Materials Handling

Materials Handling III

GEAPS Online Learning courses are available anytime on-demand. Each course takes approximately 10 hours to complete and can be completed at any pace over five weeks. Courses must be completed within a five-week period that begins the day you register. After registering, learners will be sent a confirmation email, then you’re ready to start learning!  


$495 for members
$795 for non-members.  

Course Description: This professional development course focuses on the properties and flow characteristics of grains and other dry bulk materials. The course also focuses on powered-transmission design, system design and other affiliated systems utilized to move and store grain and related commodities. Overviews of motors, gears, screws, V belts, chains and liquid systems will be given, and students will learn how to determine various material characteristics and their effects on the selection and sizing of bins, spouting and screw conveyors. Examples, formulas and quizzes will help students understand the topics for future use. Materials Handling I and II are recommended pre-requisites to this course but are not required.

Course Goals: This course aims to introduce students to key information about powered-transmission design, system design and other affiliated systems utilized to move and store grain and related commodities.

Target Audience: Designed for people with responsibilities relating to management, operations and maintenance within grain storage, handling and processing facilities. Specifically: grain facility owners/operators; elevator superintendents; location or regional managers; designers, engineers and maintenance personnel; university students and anyone with a professional need to learn more about grain and ingredient handling characteristics and the equipment used in grain and processing facilities.


Dr. Fred Fairchild  Kansas State University Department of Grain Science and IndustrySee Bio

Before arriving at KSU in 1994, Dr. Fred Fairchild had more than 30 years of industry experience in the design, construction, operation and management of feed, flour, dry corn milling and pet food manufacturing facilities. A professor of grain science and industry, Fairchild worked previously at Todd & Sargent in Ames, IA, where he was vice president of engineering. A licensed professional engineer, Fairchild specializes in plant design and construction, manufacturing technology, maintenance, materials handling and plant management.

The Course of Study

Week 1Details

Lecture 1 – Motors
This lecture gives an overview of various motor types and features and what differentiates motor types. Students will learn about motor speeds, voltages, frequencies, types of motor enclosures and their uses, “motor frame number”; and determining motor output shaft dimensions. This lecture will also touch on motor construction standards and NEMA.

Lecture 2 – Gear Reducers
In this lecture, students will learn about gear reducers, including types, selection and how and why they are built. It will utilize the Dodge Gearing Engineering Catalog to select and specify shaft mount gear reducers with accessories. It includes a class exercise where students will be able to use what they have learned to pick an appropriate gear reducer and belt drive arrangement.

Week 2Details

Lecture 3 – Screw Driver Gear Reducers
The objective of this course is to familiarize students with the purpose and installation of a screw conveyor gear reducer. Student will learn how and why screw conveyor gear reducers are built and use the Dodge Gearing Engineering Catalog to select and specify screw driver gear reducers with accessories. They will also be given the change to use their new knowledge to select reducers, adapters, belt drive arrangements, sheaves and accessories in a class exercise.

Lecture 4 – V-Belt Drives
This lecture will give an overview of V-Belt Drivers including types and sizes. By the end of this lecture, students will be able to identify different types and sizes of V-Belts and sheaves as well as the proper service factor, speed ratio and arc length correction factor for a V-Belt drive based on load and location, including. They will use the Dodge PT Components Engineering Catalog and a class exercise to select and specify sheaves and belts for a drive.

Week 3Details

Lecture 5 – Chain Drives
In this lecture, students will learn about chain-drive types and components and how to select chain drives. The goal of this unit is for students to understand and be able to identify the different types and sizes of roller chains and sprockets. Students will use the Dodge PT Components Engineering Catalog to select and specify roller chain and sprockets for a drive. The lecture will incorporate images and a hands-on exercise to better understand chain drives.

Lecture 6 – Liquid Systems Characteristics
This lecture covers flow characteristics of liquids; the physical properties of liquids such as viscosity, density and specific gravity; and terms involved in liquid handling including various liquid system and pump terms. Students will learn to recognize and understand the basic parts of a liquid handling system and use formulas to understand and practice using terms.

Week 4Details

Lecture 7 – Liquid Systems
This lecture will discuss equipment types and applications for liquid systems and piping systems. It will provide students with an overview of liquid systems. Students will be able to identify and choose the components of liquid storage and handling systems and to be able to choose the proper type of construction components for various liquid system components. This will include an overview of tank types, pump types, strainers, suction conditions, liquid metering, the Coriolis effect, and liquid system valves.

Lecture 8 – Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPPC) Containment Systems
This lecture will provide an overview of spill prevention control and countermeasure. It will familiarize students with SPCC laws and regulations and how to a design a containment system for a liquid tank farm. It will cover SPCC regulations, elements and requirements of a SPCC plan, the different tanks and containment systems and examples of tank farms. This lecture will also provide advice on containment capacity for containment systems based on sizes of tanks.

Week 5Details

Lecture 9 – Compressed Air
In this lecture, students will learn about compressed air and compressed air systems equipment, including capacity requirements and piping systems. The main topics include system design and components, how to calculate air cylinder forces and air requirements, how to calculate an existing compressor capacity and how to calculate the cost of operating a compressed air system. The lecture will provide images, system examples, formula overviews and sample problems to help students better understand compressed air systems.

Lecture 10 – Dust Control Systems
Lecture 10 will focus on dust control systems in grain handling facilities. By the end of this lecture students will be able to identify emission points, understand methods used to control dust at emission points, know the reasons for the methods used and recognize and identify dust control systems and equipment. Images of equipment and systems will be provided, as well as examples of formulas to help students better understand the systems.