Case Study: Improving the Customer Experience, The Specialty Ingredients’ Dryer

Jeffrey Bernstein, Research Scientist / Arslan Ijaz, Process Engineer

At American Custom Drying (ACD) we strive for efficiency and are always learning new ways to help our customers achieve their perfect product. The process of scaling up products to be spray dried can be costly, challenging and wasteful. There is a lot of trial and error, and more often than not material is wasted as a result of the large volumes needed to reclaim adequate material. In an effort to continuously help our customers, ACD has introduced a newly installed food grade dryer that is specifically designed to 1) improve product yield 2) collect valuable data needed for commercialization and 3) provide consistent quality product throughout the year.

ACD’s newly installed Specialty Ingredients’ Dryer (Dryer-5) has a water evaporation capacity of 200 pounds per hour. Also, it only requires a 50 gallon minimum for a trial. This dryer uses hydraulic atomization and has the ability to adjust atomization nozzles to optimize quality, consistency and production rate. Dryer-5 also brings new features to ACD’s capabilities that directly benefit our customers and the environment which includes a dehumidifier, a heat recovery unit, a fluid bed at the bottom of the dryer, a baghouse and a clean in place (CIP) system.

Dehumidifier

It’s well known that many food products are temperature sensitive. The addition of a dehumidifier allows ACD to process the products at lower temperatures throughout the year; this eliminates the need for harsh drying temperatures that compensate for increased humidity during winter and summer months. This means that our customers receive a consistent quality product year round, all the time.

Heat Recovery Unit

ACD is committed to finding solutions that contribute towards an energy efficient and sustainable future for the upcoming generations. The heat recovery unit allows ACD to utilize the heat from the exhaust air to heat the inlet air before going into the burner, thus by preheating the inlet air we are significantly lowering the gas usage and decreasing our carbon footprint.

Fluid Bed

A unique addition to ACD’s abilities is the addition of the fluid bed. The fluid bed is being used to convey powder and as a secondary heating source to provide a controlled product moisture at lower temperatures for heat sensitive materials. It helps to create a uniform, efficient drying environment and is even considered gold standard in the pharmaceutical industry.

Dual Baghouse System

Using a baghouse eliminates the need for more traditional product reclaiming methods given our closed system loop. In more traditional methods (i.e. wet scrubbing) powders are rewetted and either fed back through to be dried and go to waste. This rewetting can cause yield loss, lower product quality and even product contamination. By using a baghouse we maintain superior quality product with higher yield and no product contamination risk.

Clean In Place System

Dryer-5 is equipped with a clean in place system that uses spray ball assembly in each portion of the dryer. This type of system allows for a more efficient clean up after each run and quick changeover during multiple product runs, all saving our customers on lengthy cleanup and changeover procedures. Furthermore, it also helps us to ensure that there is no cross contamination between two different products, again ensuring high quality product.

ACD’s Dryer-5 is the ideal partner for companies looking for cost efficient drying solutions for their products. Not only will ACD work with your team to optimize your process, but in using the scale-up features offered on Dryer-5 we will find ways to help shave off unnecessary and wasteful costs while working with you towards commercialization.