Fresh-cut produce dryer

Wednesday, 01 April, 2009 | Supplied by: Key Technology Australia Pty Ltd



Key Technology has redesigned its Auto Dryer for removing moisture from fresh-cut produce to enhance shelf life. Available in one-, two-, and four-drum configurations, the Auto Dryer features a larger 980 mm diameter drum that increases production throughput and new electronics that improve reliability and simplify operation.

The Auto Dryer achieves fully automated, uninterrupted drum loading and unloading.

Loading a constant, even flow of product into the dryer drum via a spiral layering method, Key’s Auto Dryer reduces product damage by eliminating the loading of a large mass of wet product. The spiral layering creates consistent centrifugal pressure on the entire contents of the drum load, which results in more even drying. Spiral layering also minimises wear on mechanical components by distributing product more evenly within the rotating drum, which reduces maintenance and improves equipment longevity.

The Auto Dryer effectively handles a wide variety of fresh-cut produce such as baby leaf and cut leaf lettuce, cabbage, spinach, and cut vegetables such as broccoli, celery, onions and carrots. To achieve fast and simple changeovers, product settings, which control spin speed, cycle time and fill level, can be stored in the Auto Dryer’s PLC and easily recalled to assure product is handled optimally and final moisture specifications are met.

When drying lightweight products such as arugula, spinach and spring mix, the Auto Dryer handles from 544 to 1088 kg of product per hour per drum. The capacity increases to 1818 kg/h per drum when handling heavier products such as iceberg lettuce. Thus, the four-drum model handles up to 7273 kg per hour.

The redesigned, CE-marked Auto Dryer features new electronics and Allen-Bradley components that simplify operation.

To ease sanitation and help maximise product quality, the control box is NEMA 4 rated and the cross-feed belt that loads the dryer has a clean-in-place (CIP) system that prevents product from being trapped. The dryer drums feature a ‘gentle air assist’ that helps release product during drum unloading.

Online: www.key.net
Phone: 03 8710 8200
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