Denmark's Niro group has launched a new spray dryer for the food and pharmaceutical industries which it claims is smaller, quieter, and produces better quality powders than any of its rivals.
A bold claim indeed, but Niro is clearly convinced that its Integrated Filter Dryer (IFD) will prove a hit with companies operating in a wide variety of business areas.
The IFD is said to simplify spray drying by combining dryer, fluid bed and bag filter all within the confines of the drying chamber. It produces free-flowing agglomerated powder with a low dust content, and is said to be particularly effective for those products which are difficult to produce on other spray dryers.
The IFD has exhaust air filters placed inside the drying chamber instead of outside, which the company claims eliminates the need for external cyclones and bag filters, in turn reducing the size requirement. With no cyclones and a lower pressure drop over the particulate air filters, the IFD is also said to be more energy efficient and quieter when running.
But the decision to put the filters inside the plant was not just taken to help reduce the size of the spray dryer. Niro has also found that this system allows for better control over particle formation and, therefore, over quality specification. Also incorporated within the spray dryer is a fluid bed which allows users to achieve precise product properties.
Since all the product is retained within the dryer, Niro claims that the IFD can also help reduce product losses - important for high value powders. The compact design also reduces the amount of equipment in contact with the product, again helping to minimise losses.
It is also said to make cleaning the dryer much easier, allowing products to be switched more often - important for a machine with numerous applications in the food industry where cross contamination (with bacteria or flavours) has to be avoided at all cost.
The IFD's filters can be cleaned in place, making it possible to reduce water and chemical consumption.
Prototype testing at Niro's test station in Denmark have shown that the IFD is suitable for long-batch production for producing milk powder or baby food. But the company said that it is already working on other applications, including several tailor made for potential customers.
For more information about the new mini spray dryer, visit the Niro website.