Dehydrator Automation System

Main characteristics

The main characteristics of the automation system for dehydrators are presented below. Please not that certain features might change due to the permanent upgrades.

The software

The automation system is controlled by a specialized software developed by our company. The software runs on a Windows machine and controls the fans (speed and direction), the heating, the intake and exhaust in order to optimize the time in which moisture content of the products drops.

The software allows the user to configure its own recipes but it also comes equipped with default recipes for most fruit and vegetables. The user can configure in a recipe multiple steps, each step containing a programmed temperature, programmed air humidity, the fan speed and the step time.

The air humidity content is automatically calculated by our Auto dryX TM algorithm in order to optimize the dehydration time and also the energy consumption. This can also be set by the user if a certain process behavior is desired.

Dehydrator electrical panel
Dehydrator electrical panel

The software has implemented the following characteristics:

  • PID regulators for temperature and air humidity control
  • Product temperature estimator
  • Dynamic help: info about the controls functionality is displayed on the screen
  • Touchscreen PC
  • Up to 1 billion recipes can be created bu the user
  • Standard recipes for most of the fruits and vegetables. This list is constantly updated and can be downloaded for free from our website.
  • All dehydration recipes can be modified, renamed, coped or deleted.
  • The dehydration recipes are composed of steps (phases). Each recipe can contain as much as 65535 steps (usually recipes contain at most 32 steps). The step types are: Heating, Conditioning, Dehydration, Equalization and Cooling. Each step type has a different process behavior.
  • All the dehydration processes parameters are recorded and stored in downloadable databases. This data can be later analysed in order to improve the dehydration process. The data can be exported in Excel, HTML or PDF format.
  • The software has animated images in order for the user to easily understand the machine’s state.
  • The recipes can be exported and imported from a machine to another one
  •  There are a lot of system parameters for process and machine configuration. This software can be configured to work with almost any dehydrator and wood kiln.
Graphic view of a dehydration process
Graphic view of a dehydration process

Hardware characteristics

The software receives information regarding the air and product characteristics from one electronic module. After processing that information, the software controls the servos through two electronic boards. The system is composed of:

  • Frequency control device for fan control
  • 16 open collector output board
  • Digital to Analog converter for fan speed control
  • Analog to Digital board for temperature, air humidity and product moisture measurement
  • The system communication is made trough a RS485 to Ethernet converter.
Dehydrator automation panel assembly
Dehydrator automation panel assembly

Remote monitoring

The system is equipped with a web server that can be used to display the machine parameters. For safety reasons, remote control is not allowed unless specifically requested by the client.

In order for this system to work in an intranet, the machine has to be connected to a local area network. In order to use the monitoring features from the internet, the network router has to be configured accordingly (static IP address or DDNS). We can also configure or assist our clients for this configurations.