The process of drying fruits, vegetables, berries, and meat to preserve them has been around for thousands of years. It is important to preserve these foods to keep them healthy for later consumption, especially in times of shortage.
Industrial dehydrators are unsung heroes that help in preserving different materials by removing moisture. They are versatile and play a crucial role across many industries. They help to extend shelf life, reduce weight and maintain product quality. They also work to prevent spoilage and protect the environment.
This paper describes a conceptual design of a dehydrator that uses gas as a source of heat energy to dry agricultural products such as crop and food samples. The mechanical or structural design has been carried out but it has not yet been physically fabricated and tested. The electrical or control hardware is implemented using a low-cost programmable logic controller (PLC) and raspberry pi board 3B+. The PLC reads Modbus data from the raspberry pi to obtain the desired operation parameter. A proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control program is then run on the PLC to execute the dehydration process based on the configured profile.
The design proposed in this paper allows the user to set up a profile for a specific type of crops or food sample. Access to historical operational trend can also be obtained from the proposed web application and will be useful in creating a more optimized dehydration process for that particular material. industrial dehydrator