High tech dryers operate from afar

Along with remote control technology, upgrades also include the ability to identify crop type and adjust drying

New Orleans, La. — While the latest in grain dryers deliver higher performance than their predecessors, most do that with enhanced controls.

But what if it was possible to upgrade?

Single heat source, continuous flow grain dryers have been around for decades and while companies have made improvements to the systems, the basic, single-module, portable dryer remains mostly as it was 10, 20 or 30 years ago.

GSI recently unleashed its latest dryer control technology that automatically manages drying based on crop type and provides remote control for producers, along with a full suite of information about how the machine is running, how well the grain or oilseed conditioning is going.

And while the interface and controller, known as Vision, is new, and offered as an option on the company’s latest equipment, it can also be retrofitted to decades-old GSI dryers.

Gary Woodruff of GSI says the new technology includes an interface that help the operator in set the machine. A tablet-like touchscreen guides set up and contains a built-in owners’ manual for questions that can’t be found in the interface.

Producers can plug in a crop, along with starting and ending moisture levels, and the machine handles the rest and will monitor the grain to make sure it doesn’t get too hot along the way to safe storage.

As well, company added an iPhone application that enables producers to monitor and adjust their machines from the field or further away.

Remote adjustments allow farmers to reset the machine, but only safe controls are allowed, so the adjustment won’t accidentally create a dangerous situation.

Woodruff said the Vision controller will also send a text or email if the machine has problems and has to shut down.

“And you can shut it down from your phone,” he said.

Woodruff says the Vision system and the WatchDog application can be added to an existing dryer for about $15,000.

Also found on the GSI dryers this season is a static moisture sampler, which pulls uniform samples out of the dryer’s flow to ensure accurate results.

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