run real-time.
Displaying complete process information using real-time color screen graphics, it runs fast and accurate, making process decisions 20 times every second.
17+ years mature, in use at over 60 feedyards and 100 micro machine installations, the system is rich in standard features, and trouble free.
The System is easily adapted to your needs for tomorrow, critically important when technology changes so rapidly.

If you need a feature, we probably already have it. Our capability is unmatched by any other system, at any price.


If we can custom build one for you, it would be our sincere pleasure.