Dryer system maintenance is critical to safety, emissions, efficiency, reliability and durability.

  • Safety — The area around the dryer system needs to be cleaned regularly. Dangerous areas need appropriate signs and guards, and they should be roped off during normal operation. Warning lights and horns need to be installed. Worn seals and airlock blades need to be checked and replaced because they allow excess air into the drying system, which increases the risk of fires and explosions. These items need to be checked as routine maintenance on a regular basis to ensure the safety of plant personnel and site visitors.

  • Emissions —Worn seals, airlock blades and damaged ducting need to be repaired or replaced to ensure that the drying system is operating within the emission limits that it was designed to maintain.

  • Efficiency — Air leaks can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in most operations. When seals and airlock blades are worn, or ducting is damaged, air leaks into the drying system. Increased airflow into the system will increase the energy used to evaporate a pound of water. Regular maintenance of these components prevents costly air leaks.

  • Reliability — A reliable drying system will operate 8,400 hours per year or more. The only way to ensure this is to properly maintain all parts of the drying system. The dryer drum, trunnion wheels, conveyors and motors need to be properly aligned. Bearing and the drum’s tracks need to be properly lubricated. Worn parts need to be replaced. The drum tracks, trunnion wheels and seal rings need to be resurfaced regularly for proper sealing and to reduce stress loading and shock vibration.

  • Durability — The key to long-term durability in a drying system is proper maintenance. Worn or damaged parts need to be replaced or repaired properly. Rolling surfaces need to be resurfaced to reduce stress loading and shock vibration to the system.

See the related feature article, "Act Now to Prevent Fires and Explosions in Your Industrial Dryer," to learn how to control conditions that support unplanned and uncontrolled fires and explosions in industrial drying equipment.