Browse Prior Art Database

Method for regulating product moisture in a dryer

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000241909D
Publication Date: 2015-Jun-08
Document File: 28 page(s) / 99K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The invention relates to a method for product moisture regulation and control, preferably of a plant material in a plant material drying process. The method comprises the steps of entering an input value into a control system of a drying apparatus and drying a product in the drying apparatus according to the input value. Therein, a target moisture value of the product at the exit of the drying apparatus is determined using stored historical data, and the input value is determined according to the determined target moisture value.

This text was extracted from a Microsoft Word document.
At least one non-text object (such as an image or picture) has been suppressed.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 5% of the total text.

Method for regulating product moisture in a dryer

     The present invention relates to methods for regulating and controlling product moisture. Especially, it relates to a method and apparatus for regulating product moisture for use in the processing of material, in particular plant material.

Control systems of drying apparatuses generally have initial settings and a control loop for product moisture control. However, typically the initial settings do not take into account a variation in time of product properties or other process parameters. Such variation may especially occur in natural products such as for example plant material. Further, a product is dried in the drying apparatus to achieve a certain moisture content after having left the apparatus. In this method, today, for the purposes of dryer control, the moisture gain or loss downstream of the drying apparatus is either not considered or is considered to be constant. However, environmental conditions as well as further product treatments may have significant influence on the final moisture content of the product, especially in subsequent treatment lines of considerable length.

Thus, there is a need for a method to control and regulate product moisture that overcomes disadvantages of prior art methods. Especially, there is a need for a method providing stability of final moisture values of a product.

     According to an aspect of the invention there is provided a method for product moisture regulation and control, preferably used in a plant material drying process. The method comprises the steps of entering an input value into a control system of a drying apparatus and drying a product according to the input value in the drying apparatus. The method further comprises the step of determining a target moisture value of the product at the exit of the drying apparatus using stored historical data, and determining the input value according to the determined target moisture value.

By the determination of an initial process parameter and an input value corresponding to the initial process parameter using stored historical data an initial process parameter for the control system of the drying apparatus is customized to the drying process to be performed, preferably at a set-up of a process. In addition, start-up times for a drying process may be shortened due to an adjustment of the initial parameter of a drying process. Preferably, an input value is repetitively and automatically adjusted during the drying process, thereby further optimizing the process. Especially, product-specific parameters, seasonal-dependent process parameters, individual machine specific parameters and environmental parameters may be introduced at the start-up of a new drying process and may be adapted and improved preferably continuously during the running of a drying process.

According to the invention, a product to be dried may, for example, be a natural product such as plant material or other products fr...