PehuTec’s first own IoT device is Wiljami grain moisture meter. Wiljami measures grain moisture and temperature in a grain dryer in real time during drying. The device has a sensor unit to be installed to the dryer and a display / control unit. The device sends the measurement data to the cloud service, whereby the progress of the drying process can also be tracked remotely by either the smart device or the computer. Wiljami can be connected to the control logic of the dryer, whereby the drying process is stopped in the desired grain moisture. Remote monitoring of drying and automatic stop of the dryer help the farmers´ everyday life in a busy grain harvesting period. Without a remote readable meter, farmers should regularly visit the dryer to measure the moisture content of the grain with a manual moisture meter. Automatic stop also ensures that the grain is not “accidentally” dried too much. This saves the oil used as the energy source of the grain dryer and thus saves the farmers´ euros.
The product idea came from the farmers themselves
The product idea was born when a few farmers began asking PehuTec’s founding member, Juha Ranta-Nilkku, why no one was doing a device to track the grain drying process remotely. The question stayed in the mind of Ranta-Nilkku and it was not long before the product development was already started.
The first prototypes of the product were made in co-operation with Centria. The actual product development has been done entirely by PehuTec. In addition to electronics, mechanics and software design, PehuTec has been responsible for product testing and transfer to the production by itself. PehuTec’s RF designer and laboratory manager Jari Lähetkangas has been involved in Wiljami’s product development for several years. Lähetkangas has been responsible for project management, defining and purchasing materials and sub-assemblies, arranging production, traveling around Finland to provide user support and has participated for product testing. – Skills have been widely needed from electronics laboratory knowledge to sourcing. Occasionally, tasks have been very challenging but instructive and interesting at the same time, says Lähetkangas.
The condition of the dryer can be checked for example from the cab of the harvester
Janne Niemi from Nivala has been using Wiljami for several years now. Niemi cultivates mainly barley, oats, wheat and rapeseed in the area of about 200 hectares. – Remote readability is a nice and useful feature, because the mobile phone can be used to check the exact situation of the dryer for example from the cab of the harvester, says Niemi.
Customers have been really interested in the product. Product development co-operation has been made with a few farmers and we have received valuable user feedback. Customer needs and knowledge of the drying process are very important to be understood in the product development, says Ranta-Nilkku.