Excellent energy savings with new pasta dryer02/28/2012
Uzwil – Compared to conventional dryers, the Ecothermatik™ uses 40% less heat, 20% less cooling and 10% less electricity. This delivers serious cost savings along with the highest quality long-cut pasta. Its streamlined design also allows easy access for cleaning and maintenance.A new approach to drying
Conventional dryers hit incoming, wet pasta with a massive blast of dry air. This brings down moisture levels rapidly, but it also tends to cause tensions on the pasta’s surface, which then must be ‘healed’ out in a lengthy stabilisation process. The Ecothermatik™ uses smaller volumes of wetter air; so pasta moisture drops more slowly, avoiding tensions and cutting stabilisation time in half.
Double duty for energy, and carbon savings, too
This wetter, hotter air has another advantage: its heat can efficiently be re-used. The Ecothermatik™ pipes it to a heat exchanger to recycle its energy back into the process, cutting kilowatt-hours by 40%. Another recycling link – this one from the press and spreader to the stabiliser/humidifier – strips cooling energy by 20%. Power demand also tumbles by 10%, thanks to an aerodynamically optimised design of fans and drying elements with less pressure drop. All this causes fuel use and greenhouse-gas emissions to plummet. The 40% heating reduction, if e.g. applied to Italy’s annual output of long-cut pasta, would save around 11 million litres of heating oil plus the release of 28 thousand tonnes of CO2.
In the hard-fought world of pasta manufacturing, where pre-tax profits are rather low, the Ecother-matik™ gives a major boost. The cost reductions created by fuel savings, Bühler estimates, could pump up margins by as much as one-third.
The Ecothermatik™ approach to drying yields end products with outstanding firmness and cooking stability. This is because throughout the process, pasta is kept in a rubbery (as opposed to a glassy) state, which allows proteins to coagulate and to cross-link. The dryer’s moister atmosphere and the gentler progression of temperature and humidity avoid stress and cracking. To top it off: the colour of the spaghetti can be adjusted by changing the settings of the stabiliser.
Air circulation in the Ecothermatik™ has been dramatically improved by optimised fan blades but also wider cross sections and therefore space inside the dryer. Therefore, access to its innards could hardly be easier – just lift the insulation panels, and you’re there. Control is of course fully automated, allowing precise replication of process conditions as well as rapid startup, shutdown and shape change operations.
Bühler is a global leader in the field of process engineering, in particular production technologies and services for making foods and engineering materials. Bühler operates in over 140 countries and has a global payroll of about 8,800. In fiscal 2011, the Group generated sales of CHF 2131 million.
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Andreas Kratzer, Head of Market Segment Pasta, Bühler AG, 9240 Uzwil, Switzerland
Phone +41 71 955 28 27, Fax ++41 71 955 33 88,
Corina Atzli, Head Corporate Communications, Bühler AG, 9240 Uzwil, Switzerland
Phone +41 71 955 33 99, Fax +41 71 955 38 51,
For a complete listing of Bühler’s display at IPACK-IMA, please see www.buhlergroup.com/ipackima.