Extreme Engineering

Locally Made Grain Dryer

Local engineering firm Corpcord, who design and manufacture a multitude of process control and machinery, were approached late last year with an interesting proposal: to build a large grain dryer. This was only the third time they had been given an agricultural sector project. The client’s specifications were mainly concerned with size as they want to use the dryer to provide a service to grain producers. The continual flow dryer had to be big enough to handle 500 tons of grain (soyas, wheat and maize) per day. Could Corpcord design, construct, fit and install something on this scale?

Five months later, the dryer is built, fitted and ready to operate. Over 20 years’ worth of systems design and engineering experience meant that although this was a mammoth task (the feet of the dryer did have to be welded to the truck bed to get it there), the company has risen to the challenge and succeeded.

Image by Julie Havercroft

Most of the materials, except the burner and some control elements, were locally sourced. This included nearly nine tons of various grades of steel. The dryer is fitted with various temperature and level sensors and the burner having a temperature sensor too. The various elements of the dryer, including sensors, pneumatics and the transport system are all controlled by a touch screen PLC gadget and can be easily accessed during use.

Image by Julie Havercroft

The eight-metre high dryer has taken a few weeks to install. Its size means the dryer is easily visible from the road that runs past the Concession grain silos, where it stands, and this has generated a lot of interest from the local farming community.

Gary Jenkins, Steve Le Roux and the team at Corpcord are justifiably proud of their work, and say that it is comparable in price to imported dryers but is without the trouble of importing and sourcing forex.

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