SprayEye detects hot spots in spray dryers

The latest development adds an extra level of safety and process control by alerting operators of problems before they become visible to the naked eye

The SprayEye enhancement links IR cameras to a pre-warning system that detects hot spots in the spray powder

GEA Niro in Copenhagen has further developed its visual monitoring system for spray dryers.

The enhancement to the SprayEye system links infra-red cameras to a pre-warning system that makes it possible to detect dangerously high temperature increases in the powder within the spray dryer before it would become visible to the naked eye using a normal camera.

The industrial drying specialist developed SprayEye three years ago to monitor the performance of spray nozzles in its dryers, using TV cameras. The cameras show a continuous picture of the spray zone allowing operators to check that there are no leaks or any product build-up on the nozzles and that the spray pattern of the nozzles into the drying chamber remains at an optimum level.

It is also possible with cameras to check whether the high-pressure shut-off valves are leaking. This helps avoid unnecessary shut downs, improves product quality and reduces the risk of heat build up within the chamber which can cause a fire or an explosion.

The new development adds an extra level of safety and process control. Using electronic alarm points, the infra-red camera will alert an operator to the development of hot spots. This allows the operator to take action long before a problem can develop thereby maintaining the quality of the product and reducing further the possibility of overheating.

‘The cost of cameras has reduced by a factor of 10 in the last three years,’ said Thomas Willum Jensen, senior project manager at GEA Niro. ‘This means that more of our customers are using cameras as part of their control system and therefore have the opportunity to retrofit the new automatic monitoring technology in an existing or new plant.’

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