Cylindrical Heating Systems

IMS Cylindrical Heating Systems provide a unique solution which is best utilized for the continuous thermal processing of heat and shear sensitive, high viscosity, and multiphase materials that demand precise temperature control.

Planar Heating Systems

IMS Planar Heating and Drying Systems can offer a better alternative to conventional, re-circulated hot air dryers due to the best-in-class uniformity, efficiency and thermal processing they demonstrate in many industrial processes.

Cylindrical Heating Systems

Although an IMS CHS can be used for many product and process applications, including heating, cooking/gelation, pasteurization and sterilization, its specific benefits and economic advantages are best achieved when applied to heat or shear sensitive, high viscosity and multi-phase fluids.

Planar Heating Systems

An IMS Planar Heating System has advantages over conventional dryers in two areas of their design that are intrinsically inefficient: (1) pre-heating a product to evaporative temperature, and (2) removing water from products with relatively low overall moisture content.

Planar Heating Systems

Applications

Since IMS can offer three different types of traveling-wave applicators, it may provide a better solution than a one-size-fits-all multimode microwave planar design.

An IMS PHS has advantages over conventional dryers in two areas of their design that are intrinsically inefficient: (1) pre-heating a product to evaporative temperature, and (2) removing water from products with relatively low overall moisture content.  The volumetric heating characteristic of microwave drying and the high energy densities that are possible with certain microwave dryer designs can overcome these two inefficiencies of conventional dryers.

The Ridged Waveguide Applicator Design is ideal for commercial applications involving materials that do not easily absorb microwave energy, are extremely thin ( less than about 0.25 inches or 6 mm), and have a low initial moisture content ( less than about 25%).  Final moisture levels of 0.2% or less have been achieved with some products.

The Wide Applicator Design is best suited for materials ranging from 0.25 to 2.00 inches (6 to 25 mm), that can easily absorb microwave energy and have a high initial moisture content (typically up to 50%).

Both the Ridged Waveguide and Wide applicators can heat and dry products with a width up to about 120 inches or 3000 mm. However, the Linear Applicator Design is limited to a product width of about 20 inches (500 mm) to insure its maximum efficiency when heating and drying.  It is therefore ideal for small-scale production or pilot plant use.

An IMS PHS can be used for many stand-alone commercial heating and drying applications.  These include textiles, pet food and treats, non-woven materials, foam, coal, biomass and agricultural materials.  However, its specific benefits and economic advantages are best achieved when applied to pre-heating materials before entering a conventional dryer to raise the product moisture to its evaporative temperature, or post drying materials after a conventional dryer to optimize the uniformity of its final moisture content.  Some typical applications are shown in the following examples:

  • An IMS PHS can increase production throughputs because rapid, uniform volumetric heating can significantly reduce overall drying times.  A company that processes a glass fiber substrate product replaced a Radio Frequency dryer with a stand-alone IMS unit, and was able to reduce production downtime significantly while achieving faster and more uniform drying.  This is because it is easier to control the heating process in thin materials using microwave energy since the longer wavelength electromagnetic energy emitted by radio frequency generators is typically better suited to thicker products (>2 inches or 150 mm, depending on the material).  In addition, this customer was able to reduce the original RF heater footprint since his product could be dried vertically in the IMS PHS without the use of a conveyor belt.
  • Improved operating efficiencies have been achieved by a PHS installed in a non-wovens insulation processing facility.  The product was extremely difficult to dry using conventional heaters or dryers due to its high resistance to conduction or convective heat transfer.  The IMS PHS was able to achieve the required final moisture level consuming considerably less energy.
  • Similar results have been achieved by manufacturers of thin foams, where the volumetric heating allowed for a faster drying process than would be possible with a conventional dryer.  In addition to the reduction in overall drying time, the patented IMS applicator design eliminates the hot spots associated with conventional microwave heaters, minimizes the risk of over-drying or marring the surface of the product, and allows the microwave energy to be increasingly absorbed in areas of higher moisture content.
  • Improvement of the manufacturing environment can be achieved by using modular designs, suitable for both vertical and horizontal applications.  This allows for a compact system footprint and was a prime reason a European processor of organic tiles selected IMS for its horizontal stand-alone dryer.  In addition to eliminating the NOx and SOx emissions from previous gas-fired dryers, the required final level of <3% moisture could be achieved in the IMS PHS while occupying less than half the footprint of a conventional unit.
  • IMS PHS technology can produce new products that conventional heaters and/or dryers cannot.  A major US manufacturer needed equipment that would quickly and uniformly dry a coating applied to its paper product.  After several in-house product trials, this customer purchased two IMS high speed 2450 MHz microwave dryers for commercial production of the special paper, which would have been virtually impossible to accomplish with any other dryer design.
  • Combined with other thermal technologies, IMS PHS designs can optimize final heater retrofits or new production lines.  As indicated previously, optimum payback is usually obtained by utilizing a PHS in a process application, either as a pre-heater or as a post heater, in combination with a traditional gas-fired re-circulating hot air dryer.
  • Operating and maintenance costs can be reduced as the IMS PHS has few moving parts other than the product conveyor belt.  The heating and/or drying process is easy to control, clean and inspect when required.
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IMS is a subsidiary of Laitram, L.L.C., a privately held technology company headquartered in New Orleans, LA. Since acquisition in 2003, Laitram has enabled IMS to expand its business activities in a variety of industries, including chemicals, food processing, industrial products, nonwovens and textiles. For further details on Laitram, L.L.C., please visit its website at www.laitram.com.

IMS has located its Development and Product Test center in Morrisville, North Carolina, close to Raleigh Durham airport and the Research Triangle Park area. It is a leading designer of innovative, patented microwave systems for continuous flow manufacturing processes that require rapid and uniform heating and drying. IMS commercial operations are managed from Laitram’s corporate offices in New Orleans.

 
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