Case Study
Customer: Octagon
Application: Crop Drying
Product: Midco Burners

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  Lanemark Optimises Crop Drying By Delivering Midco Versatility
31 March 2009

The versatility and high levels of heating control that can be achieved with Midco gas burner systems – now available throughout the UK from Lanemark International Ltd. – are clearly demonstrated in a highly specialised agricultural drying application. Octagon Products is making the most of the Midco
design that is central to an extensive range of crop drying equipment.

Typical installations of the Octagon systems see Midco burners used as a heat source into the distribution system of a crop drying store. Air movement upwards through the crop containers then ensures that drying and storage requirements are fulfilled – factors that can vary widely depending upon the produce. From its Daventry base, the company supplies customers as far afield as the USA and Australia and draws attention to key characteristics of the burners that are the latest addition to the acclaimed Lanemark process air heating range.

“Because of the wide variety of crop types, it is vital that the drying process is highly accurate and controlled – and the Midco design allows us to deliver accuracy of 0.5°C,” comments John Madigan, Director at Octagon Products.

“Achieving the optimum product condition and colour is often dependent upon both temperature and humidity and our systems need to be able to offer a range of heat outputs. This is typically from between 8°C and 35°C above ambient although, in the case of onion curing for example, the lower figure may only be 2°C,” he says. “We have found the Midco burner systems to be very capable in these terms particularly as they can heat large volumes of air and the turndown ratio is very large.

“Because they also offer a modular design, we are able to configure systems in terms of output and dimensions to meet precise application and installation needs, ”he continues, pointing out that, to date, as many as 18 sections have been connected in a single system, delivering 4.5 million Btu/h – equivalent to 1320 kW.

John Madigan points out that in many applications, the fan unit pushes warm air into the crop – the effectiveness of which is optimised by the ability of the Lanemark Midco units to fire upstream of the fan position. “They provide a very short flame length, are extremely clean in operation and can
be installed either horizontally or vertically,” he continues, “and, importantly, do not require any additional air source. With turndown capability of up to 30:1, the drying needs for a wide range of products can thus be readily fulfilled.”

The Midco burner range sits alongside Lanemark’s well-established TX tank heating and FD air heating product ranges and has already opened up new opportunities for the company, not least because of the Midco modular design. Process Burner General Manager at Lanemark, Adrian Langford explains –
“Each Midco installation comprises a number of individual 6" or 12" sections which can be connected together to virtually any size to meet precise application requirements. Importantly,” he continues, “this versatility is enhanced by their ability to use either natural or propane gas on a standard burner
head. This is an important consideration for Octagon Products as the vast majority of agricultural applications operate with a propane gas supply.”

Apart from crop drying, the Midco design is also central to Octagon’s success in other sectors. John Madigan highlights their use for drying cricket bat willow and timber for pizza oven fuel as being prime examples.

“Every application with which we are involved has its own unique parameters so it is important that our supply of heating and control systems are as flexible as possible. The use of the Midco system now – with the benefit of Lanemark’s support and expertise in the field – is a vital ingredient and offers distinct advantages to everybody involved in this specialised sector,” concludes John Madigan.