WOODBURY, MINN – During a sales visit made to one of PEBCO’s representative firms in Woodbury Minnesota USA, a sketch of a frac sand company’s bin and conveyor system was brought to the attention of PEBCO.
In reviewing the equipment concept, PEBCO was then advised a slide gate had to go on the bin and was requested to provide a quote on an approximate quantity of 150.
In fact, after reviewing the sketch, PEBCO pursued the opportunity to quote on the entire system – bins, conveyors and gates. The system had not yet been developed so it was a unique opportunity for PEBCO to get in with this new company to help them forge a way within the frac sand industry.
The company’s objective was to improve frac sand handling in which the industry refers; “last mile logistics” which basically means getting the sand from the transfer facility to the well head.
Over the next year a team of PEBCO specialists began the development work for what was to be a prototype sled bin gate system.
The equipment was built, tested, and in time made its way into the field. Then it was again tested in the field and proved to be a very successful technological breakthrough in “last mile logistics”.
The frac sand company introduced a third party into the mix who specialized in the manufacture of conveying systems and bins.
Our focus then turned to the development of the gate systems that would enable the successful implementation of the bins. The development of the gate system continued, and after presenting 3 different prototypes, the final design was accepted.
Substantial testing was performed to prove out the gate design and, to date, we have somewhere in the vicinity of 3,000 gates that are in service each and every day!
Since then, PEBCO has been involved in the design of an actuating system which was not part of the original package. We are now providing the actuating system for all the gates and this too has proven to be very successful in the field.
PEBCO continues to work with the frac sand company as well as the third party conveyor supplier, and today we are looking at developing further designs for both of these companies.
The design of the gate has been used in other applications and we are finding more and more applications for the basic design that is being provided for the “last mile logistics” of the frac sand industry.
Some features of the slide gate are:
- Low cost reliability
- Self-cleaning rack and pinion drive system
- Hardened blade and pinion gears for long life
- Fully sealed gearbox mechanism with low temperature oil
- Minimal input torque requirements (can be operated single handed with a cordless drill)
- Ability to cut a standing column of material