PULLMAN, WA — METER Group, Inc. USA (METER) announced Sept. 15 that it has acquired Drying Technology, Inc., accelerating the availability of proven, closed-loop moisture control for continuous lines for METER Food customers.
Delta T sensor technology and patented algorithm reduce moisture content variation in foods, improving production efficiency and quality while lowering energy consumption and waste. This cutting-edge system consistently and precisely maintains the target moisture content inside a dryer using real-time data and an exclusive control algorithm.
As part of METER Food’s SKALA platform, Delta T Moisture Control adds closed loop drying intelligence for continuous lines. Coupled with METER’s patented drying algorithm for manufacturers that dry or bake foods in batches using ovens, smokers, and cure rooms, SKALA Delta T Moisture Control extends METER’s ability to help processors predict exactly when a batch has been dried to the correct moisture level.
Food manufacturers must ensure that their products are dry enough to inhibit the growth of mold and microorganisms while also mitigating the risk of excessive over drying, unnecessary energy consumption, reduced product volume and quality. Unfortunately, most companies are hindered by inadequate technologies that only measure downstream moisture.
Without moisture sensors inside the dryer, it is impossible to detect moisture variations, much less automatically readjust this add point in response to load changes as they occur. This glaring lack of control within drying processes is a notorious cost center for food manufacturers that also threatens production rates and product shelf life.
METER’s new moisture control module combines rugged temperature sensors installed inside the dryer with a patented control algorithm to measure moisture changes entering the dryer and adjust the setpoint automatically. This not only reduces moisture variance, but also time and moisture barriers by more than 30 percent.
“This acquisition benefits METER Group and its customers on multiple fronts,” said Takuya Ohki, VP of Food, METER Group. “As only 10 percent of Drying Technology’s customers manufacture food, METER Food will bring our drying intelligence solutions to new markets while also offering Delta T closed loop control to our installed customer base. It’s the perfect complement to our portfolio, extending our ability to support manufacturers worldwide.
“While ROI improvement calculations vary, average energy costs drop between four and 10 percent. Some factories are ROI-positive in as little as a month, others take as long as six months, with the average being just under three months. Impact on the bottom line depends so much on the size of the company, number of lines, amount produced and the cost of finished goods. For example, one customer saw an $8 million increase in profits due to increased yield in the first year.”
Available as part of the METER Food’s SKALA platform for drying intelligence, the Delta T continuous line module will augment SKALA’s advanced machine learning algorithm to generate actionable dashboards, optimize the drying process, and boost revenue.
“Our goal is to help processors predict exactly when the batch has been dried to the correct moisture level to conserve energy, time and waste from rework. The addition of Delta T Moisture Sensing and Control enhance METER Food’s product offering, delivering complementary features with very little overlap either in product offering or customer base,” added Ohki.
About METER Group
METER Group, a Decagon and UMS combined company, delivers real-time, high-resolution data that fuels production and processes for the food quality, environmental research, urban and agriculture sectors. Through the power of its employees, METER combines science, engineering, and design expertise to turn physical measurements into useful information.