CRYSTAL LAKE, ILLINOIS, U.S. — Mathews Company (M-C), a global manufacturer of grain dryers, was awarded a product development grant for the redesign of its Legacy Series grain dryer by the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), the company announced on Aug. 25.

The council supports research and development of innovative, propane-powered technology that reduces emissions and saves money for end-users. The M-C project encompasses a complete redesign of the Legacy Series profile-style dryer.

According to Company President Joseph Shulfer, the initial commercialization of this product took place more than 30 years ago.
“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,” said Shulfer.

The proposed solution is to take the experience and knowledge that Mathews Company has acquired over the past five years redesigning two of its other products and apply those principles to this project, the company said.

“The end result will be 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,” said Shulfer.

Shulfer believes that despite the low equipment sales in agriculture right now, timing is excellent for this project.
“Low commodity prices are driving farmers, especially those that lease land, to find savings where they can to help their bottom line. Mathews Company is stepping up to offer products with energy efficient technology that lower operational input costs,” Shulfer said. “The fact that the majority of grain producers have established operations with reliance on Propane and that the new profile dryer won’t require new wet holding storage or bucket elevators required of tower dryers, will be enticing to end-users looking for ways to save costs.”

Cinch Munson, PERC’s Director of Agriculture Business Development agrees.

“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,” Munson said.

Mathews Company plans to shorten its normal product development lifecycle in order to bring the new dryer into prototype testing in 2016.

“We want to be aggressive in bringing this new offering to market, however, we will do our due diligence with in-field testing to make sure it performs as expected,” said Shulfer.

“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, thus making it more efficient with lower costs to operate.”