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GEAPS/K-State Offer New Course on Process Flow Diagrams

Published: Jun 05, 2017 by Leslie Casner

GEAPS/K-State Offer New Course on Process Flow Diagrams

he GEAPS/Kansas State University (K-State) Distance Education Program will offer a new course on process flow diagrams in July. Interpretation of Process Flow Diagrams was designed entirely by GEAPS members. The course focuses on interpretation, use and creation of process-flow diagrams, especially in grain handling and processing facilities. Featuring animation, the course will discuss the purposes, benefits and limitations of flow diagrams, before investigating how diagrams depict processes in various facilities.

The course identifies and discusses the process steps and types of equipment that flow diagrams may depict, as well as diagram symbols and nomenclature. Participants will learn to use flow diagrams to identify and understand capabilities and restrictions in a process, and the concept of mass balance. The course also discusses how flow diagrams help visualize and manage critical-control points for food safety and other considerations. At the end of the course, students will be required to develop a flow chart for a facility.

This course is designed for grain and processing facility operators and supervisors, maintenance supervisors, trainees, quality-control officials, HACCP inspectors, government inspectors, company management and others looking to understand process-flow diagrams and how they are applied.

Fred Fairchild, professor emeritus, K-State, led GEAPS course development task force. Fairchild has been involved in the program for many years, and this is the sixth course he has overseen.  Fairchild has 30 years of experience in the industry designing and building grain handling, storage and processing facilities. He also spent nearly 20 years as faculty at the K-State Department of Grain Science and Industry.

“We put this together for people to understand what happens in the processing plant they are working for,” Fairchild said. “One of the challenges we faced was how much content should be in the course, and how detailed should it be.”

GEAPS’ Continuing Education Program Oversite Committee (CEPOC) oversees planning and development of all distance education program courses. Chris Blair, NEW Cooperative, committee chair, explains how the new course fits in with the overall distance education program.

“This course will be interesting and useful for a wide variety of our peers in the grain industry,” Blair said.  “The CEPOC is continually evaluating industry feedback to make sure we are developing the best and most relevant training materials for grain handling and processing professionals.”

This course includes 10 lectures taught by the following grain industry experts:

  • Fred Fairchild, professor emeritus, Kansas State University
  • Allan Tedrow, sales executive, McCormick Construction Co.
  • Alok Singh, proposal engineer, WL Port-Land Systems, Inc.
  • Jason Watt, Buhler instructor of milling, Kansas State University
  • Connie Hardy, extension program specialist, Iowa State University
  • Kortney Wagner, graduate student, Iowa State University


  • Introduction: Flow Diagram Purposes and Functions
  • Capabilities, Limitations and Plant Safety
  • Flow Diagrams for Grain Handling Functions
  • Flow Diagrams for Feed Processing
  • Flow Diagrams for Grain Dry Milling
  • Flow Diagrams for Wet Process Separations
  • Investigating Equipment Requirements
  • Mass Balance: Quantity In Equals Quantity Out
  • Working With an Example
  • Drawing a Flow Diagram

Registration for this course opens June 6 and runs through July 11. The course will run from July 17 through Aug. 18. Tuition for GEAPS/K-State continuing education courses is $685 for GEAPS members, $895 for non-members. For more information about the courses or to register, visit the GEAPS website, contact GEAPS at or call (763) 999-4300.

GEAPS/K-State Distance Education Program at a Glance

  • Over the past 12 years, nearly 5,000 registrants from 30 different nations have taken a GEAPS/K-State course
  • Courses run for five weeks and consist of narrated PowerPoint lectures
  • Students can complete coursework at their convenience over five weeks
  • Industry specialists peer review all materials to ensure quality and relevance
  • All courses provide the opportunity to network with faculty and other students
  • Students who complete a course receive one continuing education unit (CEU) from Kansas State University and a certificate of completion
  • 90 students have now earned the Credential in Grain Operations Management, 50 Specialist Credentials have been awarded and11 have completed all tracks to earn the Masters Credential

About the GEAPS/K-State Distance Education Program

GEAPS and Kansas State University provide online, peer-reviewed continuing education unit (CEU) qualified courses taught by grain industry leaders and faculty members. The program helps participants improve job skills and become more valuable to employers through exposure to issues, standards and best practices from across the industry. In 2017, there are 34 courses available, including two all-new offerings. Courses combine GEAPS members’ vast on-the-job experience with K-State’s academic expertise. Lectures and coursework take place online, and can be completed at any time during the five-week session.


The Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) is an international professional association that supports its members and the industry by serving as The Knowledge Resource for the world of grain handling and processing industry operations. GEAPS addresses the industry’s critical grain handling, storage and processing operations needs by providing the finest networking, professional development programs, and access to a global marketplace of equipment, services and technology solutions providers. GEAPS global network of industry professionals includes more than 2,800 individual members from about 1,150 companies.