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Humidity Control In Manufacturing

Manufacturers often struggle to maintain consistent room moisture due to the extremely varied weather conditions that we encounter here in the UK.

Even with air conditioning, relative humidity can rise to unacceptable levels for equipment operation and product integrity.

Maintaining effective control of humidity is essential in industrial environments for the health of the building, occupants and, very often, supporting optimum performance of manufacturing processes Excess indoor air moisture can cause problems that affect machine shops - especially during big swings in outdoor humidity, which may result in condensation forming on equipment, wet floors and saturated electrical panels.

Industries that use water-cooled machines for plastic injection moulding any moisture can result in product discoloration. In printing facilities, excessive moisture left uncontrolled can cause paper to wrinkle, shrink or expand, causing ink registration problems. Products that require a specific drying cycle in plants that manufacture or store dry foods like spices, cereal and confectionary, or producers of recycled rubber mulch, can be ruined if the climate is not managed effectively.

If air moisture levels are too high, drying times can be longer than needed, slowing production, losing productivity and increasing energy consumption. Dry food packaging plants also risk compromising food quality if a consistent indoor environment is not properly maintained.

Importance of Climate Control in Manufacturing

Bacteria thrives in high humidity, so it is essential to keep a controlled humidity level in the production areas and dry out areas quickly after washing. Condensation and even frost can be stopped by dehumidifying. Mould will also be prevented in a dehumidified area and a suitable dehumidification system can also create a problem-free pneumatic conveying without clogging in corners or cold spaces. When a production room is dehumidified, the quality of the products is not affected by seasonal variations in the weather. Instead, the ideal temperature and humidity are maintained for all year round. This means that both production and quality are increasing, while the maximum production level is achievable year-round. 

During the packing stage in both food and drink production, dehumidifiers can help prevent finished and packed food products from soaking up moisture and losing quality. In meat processing, large amounts of water are used for cleaning. This can create undesirable moisture in premises that may result into condensation, but dehumidifying the room will improve hygiene and safety and prevent the formation of mould and bacteria. Frost inside spiral-freezers or other types of cold storage freezers can be minimised with a desiccant dehumidifier controlling the moisture contents at the inlet and outlet.

In pneumatic transport, a lot of hygroscopic materials such as flour and sugar are transported with the help of air. But if the transport air is too moist, the materials will stick to the pipe, causing product quality issues and machinery downtime. For the dairy industry, if it is too damp within factories labels that are placed on packages may fall off due to the fact the glue will not stick. Also, cheese stored in waxed envelopes can start to grow mould on the outside and this can destroy the cheese inside.

Dehumidifiers are commonplace within the drinks industry. They help prevent condensation on cold surfaces and the formation of bacteria by maintaining the dewpoints of production areas below cold surfaces, such as tanks and exposed pipework.

How Can Dehumidifiers Manufacturing?

Climate control plays a vital role in the production, storage and transportation of numerous products. Humidity is one of the critical factors of climate control, as excess humidity can lead to costly quality errors in sensitive industries. Dehumidification of air can be accomplished by adsorption of the moisture, with the help of a dehumidifier. Not only is this process cost and energy-efficient in controlling the moisture levels, using a dehumidification solution system also helps in removing odour and micro-organisms from the space. 

Industrial dehumidifiers are widely used within the food industry, where excess humidity causes condensation and a broad range of hygiene problems for products such as powdered food, spices, processed meat, snack foods and confectionery products. Using dry air from a dehumidifier can help in controlling the moisture content, which leads to perfect coating and longer shelf life of the food products.

During the processing stage of pharmaceuticals, most of the medicines are in powdered form and are highly hygroscopic. Excess of moisture absorption leads to organic corrosion, biochemical reactions and micro-organism growth on the product. Dehumidifiers help in keeping the required humidity parameters for processing, drying, storing and transportation of medicines.

Flowers, vegetables, fruits, milk and processed foods are usually cooled and stored in cold store under low moisture conditions to safeguard them from deterioration. Since cold stores experience the frequent movement of products, warm air with moisture from outside could enter the store. This results in ice and frost formation on the walls, floors and ceilings on the cold stores, but air curtain using dehumidified air at the cold store doors helps in controlling the ingress of moisture-laden entering the cold rooms.

Components used in assembling or processing of semiconductors are hygroscopic and highly sensitive to excess humidity, so excess moisture results in corrosion of PCB, transistor failures and condensation on integrated circuits. The relative humidity in a semiconductor manufacturing area must be 30 per cent at 20°C, but industrial dehumidifiers also help in protecting the vacuum and EPI equipment.

Leather is a hygroscopic material, which lead to the growth of mold and mildew on leather if it exposed to excess moisture. Without proper humidity control, leather loses its shine, produces the foul smell, loses its strength and starts decomposing. Dehumidifiers help in providing controlled moisture conditions during the processing of leather products.