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Q1: What is the history and current status of industrial microwave processing?
Q2. How fast can I process my product with the industrial microwave system?
Q3. How do industries normally define moisture content in their products?
Q4. How much does the industrial microwave system cost?
Q5. What are the main components of an industrial microwave system?
Q6. What kind of maintenance do the industrial microwave systems need?
Q7. How much energy is consumed by the industrial microwave system?
Q8. What products or applications are practical with industrial microwave system?
Q9. Do I need special protective clothing for operating the industrial microwave equipment?
Q10. What are the possible effects that may result from microwave exposure?
Q11. Are industrial microwave systems re-locatable?

Q1: What is the history and current status of industrial microwave processing?
The usefulness of microwaves for cooking was purportedly discovered by Percy Le Baron Spencer in 1945 when some candy in his pocket melted while he was working with the radar equipment. Microwave processing on a commercial scale was, however, only begun in early 1960s. Lately, this technology has been successfully applied to many industrial processes; such as drying, tempering, cooking and pasteurization. Due to the advantageous features that cannot be found in the conventional methods, microwave processing has gained more and more acceptances by many industries in industrialize countries. In South East Asia, its applications are mainly limited to domestic appliances. We are the first to introduce an industrial version to this region.
 

Q2. How fast can I process my product with the industrial microwave system?
Processing speed of a product by industrial microwave system is governed primarily by the amount of water to be removed, the power microwave applied to the product and the product's dielectric properties (i.e. the ability of product to loss the microwave energy applied and resulted in the energy being dissipated in it). Other factors that affect the processing speed are: -

  • Specific heat, heat of vaporization and heat of fusion
  • Initial temperature of the product and final temperature required
  • Initial moisture and final moisture contents desired
  • Size and shape of products and
  • Restriction on product temperature

As a rough guide, for examples:

  1. A 40kW Sludge Dryer, in a month, can reduce the weight of 30 tonnes anodising sludge with initial MC of 75%, to 10 tonnes with MC of 16%
  2. A 90kW latex mattress dryer could, in an hour, dry up to four pieces of 150mm thick Queen-size mattresses containing of 25kg water each.
  3. A 60kW microwave wood dryer may dry up to 5 tons of 25mm thick dark-red Meranti or about 2 to 3 tons of 25mm thick Kapur or Keruing per day of 8 working hours.
  4. A 50kW microwave-hot air system can process up to 150kg of bread crumbs per day.
  5. A 10kW microwave-hot air system has successfully turned 1000kg of sticky rock sugar to finished product within 8 hours.
  6. To dry 100kg of ginger slices from initial m.c. of 90% to about 1% of final m.c., a 15kW microwave-hot air system can accomplish it within 8 hours.
 

Q3. How do industries normally define moisture content in their products?
The proportion of water in a wet substance can be defined in 4 different ways, i.e. on so-called "wet basis", "dry basis", "solid basis" and "equilibrium basis" The most common definition adopted by the industries are either on "dry basis" or on "wet basis" as given in below: -

On Dry Basis
M = Ww x 100%
Wd
} Where Ww is the weight of water in the substance and Wd is the weight of dry matter
On Wet Basis
M' =      Ww     x 100%
(Ww+Wd)

Latex foam, textile, paper, wood and many industries usually adopt the dry basis definition. This definition is also termed as "moisture percentage regain" in the textile and paper industries. On the other hand, industry such as food mostly adheres to the wet basis definition.

 
Q4. How much does the industrial microwave system cost?
Please contact our marketing division for detailed pricing
 

Q5. What are the main components of an industrial microwave system?
A standard conveyorized industrial microwave system consists of the following main components: -

  • A conveyor belt and its controller that allow material to be conveyed through the microwave field in the applicators at various speeds.
  • Microwave generator - a subsystem that converts AC line power into microwave energy. It consists of 5 parts: high voltage transformers, rectifier diodes, capacitors, magnetrons and waveguides.
  • Microwave applicators - chambers where microwave energy is applied to products for promotion of a specific process, such as heating, drying or sterilization.
  • Attenuator- a device, which prevents microwave from leaking out through the entry and exit ports, by absorbing and reflecting the microwave which is not completely absorbed by material in the applicators.
 
Q6. What kind of maintenance do the industrial microwave systems need?
The only moving parts in our system are conveyor belt, electric motor and fans. Others are electrical and electronic components rarely need any repair. However, like any other expendable items, the magnetron tubes may need to be replaced after a long period of usage (easily more than 3,000 hours). Other maintenance work includes periodical checks for debris built-ups inside the applicators, ventilation and cooling systems. By following a correct operating and maintenance procedure, our industrial microwave system will provide you years of trouble-free operation.
 

Q7. How much energy is consumed by the industrial microwave system?
Energy consumption is a direct product of microwave output power and processing time. A small additional amount of electrical energy is needed to operate other auxiliary devices such as conveyor drive motor, cooling and exhaust fans, etc.

 

Q8. What products or applications are practical with industrial microwave system?
Microwave processing is well suited for application where premium value will be paid for high quality treated products. The system is also ideal as part of the automated production lines where drying, heating, sterilizing, etc can be done in a continuous flow. For low value products however, it will unlikely to displace the conventional methods but may be a good complementary method that results in a substantial reduction in the total process time. Whether your product is food, wood, consumer products, industrial sludge or agricultural products, microwave processing could be a cost-effective solution for you. So, please contact us and let us determine whether your products can be dielectrically processed and whether the process is economically viable.

 
Q9. Do I need special protective clothing for operating the industrial microwave equipment?
No. A properly maintained system is perfectly safe to operate without any special protective clothing.
 
Q10. What are the possible effects that may result from microwave exposure?
Microwave is NOT ionizing radiation. It should not be confused with the much more energetic ionizing radiation like x-ray or radioactive radiation. Therefore, the main effect of microwave exposure would be heating of tissue and thus you may be able to feel the leakage if there is any. In fact, a great deal of research has been ongoing in recent years, showing that controlled heating with microwave energy at 2450MHz have therapeutic effects and can be used for treating a variety of ailments. American National Standards Institute (the ANSI C95.1 standard) states that whole-body exposure of 10 mW/ cm2 is safe for unlimited period of time under normal conditions. Comparing with heat loaded onto the body during sunbathing (somewhere between 10 and 60mW/ cm2), this is still a very conservative level.
 
Q11. Are industrial microwave systems re-locatable?
Yes. The industrial microwave systems can be dismantled into modules and re-assembled after relocation.
 

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