Dryer Capacity Calculation

I was just asked…


What factors should I take into account when calculating the capacity of a new dryer system?

My Response

When calculating the capacity of a dryer system you need to determine your total dried material consumption. Your dried material consumption can be calculated by multiplying the number of machines by their respective output in pounds. If you have 10 machines consuming 4 ounces of plastic a minute you are consuming 150 lb/hr.

Once you determine your material usage you must take into account the drying time of your material. Most plastics will vary in the type, extent, and duration of drying needed for the application. This must be determined before the dryer capacity can be calculated. Ask the dryer manufacturer typical drying times for the material you are processing. Multiply your hourly material consumption by the drying time and your result is the minimum dryer capacity. For instance, in the example above if the material drying time was 2 hours the dryer capacity would have to be at least 300 pounds.

Additional Comments

The example above was for the minimum capacity needed. If the dryer manufacturer offers a 400 pound capacity machine you may want to choose that instead, in case you decide to expand your production… or if the material takes slightly longer to dry.


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