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A conveyor dryer is a heating system used for textiles and materials, often which are screen printed. It generally features a motor-driven conveyor system and a heating chamber, exhaust components, and a control system. The purpose of a conveyor dryer is to process as many garments as possible while optimizing their quality over an efficient amount of time. An essential component to a production shop, the dryer can be expensive and there are many options to consider when purchasing one. Specifications such as capacity, power, and belt size and speed are generally important to look at, as well as temperature and maintenance requirements.
Ink on fabric, and other textiles, can be dried using a conveyor dryer. This machine is typically the last stage of the production process. It should provide enough heat so that the ink fully dries and does not degrade too quickly. Depending on the ink and the material, too hot a dryer can burn the material. A conveyor dryer should usually be configured for hotter temperatures the thicker the ink layer and heavier the material.
In general, the heater should be wider than the conveyor belt. There are often many widths available from manufacturers. Wider conveyors are sometimes split into two lanes that can be driven by separate controls, and accompanied by separate heaters. Production capacity usually depends on the speed of the conveyor, heating capacity, and the size of the garments being processed. The curing time of the ink is sometimes important to calculate as well.
A conveyor dryer typically has controls for the speed of the belt as well as temperature. Adjusting the desired time per each item requires knowing how long it takes to dry each shirt, for example, and attaining a planned production capacity. Other conveyor dryer parts include digital temperature readouts, as well as vents. These are important for directing smoke, odors, and lint away from work areas, and be located relatively close to an outside area. On larger systems with multiple vents, more than one vent should be kept open to ensure adequate ventilation.
In addition to purchasing costs, the costs of powering the conveyor dryer need to be considered. Maintenance is another concern. If some parts are riveted together, access and repairs could be more costly. The need for a specialist could delay the project as well, costing the business more as well. A conveyor dryer is a complex system in which each specification should be fully understood in order to accommodate the company budget.