For more than a century, indirect heating techniques have been crucial to industrial thermal processing. However, producers are progressively replacing and/or enhancing their current equipment with secondary drying employing industrial microwave technology, which offers them a variety of advantages. For the following significant competitive benefits, whether you use fluid bed, rotary, spray, tunnel, freeze, or flash dryers, it is worthwhile to investigate direct heating with microwave dryers:
1.Quicker turnaround times
2.More productive results
3.Possibility of obtaining outcomes that are simply not attainable with indirect heating techniques
4. A smaller environmental impact and safer working conditions
5.Reduced material loss
6.Adaptability to various applications
By contrasting microwave with other technologies, this article elaborates on each of these advantages.
Because it uses a direct heating approach, microwave technology enables substantially faster processing times for many applications. When a substance is heated directly, as opposed to indirectly through ambient heat, it is warmed from within. Since no energy is lost through heat transfer surfaces or in the fluid or air around the components, direct heating is typically more economical.
In some applications, microwave drying significantly reduces processing times compared to freeze drying while maintaining or even improving output quality. Due to the preservation of color, flavor, and nutritional content, freeze-drying is frequently used by food manufacturers. However, compared to other processes, freeze-drying requires a lot more work and time. Similar amazing results can be obtained with microwave drying technology in a lot less time.
The quality of microwave thermal processing may be a significant improvement for those who do not use freeze drying in their drying procedure. For a variety of reasons, microwave heating occurs at very exact temperatures.
First off, since the material is heated directly by the microwave, the heating is precise. The operator has complete control over the working environment since temperature sensors detect the item being heated rather than the surrounding air temperature.
Second, microwave heating gives you the flexibility to react quickly to adjustments. Temperature changes can happen instantly while using a microwave, unlike in an oven, where they need to happen gradually. Throughout the procedure, the applied power can be increased or decreased. In the event that the ideal temperature is exceeded, the problem can be instantly fixed.
The finest of both worlds are combined in a microwave with agitation technology, which guarantees consistency across the batch of items being heated. Even over very large batches, a fluidized bed of material inside the thermal processor may guarantee excellently balanced heat distribution.When utilizing a microwave, direct heating, exact control, and continuous agitation work together to produce results that are dependable, repeatable, and of high quality. The integration of vacuum technology into microwave processing has also benefited from recent technological advancements; this is covered in more detail in the following section.
The combination of microwave, vacuum, and agitation now provides a highly regulated, very consistent technique that has been employed successfully for the thermal processing of specialty materials thanks to recent advancements in microwave technology. Applications have been made for hemp, calcium carbonate, cellulose nanocrystals (CNC), carbon black, temperature-sensitive foods and food additives, nutritional supplements, and even some kinds of metal powders.
The boiling point of delicate materials can be lowered by combining vacuum and microwave technology. It has become possible to heat and dry materials that were previously thought to be too sensitive for industrial thermal processing in bulk, including several of the materials mentioned above as well as other medicinal and chemical uses. Additionally, vacuum technology has made it possible to dry materials at low moisture levels without sacrificing the materials' vital color, flavor, and nutritional content when processing foods and dietary supplements. Today, this technique should be taken into account by any producer working with heat-sensitive materials or formulations that need precision heating.
Compared to thermal processing devices like dryers that use external or indirect heating, industrial microwave technology often requires a smaller footprint. Microwave machines don't heat up or produce a lot of radiant heat around them, unlike external heating equipment. As a result, it is safe to deploy microwave equipment close to other industrial gear. It's safe for operators and maintenance staff to be close to the machinery as well.
Numerous factors can cause material loss. Sometimes all it takes to process materials more quickly is to try to increase the temperature just a few degrees during the batch duration. Other times, material loss might be attributed to fluctuating operating temperatures, resulting in some of the material being processed incorrectly. Furthermore, indirect heating methods often do not enable exact temperature control. Through direct heat transmission, microwave technologies all but eliminate these worries and produce outcomes that are highly consistent.
The ability of today's major manufacturers' industrial equipment to handle a variety of applications worries them all. Since thermal processing machinery is built to survive for decades, it should be flexible enough to accommodate the introduction of new materials. Applications change frequently in sectors like the food and pharmaceutical industries; therefore, it's critical to choose machinery that will be adaptable and versatile as any sector transitions to newer materials.
A microwave thermal processing device often only requires minor alterations to be used for a variety of purposes. Microwaves are useful for drying at low temperatures with little moisture, removing solvents, and reducing microbiological growth. The equipment may adapt to many applications due to its simplicity of use, even within the same factory or manufacturing line. By using microwave technology, the manufacturing line can remain competitive in shifting markets with the assurance that the equipment can be simply modified for new materials.
Manufacturing applications in the fields of pharmaceuticals, chemicals, food, and packaged goods can all benefit from industrial microwave technology for thermal processing. Manufacturers can use microwave as an upgrade or a backup plan for their existing thermal processing machinery to lower costs, improve quality, and enhance safety in their operations. Testing sample applications is one of the quickest ways to determine if microwave technology is appropriate for you.