The dehydration process is a very efficient way to preserve food and make it last longer. It also intensifies the food’s flavor and makes it easier to transport. From apple chips to beef jerky, it is possible to preserve a wide variety of foods by simply drying them out at a low temperature for an extended period of time. This process eliminates the microorganisms that spoil products and prevents them from rotting.
This article aims to present the conceptual design of an industrial dehydrator, a specialized machine designed to remove moisture from a wide range of materials. The dehydrator uses a simple method of evaporation to inhibit the growth of microorganisms that cause spoilage and enhances preservation by concentrating flavors and nutrients.
The system consists of a small human-machine interface (HMI) that allows users to monitor the current operating parameters and download historical operation data, as well as create an operation profile. It utilizes a low-cost programmable logic controller (PLC) and Raspberry Pi to provide user control of the device via a web application. The user can select the desired target temperature, humidity, and fan speed for the dehydration cycle. The proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control program running on the PLC will execute the operation according to the specified profile. It will also monitor the progress of the product to detect the moment when it reaches the aimed degree of dehydration, thus terminating the operation. The aeraulic circuit of the dehydrator has been specially designed to obtain a uniform air flow along all trolleys and trays, ensuring homogeneity of the dehydration process. industrial dehydrator