Express Contract Drying, one of the United Kingdom’s largest Toll Manufacturers of food products, has recently increased their production facility with the commissioning of a new spray drying plant at their Ebbw Vale plant in Wales.

The plant, a 100kg/hr Tall Form spray dryer, was designed and manufactured in the UK by the Harlow based company European SprayDry Technologies.

The turnkey plant incorporates a hygienic purpose built mixing area complete with jacked tanks, mixers, transfer pumps and pipe work. Feed material is pumped at high pressure into the chamber and atomised using nozzle atomisation; the nozzle atomiser being ideally suited to flavour production.

The spray dryer itself is a conventional Co-Current design with direct gas heating. Direct gas was chosen specifically for energy conservation and being the most efficient form of heating for spray drying plant.

The drying chamber was individually design to ensure maximum production capability into a small footprint, fitting within a modern factory unit whilst retaining the considerable advantages of the Tall Form drying chamber for food production.

Tall Form Spray DryerThe chamber is fitted with powder dislodgment hammers and a top air sweep door manufactured from thick stainless steel and fully TIG welded and internally polished.

Powder is conveyed directly from the chamber base to a high efficiency cyclone where process air and powder are separated. Powder is discharged from the cyclone through a disentrainment hopper and rotary valve prior to sieving and packing. The spent system air is discharged through a Venturi scrubber then passed through a final packed tower removing any remain dust particles and cooling the exhaust gasses reducing the environmental impact from the process.

The plant is an all stainless steel construction with the internal surfaces polished to food quality whilst the external finish is in bright satin. The all stainless steel construction allows the plant to cope with the frequent meticulous cleaning regime employed between by ECDL between products where several washes can take place over the course of 24 hours.

The in-house designed control system allows the process to be operated in both a manual or automatic mode and is in keeping with ESDT’s high specification for food production dryers with the plant being fitted with HEPA filtration for all non heated process air.