Dryer during the FAT (in the background you can see the corresponding oven of the line)
Dryer during the FAT (in the background you can see the corresponding oven of the line)

Dryer circuit for technical ceramics using product trays

A current project offers a good opportunity to present the interplay of thermal process engineering, material handling and process automation at Münstermann in more detail.

Many different trades, one contact, fewer interfaces for the customer

With the various areas of competence mentioned, we are able to minimize the interfaces for our clients in projects. On the other hand, major factory acceptance tests or FAT can be carried out at Münstermann, as the developers of the automation systems and the design engineers for process engineering and the handling system are available for questions directly on site.

Automated circulation with loading and unloading

The dryer including the dryer circulation was part of a larger order with a total of 5 ovens and 10 dryers for the production of technical ceramics or for the drying and calcination of a metal coating on these ceramic components.

The product to be dried is loaded on product carriers, so-called trays, via robots positioned on the front sides. For this reason, the necessary positioning accuracy of the product carriers on the dryer circuit belt is ± 1mm in all dimensions. The loaded trays are conveyed through the dryer, the trays are unloaded at the outlet and finally conveyed outside the dryer for reloading.

Height-adjustable inlet locks and sound-absorbing sprockets allow noise emissions of only approx. 75 dB (A). The cycle time or the duration until a product carrier changes position is only 1.8 seconds.

The robots themselves are available in the later production on site, but can also be supplied by Münstermann including programming.

FAT at Münstermann: A project of its own within the project

As a condition for the acceptance of the systems, Münstermann carried out a FAT (Factory Acceptance Test) for one dryer and one oven in succession. Due to the size and complexity of the overall project, the plants had to be tested according to customer specifications under real operating conditions for a week. This means nothing less than that Münstermann has carried out a complete comissioning of a dryer including handling system and an oven that had to be heated to over 500 °C in our own production halls.

The electrical power demand for the plants was covered by two large generators, and gas supply via liquefied natural gas was ensured. So that the burners could be operated on the plants with the gas, the liquid gas was converted over a special evaporator in gaseous state. Below are some pictures.

Parallel to the FAT, training and instruction in the operation of the new plants took place. Specialists of the customer from 10 nations were present for the dryer FAT, for example.