Familiar grain dryer to get high-tech makeover

Familiar grain dryer to get high-tech makeover

Mathews Company has been awarded a grant for the redesign of the familiar Legacy Series grain dryers.

There's that old saying, if it ain't broke don't fix it. Well the Mathews Company knows it's Legacy Series grain dryer is far from broken, but changing needs for operational efficiency are still calling for a future fix. And the company has been awarded a product development grant from the Propane Education and Research Council for the redesign.

Familier Legacy Series dryer from Mathews Company is getting a serious makeover, helped in part by a grant from the Propane Education and Research Council.

The project will include a complete redesign of the Legacy Series profile-style dryer, which the company introduced to the market more than 30 years ago. Says Joseph Shulfer, company president: "The Legacy Series product line has always been a reliable workhorse for the company, with very minimal updates over the years. However, the product is in need of a revamp to better align its features and operation with the technological advancements available today."

The redesign will take the experience and knowledge the company has acquired in the past five years redesigning two other products and apply those principles to the Legacy Series. The aim, according to Shulfer, is a "product that offers producers and commercial grain facility operators something that does not exist at this time: a 'profile' style dryer, but with the advantages, features and overall operational efficiencies associated with a tower style dryer."

The company is seeing a slump in sales as farmers take a 'wait and see' attitude about replacing equipment, however, Shulfer is moving forward despite those low sales: "Low commodity prices are driving farmers, especially those that lease land, to find savings where they can to help their bottom line." He says the company is stepping up to offer energy efficient technology that can lower input costs.

Since most farmers now rely on propane as a heat source for drying grain, this new-tech dryer will offer advantages. The new dryer won't need new wet holding storage or bucket elevators required by tower dryers.

Cinch Munson, PERC's director of ag business development, comments in the media announcement: "Mathews Company and PERC share a common goal of helping ag operations cut their operating costs by using high-efficiency grain dryers that run on clean, American propane."

Mathews Company is serious about the Legacy Series revamp and will shorten its normal product development lifecycle in order to bring the new dryer into prototype testing in 2016. Shulfer says the company wants to be aggressive in bringing the new offering to market, adding: "We will do our due diligence with in-field testing to make sure it performs as expected. We fully anticipate that the new dryer will make an economic case for on-farm grain drying stronger by bringing elements of tower dryer technology to the profile-style dryer."

Keep up with Mathews Company at the website - mathewscompany.com.

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