Welcome to Hutch Post’s new feature series "A Day in the Life." We've gone behind the scenes to see what "a day in the life" is like for some of Reno County's busiest shops, factories and businesses. We'll show the inner workings of facilities you may pass every day, to finally see what goes on inside. From boilers to donuts, join us as we learn how things are designed and produced right here in Reno County with "A Day in the Life." This series will be posted every other Sunday morning.
By ROD ZOOK
HAVEN, Kan. — Many may not know much about Kincaid Manufacturing in Haven. The small plant located along the K-96 frontage road is in the agriculture business, but in a different way. Kincaid does manufacture planters and drills for planting seeds, sprayers for treating crops, and combines and threshers for harvesting, but it’s not for farmers. Instead, the company manufactures these items and provides software for the seed and seed research industry. The company provides the equipment not only for seed companies, but for universities to do their own ag science seed projects.
The company was founded in 1967 by Delmar Kincaid. In 2018, the company was turned over to his daughter, Kimberly Kincaid-Warner, who is the president. Since then, Kincaid has expanded to bring more of its services in-house. Most recently, the company purchased Seed Research Equipment Solutions, bringing the software and planter controls to the Haven plant.
The company uses small combines from overseas to start the process. The combines, which are much smaller than what you would see in Kansas farming operations, are fitted with equipment that can collect seeds from test plots. The machines sample the seeds and return them to the bin of the combine.
The company can make nearly anything that has to do with the collection and threshing process for seed collection, from various types of feeder systems, to what is called "full air delivery" to auger return systems that move the seed within the machine. It also provides a grinding system to crush the seed so it cannot germinate once harvested, since most of the seed is grown as part of research and development and not FDA approved.
The process starts in the fabrication area where parts are cut, welded and assembled according to the customer's specifications. Kincaid has an advantage of being able to do one-time custom orders.
The parts and pieces are then built into the small Kincaid combines or seed drills according to the wishes of the customer.
The combines then go through final assembly before being shipped to the customer. The company has its own paint facilities and most everything is done in-house. When the company first started, Kincaid built the combine on-site from the ground up. Now, they come from Finland and are ready to be fitted with the items for a particular customer.
The recent acquisition of Seed Research Equipment Solutions means a different type of modification for Kincaid as the planters are fitted with software and cleanout equipment. The cleanout is important to seed research to eliminate chances of cross-planting.
The company also does retrofitting and refurbishing of used equipment for various companies. At that time, the company will go through the entire machine, make an inventory of what is needed and give a quote to the customer.
Kincaid-Warner says they could use about three to five extra workers at the plant and use Hutchinson Community College to help find that labor. She also says they will take on anyone willing to learn, be punctual and work hard.
She says most of their more successful employees came right out of high school and have stayed on ever since.
If your business or industry would like the opportunity to show off how you do things, contact Rod Zook at [email protected] or call 620-259-7396 and be a part of "A Day in the Life."