Towards the implementation of e-manufacturing : design of an automatic tea drying control system

Mabvuu, Never ; Nyanga, Lungile ; Van der Merwe, Andre F. ; Matope, Stephen ; Mhlanga, Samson (2014-11)

CITATION: Mabvuu, N., Nyanga, L., Van Der Merwe, A. F., Matope, S. & Matope, S. 2014. Towards the implementation of e-manufacturing: design of an automatic tea drying control system. South African Journal of Industrial Engineering, 25(3):199-211, doi:10.7166/25-3-772.

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Many of the production costs for producing tea are attributable to the process of drying the tea. E-manufacturing can assist companies to reduce these production costs by making crucial information available to decision-makers so that they can make informed decisions. This paper presents an application of e-manufacturing to the design of an automatic tea drying control system. This control system will ensure that the multiple drying parameters such as temperature, dryer-exit tea moisture content, and fuel consumption are maintained at optimal states during the course of the drying of tea. The additional aim of this system is to balance the cost of production and the quality of the final product. Using the Guggenheim-Anderson-De Boer (GAB) model, the optimum drying temperature was found to be 100-110°C, while maintaining a dryer-exit tea moisture content of 3 to 3.12 per cent, at a drying rate of 3 per cent per minute. A Barix control application to control the system’s activities, using the web user interface (WUI), was also developed.

‘n Groot gedeelte van die koste in die produksie van tee is as gevolg van die tee-droogproses. E-vervaardiging kan die produksiekoste verminder deur kritiese inligting vir die besluitnemers beskikbaar te stel. Hierdie studie beskryf ‘n toepassing van e-vervaardiging op die ontwerp van ‘n outomatiese tee-droog beheerstelsel. Die beheerstelsel verseker dat al die droogparameters, soos temperatuur, voggehalte en brandstofverbruik, by optimum toestande beheer word deur die loop van die droogproses. Verder word daar deur die beheerstelsel ‘n balans tussen die produksiekoste en die gehalte van die finale produk gehandhaaf. Deur van die Guggenheim-Anderson-De Boer (GAB) model gebruik te maak, is die optimale droogtemperatuur gevind om tussen 100 tot 110°C te lê, terwyl die droëruitlaatvoggehalte tussen 3 en 3.12% met ‘n droogtempo van 3% per minuut te lê. ‘n Barix beheer program is ontwikkel om die beheerstelsel se werksaamhede te monitor.

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