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Radiant Heaters for Snack Food Extruder

Problem:

A snack food, such as corn curls, begins with cornmeal being extruded and fed into a large rotating drum. Inside the drum is a radiant heater to remove moisture prior to packaging. This necessary step enables the snacks to remain crisp and fresh. Without removing excess moisture, the shelf life is half and with product deteriorating rapidly. This customer used a competitor's tubular element rated at 24 kW. Another problem with the tubular heating units was cleaning the reflectors which became cloudy during operation.

Solution:

Watlow radiant heating panels. After installation, an official of this firm wrote: "We had to set the elements at 400 to 450°F (205 to 230°C) to obtain the same degree of efficiency we now have with the Watlow unit rated at 16.5 kW, run at a temperature of 200 to 250°F (90 to 120°C). Watlow radiant heaters reduced the power consumption by almost 50 percent over the tubular units.

Cleaning reflectors was eliminated as this is not necessary with Watlow radiant heaters. "Maintenance is a large factor. We had failure after failure with the reflector type. I know of none with the Watlow units." Watlow radiant heaters save energy, time, and cut costs.