DBR Conveyor Concepts, LLC (DBR) is a company specialized in the research and development of harvest assist systems for agricultural use on harvesting tree fruit since 2009. The world of fruit harvesting has operated on old-fashioned methods of using ladders and picking bags for centuries. DBR, on the other hand, is revolutionizing fruit harvesting by making the transition from those labor-intensive methods toward the harvest assist system, which will help fruit growers combat labor shortages, and increase productivity by implementing new harvesting techniques. The patented pneumatic harvest-assist system gently and automatically conveys fruit from the fruit picker to the fruit bin with minimal bruising.
Our company is owned by three individuals, Mike Rasch, Phil Brown, and Chuck Dietrich, all of whom possess unique talents.
MIKE RASCH is a third generation fruit grower and is the owner of West Ridge Orchards in Conklin, Michigan. With his entire career devoted primarily to apple, cherry, and apricot farming, he has a particular interest in streamlining fruit growth and harvest. For the past ten years, he has made a variety of attempts at mechanizing the harvest process and has developed a number of harvest machinery prototypes. This activity led to the collaborative efforts of Phil Brown and Chuck Dietrich, initiating the development of a pneumatic fruit harvest aid which has excited the fruit farming industry. He and his collaborators patented the technology of pneumatic fruit conveying and started DBR Conveyor Concepts, LLC of which Mike Rasch is the managing member.
PHIL BROWN founded Phil Brown Welding Corporation in 1964 in Conklin, Michigan. He has spent his entire career focused on designing and manufacturing specialized fruit industry equipment. He is most widely known for his “Brownie”--a three wheeled hydrostatically driven swing boom bucket--and most recently for his work platform. Phil Brown is a cofounder and member of DBR Conveyor Concepts, LLC whose collaborative work on the pneumatic fruit harvester has been essential for the actual construction of the machine. Manufacturing and distribution of the harvest assist will be conducted through Phil Brown Welding Corporation. In March of 2010, Phil Brown received the Industry Service Award during the International Fruit Tree Association annual conference held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His website, linked above, can provide additional background information of the pneumatic harvester and the multitude of equipment designed and manufactured by Phil Brown Welding Corporation.
CHUCK DIETRICH of Kalkaska, Michigan has spent thirty-three years in the drilling fluids industry cultivating his knowledge base of physics as an engineer. His reputation for his knowledge enabled him to successfully start Dynamic Drilling Fluids, Inc. in 2000. Chuck Dietrich developed the idea for pneumatic fruit harvesting in which fruit is conveyed from the picker into a bin via pneumatic tubes and a decelerator after a happenstance visit with Mike Rasch. The novel concept of this approach is now assigned patented technology by DBR Conveyor Concepts, LLC of which Chuck Dietrich is a member and cofounder. This technology has excited the agricultural fruit industry and a plethora of articles have been written about the augmented harvester that DBR Conveyor Concepts, LLC has developed.
Our harvest assist has unique vacuum hoses and padded decelerators. We strive for simplicity and convenience so that our harvest assist is manageable in the field, meaning there are fewer complications, and can be maintained with relative ease.
CASC (Comprehensive Automation for Specialty Crops) reported that our harvest assist increases producitivity by approximately 30 percent over traditional methods of fruit harvesting from the top of the tree. This reduces the need for pickers by nearly one-third. It also incurs less bruising than traditional methods.
Our harvest assist can be attached to various harvest platforms that are otherwise intended for pruning, trellacing, thinning and other applications.
Other Features Include:
- Padded pneumatic transport tubes for gentle conveying of fruit.
- 4 tubes to 1 fruit bin.
- Decelerator for decreasing the speed in which the fruit is transported.
- Bin filler comprised of distribution flaps that evenly and carefully fill the fruit bin.