Hosokawa Micron Powder Systems’ educational programs continue to gain strength as leading technical experts from around the Hosokawa network present complex processing theories and principles to hundreds of industry professionals.
Preventive maintenance (PM) seems to be the phrase that comes to mind when we think about keeping our size reduction equipment in top shape. With the available tools of today this task has become much easier than before, relying more on the will and conviction of your maintenance crew. Obviously you need the support of management in making sure that proper man power and funds are allocated which should be fairly easy to justify. It is clear that a dollar spent today (in PM) will save you hundred fold down the road in losses of valuable product and repair of major failures. When we think of size reduction equipment the primary areas of concern will be the wear parts associated with mechanical rotating components (like bearings, belt drives and internal rotor components), seals as well as the electrical instrumentation and controls associated with these equipment.
The history of freeze drying goes back to the ancient Inca’s, who preserved their food stuff by freezing it in the mountains in winter time. At the same time the frozen water is removed through the low vapor pressure of the water in the surrounding air at those high altitudes. Of course this process was rather slow, but during the drying process the quality of the food was maintained due to its frozen state. Once dried the food materials like potatoes and vegetables showed a remarkably increased quality over time. It is only since the WWII that this way of drying is converted into an industrial method for the preservation of materials. Especially the need for improving shelf live of pharmaceuticals like penicillin and the preservation of blood plasma in war time was a drive for the development of the modern tray-type Lyophilizer as it is still used in many industries today. Another catalyst for the development of the freeze dry technology was the surplus of coffee in countries like Brazil in the late 30’s of the previous century. Also here the tray-type freeze dryer was used for the sublimation of the water from the frozen coffee granules. Brand names like Nescafe were founded at that time. Instant coffee is now the most well-known freeze dried product.