Category Archive: Agricultural Industry

Exploring the Latest Advancements in Agricultural Equipment

Summer is peak growing season for farmers in the U.S. While many people have an old-world view of farming, with decades-old tractors and equipment, the sector is rapidly changing. Growing populations, heightened demand for resources, and a greater focus on sustainability have all led to a shift in how agricultural products are developed.

High-Tech Adoptions

We’ve already gotten comfortable with IoT connectivity in our homes, so it makes sense that farmers would take advantage of this trend, too. Sensors are becoming more prevalent both in the field and in agricultural equipment. They allow farmers to keep better track of which areas are in need of tilling, planting, watering, fertilizing and more. They also help workers track farm equipment using GPS, adjust to uneven terrain, and stay on top of maintenance schedules.

Other advancements in robotics and drone technology have also been contributing to modern farming. New devices and applications are constantly being developed to automate processes such as spraying, weeding, planting, and more. This greatly cuts down on time and costs for farming operations of all sizes.

New Tillage Trends

Tilling the soil before planting has a number of benefits and challenges. It involves loosening the soil to make it easier for seeds to take root, and also mixing old plant matter back into the soil underneath rather than letting it sit and slowly decay on top of the soil.

Challenges of tilling include the possibility of wind blowing away soil, and water erosion washing it away once it’s been loosened from tilling. There is also the need to evenly distribute residue from older plant matter so that it won’t block new plant growth or create unevenness in the soil.

New high-speed disc tillage models have been introduced that not only address these challenges by evenly shredding and dispersing residue, but do so more quickly than previous models. This can greatly improve productivity by allowing farmers to till greater swaths of land in a shorter amount of time, leaving them more time for planting. Newer models improve mixing capabilities for a richer soil while compacting the material to prevent erosion.

All of these new equipment introductions share a goal of maximizing agricultural yield while improving sustainability. By keeping better track of available resources and recycling materials when possible, farmers can boost productivity while making the most of what they already have in the field.

As a partner to farm equipment manufacturers, Ohio Valley Manufacturing is excited to work with companies that are interested in building the next generation of agricultural support tools. Contact us to see how we can help with your project.

Electric Versus Gas Powered Lawn Mowers: Which is Right for You?

As more companies and consumers aim to decrease their environmental footprints, they are increasingly turning to alternative sources of power. From solar powered airplanes to electric vehicles, there’s no shortage of innovation in the power generation market.

Plant-assist production for lawnmowersAmong the latest advancements, electric lawn mowers are giving the gas-powered variety some competition. But what are the main differences in terms of usability and price?

Cost of Electric Lawn Mowers VS Gas Powered

Just like we’ve seen in cars, battery-powered lawn mowers tend to be more costly than gas-powered competitors. Sometimes, the prices are even double what most people are used to.

In addition, the batteries themselves will need to be factored into the true costs since they’ll likely need to be replaced during the life of the mower. Electric mower batteries cost around $150 each, so that is another expense to consider.

Alternatively, gas powered mowers require fuel and engine maintenance, which typically costs around $20 per year. This is a significant cost savings, as it would take 10 years for the gas powered mowers to reach the same costs as the electric variety.

Convenience and User Experience of Electric VS Gas Mowers

While electric mowers are more expensive, they do have some advantages for users. First, there’s the obvious benefit of not having to inhale exhaust fumes or worry about gas or oil leaks and storage. Most people keep a gas can in their shed or garage specifically to re-fill their lawnmowers, which can be a fire hazard. This is eliminated with electric mowers.

Electric lawn mowers also start at the push of a button with little fuss, in addition to cutting down on engine noise. All-in-all, they provide a more user friendly experience – unless you have a very large property (think more than 1/3 acre), in which case you run the risk of having to re-charge in the middle of mowing. Though batteries are getting better, they do still have a limited range. And if you opt for a corded electric mower, your range can only go as far as that wire.

Overall, deciding on the right mower option depends a lot on your property and personal preferences. If you have a smaller lot and prefer ease of use and less maintenance, an electric model might be best. If you have substantial acreage to mow, you’re likely better off with a gas powered unit that can handle the job in one sitting.

The Lawn Mower and Snow Blower Manufacturing Trade-Off

With the first snowfalls of the season beginning to occur, snow blowers have taken over where lawn mowers left off. But while snow blowers are now hitting store shelves and coming out of the garage, their manufacturers have turned their focus back to lawn mowers.

During the fall and winter, when consumers are focused on snow, manufacturers are focused on lawn care equipment. It may seem counter intuitive, however the best way to keep up with seasonal demand is by getting ahead of it, which is exactly what’s going on here. Next season’s lawn mowers are now being built so that there’s time to get everything produced, marketed, and sold in time for the busy spring and summer months.

Likewise, the snow blowers and snow throwers you may already be seeing on sidewalks and roadways were probably built during those warmer months in anticipation for the coming winter. Many manufacturers produce both types of equipment since they’re made using similar parts and processes. Coming up with a seasonal production schedule ensures that each product has enough lead time to prepare for the coming season, while also making sure there’s no gap in workload during the year.

As a heavy gauge stamping provider, Ohio Valley Manufacturing serves customers in the lawn care and snow management sectors, among numerous others. We work with carbon steel, aluminum, and stainless steel to produce end products such as wheels, frame components, electronic connectors, etc. We also provide assembly services, design consultation, powder coating and more to make things easier for the manufacturers we work with. To learn more about the services we offer and our capabilities, feel free to call 419-522-5818 or email info@ohiovalleymfg.com. We look forward to discussing your project!

In Honor of Earth Day Ohio Valley Manufacturing Reveals Their Green Qualities

Earth Day is celebrated every year but do you know all that much about it? The first Earth Day took place on April 22, 1970 and brought people together for a peaceful demonstration for environmental protection and reform. It has grown into a global environmental movement that has led to groundbreaking environmental laws and awareness.

In the field of manufacturing, we are consciously aware of how our actions impact the environment. There are many ways to protect the environment and at Ohio Valley Manufacturing we work toward being as green as possible. We have instituted programs to handle lubricants properly and use the most environmentally friendly products available.

There’s no secret that machines need oil but oil is not always eco-friendly and has been responsible for many environmental accidents. Since we use oil we must dispose of it properly to avoid any spills or pollution to our environment. This is something we take very seriously at Ohio Valley which is why we prevent the used oil from contaminating the ground or water supplies, we capture all of the oil from our dies into a holding tank. A company that is trained in disposing the materials safely comes to collect when filled. This keeps the oil from damaging the ecosystem.

We have also switched to a synthetic lubricant on all of our parts. IRMCO supplies us with oil-free, environmentally safe advanced metalforming lubricants which meet ISO 14001 standards for environmental managements systems. This a true synthetic material that cleans up with water unlike other green lubricants that contain plant or fish oil. While these oils are natural products, oil is still a problem for the eco-system.

What sets IRMCO apart from other lubricant companies is the extensive testing they do to ensure that their products are truly safe for the environment. They have on-site testing equipment to verify aquatic toxicity and perform simulated fish kill tests. Using EPA supported EC methods and the Microtox® test system, IRMCO confirms their products are not toxic to fish and the aquaculture.  

The high performing non-oil chemistry of IRMCO lubricants is a great improvement over conventional oil-based products.  Choosing this oil-free green solution protects our tooling with 50% less lubricant. We are proud to be protecting the health of our workers and the planet by using safer, environmentally-friendly IRMCO lubricants.

As manufacturers we are responsible for delivering high-quality products while still being aware of our environmental impact. It’s easy being green.

Ohio Valley and the Agricultural Industry

Last time we talked a bit about the “lightweighting” trend, what it is, and how it applies to one of the primary industries we’re involved in, namely the trucking industry.  This time, we’d like to examine more specifically how the trend and our expertise therein dovetails with other more heavy duty applications of heavy gauge stamping and blanking, particularly within the agricultural industry.

While the basic idea of lightweighting is found across multiple industries, the particular goals and factors differ slightly for the heavy duty nature and specific needs of the agricultural industry.  Generally, the maneuverability, fuel efficiency, and transportability that is achieved with lighter weight is advantageous in all applications.  The extreme example here is with racing – the design specifications, advanced materials, and other efforts to make the cars as light as possible are incredible, making complementary technology necessary (spoilers and other airflow manipulation techniques) to keep the super light cars on the track.  On the other end of the spectrum we have heavy duty, rugged equipment, such as is found in the agricultural industry.  The primary considerations here are durability, resistance to extreme weather and corrosion environments, and load-bearing capabilities, while still maintaining the lightest weight possible.  All of these particulars make using alternate materials more difficult, as only higher grades of steel have the tolerances necessary for such specifications.  For instance, the field disks found on tractors often come with strict specifications for emerging engineered steels (like these advanced high strength steels or AHSS), to be able to withstand the continuous use and corrosive conditions of the soil.  This goes for other parts of the tractor too, from wheels to drive idlers, and other parts that require high load bearing capabilities.

At Ohio Valley, we have long been a leader in heavy gauge blanking and stamping, and we’ve recently made some pretty exciting investments to increase our capabilities in those areas.  Make sure to check back here at our blog in the future for some more information about how we’re pushing the envelope of heavy duty offerings in our industry to new heights.

Manufacturing Continues to Grow in Ohio

Ohio ManufacturingAs the nation remains cautiously optimistic over steady job growth, Ohio’s manufacturing industry, especially the auto sector, continues to add jobs as it rebounds from the worst of the recession. Manufacturing and Ohio have a long, successful history, and it is the driving force in the state’s economic re-emergence. Spurred by major growth in automobile demand, the reshoring of foreign jobs to American soil, and innovative initiatives to foster continued improvement, Ohio is gearing up to show the nation, and the world, what the new face of manufacturing in America will be.

Back to one of those innovations: after months of talk of a “skills gap” between trained workers and manufacturing positions, Ohio is now rolling out a work training voucher program. With manufacturing one of the targeted industries, employers will be able to provide extra training, improvement programs and trade certificates. The goal is not only to open up the industry to people who otherwise might not have been able to work in it, but also to help current employees adapt and evolve as their jobs do. It’s a great time to be a manufacturer in Ohio, and here at Ohio Valley Manufacturing, we’re ready to show you what we can do.

Robotics: Built to Work

Americans young and old have grown up with some idea about what robots are and what they can do. Many older Americans may remember “Hal” from “2001: A Space Odyssey” or the “Robot” from the classic TV show “Lost in Space”. Younger generations have fallen in love with the more sleek and loveable “Wall E” from the animated film by the same name. At Ohio Valley Manufacturing, not only do we love robots, but we are utilizing their programmed skill and precision to provide our customers with consistent speed, stability and reliability.

Over the past few years, we have been handling all Robotic Welding in-house. This robotic work includes the design and building, as well as checking fixtures and production.

In the upcoming 10 to 12 months, we will be adding robots onto our press line to stack parts. These robots are designed to stack parts (pick and place) from the production press. This provides our valuable and skilled workers additional safety measures in the pressing process. In addition, it also reduces costs to our customers. With robotics in place, Ohio Valley Manufacturing has the advantage of being equipped to handle high-volume automation.

We can proudly say that not only are our robotics American-made, but they are Ohioans as well. All of Ohio Valley Manufacturing’s Material-Handling Robots are built by our staff here in Mansfield, Ohio. The roll-out of our new Stacking Robots is all designed and built by our in-house engineers and employees.

The addition of robotics to our processes is to provide our customers with cost-effective solutions. With regard to robotic welding, we offer precision welding for the following industry segments: On & Off-Highway Truck Parts, Material Handling Equipment, Trailer Parts, Outdoor Power Equipment, Agricultural, Automotive, and Petrochemical. All of our products are done at industry standards such as ISO 9001 – 2008 and are TS Compliant.