Some of Delta Driver’s clientele have enquired about finding existing spray drying capacity (even to the extent of buying entire businesses to acquire it). Some of the problem and reservation about making a transition are simply the fear of not being able to dial in the spray dryer to meet their unique need. In the dairy world, this is a reality.
When a high-fat dairy product is expected to run on a dryer that normally produces whey powder, this difference is a difficult transition. Some dryers dry best on a specifically designed dryer. Other dryers, like a Filtermat, have a very large capability since it has a two-stage process in its drying design. Products using a Filtermat also tend to have a statistically high capability in the product too.
Specialty products often do not have a statistically high capability and often need unique parameters in air flow for residence time, inlet temperatures and a low solids-level in the slurry. These are usually high margin products used as minor ingredients and easily justify the inefficiencies just identified.
Some of the limitations on a dryer that are normally ready and capable include batching systems unequipped to making slurry. On larger scale dryers or higher margin products, cost-justifying this equipment is easier than finding a perfect solution. In the interim, it is possible to batch at a facility that has the equipment and transport the slurry to the dryer.
So, the challenge for the industry today is to find a dryer with capacity that also is suited for the product. Delta Driver continues to match drying capacity with drying demand.
If you need more capacity, there are still options to satisfy them. Delta Driver is actively finding what those options may be. In the end though, spray drying equipment manufactures should be ready to install more dryers industry wide. Eventually, the total capacity will become so scarce the only option will be to build a greenfield spray drying plant.