Subscribe by email
To many of our current customers operating ExPress® Soybean plants throughout the world, the word “basis” is quite common. For those contemplating a new “all-natural” or an alternative process, sooner or later the soybean “basis’ will play an integral part of the cost of the soybeans that are purchased.
The basis is the amount above or below the CBOT (Chicago Board of Trade) futures price that a commodity is trading for at a given location. So, if your plant will be in Iowa, California, Pennsylvania, the Maritime Provinces of Canada, Africa, or Russia, it’s the difference between the local cash price, and the futures price, specified for a time and place where the soybeans will be delivered.
Some current late April/early May soybean basis existed for the following areas
CBOT- $14.11/bu (July)
- Central Mississippi minus $0.10/bu
- Central Iowa plus $0.63/bu
- Pennsylvania plus $0.20/bu
- Maritime Provinces even ——–
- South Africa minus $0.33/bu
- Russia plus $0.06/bu
One can see that there can be differences in how a soybean buyer calculates the costs of beans coming into the soybean plant. The soybean basis has a direct effect on how the produced soybean meal is priced to the soybean buyer. Soybean meal buyers around the world will typically purchase their soybean meal based upon the soybean meal basis. (Some comments regarding the soybean meal basis will be written next month.)
Before establishing your soybean plant make sure you understand the soybean basis in the local market area. That knowledge will help you establish your real input costs.
One of the most asked questions by customers when they encounter problems with their extruders deals with a part’s life. Simple inspection of both the inlet chamber and the inlet feed screws of your extruder can determine the need to replace parts. It is recommended to completely dismantle the extruder once a month and inspect for wear.
The inlet chamber of the extruder is often neglected, because there is less heat and pressure generated there. The product being extruded is more abrasive at this point, it can often be where the most wear is found. Unstable amperage and surging of the extruder usually indicates worn parts in the inlet. Rotation of the screws in the inlet can dramatically increase the service life of these parts.
The following advises what to look for and how to solve the issues:
1) Inlet and middle compression chambers: If the rifling in the chambers are worn smooth, the chamber can be rebuilt by welding with a mild steel rod to bring the height of the rifling to its original dimension (these dimensions can be found in the operator’s manual). It is only recommended to rebuild chambers once or twice. If pitting in the original casting is evident, replace.
2) Screws: Screws with severely rounded or sharp flighting should be replaced. Never rebuild a screw. A crack in the screw is also an indicator it is time to change.
3) Wearsleeves: Wearsleeves will get a visible groove with time. This will indicate wear to half of the sleeve surface, with the worn surface visibly thinner than the unworn surface. Wearsleeves can be turned once before replacing by loosening the set screw in the compression chamber and using a long punch to drive the wearsleeve out. It is flipped end for end and replaced in the chamber.
4) Steamlocks: Steamlocks’ wear is noticed when the outside edges become round instead of flat, and the grooves on the face of the steamlock become smooth. The loss of 1/8 inch of the outside diameter, in addition, can signal time for a change. Cracks indicate need for replacement.
5) Bullets: Bullets that have a pointed tapered end or rounded, outside edge need to be replaced.
6) Nose Cones: Nose cones should be replaced if the inside face has a rounded tapering or severe grooving. Monthly inspection can avert costly down time, and also save on parts’ cost. If parts are let go past their normal service life, they can cause other parts to wear out prematurely.