Grain Drying

Chris in Illinois

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Chris has a Grain Handler 2416 dryer that he uses to dry about 500,000 bushels of White and Yellow Food Grade Corn. He has had his DM510 for 2 years now. His DM510 is conveniently located right next to where he does his manual moisture tests.

Why did you buy a Dryer Master in the first place?

We bought the DM510 to automate and remotely control our Grain Handler 2416.

How often do you typically calibrate your outlet moisture sensor? And what is your calibration procedure?

dryerpicDuring harvest we sample and calibrate every 1 to 1.5 hours.  We press the sample button, run it through our Perten tester three times, average the results, and enter the moisture into the DM510.

Do you use DM-Mobile? If so how do you use it (phone/PC/home/at night?), how often do you use it?

Yes, I monitor the dryer via an IPad while in the combine during the day and use my IPhone at home after work.  It is used all the time the dryer is running.

Trevor in North Dakota

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Trevor dries less than 250,000 bushels annually of corn and wheat with his Grain Handler dryer. He has had his  Dryer Master DM510 for three seasons now.

What had you heard about Dryer Master before you purchased one?
Advanced Grain Handling suggested a Dryer Master because that is what they had and really liked it. We wanted something that was smart phone capable and we are glad we got the Dryer Master.

Why did you buy a Dryer Master in the first place?
To be more productive… We couldn’t run 24 hours a day before the Dryer Master because we didn’t want to under dry or over dry.. with the Dryer Master we can run 24 hours a day which is huge to getting our crop off before the weather changes in North Dakota… Every day is crucial and we have to be able to get the crop off and dry it down!

How does the Dryer Master change the way that you dry, or alter your drying operations from
an operational perspective?
We decreased paying a guy to baby sit the dryer all day. With Dryer Master we can look at our phones when we are not by it. Semi drivers and always monitoring it when dumping their trucks. We dialed in our set point for our dryer and it comes out consistent throughout our desired moisture for storage.

Did anything surprise you about how your Dryer Master worked when you first used it?
It took awhile to get used to it and a lot of phone calls just to get everything set but now we are familiar with everything.

Have you found a financial difference in your drying performance using Dryer Master? In what
way?
Any kind of product that can give you a return on your investment is crucial in this business. This monitoring system pays for itself yearly in our eyes with the elevators being so aggressive on drying and shrink charges.

Brian in Indiana

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Brian is a long time Dryer Master user, having used Dryer Master systems for over 25 years now. He dries over a million bushels a year of Non-GMO waxy corn and has a wealth of experience to share.

Brian recently updated his two DM500 systems to two new DM510 systems to go on his two Zimmerman grain dryers, one a AP4500 and the other a Zimmerman VT3026.

Why did you buy  Dryer Masters in the first place?

We were looking for a way to take the guesswork out of drying.  Because we are a long term storage facility with minimal outbound blending capabilities, we needed consistent moisture and quality going into storage.  The Dryer Master has been able to take the peaks and valleys out of our moisture content.

How does the Dryer Master change the way that you dry, or alter your drying operations from an operational perspective?

We had to learn to let the Dryer Master do it’s job.  I tell my operators that every adjustment they make when drying, is probably undermining what the Dryer Master has “planned”.  We had to learn not to react to what was happening with outbound samples (unless it’s a long term trend)…for instance, if the outbound sample isn’t correct, that adjustment should’ve been made 2-3 hrs ago.  We watch the hourly trend and trust that the DM knows what’s going in and what’s coming out and will adjust dryer speed accordingly to hit the average target moisture.  Operators have to understand that the DM is always trying to average to the target…if corn is coming out a little dry for an hour, expect the dryer to speed up and you might see a little bit of wetter corn for an hour. My main advice to operators…”don’t over-react, let the DM dbrian-1o it’s job”.

What drying tips (if any) would you like to pass on to other dryer owners about how to get the most out of their dryer and/or their Dryer Master?

During harvest, we often can see a 5-10% spread in the moisture of inbound grain.  While the Dryer Master can handle those ranges of moisture, we try to “help” it by making the inbound wet grain stream more consistent.  We have 3 wet hopper tanks and will divide those into 3 moisture ranges.  We then blend those grain streams to the dryer to get a more consistent moisture content on the inbound side of the dryer.  This helps the Dryer Master by not making it “react” to those big swings.  It also helps us narrow the range that it takes to get to our average outbound target moisture.

Have you fobrian-3-aund a financial difference in your drying performance using Dryer Master? In what way?

Yes. Anytime we overdry corn or underdry corn and have to recirculate, we are not getting efficient use of our utilities expense or our drying assets.  The Dryer Master minimizes those situations and helps us stay within a very narrow +/- range of our target moisture.

How often do you typically calibrate your outlet moisture sensor? And what is your calibration procedure?

We sample every 30-45 minutes while the dryers are running.  We keep a log sheet comparing DM sample to Moisture Meter (Dickey-John) sample.  If we have 3 samples in a row that are off more than .5% in the same direction…then we calibrate.

Aaron in Illinois

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20161205_102523Aaron has a smaller 1610 Grain Handler dryer that he uses to dry about 200,000 bushels of oats and corn. He has now had his DM510 for 2 seasons and uses the Dryer Master moisture sensor chute with a rotary feed which helps provide a consistent flow of product past the outlet moisture sensor.

Why did you buy a Dryer Master in the first place?

I had not heard anything about Dryer Master but my bin dealer and the Grain Handler folks recommended it.

How does the Dryer Master change the way that you dry, or help your drying operations from an
operational perspective?

It allows me to be a little freer to do otaaron-1her tasks.

How often do you typically calibrate your outlet moisture sensor?

All throughout the first day, then if it is staying close to the bench tester, just once a day.

How much difference does it make to have real time moisture information versus having to go out and take a sample?

A lot. I’m able to check the moisture of the dryer discharge no matter where I am.

aaron-2Do you use DM-Mobile for remote access.

Yes, I use it on my smartphone all the time, day and night.

Brian in Pennsylvania

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brian-pa-1Brian dries  about 250,000 bushels of corn and soybeans with his Grain Handler 1610 dryer. He has now had a Dryer Master DM510 for 3 seasons. In the photo of the DM510 panel, on the right there is a small black device. This is part of the remote wireless I/O setup option. This option simplifies installations where the DM510 panel is located at a far distance from the dryer, or where a conduit run would be difficult.

Why did you buy a Dryer Master in the first place?

It was recommended by the Dealer and Rep from Grain Handler

Did anything surprise you about how your Dryer Master worked when you first used it? 

I was surprised how it could compensate for different input moisture after it had run long enough to build the data it needed. Compensates better for large input changes than any other controller I have used.

How often dbrian-pa-2o you typically calibrate your outlet moisture sensor? And what is your calibration procedure?  (Note: The photo is of the outlet sensor installation. Brian diverts a portion of the outlet flow to a pipe where the sensor is mounted. The product flow past the sensor is kept constant by the auger that returns the product to the main stream. )

Check / Calibrate several times daily especially if we changed varieties of corn. Also check before overnight. I recalibrate if its more than a couple tenths off. I push the calibrate button mounted near sensor and take a sample over about 20 to 30 seconds. Gives me enough grain to run two tests on my moisture tester. If both tests are close to the same, I average and recalibrate. If the tests are not close, I start over.

Ryan in Ontario

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Dorssers dryerRyan has been a Dryer Master user since 1999. The first Dryer Master installed was a DM500 model and it went in at their then only drying location. In 2009, with the construction of a new facility at a new location, two Dryer Master DM510s were added for their Dorssers dryer. (For those unfamiliar with the Dorssers dryer it is an Ontario made dryer that you can see at quite a few locations around Southern Ontario.) In Ryan’s case each Dryer Master controls 1/2 of the dryer and so you can have the two sides running at different speeds. Combined, Ryan dries around 750,000 bushels of corn a year.

Why did you buy a Dryer Master in the first place?

The ease of controlling the dryer and improving the output consistency for storage. We also liked the idea that you could run it in an automatic mode which allowed us to focus time on other areas of the business during harvest.

file-2016-09-29-10-18-28-amHow does the Dryer Master change the way that you dry, or alter your drying operations from an operational perspective?

When operating the Dryer Master, patience is key. You have to have trust in the system to follow the targets that you set out to achieve. It allows you to focus on other areas of operations during the peak time and yet have faith that the targets will be met.

Did anything surprise you about how your Dryer Master worked when you first used it?

It takes a bit of time to have faith that the targets will be met. At the conclusion of the year, it is surprising how close the targets are met when the final report is generated. This goes to show that corrections are made throughout the drying season and in the end you achieve what you had set as a goal going into harvest.

file-2016-09-29-10-18-14-amWhat drying tips (if any) would you like to pass on to other dryer owners about how to get the most out of their dryer and/or their Dryer Master?

Patience is key, give the DM time to learn the characteristics of the grain and it will meet your requirements. Keep an eye on all the moisture pods for blockage as this can give false readings.

How often do you typically calibrate your outlet moisture sensor?

We calibrate quiet often and likely too much.Every half hour if we have issues. On average we likely calibrate every 1.5 hours. When things are busy every 2-4 hours. It is nice to be able to go to the screen and know that the physical product is accurate to what the reading is giving you.

Pete in Michigan

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Pete is a long time Dryer Master user. He bought his first two Dryer Master systems (DM150 models) way back 1996, one for an older Delux dryer and one for a Redex. He currently has two DM510 models, one on a 2014 model Delux DPX16GT dryer and the other on an older Meyer 2000 bu./hr. dryer. He uses them for drying over 2 million bushels a year of corn, soybeans and soft red wheat.

Why did you buy a Dryer Master in the first place?

I was unhappy with our drying results. We would over dry and also under dry. Also we had acquired another location where the drying was even more erratic due to varying corn moistures and an inability to control the dryer.

Did anything surprise you about how your Dryer Master worked when you first used it?KIMG0181.jpeg

Yes it would adjust the speed when we did not think it should but it was correct and the dry corn coming out of the dryer was much more stable.

Have you found a financial difference in your drying performance using Dryer Master? In what way?

Yes we can ship corn right at the target level of moisture that we want to. The over drying of corn costs much more than most people realize. Also we dry wheat to ship to flour mills that have strict moisture requirements.

What drying tips (if any) would you like to pass on to other dryer owners about how to get the most out of their dryer and/or their Dryer Master?

I would stage corn in a wet bin and run air for two days then dry it. This means more wet storage and then drying 24 hours a day when you start to dry. The longer we run the dryer the better job we do.

Any other KIMG0168.jpegadvice or comments you would like to pass on?

p22.jpgWe have tried three different dryer controllers that were dryer manufacturer based and the Dryer Master simply works better in my opinion. The experience that they have with other industries and other products gives them much more knowledge than just about grain drying.