The photo above shows African oil palm fruits. These fruits are high in oil content and are processed to create a cooking oil in used frequently in Southeast Asia and around the tropical belt in Africa. Recently, a palm oil producer came to me for advice about how to clean and dry these fruits as they passed along a processing line.
Not knowing much about the fruits, I did a bit of research to discover that their harvest and use is not only common, but growing. The palm oil extracted from these fruits contains more saturated fats than canola, corn, linseed, or soybean oil. This high content of saturated fats means that the oil can withstand extreme heat (when used in deep-frying applications) and resists oxidation. These features, coupled with cheaper prices, has led to an increased demand for palm oil.
The end use in this application was both to clean and dry any residue on the oil palm fruits. After receiving a sketch of the design from the operations manager, I recommended the use of our Super Air Knives. We came to a conclusion to use the design in the sketch below.
The Super Air Knives will be installed to create an arch over the oil palm fruits. Using dimensional values supplied by the customer I “trigged” out the angles using various Super Air Knife lengths, and determined the 12″ to be the best fit. This length created a 57 degree angle from horizontal and left just enough room for a 36″ Super Air Knife across the top. See the sketch below for a visual representation.
As we typically do, I recommended that the Air Knives are installed so that the air flow exiting the knife will contact the material at an approximate 45° angle of attack. The debris from the fruits is to be given a collection system housed under the chain conveyor. Pretty nice system!
Exchanging sketches and building solution systems around ideas is what we do best. If you need help with a solution, give us a call.