Zimmerman grain dryer

Greg in Ontario

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Greg has been using Dryer Master since 1993, so that is a total of 25 years! In that time he has upgraded from his original DM150 model and added a second system. He now runs his a new DM510 on his Zimmerman VT2541 tower dryer and his older DM500 on his Farm Fans CMS-1000H. He typically dries about 1.4 million bushels a year of corn and occasionally soybeans.

How much training was required to operate the Dryer Master?

4-6 hours initially, then some followup when we upgraded models.

How often do you calibrate your sensors? 

Twice daily, unless there is a wide variation in wet test weight, then we check more often.

DMS_510_IMG_1661Have you contacted the Dryer Master Support Centre? What was your experience?

Yes, we upgraded one unit and replaced another.  TechSupp was excellent at preparing us for the switch over and correcting the minor problems that cropped up.

Is there anything you would like to see improved in the Dryer Master?

There are read outs for inlet grain temp, outlet grain temp, and plenum temp, but not for grain temp (in the column). We have to go outside to the dryer
panel to view this.

DM Comment: This could be an option in the future. For now we have tried to keep the operation and installation as simple as possible and only gather information that will be used in the control calculations. The grain temps from the moisture sensor are used in the moisture reading calculations and the plenum temp is monitored so that the the control model can be immediately updated if the dryer operator changes their drying temp. The grain column temp is not used in the control calculations so it would only be provided for informational purposes.

Joe in Ohio

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Joe has had a Dryer Master for 20 years. He started with a DM500 and recently updated to a DM510 model. His site dries about 500,000 bushels a year of corn and wheat and sometimes soybeans with their Zimmerman dryer. The first photo is of the outlet sensor installation.

Why did you buy a Dryer Master in the first place?
The Dryer Master allowed us to have an inlet sensor which helps with anticipating the speed of the dryer whether in automatic or manual. Before we were chasing and guessing but after it was installed it allowed us to be a lot more consistent in our drying.

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

Depending on time, help and operator we usually calibrate it every hour to once or twice a day. The calibration process is so easy we have incorporated it into our dryer checks.

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

We do use the DM-Mobile, mostly though a PC but occasionally with a smartphone. Anytime we leave the dryer to go to another part of the plant it allows us to monitor the dryer. We found that the biggest help is it allows you to take your experienced guys and use them where they are needed but they can also work through and teach less experienced personnel and  while still keeping an eye on the dryer.

Any other advice or comments you would like to pass on to someone ?
The Dryer Master team does a great job providing service and technical support to their customers. It is reassuring knowing that during the middle of harvest you can call and troubleshoot a problem with a person who knows the product and cares.

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.

Kevin in Indiana

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Kevin has two Dryer Master DM510s. The first one he installed about 15 years ago. He then he bought a second one five years ago to go on his new dryer. Kevin’s two dryers are both Zimmerman towers (one is 2,000 bu. and the other 4,000 bu.).

Kevin recently updated his DM510s with DM Mobile, Dryer Master’s remote access application. (DM Mobile is standard on all new DM510s, but it can also be added onto older DM510s allowing owners to add the latest in remote access capabilities to their dryer at a reasonable cost).

What had you heard about Dryer Master before you purchased your first system?  

I talked to a guy who owned one and he told me that I would not want to dry another bushel without it.

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

I was surprised with how accurate the sensors are & how well they keep their calibration.

The sensors are also very durable, I had one sitting in rotten corn and water all summer and did not know it, cleaned it off and it still worked as it should.DryerMaster_SFF (3)

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?

We found that the Zimmerman dryer will make fairly large swings in moisture at first, 1.5 – 2 pts, but once it found its sweet spot it stayed on target.

Longer Runs = Better

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

It is a huge difference being able to walk in the office and know what my moisture is in real-time and be able to keep an eye on it while unloading trucks and all the other things that are going on.

It’s great knowing how accurate it is vs. taking a sample from say maybe 2 columns at best, whereas the sensor (through the printout) gives me summaries every 10 minutes from a much larger sample size, giving me not only more accurate information, but also more useful information, and it’s better than doing it myself.

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

Yes, on an iPhone and on a PC

All the time when it is running, I no longer have to make midnight runs to the dryer to check on it, I can check on it without having to get out of bed.