Controlled drying parameters ensure that a food or feed product is shelf-stable, removing the precise amount of moisture. However, according to Bühler Aeroglide, one processing deviation can dramatically affect batch specifications, requiring an operator to over dry, just to compensate, and this can mean reduced yield as well as compromised product.
Bühler Aeroglide is taking on a collaborative new approach to moisture control. AeroPro Moisture Control gives operators access to full time, real-time monitoring with hardware, software, and ongoing process expertise, combined with technical support, to ensure the most efficient dryer operations ever.
“Too little information and too much time between adjustments makes optimizing a dryer’s temperature profile a constant challenge,” said Doug Beloskur, manager of Bühler’s automation team. “AeroPro Moisture Control reduces time-based moisture deviation with a control algorithm that improves dryer yield. It also reduces dryer energy consumption.”
Microwave sensor technology, coupled with algorithms that are built on decades of drying experience deliver a comprehensive closed loop system for automated dryer control. Here’s how it works. Discharged product passes through an analysis chute where approximately 20% is diverted to a sensing chamber that slows the product flow for analysis. Then, a microwave sensor gathers moisture data and sends it directly to the AeroPro control panel. Automation then makes necessary dryer adjustments that can instantly produce product consistent to the target moisture content.
“Efficient intelligent control can do a lot for a customer’s ROI and it can ensure sustainability,” Beloskur said. “AeroPro Moisture Control can increase production and profitability while decreasing energy and material costs. Furthermore, a dynamic web-based reporting provides information in a quick read way, customized for the process, and this helps a customer have correlations that are meaningful. It gives the processor the ability to make decisions with confidence.”
AeroPro Moisture Control also makes it possible to view production data in real time via computer, phone, tablet or other web-connected device. Custom dashboards can be built to provide the most critical data in a quick and meaningful way. Data storage is cloud-based, making viewing and reporting fast and easy.
In today’s competitive marketplace, the smallest percentage gain can increase yields and profitability, said Bühler Aeroglide. Therefore, real-time management that can achieve a net increase of just 1% in finished moisture can result in a return-on-investment increase of $300,000. This translates into an energy savings valued at $20,000 per year.
Bühler Aeroglide manufactures dryers, ovens, roasters, toasters and hot air expansion systems for the food, feed and industrial product markets. Since 1940, the company has been providing thermal processing equipment. As a business unit of Bühler, Aeroglide is headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, U.S., and provides sales and service for its industry-leading equipment in more than 140 countries around the world.