Soggy Croutons, Other Problems Solved
March 31, 2010
Customers struggling with drying or dehumidification problems have an ally. Here are four short case histories on how North Road Technologies/Nyle Products in Brewer, Maine, rescued companies facing production issues.
- Croutons. A rapidly expanding company that produced croutons needed to increase production of the salad tidbits favored by so many Americans. North Road made it happen.
The equipment maker designed a custom system to increase output in the two main stages of crouton production. One step in the process requires a room to be kept cooler than ambient while another stage requires the product to be dried at temperatures higher than what commercial dehumidifiers can achieve. The specialty drying systems met the challenge and the customer the desired increase in production without additional capital investment, space or manpower.
- Candy. Because of high humidity in the tropics, a Caribbean candy manufacturer struggled to maintain dry coatings on its products. The coating was prone to becoming sticky and pieces would adhere to one another. North Road’s solution was a system to dry the air in the coating machines. Efficiency was critical because of high energy costs on the island. Now the product dries consistently and can be bagged easily without candy pieces sticking together.
- Helicopter Blades. As a result of normal use, helicopter blades must be removed to have their honeycomb-like interiors dried of water buildup approximately every 2,000 flight hours. The process is expensive and time-consuming.
North Road developed a drying system that could accommodate the 33' blades, and now the manufacturer no longer spends 85 manhours per blade in the process. Employees simply drop the blades into a North Road dryer for just over a week and ship them back to the end-user at a fraction of the cost of the previous method.
- Drum Sticks. One of the world’s largest manufacturers of drum sticks (no, not the chicken kind) contacted North Road for an efficient solution to drying its drum stick line. Professional musicians are highly sensitive to the specific quality and weight of their drum sticks. If the drying process is not consistent, it will produce a sub-par product with variations in color, weight and straightness, which would reduce the value of the sticks.
The new North Road dryer designed for the task gave the manufacturer a system that delivered all the requirements at lower costs than its prior system.