Mathews Company Introduces Innovative Dryer Control System
After being in development for more than two years
Mathews Company (M-C), a global manufacturer of agricultural equipment, announces the launch of a new grain dryer control system called Pinnacle 20|20. It is the next generation in M-C’s highly successful “Pinnacle” family of dryer control systems, originally launched in 2010. Pinnacle 20|20 has been in development for more than two years, and encompasses the latest technology available to facilitate the safe, simple and efficient operation of a Mathews Company grain dryer.
Users will immediately recognize the unique attribute of the system’s dual touch screen interface. The system is completely operated by a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), however, instead of the traditional single touchscreen configuration, Pinnacle 20|20 features two (2) high definition 10” displays that are operated simultaneously, yet separately. “Integrating a robust PLC into the system’s design is a huge advantage over other dryer manufacturers that rely on proprietary computer boards as the heart of their system,” says Joseph Shulfer, President of Mathews Company. “Breakdowns during the fall could lead to harvest delays of days or even a week to get replacement parts to the customer, but because of Pinnacle 20|20’s design redundancy featuring a second touchscreen, it naturally functions as a built-in spare, thereby eliminating downtime concerns of users,” says Shulfer.
The dual screen design also makes for a unique and customizable graphical user interface. For example, the user now has the ability to load historical data on one side of the control panel along with a current operational status on the other side. With each screen operating independently of one another, the user at any given time can choose from a number of different customized interfaces based on the task being performed. “Pinnacle 20|20 is extremely intuitive, contains sharp, bright graphics, and has a robust diagnostic system that is simple to use,” says Kevin Ryan, Regional Sales Manager for Mathews Company who’s logged several hours operating Pinnacle 20|20 equipped dryers this fall. Ryan adds, “Having the two screens makes troubleshooting and servicing much easier, because the user can see a screen for troubleshooting the burner, and then have information from the operator’s manual on the other screen providing diagnostic information.”
Pinnacle 20|20 prototype user Steve Wendel, of Mason City, Iowa, has been more than satisfied with the overall performance of the dryer’s control system, noting the system’s ease of use and the training and support from the M-C team. “I couldn’t be happier,” says Wendel, “It’s impressive and doing everything I expected it to do.”
Pinnacle 20|20 also allows the user to remotely monitor their dryer anywhere in the world by integrating compatibility with the revolutionary M-C Trax remote monitoring system, a product that Mathews Company had previously developed in 2011. Mathews Company continues to improve and add features to M-C Trax every year, with recent examples including an enhanced user interface, email and text message alerts, real-time data trending, and the just recently launched capability for users to download their dryer’s operational data for further analysis.
Shulfer wholeheartedly believes that Pinnacle 20|20 is above any other dryer control system available today. “While other dryer manufacturers in the industry have recently rolled out their latest control systems, those are merely attempts to catch up to M-C’s track record of recent product innovation. Until now, unfortunately, there has been nothing introduced to the industry that focuses on how the user consumes and interacts with the data that the dryer is producing. Building off several years of direct customer feedback and focus groups, Pinnacle 20|20 was designed to give the user the ability to customize the interface to what best suits their needs,” says Shulfer.
Pinnacle 20|20 will be offered as the standard control system beginning with model year 2017 Modular Tower Series dryers, Commercial Tower Series dryers, ECO Series dryers and the new Legacy Series dryers.